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Financial Services employee reviewing charts on monitor

Amid the relentless challenges of 2020, the wheels of the financial industry kept turning. At the root of it all is the historic acceleration of digital technology in the pandemic. It’s what enabled the financial services workforce to keep working and servicing its customers and to do so in new and improved ways. The crisis made the question of how “all-in” to go to the cloud all but moot. Digital transformation became less a choice and more of a necessity.

We understand that in today’s complex financial services industry, one size simply will not fit all. That’s why I’m pleased to announce the availability of Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services public preview beginning on March 31, 2021, with new capabilities for retail banking and additional new services fit for the broader industry to come. To learn more, sign up for public preview.

Let’s look at Manulife, which put customers first with a virtual face-to-face program with its agents. The company hosts virtual conversations between customers, advisors, and agents, with visualizations and proposal models that offer an assisted experience in real-time. By migrating to the cloud, the company has also been able to unlock cloud-native capabilities and cloud computing, delivering intelligent, customer-centric, digital experiences.

Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services

We are committed to helping all financial services institutions drive sustainable growth. The Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services is an end-to-end solution designed for even the most complex control frameworks and regulatory requirements. By integrating existing and new capabilities in Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services unlocks unprecedented value. A robust partner ecosystem extends the value of the platform with additional solutions to address the most urgent challenges the financial services industry is facing today.

First and foremost, we meet you where you are with trust, multi-layered security, comprehensive compliance coverage, and scalability across the globe to deliver differentiated customer experiences, improve employee collaboration and productivity, manage risk, and modernize core systems. Applying cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI), Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services turns insight into action. Powered by a common data model and tools for professional developers and citizen developers alike, this cloud enables Microsoft’s partners and customers to easily add new value with extensions and additional solutions.

Let’s take a closer look at the capabilities:

Customer acquisition and engagement

Data is growing exponentially. You can take down organizational silos by unifying data across the organization to build a more comprehensive view of customers. This is how to use your data to reach the deep insights needed to decide on the next best step, personalizing action to resonate with customers.

Capabilities:

  • Unified customer profile: Tailors customer experiences with a 360-degree view of the customer and suggested next actions, bringing together financial, behavioral, and demographic data.
  • Remote sales and service: Allows you to strengthen virtual connections with both employees and customers to build loyalty, upsell/cross-sell, and attract new customers while meeting regulatory requirements.

Already using existing capabilities, Banco Sabadell is leading in its firm commitment to deliver agile access to complete customer profiles including what they need for their personalized banking. Advisors at the bank can now get a 360-degree view along with an integration of marketing and sales data, providing both greater flexibility and heightened security.

Onboarding, servicing, and support

The pandemic pushed financial services institutions to reach customers in new ways, and customers have gotten used to it. As the global health crisis erupted, digital channels created an expectation of seamless engagement—an expectation that new products and services will be readily adaptable to new conditions.

For example, ABN AMRO is already starting to enhance customer experiences through digital channels. The company uses Microsoft Teams to enrich web and online customer experience, for video banking, document sharing, and digital contract signing allowing customers and advisor applications in the Teams environment, accessible all at once, in a single step.

The new Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services capabilities can help you create differentiated customer experiences, such as:

  • Customer onboarding: Provides customers with easy access to loan apps and self-service tools streamlining the loan process to enhance customer experience and loyalty while increasing organizational and employee productivity.
  • Banking customer engagement: Personalizes every customer interaction with deep customer insights to engage with customers on their preferred channel, and intelligently manage service journeys across channels, using sentiment analysis to reduce churn and time to resolution.
  • Loan Manager: Enables automation, collaboration across front and back office, and improves business to consumer communications to accelerate lending processes, minimize errors, and enhance customer experience.

Enterprise operations

To succeed in today’s current climate, financial services organizations must be agile and data-centric, which requires the modernization of older systems. In a highly competitive industry, where non-bank entities are also increasing their fintech innovation, this modernization can help accelerate new products and services to better support data-centric needs and even front-end user experiences. Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services can help you modernize older batch-based core systems to operate in a more agile, data-driven real-time way and help use your APIs to support new models such as “open banking” and meet regulator demands.

Risk management

The nature of fraud and financial crime is constantly evolving, making it important to identify outliers faster in order to respond to the newest criminal topologies and protect financial institutions and their customers. Additionally, many banks tell us that they are constantly reviewing their portfolios to manage risk, including reducing operational risk and meeting regulatory requirements. Financial services organizations that can best manage their data will be on a path to stronger risk management, which they can use as a competitive differentiator.

Capabilities in this area include:

  • Financial crime protection: Helps you defend against fraud with adaptive AI technology that continuously learns evolving fraud patterns.
  • Risk analytics: Enables you to take advantage of scalable compute and analytics to power modeling, insight and regulatory reporting.

Capital One has teamed up with Microsoft to implement a cloud-based authorization engine that improves fraud detection accuracy. This has been particularly important in recent months as e-commerce spending has accelerated and COVID-19 based fraud scams have increased.

What’s next

We are dedicated to listening to our customers and understanding their needs so that we can help differentiate them in the marketplace, deepen customer relationships and grow responsibly. Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services is designed to help you navigate the present and the future, and we look forward to helping you excel in that journey.

I would like to invite you to join me at Microsoft Ignite, March 3, 2021, where I will present additional details on the public preview and have our team show you the capabilities in action.

To learn more about Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services and sign up for the public preview, visit our website.