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Innovation in Mobile Banking – Part 4 – Conversational Banking

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digital-banking

[The last post in this blog series covered contactless payment solutions in brief. Now, we will take a deeper look at emerging conversational banking.]

The more naturally we interact with a system, the greater our experience. The financial industry, particularly retail banking, is striving to provide that “greater” experience to their customers. But, when it comes to banks, the problems involved in achieving this are enormous. Banks are having a hard time providing highly personalized services to their customers at a large scale. This is solely due to banks’ struggle to understand them even at the most basic level. When it comes to digital channels, the banks weren’t able to exceed the expectations of the customers in terms of experience as it’s compared with the experience provided by top applications such as Facebook or We Chat.

The Banks and Fintech companies are trying to tackle this problem by introducing Conversational Banking to their customers. Conversational Banking allows customers to ask questions about their financial accounts, initiate transactions and get financial advice in their natural language via voice and text. It helps retail banks engage deeply with customers by providing personalized and proactive services. This new technology widens banking into existing popular communication channels such as Facebook Messenger, We Chat & SMS, along with emerging voice-based technologies such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

This technology has the potential to save transaction costs up to 90% by automating service tasks, cutting down inbound calls to call centers and resource consuming branch operations. It can also exponentially increase the customer satisfaction and revolutionize the way people do banking. But huge challenges ahead for banks and Fintech companies are engineering user experience for the conversational platform and its AI backend. Conversational services will replace web browsers and apps as our default portal for the Internet. The Internet is changing again. Banks need to adapt. Remember, technological change is exponential, not linear.

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in handcrafting custom solutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We have maximized the revenues of industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank and National Stock Exchange of India by providing enhanced and sustained user engagement through Experience Engineering.

About The Author: Gokoulane Ravi is a foodie, technology enthusiast, and a developer turned marketer with more than 5 years of experience in the space of mobility. When he is not working, he likes to read, write, run and cycle.

Hurray !!! We are a Deloitte Technology Fast 500 APAC Company

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Market Simplified - Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific

We are delighted and proud to announce that Market Simplified has been ranked as one of the fastest growing 500 tech companies in Asia Pacific (APAC) region by one of the world’s leading consulting company Deloitte. This Deloitte Technology Fast 500 award is a resultant of our sustained revenue growth in the past 3 years.

“It’s exciting and delighting to be recognized as one of the fastest growing 500 technology companies in APAC. I attribute this success to our focused and passionate team who are solving complex challenges of global financial institutions through cutting edge digital platforms and solutions. We are rapidly growing our presence in USA, UK and APAC region and expect to hit 65% CAGR over the next five years.”, commented Venkat Rangan, Founder & CEO, Market Simplified on this achievement.

The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific is the pre-eminent technology awards program in Asia Pacific, and now in its fifteenth year, it includes nine Asia Pacific locations. Combining technological innovation, entrepreneurship and rapid growth, Technology Fast 500 companies — large, small, public, and private — span a variety of Sectors, and are leaders in hardware, software, telecom, semiconductors, life sciences and emerging areas, such as clean technology. These companies are transforming the way business is done today.

“Making the Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ Asia Pacific is commendable in today’s highly competitive technology industry. We congratulate Market Simplified on being one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the region”, said Toshifumi Kusunoki, DTTL Leader, Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ Asia Pacific program.

The winners of this award are selected based on % fiscal year revenue growth during the period from 2013 to 2015 (or 2014 to 2016 for a financial year ending between January and June). Eligibility for the Technology Fast 500 requires that companies own proprietary intellectual property or technology that is sold to customers in products that contribute to a majority of the company’s operating revenues. Additionally, companies must be in business for a minimum of three years, and be headquartered within Asia Pacific. Using other companies’ technology in a unique way does not qualify for this award.

Earlier this year we got featured in NASSCOM Report “Indian Fin-tech Products – Innovation Driving Growth” and our HR Head was awarded Most Influential HR Tech Leaders Award 2016 by the World HRD Congress, a renowned global HR forum with 101 partner countries.

Cheers for Deloitte Technology Fast 500 award and much more awards to come.

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in handcrafting custom solutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We have maximized the revenues of industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank and National Stock Exchange of India by providing enhanced and sustained user engagement through Experience Engineering.

A DIPLOMAT’S VIEW ON LEADERSHIP

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It was a proud moment for all of us at Market Simplified, to be addressed by the British Deputy High Commissioner, His Excellency, Bharat Joshi. He was just 39 years of age when he joined as the British Ambassador. He is also the first Indian National to be the Ambassador for a foreign country. He is the person responsible for diplomatic missions in Southern India, which includes the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Puducherry.

His Excellency, Bharat Joshi

He spoke to us on ‘Leadership and its principles’ and also made the session interactive by answering a few questions asked by our employees, in the end.

Usually, these are some of the words that come to our mind when we think of a leader- selfless, open-minded, a role model and a good-listener. Being a leader is an incredible task. It requires clarity of thought and ability to take quick yet effective decisions.

He believes that a leader needs to have, what he calls, the 4 Cs-Character, Conviction, Courage, and Culture.

  • CHARACTER A leader must have excellent character and the ability to inspire his followers. Having excellent character does not mean, being righteous and preachy. In this context, the character refers to being original and unique, which is why he said “Management is about having our own distinct style. Always be yourself.” In today’s context, an ideal leader always makes the working atmosphere relaxed and fun for his team members.
  • CONVICTION is otherwise referred to as ‘clarity of thought’. A leader must have full faith in the path he has chosen and should be able to see his destination clearly. He must also have complete awareness of the surroundings and should be willing to listen and take suggestions.
  • COURAGE According to him, a leader should be able to stand up for himself and for his team. He needs to have the courage to protect his staff and to take informed decisions after getting the opinions and criticisms of his team members. A good leader is always a good listener!
  • CULTURE is mainly to create an environment in the organization that makes working fun. This responsibility also lies with the leader. He should ensure that the members are not under stressful situations. The quality of work automatically improves when the work environment is stress-free.
bharat-3

His Excellency, interacting with our employees

This was followed by a brief Q &A. Some of the interesting questions that were asked are below.

‘How does leadership style change during a crisis?’

For this, he said that, during a crisis everyone needs direction. The leader needs to be quick in taking decisions and must try to exercise control over the situation, though there is very little control. He gave us an anecdote of the bombing of the British Consulate General, Istanbul in 2003 and shared the strategies that were taken to overcome the situation.

 ‘Are leaders born or made?’

In the words of His Excellency, “Leadership is a muscle. A lot of it is about self-belief. Anybody can be a leader.” Until we try to lead and take ownership, we will never learn to lead. That first step ‘to own’ is very crucial to be a leader. Leaders are self-made in most cases except in a few circumstances.

The session was very interesting and I am sure we will greatly benefit from this. We thank His Excellency, Bharat Joshi  for sparing his valuable time and sharing his thoughts.

bharat-2

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in handcrafting custom solutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We have maximized the revenues of industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank and National Stock Exchange of India by providing enhanced and sustained user engagement through Experience Engineering.

 About the author: Girijashankar is a Classical Carnatic Vocalist and teacher who loves to perform. He is also a voracious reader and prefers to read books on crime and mystery. He is currently working as a Pre-sales Business Executive in Market Simplified.

DO WE HAVE THE POWER TO ACHIEVE ANYTHING?

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We were so glad to have Mr. Sekar Jagannathan address us on 13th October 2016 to share his thoughts on ‘clarity of thought and the power to achieve ones goal’. Most of us know that Mr Sekar is the CIO of EB Global JV, Malaysia. Well, not just that. He is also the founder of ‘7C Life,’ an organization dedicated to spreading awareness on ‘celebrating life’ and activating inner success mechanism and personal wellbeing through self-empowerment and meditation.

Mr. Sekar started his talk with a statement “All of us are spiritual beings having human experiences.” He went on to explain how all of us have a ‘self within’ which meant that we all thrive with a sense of possession at various levels.

For instance, we say, “MY book, MY life, MY family, and MY career,” so and so forth. What is this MY? Where is the mind that keeps saying “MINE”? This sense of possession comes from Knowledge.

“We all know what we know, from our experiences.” Experience comes from what we have tried earlier and/or from what society has taught us.

Here, Mr. Sekar gives an interesting analogy from the life of a baby in its early/ formative stages.

How does a baby say he is hungry when he can’t even talk? He cries and his mother tends to him. Does he know what milk is? Does he know if he will get it for sure? Does he know if it is warm or cold? All he knows is that he is hungry! So, how does the baby still succeed in getting what he wants? What is the need for the baby here in this case? His hunger! His hunger needs to be satiated. This is why knowing ones needs, is very important. In order to achieve what one wants, he/she must first know what he needs! In this case, the baby knows exactly what he needs.

As a baby, we have the ability to achieve anything. We are sleepy, we are put to sleep; we are dirty, we are cleaned up. The baby does not even say a word. All he does is cry to get the attention of his mother. The baby really does have the power to get what he wants, doesn’t he?

So what happens to us when we grow up? Have we lost this power in the process of growing up?

The answer is “No! We haven’t. We have just forgotten that we have this power.” How did this happen?

Knowledge! As we grew up, we were told what is right, what is wrong, what to do, what not do, where to go, where not to go, so on and so forth.

We started believing in certain things we were told, as truths. Mr. Sekar said, “Truth is what we believe!” For instance, we are told, “Do not play with fire!” This is plain truth. How do we know this for ourselves? Experience is the entity that adds to the truth. Burning our fingers strengthens the truth for us.

On the other hand, society is an all-powerful entity as well. They make the norms and dictate a certain code of conduct for us to live by! When we start following these norms, we lose our ability to actually realize our goals. Our goals invariably become what the society has dictated to us! For instance, I want to be an engineer, so that I can get a well-paying job and ultimately settle down in life. Having a professional degree is the key to embarking a solid career. So, merely settling down and having a solid career, is one’s goal? Isn’t there much more to life? As human beings, we are all different in so many levels. Even if someone is incredibly talented, let us say, in painting, he/she is trapped because of ‘societal pressure’ and end up letting go of their passions and only do what the so-called society has prescribed as ‘ideal.’ Society is actually driving who we should be! We have lost ourselves in this pursuit of mere knowledge.

Mr. Sekar addressing the crowd

Mr. Sekar addressing the crowd

Mr. Sekar gave an interesting comparison here. We are all like a library full of books, loaded with information. What are we achieving with this information by succumbing to societal pressures and needs? This is where “Wisdom” comes into the picture! We all have the same level of intellect and exposure to information. But, wisdom is what helps us differentiate between what we should and should not do.

Mr. Sekar further tells us how, in reality, knowledge limits our imagination in deciding what we want to be. It clouds our judgement by stopping us from having a free reign over our decisions. We are so used to the mediocrity that we limit ourselves within our cocoon, which is our comfort zone. Since our comfort zone is derived from all our experiences in the past, limiting our imagination.

Our human brain has the ability to achieve anything! So why limit ourselves? How can we overcome this hurdle? The answer is: step out of our comfort zone no matter how difficult it is and start thinking. This is where the power of thought comes into play. Mr. Sekar says that our ability to think is so powerful that it is capable of achieving the unthinkable. Our thoughts can actually translate into achieving our dreams. Constantly thinking about our goals and successful results has a direct impact in our universe. The cosmos enables us to achieve our goals!

You can’t just think about doing something and sit around waiting for it to happen on its own. You have to work hard to achieve your goal. It is the key to success! To sum it all up, imagination, the ability to think out of the box, visualization of our dreams and relentless hard work is what manifests into success.

We thank Mr. Sekar for meeting with us to share his thoughts. The session was extremely engaging and interesting. I’m sure many of us took back so many valuable insights from it.

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in handcrafting custom solutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We have maximized the revenues of industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank and National Stock Exchange of India by providing enhanced and sustained user engagement through Experience Engineering.

About the author: Girijashankar is a Classical Carnatic Vocalist and teacher who loves to perform. He is also a voracious reader and prefers to read books on crime and mystery. He is currently working as a Pre sales Business Executive in Market Simplified.

Disrupting Fintech – Blockchain

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blockchain

Bitcoin has been disrupting the FinTech world since the release of Satoshi Nakamoto’s paper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” in Oct 2008. Its growth has been steep in the recent past. In the last year alone, Bitcoin and its allied technologies have attracted investments over USD 1 Billion. But, Bitcoin is just the tip of the iceberg and an implementation of a greater technology that powers it. To understand Bitcoin, we must first understand Blockchain, the underlying technology that powers the Bitcoin ecosystem.

In simple words, Blockchain is a publically distributed, synchronized and secured database which is used to store and record transactions. But it’s not simple as it sounds. So, let me try to decode it.

The Blockchain system consists of the following two basic building blocks.

  1. A Block is a set of information such as a transaction record that is represented in the form of computer codes. If the Blocks are related to each other, they are chained to each other using a digital signature, forming the Blockchain.
  2. A Node is a computer system that’s interconnected to the network just like any other computer on the internet. Each node in the Blockchain system carries an identical copy of a distributed ledger (database) which holds the record of all transactions that are made in the system.

What makes the Blockchain system powerful is its anti-counterfeit mechanism that prevents fraudulent transactions. Whenever a transaction is initiated by a node in the system, a Block with the relevant information is created with the initiator’s digital signature. But, for the transaction to complete, the block must be verified by all the nodes in the system and get updated in their respective ledgers. A transaction doesn’t pass through even if a single node disapproves it. To make a fraudulent transaction, all of the nodes in the system must be hacked at the exact same time to modify the ledgers. This is almost impossible even with enormous computing power, as the keys in the ledgers are cryptographically encrypted. Even synchronizing the ledger between the nodes necessitates a clever mechanism. All nodes compete with each other on a complex mathematical problem based on the previous transactions. The ledger of the winning node is taken as the base and synced with all other nodes in the system. This security feature makes the Blockchain a fool proof system highly invulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Blockchain has a great potential to transform the Financial Industry, predominantly in the areas of Banking, Payments, and Capital Markets. The following are a few of its disruptions in the financial industry.

  • Blockchain-based Cryptocurrencies like BitCoin, LiteCoin and Ripple are evolving, which might replace paper currencies in the future.
  • R3, a Blockchain company was formed by a consortium of more than 70 of the world’s biggest financial institutions to perform research and development of Blockchain usage in financial systems.
  • Nasdaq, the second-largest stock exchange in the world has come up with Nasdaq Linq, a Blockchain enabled trading platform.
  • Distributed consensus, one of the core caliber of BlockChain has enabled fast and low-cost transactions to take place without the intervention of a 3rd party. Few payment protocols like Ripple Protocol and payment applications like BitPay have also evolved out of it.
  • The programmability of Blocks has given rise to a few Smart Contract platforms such as RSK and Ethereum. These platforms enable self-enforcement of contracts between two parties once the terms are met, without the interference of a third party.
  • The linking ability of Blocks can be used in provenance tracking. This comes handy when verifying the authenticity of certificates and in conducting audit trials.

This revolutionary technology is all set to transform the BFSI sector and it’s not too late to catch up with it.

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in handcrafting custom solutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We have maximized the revenues of industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank and National Stock Exchange of India by providing enhanced and sustained user engagement through Experience Engineering.

About The Author: Gokoulane Ravi is a foodie, technology enthusiast, and a developer turned marketer with more than 5 years of experience in the space of mobility. When he is not working, he likes to read, write, run and cycle.

Innovation in Mobile Banking – Part 3 – Contactless Payment Solutions

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[The last post in this blog series covered emerging authentication techniques in the mobile banking space. Now, we will take a deeper look at contactless payment solutions.]

Since the early 1960s, the magnetic stripe or the MagStripe cards have revolutionized the electronic payment (e-payment) industry for more than 30 years. Due to the lack of security features, Mag Stripes became vulnerable to identity theft, causing huge financial losses to both the customer and the banks. Then, in the 1990s, more secure Chip Cards (EMV Standard) disrupted the e-payment industry. Unlike Mag Stripes with static information, the Chip Cards encrypted the stored information, making them tougher to replicate. Advancement in technology and customers’ demand, especially millennials pushed the banks and the e-payment industry to come up with a more secure and innovative payment solutions.

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a technology which enables two compatible electronic devices in close proximity (within 5cm) to transfer small amounts of data between them using a predefined set of communication protocol. Though NFC has got various applications, this technology is predominantly used in contactless payment solutions. The following are the top trending contactless payment solutions.

Smart Cards

The contactless payment cards are just like the usual EMV Standard Credit Cards or Debit Cards but equipped with NFC technology. This card helps customers make quick and secure transactions at a POS, as it doesn’t require a pin input for smaller transaction amounts. Visa’s Pay Wave and MasterCard’s Pay Pass are the leading contactless smart card technologies spreading globally.

 

Smart Phones

Many banks have added payment feature into their mobile banking application which employs NFC technology in the smartphones to communicate with the NFC-enabled merchant devices. Most of these payment apps use Host Card Emulation (HCE) technique which emulates the data transmission through a physical card to process the payment. The key advantage of this mechanism is that it uses additional security features like tokenization capability, which smartphones have to offer.

 

Smart Wearables

Technology advancements not only made the mobile phone smart, but also wearables like watches and rings. Smart Wearables come in various form factors such as fitness trackers, smart watches, and smart rings. Being one of the fastest growing markets, the smart wearable market has grown 18.4% since last year. Most of the Smart Wearables are enabled with NFC technology that powers most of the contactless payment solutions. These wearables either work standalone or synced with a smartphone to make payments.

 

Innovative Payment Solutions is one of the key areas in which banks must concentrate as they have a wide array of applications that drive transaction and experience at the retail end.

To Be Continued…

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in handcrafting custom solutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We have maximized the revenues of industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank and National Stock Exchange of India by providing enhanced and sustained user engagement through Experience Engineering.

About The Author: Gokoulane Ravi is a foodie, technology enthusiast, and a developer turned marketer with more than 5 years of experience in the space of mobility. When he is not working, he likes to read, write, run and cycle.

Fun @ Work – Ascendas Singbridge Livewire 2016

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Ascendas International Tech Park, where Market Simplified is located organized its annual cultural and talent event “Ascendas Singbridge – Livewire 2016” between 28th and 30th September 2016. The three-day extravaganza brought together many members of various organizations in the IT Park to compete in the following categories.

  • Singing – Solo
  • Singing – Group
  • Dance – Western
  • Dance – Folk
  • Fashion Show
  • Dumb Charades

MSIL, being a sportive organization with no lack in awesome and talented employees, sent a bunch of MSFERs to participate in all the above categories, except the western dance. All of our participants gave their best while performing on stage and proved themselves a tough competition to the others. It would be a great fault on my side if I fail to mention the awesome singing, energy packed dance performance and stylish walk on the ramp by our people. Hard luck, only a few won the prize. In solo singing, Vasanth Jayaraman secured 2nd place. In Dumb Charades, our team consisting of Akshaya Sivakumar, Moushmi Nirmal, Siva Chairma Prabhu and Vijay Ravi secured 3rd place.

Following are some of the scenes from the event.

Great show team. Hope we win more next year.

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in handcrafting custom solutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We have maximized the revenues of industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank and National Stock Exchange of India by providing enhanced and sustained user engagement through Experience Engineering.

Innovation in Mobile Banking – Part 2 – Authentication Technologies

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innovation in mobile banking

[The last post in this blog series covered the essentiality of innovation in the mobile banking space. Now, we will take a deeper look at emerging and innovative authentication technologies.]

Authentication is the process of confirming the identity of a person or an entity by validating their credentials. In the traditional banking channels, the teller or the relationship manager interacts directly with the customer and authenticates them. But, securely authenticating the customers in the digital medium is fairly challenging.

The authentication mechanisms have also reasonably evolved along with the advancement in the technologies. This evolution can be easily categorized into 3 stages.

  1. Something you know – Passwords and Security Questions.
  2. Something you have – Security Tokens and One Time Passwords (OTP)
  3. Something you are – Face and Finger Prints (Biometrics)

The traditional password based authentication poses a security risk as it could be easily hacked via brute force or social engineering attacks. Financial institutions have also tried to strengthen the security with an additional layer of authentication, such as security tokens and One Time Passwords (OTP). In the case of security tokens, additional costs are involved and the tokens are prone to get lost, as the users always need to carry them. Using OTPs to authenticate usually annoys the users when it’s not delivered in time due to network congestions or any other factors. To make things better, the industry went ahead and made the user himself as an authenticating factor with the following emerging authentication technologies.

Facial Recognition
“A facial recognition system is a computer application capable of identifying or verifying a person from a digital image or a video frame from a video source,” cites Wikipedia. Facial Recognition algorithms have evolved a long way, from just analysing the space between facial organs to analysing the 3D contour of the face. As most of the smartphones are equipped with both front and rear cameras, the same technology is being used for authenticating the users. All the user has to do is take a selfie and log into their banking application. How cool is that!?

 

Biometric Authentication
In the current context, Biometric Authentication refers to authenticating users using their unique natural characteristics such as their fingerprints and retina. The Fingerprint and Iris scanners have been in the market for a long time as standalone devices. But, with the advancement in technology, these scanners are now embedded in smartphones also. Most of the recent smartphones come with a fingerprint sensor and a very few with retina scanners as well. So, it becomes easy to authenticate users into their mobile banking application using just their fingerprints and eyes.

 

Behavioural Biometrics
In Behavioural Biometrics, the usual interaction of the user is profiled in the system. The users are profiled based on multiple parameters such as keystrokes and navigation patterns. When the usage pattern of the user deviates from their usual profiled pattern, the system is alerted of an anomaly. Usually, behaviour biometrics is not used to authenticate users into the system, but rather to monitor while they are interacting and transacting in the system.

 

Having the above technologies as additional authenticating factors not only strengthens the security of the mobile banking application but also improves the User Experience. Adapting these new technologies also acts as a product differentiator.

To Be Continued…

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in handcrafting custom solutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We have maximized the revenues of industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank and National Stock Exchange of India by providing enhanced and sustained user engagement through Experience Engineering.

About The Author: Gokoulane Ravi is a foodie, technology enthusiast and a developer turned marketer with more than 5 years of experience in the space of mobility. When he is not working, he likes to read, write, run and cycle.

Innovation in Mobile Banking – Part 1

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digital-banking

Banks have evolved a long way since the start of this millennium. With ATMs, Cards, and Internet banking, IT has helped in revolutionizing the banking industry globally. Evolving payment mechanism also fuelled the fast pacing economic growth and enabled businesses across the globe to flourish.

In the late 20th century, something started revolutionizing the way people communicated and the same went ahead and revolutionized the way people did banking. Yes, they are mobile phones. The widespread use of mobile phones and the advent of smartphones have led to a digital revolution worldwide, and it has now matured and become an integral part of our life. Smartphones have made our life easier by bringing information to our fingertips and have enabled us to perform actions based on it, with ease. Likewise, it has also brought the bank branches onto our palms via mobile banking.

Why Innovate Mobile Banking?

Mobile Banking not only revolutionized banking but has also bought financial inclusion to millions of people who have no access to the traditional branches. From just being a transactional feature, mobile banking has rapidly evolved to be a customer experience driving channel today. Its potential, significance and cross-selling capabilities have put it in a key position in the digital strategies of all banks globally.

Banks and FinTech companies have now put an unprecedented effort to drive innovation in the mobile banking space in order to

  • Simplify the processes
  • Obtain customer insights
  • Engage customers
  • Stand apart from the competition

What’s Hot?

The following are the top innovations that are trending in mobile banking space.

  • Face Recognition AKA Selfie Banking
  • Biometric Authentication
  • Voice Recognition & Voice Ordering
  • Image Based Banking
  • Quick Loan Approvals
  • Omni-Channel Banking
  • Product & Service Innovation
  • Contactless Payment Solutions
  • Social Media Banking
  • Cardless Cash Access
  • Next Gen Technology Integration

We’ll have a detailed look on each of the above in the subsequent posts in the series.

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in handcrafting custom solutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We have maximized the revenues of industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank and National Stock Exchange of India by providing enhanced and sustained user engagement through Experience Engineering.

About The Author: Gokoulane Ravi is a foodie, technology enthusiast, and a developer turned marketer with more than 5 years of experience in the space of mobility. When he is not working, he likes to read, write, run and cycle.

6 Productive Prototyping Tools

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Prototyping

Prototyping is one of the most important steps in the design process. A prototype is the sample model of the application (web and mobile), which gives us the ability to test the app and determine if the solutions and decisions made for the application are efficient. Prototyping tools help in finding emerging trends and to solve the interaction problems that may arise.

Dozens of prototype tools are available in the market. An initial research that we conducted helped us narrow down on the 6 best tools. They are:

  • OmniGraffle
  • Axure
  • JustInMind
  • Invision
  • Adobe Experience Design
  • Flinto

Let’s analyze each of them in detail.

OmniGraffle (for mac and ios)

OmniGraffle

OmniGraffle is used for creating precise, beautiful graphics, such as website wireframes, an electrical system design, a family tree, or mapping out software classes. It can be used by artists, designers, casual data-mappers, and everyone in-between. The best part of OmniGraffle is that the stencil files are readily available online for various frameworks and platforms. With a quick Google search, you can find a wide selection of stencils for UI elements on the iOS platform, Twitter Bootstrap, and more.

Pros

  • It is the market leader in diagramming software for Mac.
  • It has a wide variety of diagramming shapes and templates.
  • Users appreciate the attractive output that OmniGraffle produces.
  • The program offers Standard and Professional options for each new version and has an affordable upgrade charge. This allows users to get the new version at a significant discount.
  • OmniGraffle is a downloaded product and can be used for as long as it’s compatible with your device.

Cons

  • It’s a Mac-only product.
  • OmniGraffle doesn’t support collaborative editing.
  • The upfront cost may be too expensive for individuals and small organizations.

Axure RP

Axure

Axure RP is a desktop application that gives businesses and UX professionals diagramming, documentation and interactive tools to quickly design and share interactive prototypes and specifications.

Pros

  • The drag and drop interface and elements provide for quick and easy designing.
  • It provides tons of online libraries of icons, widgets, templates (including smartphone templates), and other elements.
  • It makes it possible to move progressively from placeholders to high-fidelity prototypes using/within the same program.
  • It allows you to post your prototype on a secure website so that stakeholders can interact with it (provide users with a link and optional password choices).

Cons

  • The dynamic panels can be a pain to deal with as some of the functions in them are not intuitive.
  • Its standard library of shapes is primitive, often requiring extensive editing or imported libraries of shapes to fit the needs of the given project. On top of this, editing shapes and the shape of photos in Axure can prove to be more difficult than other applications.
  • It does not have an extensive font selection.
  • It would be beneficial for developers when coding a project if Axure included more CSS options that developers could inherit from.

JustInMind

JustInMind

Justinmind is a flexible prototyping tool that supports many devices and works well for simple click-through prototypes as well as for more complex interactions. Prototypes can be created from existing mocks or by building screens within Justinmind using the libraries of standard assets. It now supports the simultaneous execution of multiple events.

Pros

  • Device-specific templates and features.
  • Quick and intuitive when adding assets via drag + drop.
  • Simulate feature generates a web preview of fully interactive prototype with a device frame.
  • Fine-grain controls for adding interactivity to individual elements.
  • Support for gesture-based interaction.
  • Option to add animation to individual elements or transition effects to links.

Cons

  • Moderate learning curve; takes some time to get oriented for a first-time user.

Invision

InVission

Invision is the best rapid prototyping tool. We can facilitate design discussions asynchronously, track feedback from everyone on the team, and demonstrate interactions easily and efficiently. It’s great for taking images and making clickable image prototypes that do the job effectively while saving a lot of time.

Pros

  • It’s Easy to learn.
  • It helps in fast execution.
  • Sharing and commenting available for a collective feedback.
  • Asset management feature available.

Cons

  • Only good for working with existing mocks and no features present for creating or modifying elements in the tool
  • Interactivity limited to hotspots or timeouts to move between screens

Adobe Experience Design (Preview)

AdobeXD

Adobe Experience Design CC (formerly Project Comet) is the first all-in-one tool for UX designers. We can design and prototype websites and mobile apps efficiently with it.

Pros

  • Clean and intuitive interface
  • Repeat Grid tool allows users to create content grids (such as post lists, inventory catalogs, and user tables) extremely quickly.
  • It is fully integrated with other Adobe’s products,
  • It recognizes the type of content you’re trying to drag-and-drop in it.
  • It allows sharing prototypes by uploading them to Adobe servers.

Cons

  • Lack of the layer panel.
  • Too plain and limited tools for creating new graphics.
  • The absence of styles and symbols.
  • Almost no layer effects. You will barely find any layer effects except Drop Shadow.

Flinto

Flinto

Flinto for Mac is a comprehensive app prototyping tool that allows you to create anything from simple tap-through prototypes to comprehensive prototypes with impressive interactions. Flinto has been carefully designed for Mac to minimize complexity. There’s no programming or timelines. It’s the prototyping tool designers have been waiting for.

Pros

  • 3D transformations
  • Transition tags allow animations to be reused across screens
  • Desktop previews with a full-screen option
  • View live previews in Flinto app
  • Uses artboards like Sketch
  • Built-in gestures: Tap, double tap, long tap, swipe, touchdown

Cons

  • Scroll groups require a lot of setup for what should be a relatively easy task
  • No Photoshop import
  • Have to download the free Flinto app to open Flinto documents on devices
  • No animation value export, making it difficult to share specs with developers

Comparison

We all have different purposes and different expectations when it comes to prototyping. Choosing the right tool is a big part of creating good prototypes on time. The following table allows you to compare the prototype tools and might help you in finding the best one.

comparision

We shall look deep into the other prototyping tools such as PowerPoint Prototyping Toolkit and Balsamiq in the subsequent posts.

The content in this post is not meant to favor or promote any of the mentioned products. This is solely my personal opinion as a tech lover.

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in handcrafting custom solutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We have maximized the revenues of industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank and National Stock Exchange of India by providing enhanced and sustained user engagement through Experience Engineering.

About The Author: Thangapandian Chinnaiyan Is a UI designer, a relentless problem solver looking to create more meaningful solutions. An IT professional who also goes by the name tango in dance circles.