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.

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.

Investing and advisory is changing rapidly! For the first time since the dawn of online investing the financial services are changing from list based sites into more enticing offerings using the tools offered by social media.

An interesting article in Investment News presented examples of even the older generation moving to online services to manage their assets, read the article here.

2014-05-26_09-47-22Instead of having to select between individual stocks the casual investor looks to follow others and being able to invest in themes. A great example of a stock focused site for this type of investing is Motif Investing who has created a new type of brokerage firm around this concept.

 

This relates to all asset classes and not only stocks which is why Bricknode; with its broad API; can support financial service firms who wish to create their own concepts using Bricknode Financial Systems as the general framework.

A few weeks ago Bricknode signed a strategic deal with MFEX Mutual Funds Exchange as a customer and partner for offering automated mutual fund trading. Yesterday Bricknode launched its last release into a production environment and we are now looking forward to our next release which will include the first module involving MFEX.

Trading of mutual funds still poses a big problem within the technical aspects of securities processing since the back office process can be demanding together with various types of corporate actions.

By combining the mutual fund exchange developed by MFEX and the back office and customer facing capabilities of Bricknode Financial Systems (“BFS”) this partnership will be able to offer truly automated trading of mutual funds.

The most frequent question we hear from new customers of Bricknode is how the platform manages the fact that money is sent to the fund company before the actual execution report is received. The simple answer is that BFS works with account reservations on the end customer interface while tracking un-settled funds sent to the fund companies pending execution.

Stay tuned for release number 4 of 2014!

A very interesting article was published in the Financial Times which was reported upon by various media like Veckans Affärer. Facebook could become the ultimate player within the financial industry who really understands how to use the Internet for conducting social banking and for the future maybe social trading?

Facebook has made a lot of smart moves lately where it has used its money to quickly make acquisitions instead of trying to develop everything itself. It definitely grasps the importance of time to market. With its global reach the company could become the fastest established financial institution ever. In an industry where numerous companies are struggling to establish a technical standard of their own and gain acceptance, could Facebook accomplish this by offering standardised banking API’s?

The next few years will continue to boost the financial technology shift into cloud solutions for financial companies and Bricknode is right in the middle of it!

As a financial technology service provider we often get asked where in the chain of software systems we fit in. In this era of holism it still seems difficult for financial service companies to grasp the concept of holistic thinking (think Apple). The notion that several systems would have to be used by a financial service company in order to run the business is obsolete.

We have previously discussed how a financial service company would have to think in order to survive in the 21st century and holistic thinking is the main point. Most of the IT-costs that occur within the financial industry have to do with integrations between various systems on the back end of the system. Back end meaning the “boring” connectivity, which just has to work in order to deliver at least some kind of service to the end user. The most back end focused organisms out there are the large banks and looking at their front ends (facing the customer) you can rather quickly grasp the fact that 99% of the money is spent on the back end!

The back end, or engine so to speak, should just work while firms should be able to focus on creating better products and a better experience on the front end for their customers.

In this first part of the “Points of interaction”-series we will have a look at some front end interactions to consider for a financial service company.

Pointsofentry

Order entry

This is the absolute most important interaction for a customer of your financial institution. This is where you have to manage customer worries like:

None of these questions appear in the head of a professional investor, trader or even with an active individual investor but imagine someone who are only placing a few orders per year!

More often than not financial software is developed by professionals who do not consider these items. Because of this, you as a financial service executive have to demand this sort of thinking from your vendor. In order for you to increase the activity and customer engagement this process has to work seamlessly and it cannot be achieved if holistic thinking is not utilized.

Cash management

Your end customer has to be able to manage their cash very easily. Think about deposits, withdrawals and currency exchange among other things. Your customer should be able to handle these basic tasks without any hassle. They should not have to think about settlement dates following their sales and that you will charge them interest on deficits if they make a withdrawal before the settlement of a sale has occurred. The end customer has to receive this information in a very transparent way.

What are some of the questions that you have to address in this interaction?

Reporting

The end customer requires a few types of reports to manage tax and monitor performance. Availability of reports should naturally be 24/7 and reports should be available for both advanced and basic users.

Instead of just presenting the customer with x-number of reports one could consider a more wizard-like approach where the customer could select which metric that is of interest or the actual need to be fulfilled. How does holistic thinking play into this part? Well, everything that occurs on the customer account has to be reflected in real time in order to avoid confusion, this means that you cannot use separate systems for the reporting but everything needs to be viewed as a whole!

Communication

This is where you as a financial service company have the possibility to really interact with your customer. You should be able to communicate with your customer based on what actions your customer has taken, what holdings exist or other types of information that should be available to you. Sure, you could work with a 3rd party CRM which is integrated or work with exports and imports of data between those systems but again, this would decrease efficiency and increase costs.

Use your holistic thinking here and demand a solution where everything can be done as a whole!