Everything about digitization in the financial industry

Development of core banking systems in Switzerland  

In 2017/2018, the Core Banking Radar examined the eight most relevant core banking systems for Switzerland using a comprehensive methodology. In 2022/2023, the interviews with representatives of these established systems in Switzerland were repeated in order to find out how the systems have developed. This blog post highlights the four overarching activities that core banking systems have been engaged in over the past few years.

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Microsoft Copilot – A First Look at the Workday of the Future?

Microsoft 365 has around 350 million paying users worldwide who use the Office Suite every day to create presentations, analyze data or collaborate in teams. Most of this daily work is done manually, as automation is not possible for all users due to a lack of knowledge. But it is exactly this challenge that Microsoft wants to solve with the introduction of Microsoft 365 Copilot. In this blog post, the function as well as the application possibilities of the Copilot are presented and fundamental implications of the collaboration between humans and arti-ficial intelligence in the everyday work of the future are shown.

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Trend Impact Radar 2023: New Trends for the Financial Industry

The Competence Center Ecosystems regularly identifies and analyzes the most important trends impacting financial institutions and financial-related service providers. In doing so, we address both the development of megatrends, macrotrends and microtrends as well as their impact on the financial industry. Today, I would like to share the four mega and macro trends that we have newly identified as relevant to the financial industry in our latest internal update: Web 3.0, AR & VR / Metaverse, Generation without Borders / Permanent Beta and Standards in Telecommunications.

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Tokenization – Potentials, Challenges and Use Cases in the Financial Industry Environment

In connection with blockchain technology, the financial industry often talks about the tokenization of assets and attributes enormous potential to it. In the context of the supposed potential of tokenized assets, it is worthwhile to start by taking a more detailed look at the definition of the term. In the first part of this series of articles, potentials and challenges of tokenization in the context of the financial industry are discussed. Selected use cases are presented in the second part and positioning opportunities for financial institutions are outlined in the third part.

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Distributed Ledger Technology for the Real Estate Market – A Meaningful Synthesis?

The global financial crisis is a prime example of the real estate industry’s relevance to and close interconnectedness with the financial industry. To prevent the real estate market from negatively impacting the financial industry, different challenges need to be solved. Technological innovations such as distributed ledger technology (DLT), especially blockchain technology, have opened up new opportunities for addressing these challenges in recent years. This post analyzes the impact of DLT on each step of the real estate acquisition process (particularly the mortgage process).

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Exemplary Measures & Key Takeaways for Banks in the Context of Launching a Digital Assets Offering

The first part of this two-part blog post outlined challenges for a bank launching a digital asset offering. As a starting point, a financial institution was outlined which, in a first step, would like to enable wealthy private clients to trade selected digital assets (e.g. Bitcoin and Ethereum) in cooperation with an external partner. In the second part, selected measures are presented, success factors are described and key takeaways for the launch of such an offering are highlighted. The contents are based on experiences from projects and discussions with experts.

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Selected Challenges & Success Factors for Banks in the Context of Launching a Digital Assets Offering

Various banks have opened up more to the topic of digital assets in recent months and are actively driving forward concept and implementation projects for a digital asset offering or are already offering one. For a successful launch, various fields of action need to be addressed. The basis for the conception, operational implementation and launch of a digital asset offering is to ensure the relevant expertise in the appropriate depth and breadth both in the project team and in the specialist departments involved during the conception and implementation phase, the leap from a project-oriented way of working (Change the Bank, CtB) to operation (Run the Bank, RtB), and anchoring in the corporate culture.
This blog post will outline selected challenges in these three areas of action, present exemplary measures, describe success factors, and highlight key takeaways.

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A General View on the Developments Concerning FTX

Cryptocurrencies are once again on everyone’s lips after one of the largest trading platforms for cryptocurrencies, FTX.com, with a market valuation of $32 billion, filed for bankruptcy on November 11, 2022. The cause was a liquidity shortage at the Bahamas-based crypto exchange founded by Sam Bankman-Fried as a result of a bank run. In this blog post, we have a deeper look at the developments leading up to the crypto exchange’s insolvency.

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Part II: Need for Change – Transformational Needs and Best Practices for Enterprises Using Distributed Ledger Technologies

Distributed ledger technology (DLT) makes it possible to guarantee the integrity of transactions without a central authority. This innovation is therefore seen as having the potential to revolutionize existing financial market infrastructures in the long term [1]. However, the adoption and use of DLT-based platforms has multiple implications for businesses. The technology brings not only technical but also organizational challenges that require new competencies in various business functions. In this article, we explain which challenges affect which corporate functions and which best practices a company can follow when implementing change.

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Decentralized Identity – Secure Digital Identity Management?

Everyone is familiar with the following situation from everyday life: financial service providers or service providers (e.g., mobile network operators) offer services only for registered and verified users. The consequence: In order to be able to prove one’s own identity online, a new account must first be created using an e-mail address and a selected password. The process of creating and verifying different accounts results in a single user having many online identities and involves almost as many identity providers. Above all, the protection of one’s own data falls by the wayside in many cases. The advancement of blockchain/distributed ledger technology in recent years has given rise to a new approach to online identity processing and verification, Decentralized Identity. This post explores the concept as well as the underlying technology and highlights advantages over the traditional use of identity providers and user accounts.

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Race for the Pole Position in the Metaverse – Business Opportunities for Banks

In the media, Meta (formerly Facebook) is positioning itself very strongly as the future metaverse, and it seems as if Meta is building the “one” metaverse. This impression is deceptive. In this article, we will talk about what a metaverse is, which competitors are currently building metaverses, and what opportunities they open up for banks.

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Opportunities & Challenges for Banks in the Context of Decentralized Finance

The term decentralized finance (DeFi) refers to a decentralized, blockchain-based architecture for processing financial transactions without intermediaries. we will show in this article why offering access to digital assets and DeFi business models is worthwhile for financial institutions and what challenges they have to overcome in order to provide such an offering to their customers. Based on practical examples, positioning possibilities for regulated institutions will be presented as well as concrete opportunities and challenges.

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Digital Twins – The Merging of the Real and the Virtual World

The amount of data about real products, processes, and services has increased dramatically in recent years. This opens up new possibilities for planning, simulation and analysis. For this purpose, more and more companies use the concept of a digital twin. But what are digital twins and what potentials do they offer at the enterprise level, especially in the financial industry?

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Core Banking Radar – “Vault Core – a hyper-configurable neo-core banking system from Thought Machine”

In cooperation with the Business Engineering Institute St. Gallen (BEI), the Core Banking Radar of Swisscom has been monitoring the system support of banks since 2017, and analyses the most relevant systems for the Swiss market using a comprehensive assessment model. The latest publication of the Core Banking Radar looks at Vault Core from the U.K.-based company Thought Machine, which aims to adopt best practices in software development from technology companies with a cloud-native platform and give banks the flexibility to develop any product with smart contracts.

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Gaia-X – A Revolution for the Financial Industry?

Cloud solutions are faster, more flexible and less expensive than on-premise solutions. However, the best-known cloud infrastructures – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and IBM’s Red Hat – all have one thing in common: they are headquartered in the USA and are therefore subject to the (decidedly lax) US data protection “law”. This makes using the services difficult from a data protection perspective, especially for financial institutions. The European Gaia-X project could be a real alternative.

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Successful Cooperation: What Banks and Fintechs Need to Consider

For a long time, fintechs were seen as a direct threat and competitor to traditional banks due to their high innovative capacity and the disruption potential attributed to them. In recent years, however, it has become apparent that both fintechs and banks are more interested in cooperation than in competition. However, there are factors that can cause a cooperation between a bank and a fintech to fail. How to prevent this is the topic of this article.

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Strategic Positioning in the Insurtech Jungle
– Results of an Insurtech Analysis

Insurtechs are constantly making news in the financial world. Whether they are seen as the big competitor to insurers, exploiting the limping digitalization of the big players, or helping conventional insurers to arrive in the 21st century, startups are bringing a breath of fresh air to the industry through new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) or natural language processing (NLP). Due to the abundance of new services and business models, it is appealing from both an entrepreneurial and scientific perspective to gain an overview of the structure and innovative capacity of the market.

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Classification of Blockchain-Based Applications: A Conceptualization from a User Perspective

Despite many known advantages, it is still difficult, especially for practitioners, to identify concrete application areas for blockchain-based applications. This article takes this as its starting point and presents a sector-independent typology of application fields, which not only serves to analyze existing blockchain applications, but also provides users with an orientation as to which general possible uses there are for the blockchain and how complex an initial implementation of the respective applications can turn out to be.

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20 Years Agile Manifesto – An Overview of the Values & Principles

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Agile Manifesto, I would like to take another look at the central concepts of the document. Because even after this long time, the values and principles contained represent the basic tenets of the agile working method and can be found in many different agile methods, such as Scrum, Kanban or SAFe.

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