Zurich, 31 March 2016 – As an IT consultancy and implementation partner to the Avaloq core banking system, GFT Switzerland has been supporting the financial industry for around ten years and knows banking processes inside out. In 2016, its field of business as a digitalisation and regulation partner to the Swiss banking and insurance market is now set to be expanded. To do this, the subsidiary company is harnessing the expertise of the international GFT Group. New IT solutions relating to digital marketing, enterprise information management, process automation and regulatory compliance broaden the local portfolio. As the main sponsor, the company is presenting its digitalisation offensive for the Swiss financial sector at the Swiss Information Management Forum (IM Forum) on 21 April 2016 in Zurich.
Linking and specifically utilising information via data hub
Exciting solutions offer new prospects – and one example of this is the digital data hub, the Customer 360 Data Hub, from GFT. This innovative technology allows static information about customers to be linked to their current transactions and combined with additional information, such as from Internet activities or NFC technology (Near Field Communication).
Banks and insurance companies that process their customer management via a central data hub can therefore learn early on, for example, when their customer is planning a sizeable purchase or investment. Based on this information, an attractive and personalised credit package can be quickly pitched that perfectly reflects the customer's financial situation. The prospects for new areas of business are highly promising too. Financial companies – while maintaining data protection and the strictest security standards – can market customer data in an anonymous fashion via new sales channels, for example. Ultimately, the customer benefits from the networking of data streams – with improved service across all channels.
Digitalisation as the response to challenges in the financial sector
The majority of banks are already working towards digitising their business processes. This digital transformation is the number one priority – followed by the implementation of regulatory requirements. This development is primarily driven by customers, who want banking businesses to be modernised and who are increasingly comparing services. “Companies that fail to put their customers’ wishes centre stage are at risk of losing those customers. Digital and convenient applications are no longer an add-on, but rather a must-have”, says Daniel Rutishauser, Managing Director of GFT Switzerland. For the Zurich-based company, this sea change in the Swiss financial industry represents a chance to implement innovative projects in the banking sector. For many years now, the GFT Group has been supporting internationally leading financial institutions across Europe and North and South America with their digital transformation. Together with SIA, for example, GFT developed the “Jiffy” person-to-person payment system in Italy. Jiffy is now a fixed part of the service portfolio of 85 per cent of all Italian banks - and initial marketing activities have also begun in Germany.
Intelligent information management as a key factor in the financial industry
“Data is the key currency of the 21st century. Intelligent linking and real-time analysis makes financial service providers and customers winners,” continues Daniel Rutishauser. Digitally savvy customers expect modern banks to understand them and their wishes - regardless of which channel or point of contact they may choose. The product portfolio must be available via all online and offline channels. Customer enquiries need to be answered as quickly and as expertly as possible. Online feedback portals, social media, but also instant messenger services such as WhatsApp, together with photo-sharing portals such as Instagram, allow direct dialogue in the digital world. By combining this data, it is possible to obtain a comprehensive image of the customer who, for their part, also has extensive information at their disposal. If financial institutions want to offer services with added value in future, they first and foremost need one thing: the right data.
Cooperation agreements between banks and FinTech start-ups
“The choice of FinTechs as cooperation partners will become increasingly crucial for banks.” As an innovative IT services provider, GFT knows the advantages of the dynamic FinTech start-ups well, but also the challenges that banks face when introducing new technologies. GFT marries these two worlds perfectly. Banking solutions need to be convenient – saving time as well as money. FinTechs are already pointing in many places to where this journey is headed. “Banks, on the other hand, bring with them two crucial advantages: direct customer relationships and trust. Together, they can create the bank of the future, inspire customers and earn their long-term loyalty,” says Rutishauser. Through CODE_n, GFT offers its customers access to a global innovation network. Disruptive trends in the financial sector can therefore be spotted early, picked up on and integrated into new business models.
The new financial system
For GFT, one thing is clear: banks need a clear vision and specific goals for their transformation roadmap. Along this journey, the task is to combine traditional aspects with a new, agile culture. The basis for the next stage of automation, the autonomously managed business, lies in algorithms that are integrated into automated processes which operate on data that only a comprehensive and intelligent analysis platform can deliver. Front-office workflow systems also optimise regulatory requirements and allow the scaling of successful, digital service offerings. GFT advises on and supports banks with the planning, development and implementation of new solutions – to safeguard the business models of tomorrow.
2015 financial year
In 2015 with 4,050 employees in twelve countries, the GFT Group achieved revenues of around EUR 374 million. As a global technology partner to the financial industry, the company achieved pre-tax earnings (EBT) of around EUR 33 million. In Switzerland, GFT operates a Centre of Excellence and employs a highly qualified team of over 50 people. Revenue with customers in Switzerland increased compared to the previous year by two per cent to around CHF 12 million. In addition, revenue of CHF 5 million is generated with customers in Germany.
 Source: IDC Vertical Markets Survey, October 2015