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Via discussions hosted on the Capco Institute Blog, members debate high profile issues, with frequent and provocative contributions from Capco thought leaders. For institutions around the world, how will the changing financial services landscape form the future of finance?

Are Checks Checking Out?

Are Checks Checking Out?

Authors Daniel Hu (maomao Hu), Shabnum Gulati Published April 23, 2015

Who Even Uses Checks Anymore?

Think about how much everything has changed.  Can you imagine getting ready to pay your bills by running around the house, looking for stamps, envelopes and your checkbook?  Today, consumers worry more about remembering all the passwords and usernames associated with a variety of accounts when it comes to paying bills.  Mobile payments are now used for everything ranging from cable and Internet services to credit card payments. Apps like Venmo, that allow people in your social circle to exchange payments via your smartphone, have become mediums of choice.  Mobile payments are used not only amongst friends, but also between teachers and students, landlords and tenants, even contractors and homeowners.  In 2015 we are officially in the digital age, making electronic payment the dominant method of transferring money…right? Actually – Wrong.

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Analyzing Big Data and the Need for a Big Brain

Analyzing Big Data and the Need for a Big Brain

Author Sandeep Vishnu Published April 22, 2015

The growth in big data has been monumental, and continues to accelerate.  We are awash in data, but often bereft of insight.  It brings to mind the old adage, “Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink.”  Analytic tools are typically inadequate, and while visualization helps in the processing of data, true insight is often lacking.

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Surviving the UK’s pension revolution

Surviving the UK’s pension revolution

Author Arunima Haque Published April 21, 2015

The D-day for UK pensions has arrived. On April 6th 2015, alongside the usual scramble to capture personal ISA allowances, new UK pension reforms came into force affecting arguably the most important savings vehicle. The new rules mean greater freedom for individuals regarding how they manage and draw their pension. The most significant adjustment is that from now you can take as much cash as you like from a defined contribution pension, with no obligation to buy an annuity. What do these rules mean for insurers and wealth managers?

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Shaking the Trees; Apple Watch Arrives

Shaking the Trees; Apple Watch Arrives

Authors Tommy Marshall , Markus Sander Published April 20, 2015

Apple Watch - What to expect

Well, we’ve all heard about it.  We know it’s coming.  It’s almost here –  April 24th 2015 - it’s the Apple Watch!  But how does it work, will it work and what does it mean for the payments industry?   The concept of wearables that interact with your smart phone is not new, and many suppliers have already tried to capture their share of the market.  Now it's Apple's turn.  But many pain points will have to be overcome to prove that this new device is actually a game changer.

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Wealth Management – Welcome on board?

Wealth Management – Welcome on board?

Author Christine Ciriani Published April 15, 2015

Onboarding- The “Cinderella” discipline that could spoil the whole ball

Other industries can seem way out in front when it comes to their version of onboarding, or that first taste of the brand promise in reality.

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Everyone’s an iceberg. Thoughts on disrupting gender diversity.

Everyone’s an iceberg. Thoughts on disrupting gender diversity.

Author Isabel Naidoo Published April 14, 2015

Gender equality is finally making progress, but the pace of change is frustratingly slow. The International Labour Organization (ILO, a UN agency) recently said that without targeted action, at the current rate, pay equity between women and men will not be achieved before 2086, or at least 71 years from now. 

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Fedcoin

Fedcoin

Authors Avra Liakounakos, Andrew Cassetti Published April 03, 2015

IBM and the Federal Reserve are discussing plans to combine the best of both worlds: Bitcoin technology, that allows for speedy, safe money transactions, and a currency backed by the entire US economy, the US dollar.  Hence the name.  Fedcoins* could be used just the same as US dollars, but instead of physical cash, the owners would have digital tokens that could be used to make transactions at any time.

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Trading Around Volcker; A Trader’s Attempt at Gaming the System

Trading Around Volcker; A Trader’s Attempt at Gaming the System

Author Jennifer Liu Published April 01, 2015

The looming Volcker Rule is poised to be the key piece of financial regulation to decisively end Wall Street trading as we know it. With banks expected to comply, beginning, for some by July of this year, the industry is getting dead serious about understanding exactly what compliance will look like. Virtually all trading desks, across business lines, will be impacted, and right now banks on Wall Street are facing the risk of wide gaps between comprehensive compliance programs and everyday business implementation realities on a desk level.

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The Reality of Virtual Reality; A Mindtrip for Banks

The Reality of Virtual Reality; A Mindtrip for Banks

Author Philipp Pohlmann Published March 30, 2015

Last week a friend told me an interesting story about how she felt going to her local bank.  She explained that on a cold March day, she had to walk to the bank and wait in line to speak to a bank representative.  Seems the new accounts she wanted to open meant her having to show up in person.  She had to explain to a private banker, in a public place,  that she needed a joint account with her ex-husband for the kids, a new checking account with her fiancé’ for the wedding – and a pre-paid credit card so she could rein in her teenager’s emerging expensive tastes.  She felt like she was baring her soul to a banker she never met before.  She was definitely missing the ‘private’ in private banking.  Given the vulnerability she felt – she didn’t even begin to discuss her real financial goals or concerns – like saving with her new spouse, or how to manage established investments individually.

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Putting Your “Self” in Self-Service

Putting Your “Self” in Self-Service

Author Lane Martin Published March 27, 2015

Finding the balance between promoting self-service and delivering stellar customer service

In part two of our blog series on Branch Banking transformation, we shift the focus to convey how we help our financial services clients address the often conflicting dynamic of luring customers into the branch, then directing them to use self-service, versus providing hands on customer service.  Our first blog, Changing the Mind-set from Survive to Thrive, concluded that branches are here to stay, as long as they evolve to be a relevant outlet for customers whose lives are increasingly expecting more convenience. We stressed the idea of making the encounters matter.

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The Shanghai Exchange: China Options In

The Shanghai Exchange: China Options In

Author Mark Cheng Published March 26, 2015

After much speculation and delay, February 9, 2015 marked the day when China launched her first publicly traded stock options exchange in Shanghai. On one hand, the world views China’s quasi free-market development as a “late bloomer” into an already established sector. Others regard China’s entrance as an inevitable outcome from mounting global regulatory trading pressures, including collateral and margin rules, in other areas around the world.

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The Rise of the Chief Risk Officer

The Rise of the Chief Risk Officer

Author Timothy Sakowich Published March 25, 2015

The OCC’s newest approach to safeguarding the economy further solidifies the CRO’s place in the executive suite.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has begun the process of forcing large banks to conform to its heightened expectations for risk management. Evidence of what these new standards could mean for banks came earlier this month when Bank of America announced it would realign its compliance function with risk management1. The decision came after Bank of America met with the OCC late last year to discuss the new expectations.

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Ethics and MSBs – De-risking or Risk Shifting?

Ethics and MSBs – De-risking or Risk Shifting?

Author Jason Malcolm Published March 23, 2015

The term “derisking” has been used in the financial services industry for quite some time, most recently, due to increased regulations. Financial institutions and their boards are discussing how they can further derisk themselves from certain high risk divisions. Businesses such as money transmitters, casinos, certain foreign banks and derivative and prop trading are all under the micro-scope. Fear over new risk is also causing banks to refuse taking on new profitable businesses, such as virtual currencies as well as the cannabis industry. With ever mounting regulation, and unclear agendas, financial institutions have become very sensitive to the level of risk each particular line of business represents.

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The Human Operating System – A Weak Link for Happy Hackers

The Human Operating System – A Weak Link for Happy Hackers

Author Bryant Tow Published March 19, 2015

The number of reported Cyber-attacks is going through the roof. Statistics from the FBI, Verizon Breach Report, The Ponemon Institute and nearly every industry source all agree the number of attacks are dramatically increasing. We have all heard of Target, Neiman Marcus and so many others. So the question is….are we becoming more vulnerable?

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Disrupting gender diversity: Are we mistaking progress for success?

Disrupting gender diversity: Are we mistaking progress for success?

Author Isabel Naidoo Published March 18, 2015

I love this time of year. It’s the IWD (International Women’s Day) season and suddenly gender diversity is THE thing that everyone is talking, blogging and tweeting about.

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PSD2: Can banks take the lead in the mobile payments race?

PSD2: Can banks take the lead in the mobile payments race?

Author Alexandre Vandeput Published March 17, 2015

When we consider mobile payments, we often misjudge customers’ willingness to embrace adoption. This is because mobile devices are only the start of a new customer journey. Customers are not switching to mobile payments just because they prefer using smartphones. They are doing so because mobile payments offer integrated value-added services, such as reward programs, couponing and ticketing, which substantially enhance the overall customer experience.

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Pruning Bank Branches; Good Business or Bad?

Pruning Bank Branches; Good Business or Bad?

Authors Marcia Wakeman , Lane Martin Published March 16, 2015

Everybody has their own view of the future of bank branches.  And they all could be right.  The future of branch banking is a topic being hotly debated, from the boardrooms of major financial institutions to the local coffee shops of Main Streets.  Will bank branches become a thing of the past?  Or will branch banks become a new type of meeting place for those interested in financial services? Opinions vary widely, especially at our nation’s top banks. 

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Fintech digest picks up steam

Fintech digest picks up steam

Author Daniel Hu (maomao Hu) Published March 13, 2015

Digests pick-up steam amidst showers of stories

Financial technology is shaping the future of global economies, by shaping the fabric of people’s lives. It is that simple, and yet, that complex. The way the world trades, exchanges and makes money, wealth and value, will decide how people live, as well as which companies will succeed or fail. Keeping up with emerging technologies and shifting M&A landscapes is becoming increasingly difficult to do, which is why news digests, offering aggregations s of a week’s most important news stories, are becoming increasingly popular. Capco’s Fintech Digest hosted by Futurism.com is one of the industry’s best and here’s what they had to say this week.

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Islamic Banking: to believe or not to believe is not the question

Islamic Banking: to believe or not to believe is not the question

Authors Saïd El Majdoub , Amina Khan Published March 10, 2015

Infographic: Islamic Banking

Islamic Banking industry outperformed growth of traditional banking services by double-digit rates over the last decade (source: The Banker). With total assets amounting to $2.1 trillion in 2014, the sector’s cumulative average growth rate (CAGR) is 17.6% over the last four years. This is two to three times faster than the growth rate of traditional banking, in part due to the global financial crisis.

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Is being yourself going to bring about change? Not if the majority of 'selves' don't purposefully drive it!

Is being yourself going to bring about change? Not if the majority of 'selves' don't purposefully drive it!

Author Isabel Naidoo Published February 27, 2015

I've blogged before about how firms should find a way to let employees be themselves at work. Although, as one kind reader pointed out, that doesn't further the inclusion agenda if being yourself means working in a way that excludes others! Fair point. I buy into this vision. After all, it's one I created, spearheaded and have very publicly sponsored both within my firm and externally. But recently I got to thinking. If I care about inclusion (and I do) and I am passionate about disruption (which I am) how come we aren't disrupting diversity?

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