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Big banks battle startups with new apps and services

Jacqueline Emigh | Jan. 4, 2016
While plenty of new financial tech companies are capturing the hearts – and mobile devices – of customers, established financial firms are fighting back.

According to Darren Lowe, vice president of Information Technology for the Minn.-based company, Stearns is also adopting banking systems and automated workflows that will remove the need for loan seekers to enter the same data multiple times during the loan approval process. In September, Lowe stated that Stearns had already replaced OpenText with M-Files software for consistent document management throughout the bank.

Barclays Bank. In the U.K., Barclays rolled out a Skype-like video service last year that lets Premier customers consult with human relationship managers on a live, 24/7 basis, either from their PCs or via a mobile app. The bank’s plans call for later extending the service to mortgage and wealth customers, and eventually to all customers, according to Forrester’s Condon.

The multinational bank also offers a mobile app for the U.K. housing market that lets customers browse available homes, calculate mortgage payments, and contact real estate agents from their phones or tablets. In the near future, the bank plans to be able to tell all mortgage seekers their pre-approved mortgage amounts online. The bank will also use credit reporting tools to get back to non-customers within about 10 minutes.

Barclays is maintaining a propriety data analysis and decision-making engins in its own data centers, while layering Salesforce.com’s cloud platform on top, said Steve Weston, CEO of Mortgages for Barclays, also during Dreamforce. Barclays has no retail banking operations in the U.S.

TD AmeriTrade. Although not nearly as old as Barclays or even CBW, TD Ameritrade has roots in online trading that stretch back 40 years. “Leading firms like TD AmeriTrade analyze Web pages and mobile apps continuously, making ongoing improvements based on traffic and behaviors,” says Ensor.

The online broker also offers investment counseling services through registered investment advisors (RIAs). However, according to Tom Nally, president of TD AmeriTrade Institutional, the online trader has now adopted an open architecture stance for robo-advisors, allowing financial advisors to use other platforms beyond TD’s iRebal software to assist them in digital asset management for clients.

Secretly winning ... or winning in secret?

Clearly, established financial firms need to take heed of the threat posed by startups. For competitive reasons, however, these firms often build new systems in stealth mode, meaning that other initiatives may well be underway.

Although Wells Fargo is an NGData customer, for example, Noels can’t disclose the details of that implementation. In a project with another financial firm, though, NG helped combine customer and geo data for a mobile app feature that sends coupons from nearby retailers – customized around preferences culled from big data analysis – to bank customers based on their location

NG’s Lily Enterprise software can analyze customer data along many different lines, including age, household income, tenure, credit card transactions, number of customer complaints to the bank, average spending, attrition and stock portfolio size, for instance.

 

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