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Hurray! ThinkTrader App in Benzinga Fintech Awards 2017

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market simplifiedWe are celebrating at Market Simplified, as our ThinkTrader application has been nominated as one of the finalists of Benzinga Global Fintech Awards 2017.

Benzinga Awards’ is a contest for technology companies to showcase their most impressive and advanced technological innovations, that are paving way for the future in Financial Services and Capital Markets. They have played a significant role in supporting the growth and development of the finance and technology industry, giving the firms an opportunity to showcase their products and creations to the industry, most importantly to the investor community.

We are justifiably proud as our team has built the ThinkTrader application, keeping in mind – the dramatically changing technology, access to data, new analytical tools and increasingly empowered customers. The app has a 4.3 star rating in Google Play Store and a 4+ rating in App Store with great reviews.

About ThinkMarkets: ThinkMarkets is known for delivering cutting-edge technology in their services for their customers with an ambition to improve the forex trading in the international trading community. They have invested heavily in infrastructure to provide award winning services, with an ever-growing range of markets. ThinkTraders app was launched in 2016.

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in revolutionizing and digitizing products for financial institutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We empower our customers with cutting edge digital experience that is highly personalized and enhanced for the end users with our ‘Experience Engineering’ platform driven by Analytics, AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain technologies. Our clientele includes industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), ThinkMarkets, MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank, National Stock Exchange of India and many others across the globe.

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 Business Development Executive in Market Simplified.

Stories of an Ex-Google Engineer, an Entrepreneur and an Aviation Enthusiast

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Financial Technology companies (Fintechs) face many challenges in meeting the expectations of Financial Institutions (FIs). The former gives the latter an edge in winning over their respective customers by developing products and solutions that help in simplifying finance and its effective management. Therefore, it is no cake walk for Fintechs to thrive in this cut throat world where their survival largely depends on clients (FIs) being happy with the deliverables. Not just that; Fintechs also need to have complete awareness and agility to face the evolving technological changes. They should be super-fast in learning, mastering and implementing the updates in technology for developing new-gen solutions that are in line with the industry standards. Let us take a look into what an ex-Google Engineer, an Entrepreneur and an Aviation Enthusiast have done to achieve great success in the technology front.

The Ex-Google Engineer

Though Fintechs offer new customer products in a highly regulated space, they also have an advantage of working for the institutions that have already passed these regulatory requirements. That’s what probably drew Suresh Ramamurthi, an Ex-Google engineer to enter this arena. But, Ramamurthi did not take the ‘no-bank’ route. This Google veteran spent years looking for a bank before he and his wife purchased the struggling Citizen’s Bank of Weir (CBW) in Kansas City. CBW was in shambles in 2008, just a year before the duo purchased it. The bank was under orders from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to cease operations due to inadequate capital reserves, high levels of unrecoverable loans and internal fraud. The couple not only transformed CBW but also made it a place of real innovation. In this course, Ramamurthi started his own Fintech Company – Yantra Technologies that specializes in software that can be used with the retail banking payment infrastructure. After several years of relentless efforts, Yantra built the next-gen platform that transformed and changed CBW’s old and rusty operations.

The Entrepreneur

N26 is a mobile banking start-up that was backed by PayPal founder, Peter Thiel. Having its headquarters in Berlin, Germany, this was a major step forward to replace brick and mortar banks in the European belt. Just one and half years into its operations, by June 2016, N26 had a user base of more than 200,000 customers in 8 European countries.

The Aviation Enthusiast

Venkat Rangan is the founder and CEO of Market Simplified Inc. Though Venkat is a technology enthusiast, he has great interest and passion for Aviation. He occasionally flies a Cessna Sky Hawk 172. In 2005, Venkat started Market Simplified Inc. at a very humble set up in Mylapore, Chennai, India. Though the space was little, Venkat had already started on this journey towards his big dream to revolutionize banking and financial services for end customers through his venture. Later, we had a corporate office at the Times Square Building, NY right opposite Nasdaq.

Our 5 Mile Journey

Market Simplified

Today, Market Simplified is quietly celebrating 12 years of success with its main operations in Ascendas International Tech Park, Chennai, India along with a corporate office in Schaumburg, IL. We have clients across the globe. We have developed state-of-the-art banking and brokerage applications for many top players in the industry with all of them having excellent reviews in Google Play Store and Apple Store.

Market Simplified Clientele

Our Clientele

Earlier this year, we were also awarded the Deloitte technology fast 500 Award for our consistent growth and constant innovation in the Asia Pacific Region.

Our most recent and top product is our Kotak 811 which is developed to enable a complete digital customer on-boarding experience where customers can open a bank account within 5 minutes just using the app. This is the first time in India where a complete paperless on-boarding solution has been built and deployed. This has helped Kotak Mahindra bank increase its customer base to 17 million since the release of Kotak 811 earlier this year.

Our constant pursuit to innovate and simplify finance has driven us to experiment with the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies as well. Our team has built ‘IAN – Intelligent Virtual Assistant’ that helps retail banks engage deeply with consumers through personalized and proactive services over natural voice-based conversations and chat messages. We have also extended this technology to IoT and here is our product demo featuring ‘banking with Alexa’. We are currently working towards building Digi 360 – a complete product suite for Community banks and Credit Unions in USA.

Ramamurthi, Peter and Venkat have all been instrumental in bringing to us – historical moments in the field of technology and innovation. Our learnings and findings from our past experiences are important to us as Fintechs.  There are no better examples than the ones mentioned above. We are still in this pursuit of change and betterment of financial services. As Venkat fondly says, this is our 5 mile journey from Mylapore to Taramani in these 12 years…

“We are witnessing the creative destruction of financial services, rearranging itself around the consumer. Who does this in the most relevant, exciting way using data and digital wins”
market simplified

Ascendas Office

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in revolutionizing and digitizing products for financial institutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We empower our customers with cutting edge digital experience that is highly personalized and enhanced for the end users with our ‘Experience Engineering’ platform driven by Analytics, AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain technologies. Our clientele includes industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank, National Stock Exchange of India and many others across the globe.

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 Business Development Executive in Market Simplified.

Congratulations ‘Team Charles Schwab’ for the launch of the first Human-Robo Financial Advisor

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congratulations 'team charles schwab'Congratulations ‘Team Charles Schwab’ for achieving your first technological milestone in the Artificial Intelligence segment!

Charles Schwab is a pioneer in providing the best in class trading experience for its customers. This year, Schwab has released its hybrid Intelligent Robotic Advisory coupled with guidance from Certified Financial Professionals (CFP) that has broken all barriers between man and machine.

AI is a new advancement that has come into vogue at a time when all of us feel humanization could be reduced in order to increase accuracy and precision in simple tasks. But, Charles Schwab thought differently and has come up with a human-Robo integration to bring in a personal touch for its customers by not being too archaic at the same time.

Schwab Intelligent Advisory as they call it provides clients with multiple investment options. This includes retirement planning solutions, taking into account, the customers’ financial plans and spending patterns. The solution provides unlimited access to a human advisor via phone or video conference and an investment portfolio of exchange-traded funds managed by computer algorithms. This is the first time humanization has been integrated so seamlessly with AI, such that customers do not feel that they are talking to a programmed machine to take their financial decisions. The investment professionals at Schwab provide support for their customers across all major asset classes. Interestingly we have already developed and designed a complete brokerage suite for OptionsXpress that has a 4 star rating in Google Play Store. To know more about this application, click here.

A highly sophisticated computer algorithm developed by our technical experts takes potential clients’ answers to our Investor Profile Questionnaire about their personal goals, time horizon and risk tolerance—and recommends a suitable portfolio for their accounts. Each portfolio can include up to 20 asset classes to ensure appropriate diversification.”  – Walt Bettinger, CEO, Charles Schwab

Last week, I had written about our Kotak 811’s digital customer on-boarding solution that we developed for them and is offered in India for the first time. The highlight of this solution is that, customers can open their bank accounts just within 5 mins. This is yet another instance where our partner firm has reached a technological mile stone and we are indeed proud of Schwab’s achievement.

About Charles Schwab: Charles Schwab is one of the largest brokerage firms in the United States. The company provides services for individuals and institutions that are investing online. The company offers an electronic trading platform for the purchase and sale of financial securities including common stocks, preferred stocks, futures contracts, exchange-traded funds, options, mutual funds, and fixed income investments. It also provides margin lending, and cash management services. Schwab also provides services through registered investment advisers. To know more about Charles Schwab, visit www.schwab.com or www.optionsxpress.com

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in revolutionizing and digitizing products for financial institutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We empower our customers with cutting edge digital experience that is highly personalized and enhanced for the end users with our ‘Experience Engineering’ platform driven by Analytics, AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain technologies. Our clientele includes industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank, National Stock Exchange of India and many others across the globe.

 About the author: Venkat Rangan is the Founder and CEO of Market Simplified Inc. He is a technology enthusiast. Venkat also has great interest in aviation and loves to read and learn about airplanes. Whenever he gets time, he likes to fly the Cessna Sky Hawk 172. His dream is to fly the Gulf Stream G650. Sometimes it makes us wonder – why he isn’t a pilot or running an airline business…

Gulf stream G650

Gulf stream G650

 

Thursday Talks – Organic Farming

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Every Thursday 4 pm the whole of Market Simplified gathers around the Open Air Theatre (OAT) for the “Thursday Talks”. It’s a series of individual sessions where employees talk about topics that they are passionate about. It can be technology, travel, health or just about anything else under the sun. Last Thursday we had SakthiKumar talk about Organic Farming. Sakthi, who hails from a farming family, is a Senior Quality Analyst at MSIL during weekdays and an organic farmer by weekends.

ShakthiKumar on Organic Farming

ShakthiKumar on Organic Farming

“Right from day one, we were following only the traditional organic farming techniques and its yield is as good as the modern farming”, he stated proudly as he began the session. When he spoke on farmland conservation, he mentioned that the usage of chemical fertilizer have not only affected the quality of the produce but has also degraded the natural micronutrients in the soil to an alarming extent. He also pointed out that unlike modern farming techniques, organic farming is self-sustaining and cost effective.

SakthiKumar

Sakthi in his farm

As agriculture is near impossible in a city, he encouraged us on having a terrace garden where people can easily grow vegetables and fruits that can be used for day to day consumption. He also gave tips on preparing natural manure and pesticides. He answered all our questions patiently, ensuring that we understood just how easy it would be to go organic. It was an informative session and what made it furthermore exciting is hearing it straight from a farmer who is one among us.

 About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in revolutionizing and digitizing products for financial institutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We empower our customers with cutting edge digital experience that is highly personalized and enhanced for the end users with our ‘Experience Engineering’ platform driven by Analytics, AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain technologies. Our clientele includes industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank, National Stock Exchange of India and many others across the globe.

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.

Machine Learning Vs Artificial Intelligence

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Machine Learning Vs Artificial Intelligence

In recent days, Machine Learning (ML) has become a buzz word in the financial industry. As mentioned in the previous post, banks in the US have spent around US$17 billion in big data and business analytics solutions where ML is one of the key technologies being used. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also a related technology that’s gaining traction in the market. But, people often think that both are the same or can be used interchangeably.

 Artificial Intelligence

“The science and engineering of making intelligent machines,” defines John McCarthy, who coined the term Artificial Intelligence (AI). In simple words, AI is the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior. AI is a broader concept of advanced computer intelligence on par with the smartest human minds ever.

The Google’s self-driving car, IBM Watson that won the Jeopardy and IBM Deep Blue chess machine which defeated the world champion Garry Kasparov are a few known examples of an AI system. Some of the AI systems are rule-based while the others are learning based. An ideal AI system must pass the Turing Test. The Turing test is a test, developed by Alan Turing in 1950, of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. An ideal AI system must possess the following in order to pass the Turing test.

  • Natural Language Processing to enable it to communicate successfully in English (or some other human language).
  • Knowledge representation to store information provided before or during the interrogation.
  • Automated reasoning to use the stored information to answer questions and to draw new conclusions.
  • Machine learning to adapt to new circumstances and to detect and extrapolate patterns.

A recent research found that the smartest AI System available today is only as intelligent as a four-year-old kid. So, there is a lot to look forward to in this space.

Machine Learning

“It is a type of AI that provides computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed,” defines Arthur Lee Samuel who coined the term Machine Learning (MI). It’s a core subset of AI that enables a system to learn and recognize patterns to make predictions. ML algorithms are designed not only to make predictions on the existing data, but also to continuously learn to optimize the output.

ML techniques are widely used in Image recognition engines, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Fraud detection, Translation and Financial market analysis. Deep Learning is an advanced ML technique that’s gaining traction. It uses Neural Networks (NN) that simulate data storage, processing and decision making similar to that of humans.

Source :  Ian Goodfellow’s Deep Learning

Source: Ian Goodfellow’s Deep Learning

The implementation of the above technologies has transformed many businesses, particularly in the financial sector. Being a thought leader in the financial technology space, Market Simplified has applied these technologies to its Intelligent Virtual Assistant solutions.

 About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in revolutionizing and digitizing products for financial institutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We empower our customers with cutting edge digital experience that is highly personalized and enhanced for the end users with our ‘Experience Engineering’ platform driven by Analytics, AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain technologies. Our clientele includes industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank, National Stock Exchange of India and many others across the globe.

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.

Kotak’s 811 Banking App – Digital Customer On-boarding for the first time in India

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kotak 811

Of late, there have been lot of talks on how financial institutions need to take steps to engage and retain their customers. Once we have engaged them, how do we get them to stay interested? In other words, how do we make their banking simpler? How do we transform their banking experience to a whole new level? We, at Market Simplified, faced the same challenge when our client ‘Kotak Bank’ approached us stating that they wanted to increase their customer base up to 2 times. This was just about the time demonetization occurred. When the whole nation was struggling to change their 500s and 1000 rupee notes, we were brainstorming for a solution that could turn around things for Kotak.

Customer on-boarding is an important part of account set up process for any bank. On the down side, this was the only area that was not automated since these were important details and humanization was necessary to check for any discrepancies. But on the up side, automation of this process also eliminates any man made errors resulting in fool proof on-boarding of new customers. Customers will find this as a great value addition as they will not have to physically be present at the bank for opening an account. This is all the more important in case of millennial customers as they are looking for convenience banking and very little interaction with brick and mortar bank.

Many banks and financial institutions have come up with various methods to simplify banking for its customers by making mobile apps, bot based banking and so many others. We are among the very few to think of a solution to on-board customers by just using the app that needs no physical presence at the bank and which is also completely paperless. All the customer needs is, an Aadhar and a Pan card to finish his account set up. This will be a major step forward for  customer service and very few banks have actually done this paperless customer on-boarding.

Uday Kotak, Executive Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Kotak Mahindra Bank said,“We have always believed in value creation for our stakeholders. In pursuit of this, we have implemented multiple strategies – both organic and inorganic – thereby establishing our presence across the entire gamut of financial services. We aim to double our customer base in 18 months. 8/11 changed India. 811 aims to take our Prime Minister’s vision forward. It offers access to over 100 features on mobile including completing financial transactions, managing investments, fund transfer, and is an ideal lifestyle app for e-commerce on Flipkart, PVR, Goibibo, etc. 811 is fully integrated with Bharat QR Code, India’s new digital payment system, developed by the Government of India. The app is also Unified Payment Interface (UPI) enabled, for instantly sending and receiving money. Further, 811 customers will enjoy all digital transactions at zero cost, and get a free virtual debit card.”

kotak pan   Kotak Aadhar

I wish to thank my entire team at Market Simplified, for enabling us to achieve this great milestone which only a few other banks have achieved so far. Also, Kotak Bank has been our premiere customer and it has been a pleasure working with them as they constantly give us new challenges to work on. After Kotak 811, Kotak’s customer base has increased to 17 million with close to 500,000 installs and the app also has a 4.5 star rating. To know more about Kotak 811, click here.

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in revolutionizing and digitizing products for financial institutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We empower our customers with cutting edge digital experience that is highly personalized and enhanced for the end users with our ‘Experience Engineering’ platform driven by Analytics, AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain technologies. Our clientele includes industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank, National Stock Exchange of India and many others across the globe.

 About the author: Venkat Rangan is the Founder and CEO of Market Simplified Inc. He is a technology enthusiast. Venkat also has great interest in aviation and loves to read and learn about airplanes. Whenever he gets time, he likes to fly the Cessna Sky Hawk 172. His dream is to fly the Gulf Stream G650. Sometimes it makes us wonder – why he isn’t a pilot or running an airline business…
 
Gulf stream G650

The Invincible Machine Learning Technology

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market simplified machine learningHave you ever wondered how Facebook shows us ads that are in line with our recent likes or searches? How does YouTube display ads related to our recent internet searches? In this era, we already know that marketing trends are such that, ads and promotions are customized to the needs and preferences of the end customers. Industries have become highly customer centric and are devising strategies to make their products to be in sync with their customers’ life style and interests.

Machine Learning is the most trending topic after predictive analytics and big data. What is machine learning? ‘Machine learning is a type of AI that provides computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.’ Actually, ML goes hand in hand with big data analytics. IDC (International Data Corporation) had already estimated that “banks will spend US$17 billion in big data and business analytics solutions in 2016.”

From massive data, ML actually studies and makes patterns that are meaningful. With this, it learns and understands the trends from past data and gives us relevant results. For instance, when we type in a Google search term, we see the prompters and auto fills for the search keywords. How is this even possible? With millions of searches every day, how does Google know what we are looking for with just a few search terms that are typed in? Many times, when we mistype a search term, Google cross references this with similar ‘typos’ in the past and gives us the correct search terms.

capture 2

All of these are because of ML and big data analytics. Search engines like Google and other big streaming services like Netflix have their own analytics engines that study millions of users’ behaviour and engagement information to know what items are most viewed or what image is most searched and provides results based on that. Amazon is another example of how it tries to sell products that are based on the customers’ past searches and purchases. Facebook claims that – “it processes 2.5 billion pieces of content and over 500 terabytes of data every day. In addition, it collects an average of 2.7 billion “Likes” and 300 million photos a day. Every hour, Facebook scans more than 200 terabytes of data.” This is just one company we are talking about.

ML is a huge enhancement to big data analytics. ‘Smart machines will become an integral part of business and daily life creating insight from data in ways that, humans on their own could never do’ – Machine Learning: The real business intelligence. ML is starting to simplify user interaction with machines to the extent that there is a virtual person that has the ability to think, solve problems and give apt solutions based on historic data.

Experts of various financial institutions (FI) are developing solutions that have the ability to interact with potential customers and suggest various products and services based on buyer personas (like their income, financial goals, spending patterns and life style). For instance, a wealth management app can have an analytics engine that could track and study the patterns of the past investments of a customer and suggest various portfolio options for the user. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

At Market Simplified, we are already in this journey of designing our solutions with all of these product embellishments. When solutions are designed with such enhancements, customers would surely be delighted. Millennial customers want minimal physical interaction with their FIs. They needn’t go to the FI in person or painstakingly call a customer service help line number only to hear an automated message and wait till the ‘end of time’ before an actual executive tends to them. ML would enable FIs to run the entire financial operations with least human intervention. It is just a matter of time!

References: Tim Cole’s – Big Data is Dead: Long Live Predictive Analysis; Kai Goerlich – Machine Learning: The Real Business Intelligence; Fintech Innovation – Banks lead big data analytics spend through 2020; Market Simplified – How important is it to know your customers.
 
About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in revolutionizing and digitizing products for financial institutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We empower our customers with cutting edge digital experience that is highly personalized and enhanced for the end users with our ‘Experience Engineering’ platform driven by Analytics, AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain technologies. Our clientele includes industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank, National Stock Exchange of India and many others across the globe.
 
About the author: Venkat Rangan is the Founder and CEO of Market Simplified Inc. He is a technology enthusiast. Venkat also has great interest in aviation and loves to read and learn about airplanes. Whenever he gets time, he likes to fly the Cessna Sky Hawk 172. His dream is to fly the Gulf Stream G650. Sometimes it makes us wonder – why he isn’t a pilot or running an airline business…
Gulf stream G650

Gulf stream G650

 

 

Types of Analytics Explained

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Analytics

‘Analytics is the way of extracting and communicating meaningful patterns in the data.’  In simple words, it’s converting raw data into actionable information. Along with Big Data, Analytics is now powering businesses across all verticals by improving operation efficiency, thus increasing the profit. As experts say, not all analytics are the same. To efficiently deploy analytics into the business, one must be aware of the types of Analytics and which one to use based on the requirements.

Analytics can be broadly classified into the following 3 types.

Descriptive Analytics

This type of analytics describes the data, in other words, it analyses and summarizes the complex raw data into a form that is understandable by humans. Though it is the most basic type of analytics, it is inevitable and around 90% of the organizations which use analytics rely on this technique. It is critical for the organizations to learn from their past performances and descriptive analytics comes in handy for the same.

Use case: The spendings from various accounts of a customer over a period of time are analyzed to provide a spending pattern. This tells the customer exactly where he is spending most of his income, which will be helpful in future financial planning.

Predictive Analytics

It’s a step further to the traditional descriptive analytics. Here, the data is not only summarized but the analyzed patterns are used to predict the future course of the data. The outcome of the predictive modeling cannot be definite as they are probabilistic. In simple words, it provides only the probability of the occurrence of an event based on the provided historical data.

Use case: After spend pattern analysis is obtained from historic data the predictive analytics can be used to predict the future spend of the user. Say, the user has continuously gone on vacation for 3 consecutive years; predictive analytics algorithm will highlight the high probability of the user taking the vacation in the current year also.

Prescriptive Analytics

It’s the most advance form of analytics. It uses emerging technologies such as AI and Machine Learning along with Predictive Analytics. Unlike predictive analytics, it not only provides the future course of the data but also the optimized path to achieve the best outcomes. This helps to identify uncertainties and helps to make better business decisions.

Use case: Prescriptive analytics can help in suggesting investment opportunities that are apt for the user based on their income, spend pattern and risk profile. It can also proactively help in financial planning and strategic decision making for the business.

Analytics has helped organizations in swift decision making, reducing cost and increasing profitability for different industries. It helps in mining useful information from tons of unutilized data. This would be an indispensable tool for all industries and will help them provide their customers with personalized products and services that are in sync with their needs and goals. A true revolution, yet to attain its peak!

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in revolutionizing and digitizing products for financial institutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We empower our customers with cutting edge digital experience that is highly personalized and enhanced for the end users with our ‘Experience Engineering’ platform driven by Analytics, AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain technologies. Our clientele includes industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank, National Stock Exchange of India and many others across the globe.

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.

How important is it to know your customers?

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big data analyticsIt is so easy for customers to reject marketing contents that are uninteresting or irrelevant to them – Just a click and mailers are added to spam! How many of us have actually seen the ‘promotion’ tab in our own Gmail? If you have seen this tab, you will find hundreds of marketing emails which are sent on a regular basis. The minute we find that someone is trying to sell something; we rush to click the delete button. Don’t we always skip the ad in a YouTube video, when we have the choice to do so? Aren’t ads between interesting movies or TV shows, annoying? These days, customers DO NOT want to see contents that are forced on them.

What are the 2 approaches in marketing?

  • PUSH STRATEGY: This strategy involves taking the product to the customer via multiple means ensuring that the customer is aware of the brand at the point of purchase. Fliers, notices, cold calls and YouTube ads are all part of push strategy. Remember the annoying ads between our favourite TV shows?
  • PULL STRATEGY: A pull strategy involves motivating customers to seek out your brand in an active process. This can be achieved by creating rich content in social media, website and blogs where there is wide reach and prospective customers will get in touch with the company if they think that you have a solution that can solve their problems.

Push strategy in marketing is over! Marketers need to understand that trends have changed. Marketing is no longer about the company, products or its solutions. It is predominantly customer centric. Marketers need to identify the following – Who are our customers? What challenges do they face? How best will we be able to make a difference to them?

These days, customers are on the lookout for highly personalized and customized services that are designed to tackle their challenges. This is all the more important in banking and financial services. Financial institutions primarily deal with a wide array of products and services catering to different kinds of customers. It is very crucial to market products and services that are relevant to their customers and not just anything they have to offer.

Let us look at an example.

  • Scenario 1 – Richard, who has 5 Billion dollars in his bank account, gets a call from his bank asking if he would like to apply for a vehicular loan with low interest rates. This is absurd, right? Why will Richard want to apply for a vehicular loan considering his sound financial status? This is an example that shows how ignorant the bank is with regard to its customers.
  • Scenario 2 – Richard gets a call from his bank asking him if he would like a dedicated relationship manager to assist him in managing his finances and to give him a variety of investment options as he comes under the HNI category. This would be a better marketing call that is in line with Richard’s interest, isn’t it?

This is just one of the many instances where financial institutions can actually strike a chord with their customers by providing them with rich content through different media, including calls. It is evident from the 2nd scenario that the bank has done its homework before reaching out to Richard with its offering.

Before drafting a marketing content, it is essential to study the customer profiles and get all relevant information so that the solution can be tailored to their interests and priorities. This aspect is called the ‘Buyer Persona’- ‘A buyer persona tells us what prospective customers are thinking and doing as they weigh their options that address the problem.’  This helps influencing the customers’ decisions based on specific attitudes, concerns and criteria that drive the customers to choose a bank or any financial institution’s solution that best fits their goal.

How do we organize, study and take meaningful interpretations from this data? Big data and Analytics are quickly gaining importance. So, what is Big data? Big data is a massive storehouse of information. Analytics will help study historic data and past trends with which experts will be able to predict future trends of the market and industry by giving valuable insights. Combination of these 2 will yield great results for financial institutions. Predictive analytics and big data basically involve studies on customer behaviour, spending patterns, expense management, life style and other variables.

Knowing customer details – their interests, spending patterns, financial goals and personal details will enable financial institutions to devise products and services that will not just solve their problems but will also resonate with them and enable a long term relationship with their financial institutions. This is what will create true value for the customer as well as the financial institution. The process is very simple and will definitely change the way customers react to marketing content that is personal and valuable. This is what every customer wants and needs. It is high time that financial institutions resort to this technique and understand the importance of adding value to its customers.

About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in revolutionizing and digitizing products for financial institutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We empower our customers with cutting edge digital experience that is highly personalized and enhanced for the end users with our ‘Experience Engineering’ platform driven by Analytics, AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain technologies. Our clientele includes industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank, National Stock Exchange of India and many others across the globe.

About the Author: Girijashankar is a Classical Carnatic Vocalist and teacher who loves to perform. He is also a voracious reader and enjoys writing. He is currently working as a Business Development Executive in Market Simplified.