Bricknode Broker now presents a new long-awaited feature that allows you to deliver subscriptions to new share issues directly within the customer front.

What exactly does this mean?

You can now use the feature Subscription Orders to give your customers the possibility within Bricknode Broker to, for instance, subscribe for new share issues on their own. A small step towards improved time management for companies.

Team Bricknode

Use Position Manager to apply fund rebates to accounts through Transaction manager, save time and improve quality.

Bricknode has launched a new app in the Bricknode Marketplace called Position Manager and released a new version of Transaction Manager which now makes it possible import transactions directly from Excel.
Within Bricknode Broker the tables are optimized to show a huge amount of data which comes with a cost. The cost is a limitation of filtering, grouping, and sorting.
With position- and transaction manager, we make you limit the data selection and in turn, you have access to great filtering, grouping, and sorting.

These two apps can be used together, and become a powerful tool for applying fund rebates to accounts. You can use Position Manager to export average position sizes during time periods, in order to apply rebates from funds and then import this calculated data as transactions using the Transaction Manager app.

You can activate these apps in your back office system under the add-ons menu.

Team Bricknode

Financial institutions, at least in the Nordic region, is still used to buying core business software like back office and broker solutions that are delivered to them on a server of their own and installed by a team of consultants while paying a large up-front fee. In 1999 Salesforce was launched and the way business software was sold was at least in my mind changed forever.

I am myself a Software as a Service junkie and an avid user of Atlassian, Salesforce, Office 365…you name it. In my opinion there is no reason for every “buying” software where you get a DVD or some other form of deliverable because the value of this piece of code has already depreciated to almost zero.

There is absolutely no value in software if it is not being constantly developed and has a team of developers behind it to make automatic upgrades and increase the usability of the software. This is for the same reasons why you should never own any asset that is depreciating because that is in fact a liability. For example, don’t own a car, lease it! Don’t own software, lease it!

This is why we at Bricknode are offering a completely online based software platform now without any contract terms. You sign up for almost nothing and you can cancel the service within the first 30 days and get your money back. If you want to cancel later, fine, just send a cancellation and you are off the hook.

Now, back to actually paying for what you use. My colleagues know that I absolutely love Atlassian, I use it for most of my companies that I participate in. For my smallest company I pay $30 per month and for my largest company I pay $2,000 per month and guess what, those fees correctly reflect the value I am getting from the subscription for each company.

The same thing goes for Bricknode, where else can you get a complete brokerage solution including back office, broker interface and customer portal for $70 per month? If you have 20,000 customers and you use a lot of add-ons you will be paying above $10,000 per month but that should reflect the value that you are getting from using the software or something is wrong with your or our business model.

Imagine that a financial institution would like to offer a new product, maybe they would like to offer online trading of shares to their customers or distribution of mutual funds. For $70 per month they can have a complete system up and running with Bricknode the same day it is ordered. They can try it on a few customers, see if the business is promising, if not they can just discontinue the service and cancel the software.

I think that everyone building a FinTech company should think in this manner and work with monthly fees like this, remember, if the incentive is not there for developers to incrementally improve their software service there is no value for customers or the company producing the software. Without ongoing development and with the current speed that the financial world and regulatory environment is moving any financial software will be dead in 3 months. Well…maybe a little bit exaggerated but you get the picture!

An area of great worry for financial service companies and FinTech companies alike is the area of tax reporting. As soon as you mention the word “tax” and “reporting” in the same sentence you stir up a lot of feelings with anger, frustration and pure fear.

As a product manager for Bricknode  I have been struggling with this area for quite some time but finally I think that we have cracked the main problem and reduced the problem down to its essence. Tax reporting is nothing more than an export of data that is massaged into another format and then imported to a tax agency. Yes, there are a few things to think about regarding generating reports for the customer of what has been submitted to the tax agency but this is nothing real heavy.

The main issue is if you have disorganized data that is not connected in places where you need to have connections in order to export the correct data relationships.

All relationships should be managed by a back office system but then the actual massaging and verification of data can be made in one of the most dynamic tools around…Excel!

Year after year we have been overwhelmed by generating tax files for our customers, then corrections and changes are made in the back office system by our customers and export files has to be produced all over again. Some issues might be small enough that they could stay un-corrected in the back office system but they need to be changed for the tax reporting.

It was actually our CIO, Daniel, who came up with the idea of having an app that extracted data from back office, organized it into an understandable Excel sheet for the user, let the user change whatever they want and then let them import the Excel sheet to the app that in turn produces the tax file for the tax agency and the report documents for our customers.

No more need for customers to be forced to buy consultancy time and a full integration with a tool that back office workers swear by, Excel!

The personal computer received its breakthrough during the 1980’s when Microsoft was the first company to really excel at building an ecosystem. The ecosystem that Microsoft built was based on offering an operating system for computers. The operating system, that today is called Windows, is used for running numerous applications. When a company is going to build a new application to solve a specific problem they do not start by building a new operating system. Instead they decide to work with one or two operating systems and they get down to building their application that solves a customer specific problem.

At Bricknode we are trying to build a new operating system for Financial Service companies and their customers. Our operating system is called Bricknode Financial Systems, BFS for short. In BFS we are trying to include all the standard stuff that you would expect from a Financial Service operating system like native support for accounts, transactions, financial instruments, users etc. We then offer an open API where others can work with our operating system.

We have built a few standard applications for our operating system like securities back office, advisor interface and customer front end. These are larger applications, like Microsoft Office, and then we have published a number of specialised apps that we offer in our Marketplace, like for example the Fee Manager, Insurance File Importer and the Subscription Manager.

The specialised apps are totally separate from the operating system and have their own release cycles which enables app makers to deliver value to their customers even faster. Heads up, the Subscription Manager is scheduled for a new release during the next couple of days!

So far we have several teams around the world that works with BFS to build apps. We are quickly building a community with developers and there will shortly be more apps published like the Peer-to-Peer lending application by Lendysoft.

I truly believe that BFS could act as the operating system, or engine if you wish, for any FinTech company of financial service firm.

One of my main beliefs for the global banking and financial industry for the next 10 years is that financial companies will become IT-companies. They will also focus a lot more on the customer experience. The article about the “Top 10 Strategic Priorities for Banking in 2017” confirms this thinking.

You cannot standardise the customer experience so every financial company needs IT-staff or IT-consultants of their own. Sounds expensive? Well it can be, but there are a lot of other things that can be standardised, like the back end. When I founded Bricknode in 2010 I was determined that the back end operations like account ledgers, user management, tax management etc. could be standardised and that financial institutions of the future would shift their cash spend to improving their front ends instead of pouring money into expensive back end projects.

With our real launch of the Bricknode FinTech Ecosystem this past Friday, financial institutions can now sign up and start using Bricknode Financial Systems directly online for as low as $50 – $100 per month. Users can then tap into our marketplace to add functionality and apps while only paying for what they use. This is in great contrast compared to how financial software has been delivered in the past where a team of consultants could be working for years on implementing a new back end solution. With Bricknode you can now instantly set up your new back end solution and try it right away. If you don’t like it there are no long term contracts, you simply just cancel the service and you are free to go.

This is truly how I see that financial software should be delivered from now on!