With release 2.23 of Bricknode Financial Systems we just added a new native field for Legal Entities called KycDate. KYC is short for “Know Your Customer” and if you are operating a regulated financial service company chances are that you have to do a lot of work around this topic.

Now, why is a simple field that could hold a date so great? Well, let me show you just a few things that can be done with this.

To be compliant with most regulations you need to make sure that your customer has updated their personal details and a number of other questions at least annually. In this example we built a nice KYC collection form for one of our customers which we put in as a link within System Settings and activated the function to “Validate know your customer data at login”.

What will happen now is that the customer, when they log on to the customer portal of Bricknode Broker and if the KycDate is outdated, will be presented with the KYC collection form. In that form we are able to automatically check and update their legal address from available registers, like SPAR in Sweden, and validate phone numbers. We can also make checks against sanction lists and registers of politically exposed persons and much more.

In this particular case we took the customer through the process of approving new general terms for the brokerage service and updated their risk profile and monthly savings preferences. Everything was made possible through this simple new function right inside Bricknode Broker!

It is important to understand the basic account structure of Bricknode Broker which include various types of customer accounts, issuer accounts, house accounts and then custody accounts that keeps track of all your assets. We just released a short video to clarify this.

We just released a new video that shows how a bond instrument works and a heads up on our release of the Bond Manager which will be released shortly.

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!

During the past week the Swedish website Realtid.se published an article with regards to prohibiting kickbacks to financial advisors when selling securities or giving advice. Bricknode offers a solution for these issues, view the video below.

AWD Concept

Earlier this week Bricknode announced the release of the Account Worlds & Dimensions concept, AWD in short. During the development of a complete financial platform, like Bricknode Financial Systems (BFS), there is a constant battle going on with regards to how far the scope of the platform should stretch.

As the product owner of BFS this is one of my main issues to manage. Now, what do I mean by scope? Well, its not how many functions our platform should have but rather how far the platform should look into external accounts and how should it be used in terms of accounting. Before we go further into this topic I will start describing the main roles within BFS.

House

The House within BFS is the operator/owner of a BFS-instance. This is the company that owns the customers within the BFS-instance and who is responsible for everything that goes on. The House is the entity that exports accounting data files from BFS in order to import into its own accounting system and who is responsible for all client assets, settlement and reconciliation.

House members

A House member is someone who is using an instance of BFS and has a relationship with the House of the instance. For example, an Advisor managing customers and creating orders within the BFS-instance. A House member is also a company or a private individual who is a customer of the House. The assets of a House member that is keep within the BFS-instance is managed by the House but the House member might want to be able to extract their own accounting files for only their own account within the BFS-instance.

Providers

A provider of a BFS-instance could be a fund marketplace offering fund trading to the customers of the House, it could be a quote feed provider which the House has contracted with among other things.

These concepts are the pilars of BFS.

Please watch the following short clip about the AWD-concept before you continue to read more articles of this series.