Global Trends For the Financial Service Industry

As the economic crisis continues to unfold, the financial service industry faces serious challenges. The crisis is rooted in continuous imbalances, including long periods of low interest rates, rapidly rising asset prices, and massive credit and savings imbalances. The 2007 and 2008 Reports from the World Economic Forum predicted these changes as continuous risk to the market.

Earlier decades of exceptional growth and capitalism at its best have now caused the market to adapt to tighter credit, growing government intervention, slowing pace of globalization, and no economic growth. With increasing regulations in the United States and decreasing availability of credit, the industry faces a significant risk of stunted growth. The global recession is also affecting the financial sector because of capital markets and decreased aggregate demand, according to Max von Bismarck, Director and Head of Investor Industries.

This article will provide leaders, employees and investors in the financial service industry with five unique and timely trends to keep in the forefront of their growth strategies for the next five years. These five key trends will shape the post financial crisis in a holistic and systematic manner.

FIVE KEY TRENDS

GLOBAL BANKING. According to the World Bank, although many banks such as American Express, Citibank and JPMorgan Chase conduct business in multiple countries, they are relatively regional in the United States. In order to grow, the financial industry will have to infiltrate emerging markets. For companies that have a more aggressive growth strategy, the spread to emerging markets such as Africa and Asia presents unparalleled opportunities for profit and increased market share.

IT PLATFORM SHARING. Network World confirms that financial service firms’ business strategies must be altered for the new dynamics and intricacies of today’s market. Immediate access to information and integration along product lines and geography are a must for future success. With the need to supply information to a global market, firms must decrease cost. One cost effective initiative is the use of platform sharing; like cell phone companies that collaborate with local companies in order to decrease cost and increase access, financial firms can do the same.

E-BANKING. A special report from The Economist sees that with 3.5 billion people with cell phones and an expected 10-20% year over year growth, personal and business banking transactions are conducted through cell phones more and more. Thus, E-banking capability is quickly becoming an increasing requirement in order to compete in the marketplace. E-banking capabilities provide companies with essential flexibility and differentiation in the market through Internet-based service applications.

MOBILE MONEY. The increase of mobile phone usage in emerging markets makes mobile money a safe, low cost initiative for the financial sector. It is an easier way to transfer money to family and friends, money is sent, and payments and withdrawals can be made without ever going to a physical bank or payment center. M-Pesa, an early developer of mobile money, concluded that mobile money “has enormous social and economic benefits.”

SELF-SERVICE. Self-service and the customer should be a primary focus for firms in this new financial service world, according to IBM. AppViewXS is a self-service portal firms can purchase, so customers can check the status of their account and gain instant access to available services. Customer questions and concerns are addressed more quickly, states an IBM representative. This technology automates many processes; the result is that staff workload is reduced while representatives operate faster and more efficiently.

Financial service firms need to have sustainable, steady expansion in the emerging markets in order to grow in the future. Deloitte and Touche Research reports that financial service firms have not positioned themselves to capitalize on more geographically dispersed opportunities. More than 93 percent of the executives interviewed for this report acknowledged that their firms “are not operating in a globally integrated fashion.”

The same report states that financial firms need to invest away from veteran or mature markets and toward emerging markets because “by 2025, veteran markets will be rivaled by other markets with faster growing economies and increasingly sophisticated financial product appetites.” USA based firms can look toward Japanese and African markets for expansion opportunities. Kennedy Consulting analysts believe that the market will rebound from the global financial crisis in 2011, but there will not be any return to the robust levels prior to 2007 until much later in the decade; hopefully, the five key trends in this report will help the leaders, employees and investors in the financial service industry to look toward a robust sound future.

In addition to growth strategies, in the 2002 Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, Henson and Wilson discuss the extreme changes that have occurred in the financial service industry and how many firms are trying to develop and execute successful strategies based on innovative technology and customers. Aside from the regular ups and downs of the financial world, technology and innovation will always prevail as the win-win for the financial service industry. Because online banking has become the norm for most customers, technology will be very important in these firms’ strategies.

With the customer at the center of most trends in financial service firms, creating new values for their current and potential clients beyond current expectations will be a top priority. The need for convenience mixed with technology makes mobile money a great initiative in the emerging as well as the developed markets. Many firms have speed pay, the ability to pay without swiping the card, as part of their credit card services. An embedded chip in the credit card enables payments to be made by putting the card close to the payment processor. Mobile money will be an expansion of payment and money transfers without the need for a card, the need to go to a physical bank, or to use Internet banking. Payments, transfers, deposits and withdrawals can be made with a cell phone.

The World Bank concurs that innovative technology and an increase in e-business strategies will lead to much lower costs and greater competition in financial services. Internet and related technologies, the World Bank affirms, are more than just new delivery channels; they are an inexpensive, different, and very effective way to provide the same services. Since financial service firms must grow organically, build customer loyalty, and accommodate the customers’ expanding needs for services and convenience, partnerships with new technology businesses will allow them to lower their expenses and be competitive.

Established firms such as Amex, Citibank, and others can partner with groups such as the wired tech savvy Google Alumni who are not averse to risk and who own fledgling technology businesses that are reshaping the industry with a new wave of innovative products, write Spencer Ante and Kimberly Weisul of Business Week. Mobile Money Ventures is one such fledgling company that is a provider on the forefront of alternative financial service products. Small companies such as these are able to provide well-known financial firms the wherewithal to open in emerging markets where there is a need for cooperation with other firms in order to attain then obtain the local customer base.

Tips For Business Financial Accounting Management

Financial accounting does not based on only about cash flow and management or knowing about the profits and losses but it is the management of the financial flow across the business and thereby managing it to promote business growth and development. Throughout the flow the accounting equation has to be maintained that is, Assets should be always equal to the Liabilities plus Capital.

Dealing with the business accounting, the first principle that should be followed is to be aware of fraudulence. While doing business with monetary amount one should be very particular about calculation and maintenance. Capital plays a huge role in structuring the business. Therefore saving that finance is important for the management and growth.

7 Tips for the Management of Business Financial Accounts:

Accounting Information of employees which play an important role has to be managed in a proper way so that at the year end reports can be generated easily without any hassles. It is very important to set up proper business financial strategies which can be followed so that the business can ultimately meet the agenda.

The various tips that will help you to flow the cash in the proper direction and will help you to understand the need of the proper settlement of the different business financial accounting can be listed as follows:

* Check Financial Transactions:

Everyday business deals with expenses, revenues, profits, and losses. It is important to keep track of each and every financial transaction as these financial statements play an important role during the tax filing and preparing the annual budget. Therefore, the day to day transactions should be maintained while considering the business financial services.

* Revising Billing Statements:

It is important to revise the billing statements sporadically. It might appear that your business is left with few payments. This should be ensured that you are paying only those bills for which your company has received the services. In financial business, you have to be very sure that you are not being cheated anyhow, that could result into a big loss for your firm.

* Review the Invoices:

Invoices are the financial statements that can be reviewed to control the expense of doing business. These financial statements helps in understanding whether you are paying extra to some business or you can get various services at a cheaper rate or you can still manage some other companies to get the similar services at a more effective rate.

* Updating with Taxation Rules:

While conducting business or you are associated with any services, it is important to pay the tax. Especially if you are associated with any financial firm the taxation services policies has to be remembered. The taxation rules changes after certain interval, in order to run the business the rules must be updated to the specialists. It will not only help in managing the accounting book but also it will play a good role during the audit trail.

* Follow GAAP for Accounting Management:

For running the business financial accounting services people should practice the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) policies. GAAP consists of standard principles which should be followed by every accountant to run the business. For the management of different accounts these principles can be adopted and drive the accounting management in a new direction.

* Maintaining Transparency:

It is important to set the budget limit. The budget of the organization includes all the purchases and expenses made by the organization. Whenever any department plans for purchasing goods or any other raw material it has to be approved by the higher officials. In the same way, after the purchasing of the goods, a detailed slip should be maintained so that everyone in the organization should have the idea what are the purchases have been done and how it is going to help the organization economically.

* Maintain Simplicity in your Accounting Records:

The financial accounting system should be maintained in a very simple way. The simplicity should reflect from the data and from the maintenance of the records. Accounts dealt with calculations, therefore greater complexity will result into more mistakes. Scheduling of the tasks should be maintained in order to imply simplicity.

These are certain principles that the accountant or any other outsourced accounting services Provider Company should follow in order to run the business ethically and to meet the financial need of the organization. A systematic accounting procedure helps the business to grow and thereby meeting the expected profit.

Benefits of Being a Financial Services Franchise Member

Given the current local and global economic situation, industry experts encourage people to look into innovative business options for income and profit generation. Aside from property investments and food chain franchises, being a financial services franchise member can help you earn money in today’s technologically advanced world. Those who want to enter the growing cost management business can find unlimited financial potentials in this industry. To know more about this option, here are some facts to help you out.

A cost containment franchise serves as a recession-proof business with vast market potentials. With this, you can enjoy multiple revenue stream opportunities that allow you to gain profit through fast, easy, convenient, and reliable business platforms. The business can be applied anywhere; it has no defined territories. You can perform essential business operations even in remote areas, as long as a client needs cost containment services for his or her business.

As a low-overhead business, financial services franchises can be easily operated from home, making it an ideal investment or employment option for busy parents who want extra income while enjoying the comforts of their own home offices. You can operate independently, have full control of your own activities, and set and enjoy your own work schedule. As long as you perform your work duties, you can spend your free time with your kids and effectively balance business and parenting responsibilities.

With an innovative business services franchise, you can experience a customized lead generation program before training to create local leads that you can keep as reference for future business needs. Undergoing necessary training through modern modes of communication allows you to learn from industry experts eager to share their knowledge with the country’s booming entrepreneurs. With proper training, you can then perform your work duties more effectively within practical time frames.

If you become a member of a financial services franchise, you can offer your own clients with a comprehensive cost containment solution that will work best with their specific business operation needs and preferences. You can provide access to leveraged national supplier contracts from leading companies in the country, and even get assistance form qualified expense category experts that support businesses like telecommunications, document management, office printing, as well as printing, freight, and waste removal.

As a member of an established financial services franchise, you can also enjoy customized, proprietary software packages that automate vendor bidding and savings calculation process. With an ongoing marketing support, you can host your own website through the support of top-of-the-line search engine technology used by industry experts. Consult a reliable cost containment company to know your options.

If you have questions, please visit us at http://www.CostContain.com for complete details and answers.

Do Financial Services Agents & Brokers Need Wakeup Advice?

Agents in the financial services sector play a crucial role in sustaining the business. Financial services encompass broad sub verticals like – banking, insurance, and investment funds companies where their crucial role like building relationships and getting business volumes cannot be underestimated.

Personalized sales are the approach set by agents and brokers for decades. They carry a lot of information on products, markets, and prices. But after the IoT, big data and analytics came to the center stage, it became imperative for agents and brokers to stay relevant. The mobile customers supported by mobile workforce of businesses are posing existential threats to agents and brokers. Many may wonder – is this the end of the road for brokers and agents?

Financial services honchos may consider eliminating the role of agents attracting new prospects with reduced premium or discounts. But wait a bit more before you send the execution order as they have the firepower still. It is into this area focused study is required.

Can Agents Stay Relevant?

Now the question before us is, are agents and brokers relevant? First of all they have time tested relationship with a large number of accounts whom they assiduously nurtured. Today, the brokers themselves are mobile and know the IT tools to nurture their audience. With the help of IT apps on their mobile they go for client acquisition faster. In this process, they:

• Contact their prospects and educate them about the products.
• Provide valuable pieces of advice on most feasible product for them.
• Evaluate the performance of securities.
• Build relationship after gaining an understanding on every aspect of customer relationships.

We are coming to the important aspect. Today technology obsolescence is making the role of agents irrelevant. To some extent it is true if the mobile customers make a total shift from agents and have direct interaction with the company. But the question is how feasible is that idea. We all know in our busy schedules, giving priority be it paying premium or buying stocks may not be appealing to all with a few exceptions. The reason behind this is people are not that self motivated and agents step into this gap with their relationship nurturing skills.

In areas like spending money people are little scary as well as slow decision makers. This cannot be construed as weakness but in fact it is wisdom as sensible ones do lot of research and thinking before they take the plunge. What does this mean for the financial services sector? Financial sector services may be enthusiastic about IT tools which helps the customers to take informed decisions. But what is the exact scenario? People will do all research with the tools on mobile but many will be unlikely to take the final purchase decision because there is a need for a resource person to give relevant and contextual information on products and services. This should be followed by the ability to close the deal once the curiosity level is raised to the highest. Who can replace agents or brokers who had been doing this for decades?

So, now the readers might have understood the value of agents in clinching the deal. Getting business is not an ordinary deal. It requires a lot of effort, constant follow up on clients to arrive at a decision. Just SMS alerts won’t do the trick. Having said this, let us consider how the agents can be used creatively with technology in this era of technology disruption. We also need to consider how agents can be empowered with technology and how.

Agents Can Be on Survival Mode with IT Tools

To survive in today’s volatile markets, what is most needed is actionable information. Agents who are working overtime in building relationships and closing deals definitely require latest IT tools, to be specific BI, big data and analytics tools to take key decisions. In the case of insurance, BI tools can help the agents and brokers to derive key insights on customers and understand their inclination to offer customized products or solutions. BI dashboards will help them to manage relationships effectively. So is the case with banking and investment companies who hire third parties for business development.

Application of analytics comes in different areas like content analytics, context analytics and business analytics. In content analytics unstructured data like call center logs, sensor data, audio, video data can be analyzed to track trends, customer responses, etc. In context analytics data is analyzed to understand the context which is vital to take context based decisions. In business analytics patterns, behaviors or trends are discovered through statistical analysis. Last but not least is predictive analytics where application of techniques like statistical analysis, regression analysis, correlation analysis, cluster analysis, social media analytics etc., are applied for new product development.

Agents are catalysts in information gathering as they move with people and trigger discussions on products and services. Because of this stronger reason, one cannot conclude that agents are on their way out in the disruptive technology era. But at the same time agents should take recourse to IT for their survival as well as the survival of financial services businesses. Let time tell the rest.

5 Promotional Items for Financial Services Companies

Each and every industry and company can benefit from promotional merchandising, and this includes companies in the sector ranging from travel agencies and hospitality right through to healthcare and construction. Financial services companies too can benefit from promotional merchandising, whether for their customers or their business associates.

The reality is, however, that financial services companies often have a higher class of clientele to meet the needs of, and therefore inexpensive plastic biros and key rings are not the type of item that they typically opt for. Instead, here are five excellent promotional items that are sure to go down well with any client of a financial services company.

The first item that is ideal for this kind of company is the premium gift pen, as this can provide a very classy alternative to a plastic and inexpensive everyday branded pen. These more sophisticated writing tools are still considered excellent gifts outside of the working environment, yet are still great staples when looking for high quality promotional gifts.

There are more expensive and less expensive options available, but quality is key when looking for promotional pens for financial services companies. Premium pens can also come in their own stylish presentation boxes, making them perfect for giving to loyal customers or associates on important occasions.

The second recommendation for a great promotional item for financial services companies is the leather wallet, as this is an exceptionally stylish and classy gift to give to associates or clients. This can be embossed with the logo of a company or a company slogan, yet can still be high enough quality to be appreciated and used by the recipient of the gift.

As with premium pens, a leather wallet is also perceived as a premium gift, and this will go down well with high paying and loyal customers. Giving promotional gifts of high quality will be a strong reflection of your company’s commitment to delivering quality also.

The next choice of excellent gifts to give to loyal customers or business associates of financial services companies are promotional umbrellas, particularly promotional umbrellas for golf. These items can be exceptionally stylish and very practical, and are ideal for the travelling businessman.

Promotional umbrellas tend to come in a range of styles and designs, but the most highly revered products for financial services companies include those with wooden grips and in classic colours that ooze class and sophistication.

Fourthly, an excellent choice of promotional item for a financial services company is a set of branded golf balls, as these are perfect for the businessman who enjoys a round of golf on his business trip. This also makes a particularly unique gift that not many companies use for promotional purposes; this is therefore an excellent choice for a company looking to stand out from the pack.

These can often be accompanied or even substituted by golf gift sets, which include other essentials for people who enjoy playing golf, whether they are well to do professional clients or business partners being thanked for their loyalty.

Finally, a fifth recommendation for an excellent promotional item for financial service companies is a high quality business card holder. These can come in a variety of designs and can be as luxury or as economical as the company prefers, and are also extremely practical. There is also plenty of opportunity to brand these to suit the company’s promotional endeavours.

From promotional umbrellas right through to business card holders, there is a promotional item for every financial services company looking to make an impact on their target audience. With a wealth of high quality and luxury items available to pick from, it has never been easier to find some that suit the aims of the company in question.