Although e-payment is just a part of the financial services framework that S1 provides, it’s a crucial component that collects an immense amount of information about a customer’s financial lifestyle. The use of those information, according to Steve Pardue, S1's president, Asia-Pacific, will shape the future of financial services.
“For bankers, bill payment is a convenience service for their customers in the consumer sector, and a part of an over-all financial services,” said Steve Pardue, S1’s president, Asia-Pacific. “But there’s a lot retail bank can learn by observing the payment behavior of their customers.”
S1 provides the software to financial institutions to build e-finance services systems. Its list of clients includes some of the largest banks in the world, including OCBC and Zurich Financial Services. The much-publicized finatiQ.com is also one of their customers. The portals and platforms you see on firstname.lastname@example.org and finatiQ.com are the handiwork of S1’s solutions.
“Today, financial institutions already know a lot about you, as their customer. They have the ability to look at your transaction history and know where you use your credit card, know where you use your debit card,” Pardue explained. “They can find out pretty much where you spend your money and how much you spend your money.”
Collecting and systematizing these information will allow financial institutions to generate detail profiles of their customers’ financial lifestyle. With such a profile, a bank can then go on to collaborate with its customers services department and partners to deliver financial advice and management of wealth services.
With OCBC and finatiQ, S1 began by building a community portal with news, content and community features such as notice boards and forums. A suite of financial services is then ported to the portal. Data collection and profile generation functionalities are added on to the services to provide service agents and financial managers the information needed when they deal with a customer.
The services are not limited to consumer banking, however. The wealth management services that S1 has outlined may, in fact, find its most useful application in the corporate space. For the thousands of small-to-medium-size enterprises which prefer lower costs and greater flexibility, integrated e-payment services provide them with the electronic platform to do it.
This kind of customer oriented capabilities couldn’t have come at a better time, according to Pardue, as a bank’s traditional role of providing account residency and transaction capabilities are fast becoming out-moded.
“In this convenience driven, customer driven, buyer driven society that we find ourselves in, where we have less and less time to manage our finances, what we’re all looking for is value from our financial services provider,” said Pardue.
“This global trend is a transition from just providing account residency, transaction capabilities, to where institutes want to know enough about and work closely with their customers so that they can begin to collaborate and advise their customers. That is where value is created.”
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