Financial Services Need a Digital Strategy

5 Reasons Why Financial Services Need a Digital Strategy

Financial services firms are facing their greatest technological change in a generation, with emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence holding the promise of reimagining the banking experience. Other challenges and factors such as changing customer expectations, increasing competition and regulatory oversight, and the pressure to streamline operations are driving the push for innovation. […]

Team Spotlight - Meet Leo Moura

Team Spotlight: Meet Leo Moura

“The most important thing here is opportunity because our leaders at FutureVault always encourage and give us free rein to execute on new ideas and work on learning new skills.”
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your professional background – what’s your “story”?

I’m originally from Brazil and moved to Canada around seven years ago. I’ve been working as a software developer since 2009 in many different projects that pushed me to step out of my comfort zone from time to time and learn new code. My biggest project in Brazil involved working on an integrated platform to provide digital solutions to the transport sector.

I’ve been consistently working on improving my developer skills by learning multiple coding languages like JavaScript, Python, C#, etc. After moving to Canada I completed my certification in Mobile Application Development which then naturally led me to my role here at FutureVault. I joined the FutureVault team in February 2018 and now look after our platform’s mobile side and cloud computing.

What motivates you and keeps you “going”?

As a developer at heart, the thing that motivates me the most is constructing something new every day. Each line of code and each feature makes me proud to watch and show what I am building. It is an extremely satisfying feeling when you see something new being released that you created and receive positive feedback from users and clients. There is always a new challenge – to learn a code, a new API, or solve a bug.

Another important thing that keeps me going every morning is coffee… Can’t forget the coffee!

In just three words, describe what it’s been like working at FutureVault.

Opportunity, Teamwork, and Fair Play. The most important thing is here opportunity because our leaders at FutureVault always encourage and give us free rein to execute on new ideas and work on learning new skills.

What does your typical workday on the Development team look like? Can you share what some of your top priorities are right now?

My typical day as a software developer usually starts with looking at the tickets that I have been working on recently. First, I will verify which tickets are the top priority for that day, and then I’ll update their status and write some notes on how to get them resolved quickly. After that, I usually have a standup meeting with my workmates to share what I’ve been working on, some challenges faced, and to see if others need my help with anything. I also write, review and approve some code and submit tasks to QA to analyze and perform tests. My top priority these days is successfully launching the mobile version of our 4.X (our new version) and making sure that the code works perfectly.

Can you share one of your favorite experiences working here?

I wouldn’t say it’s just one thing but instead, the overall experience of working here at FutureVault. Whenever I get stuck, I always share the issues with my teammates, and everybody steps in to help me by providing a different point of view or bringing more ideas and solutions. We have a solid team that tries to help you no matter what it takes.

As much as I enjoy working from home, some of my favorite memories are from the times when we were in the office and brainstorming new ideas with teammates about solving product-related issues as well as those times playing board games during lunch hours.

Last but not least, what excites you most about the future of our company?

I’m extremely excited about the work we’re doing and the general direction the company is going in right now. I’m particularly excited about the new platform version 4.X that we have been working on over the past few months. I’m looking forward to seeing our clients and users start using the new and improved features we have implemented and to give us feedback.

Feel free to reach out to Leo and connect with him on LinkedIn or drop an email at leo.moura@futurevaultinc.com.

FutureVault Successfully Achieves SOC 2 Type II Certification

FutureVault Achieves SOC 2 Type II Certification

This release originally appeared on EIN Newswire.

Toronto, Ontario, September 22, 2021  — FutureVault, an industry-leading document management and Digital Vault Platform for financial institutions and enterprises, announced today its successful completion of the Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type II audit, earning the SOC 2 Type II certification.  

The SOC 2 Type II certification is a complex certification within the SOC protocol, covering day-to-day operations to ensure that FutureVault complies with leading industry security policies and standards for managing enterprise and client data. SOC 2 compliance provides partners, customers, and clients with the assurance that FutureVault operates its infrastructure, tools, and processes to secure their data and information. 

The report validates the strength and robustness of FutureVault’s internal security, compliance, and technology. Additionally, the SOC 2 Type II report reflects FutureVault’s ongoing commitment to best-in-class information security and document management for financial services organizations, professional service providers, and their clients. 

“The successful completion of our SOC 2 Type II certification is an incredible milestone for the FutureVault team, validating our commitment to information security and processes,” said Luke Kyleman, Chief Technology Officer at FutureVault. “This milestone is indicative of our commitment to providing our partners, customers, and their clients with best-in-class security and compliance policies to store, manage and protect their information,” adds Nevin Markwart, FutureVault’s Chief Information Security Officer. 

The successful completion of the SOC 2 Type II compliance certification continues to position FutureVault as an industry leader in the information management, document filing, and Digital Vault space for financial services and wealth management organizations everywhere.  

For more information about our Digital Vault platform including our security and compliance certifications, contact our team today.

FutureVault Successfully Granted US Patent for Document Sharing and Collaboration with Trusted Advisors (2)

FutureVault Successfully Granted US Patent for Document Sharing and Collaboration with Trusted Advisors

This press release originally appeared on EINPresswire.com

TORONTO, ON, CANADA, September 16, 2021 — FutureVault, the leading document management and Digital Vault Platform for the financial services industry, today announces that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has allowed the patent application 15/690,760 “Systems and Methods For Sharing Documents”.

This invention enables FutureVault users to electronically store, share and grant collaborative document management functions to Trusted Advisors. Examples of Trusted Advisors include, but are not limited to:

• Regulatory Agencies
• Accountants/Auditors
• Lawyers
• Financial and Estate Planners
• Insurance Professionals

At the enterprise and back-office level, this technology allows firms to easily provide access to regulatory bodies, streamlining compliance and audit readiness amongst other materially value-added use cases.

At the advisor and front office level, advisors and wealth managers are afforded the ability to grant collaborative access to internal and external service providers and specialists involved in key planning activities and initiatives.

Lastly, clients of the enterprise benefit by being able to provide access to key family members, lawyers, accountants, and insurance agents, amongst others. These Trusted Advisors can view and manage personal, business, and financial documents to the benefit of all constituents.

The entire permissioning model includes a real-time audit trail of all activities by Trusted Advisors on the platform.

“We are incredibly pleased that the US Patent Office recognizes the uniqueness of the document sharing technology in our platform,” said G Scott Paterson, Co-founder and Executive Chairman at FutureVault. “This patent strengthens the differentiation of FutureVault’s offering against our competitors by providing a permission model centered around the contacts and Trusted Advisors of all constituents connected to our platform. This is especially important for our customers in wealth and other highly regulated industries where collaboration, compliance, and security all go hand in hand.”

G Scott Paterson and Michael Bradley, FutureVault Co-founders and FutureVault Principal Engineer, Jason Ko are listed as Inventors on the patent.

The successful grant of its second patent continues to position FutureVault as an industry leader in the information management, document filing, and Digital Vault space for financial services and wealth management organizations everywhere.

For more information about FutureVault’s patents and our Digital Vault platform, contact our team today.

5 challenges financial services companies can overcome with FutureVault

5 Challenges Financial Service Organizations Need to Overcome to Stay Competitive

The financial services industry has been and continues to be going through a radical shift as it heads towards true digital transformation.

As we survey the industry, it’s clear to see that there are several reasons and factors influencing this rapid wave of change: new entrants, disruptive innovation and technologies, changing business models, increasing regulation and compliance, as well as a change in your own customers’ expectations.

What we witnessed at the beginning of 2020 up until now as a result of the global impact of COVID-19 was like nothing else we’ve ever seen before. Once the pandemic hit and face-to-face interaction became nearly impossible for institutions, service professionals, and clients everywhere, the reliance on digital technologies became even more paramount. Needless to say, the pandemic was the catalyst for a very much-needed push and acceleration towards digitization and digital transformation for all stakeholders in the industry.  

While the above is seemingly all too good, it does come with the cost of posing several critical challenges for organizations and advisors. Keeping the above factors in mind, here are five major challenges financial firms will need to face and overcome in order to win the minds, hearts, and wallets of new and existing clients everywhere.

1. Keeping up with technology & innovation

Implementing the latest and greatest technology is arguably one of the most important keys to meeting long-term business goals such as providing a seamless customer experience and staying competitive. In a PwC Global FinTech Survey, 70% of the leaders said the speed of change in technology was a concern. When the systems and tools in place, as well as the client-facing technology lag behind the curve, it can complicate the customer experience.

Sustainable success in business requires insight, agility, and continuous innovation. To stay cost-competitive, and to have the flexibility that innovation requires, financial institutions will need to update their infrastructure to make it more agile and responsive. A successful business transformation requires buy-in across an organization from well-before technology is implemented to well-after technology is distributed across the organization. When it comes to adoption, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. We’ve seen this time and time again from organizations where departments and key stakeholders are not quite fully bought-in, slowing the overall movement of the organization.

Solution: To have the flexibility that innovation requires, financial institutions must consider consolidating platforms and investing in automation, AI, and cloud-based technologies to deliver on ever-more demanding customer expectations, manage data and information, as well as improve their ability to manage compliance requirements.

2. Limited workforce training

Most financial firms understand the need to be flexible and responsive in this highly competitive and constantly changing landscape. Team members, particularly in client-facing roles, must be properly trained on handling client interactions smoothly and efficiently. Acquiring and retaining talent is critical for the implementation of strategic initiatives, however, according to PwC’s 20th CEO Survey, 72% of CEOs in financial services say that the limited availability of skills is a threat to growth. Along with cyber threats, financial services CEOs’ concerns over technology and skills top their list of business threats.

Solution: Focus on building a successful upskilling strategy, with attention paid to implementing digital tools and new ways of working to build long-term talent for the organization.

3. Increased regulatory obligations

It seems like almost every other week we hear about regulators like the SEC penalizing and cracking down on companies with heavy fines for sensitive corporate and client data being exposed over email. With data breaches becoming more prevalent, both consumer and corporate concerns for data privacy and integrity has skyrocketed, resulting in ever-changing, more restrictive, compliance requirements and policies that soon form.

As regulations in the financial services industry continue to escalate, organizations are required to spend a large part of their budgets on meeting strict compliance standards. Building systems and processes that keep up with regulations and industry standards require resources on every level. Overcoming regulatory compliance challenges requires financial firms to foster a culture of compliance within the organization. Companies need to constantly evaluate and improve their operations to keep up with fast-changing consumer expectations, technology, and industry regulations.

Solution: Investing in the latest digital technology is a critical component in creating a culture of compliance. Technology can help standardize processes, ensure procedures are followed correctly, and enables firms to keep up with new policy changes, among several other benefits.

Note: If you’re still sending critical corporate and client documents back and forth over email, FutureVault’s digital vault and document management solutions can help by providing a much better, more secure alternative to email.  

4. Legacy systems & processes

Most of the existing challenges are struggles financial services organizations are faced with are a result of legacy systems and processes, directly impeding their ability to focus on clients and scale. Such systems have been used for so long that they are usually ingrained into a business’ processes making it difficult to move away from, however, absolutely necessary to do so.

According to Business Systems, maintaining legacy systems can be extremely costly with more than 80% of the IT budget often being consumed by it.

Similarly, paper-driven processes for things such as account transfers, new client onboarding, and just about everything else not only costs a considerable amount of money but also constitute a resource drain from a time perspective. This results in companies dedicating FTE capacities to handle the burden of manual, paper-driven administrative tasks, taking away from their ability to spend time on client engagement and interaction.

Solution:  Financial service organizations that leverage the latest business technology like online document management and collaboration will have the key advantage of innovating faster in the digital transformation race.

5.  Optimizing customer experience

Your customers crave relationships and being understood. Ensuring that your customers feel valued and are receiving great customer service is essential to developing long-term customer relationships. In the Accenture Global Financial Services Consumer Study of nearly 33,000 banking customers spanning 18 markets, 49% of respondents indicated that customer service drives loyalty.

As such, client experience initiatives need to be prioritized and vocalized across all levels of the organization. If departments are misaligned, the client experience will suffer and as a result, so will your business.

To top it off, we continue to observe the constantly ever-evolving customer expectations as consumers gravitate towards firms and financial services professionals that are able to provide them with 24/7 personalized service. According to a study by Accenture, 79% of consumers viewed their relationships with financial service institutions as largely transactional., institutions and advisors simply need to do better.

Solution:  To effectively deal with this requires a new covenant between front-office and people leadership, connecting the worlds of customer, HR, and general management to provide a seamless customer experience across the face of the organization.


Solutions & opportunities to automate, improve, transform

The financial sector is constantly evolving, and today’s challenges are guaranteed to evolve with them. The more steps organizations take now to stay up-to-speed, the better off they’ll be when it comes to inevitable changes in the future. It’s mission-critical for firms and their advisors to secure a controlled strategy to innovate and help refine the consumer engagement model in a digitally native world.

The first step involves keeping up with the newest trends in FinTech and seeing which ones could directly impact and improve client experience. Financial firms must also consider consolidating different platforms and providing a more consistent, customer-friendly experience across internet, mobile and physical locations.

Another important factor is the need of having an agile and diverse workforce, as greater diversity allows financial service organizations to better reflect, understand, and engage with the increasingly diverse set of clients they serve.

Organizations leveraging the latest business technology, particularly around cloud applications, have a key advantage in the race to digital transformation. Without system hardware limiting flexibility, the agility and scalability of cloud technology enable systems to evolve along with your business. Lastly, for any major business decision you make, be sure to surface plans with department heads and especially with client-facing teams. That includes sharing client feedback widely, whether it’s through shared tools or in all-hands meetings.

Winning the minds, hearts, and wallets of consumers

For organizations to remain competitive in the financial services landscape, they require new ideas and innovative methods of accomplishing tasks on a greater scale with faster speeds. More significantly, the customer will always be at the forefront of the future. Today’s modern consumers expect more personalized experiences, demands faster access, and expects better results from all of their providers, financial institutions included. And it seems that firms that are unable to compete with these higher expectations will likely struggle to maintain viability in the long run.

What we’ve seen and learned is that an investment in technology is no longer a “nice” to have, it’s an absolute must. To say the least, technology is fundamental to success. And that’s where FutureVault comes in. As an industry-leading Digital Vault Platform, FutureVault works closely with financial service organizations to help them successfully overcome all these challenges through a digital transformation that focuses on people, processes, and technology.

By helping organizations transform the way they’re managing and securely storing documents, onboarding advisors and new clients, and improving compliance and audit readiness, we’re able to help them significantly improve operational efficiencies, save time and money, and focus more on what matters most, their clients.