Global Trends For the Financial Service Industry

As the economic crisis continues to unfold, the financial service industry faces serious challenges. The crisis is rooted in continuous imbalances, including long periods of low interest rates, rapidly rising asset prices, and massive credit and savings imbalances. The 2007 and 2008 Reports from the World Economic Forum predicted these changes as continuous risk to the market.

Earlier decades of exceptional growth and capitalism at its best have now caused the market to adapt to tighter credit, growing government intervention, slowing pace of globalization, and no economic growth. With increasing regulations in the United States and decreasing availability of credit, the industry faces a significant risk of stunted growth. The global recession is also affecting the financial sector because of capital markets and decreased aggregate demand, according to Max von Bismarck, Director and Head of Investor Industries.

This article will provide leaders, employees and investors in the financial service industry with five unique and timely trends to keep in the forefront of their growth strategies for the next five years. These five key trends will shape the post financial crisis in a holistic and systematic manner.

FIVE KEY TRENDS

GLOBAL BANKING. According to the World Bank, although many banks such as American Express, Citibank and JPMorgan Chase conduct business in multiple countries, they are relatively regional in the United States. In order to grow, the financial industry will have to infiltrate emerging markets. For companies that have a more aggressive growth strategy, the spread to emerging markets such as Africa and Asia presents unparalleled opportunities for profit and increased market share.

IT PLATFORM SHARING. Network World confirms that financial service firms’ business strategies must be altered for the new dynamics and intricacies of today’s market. Immediate access to information and integration along product lines and geography are a must for future success. With the need to supply information to a global market, firms must decrease cost. One cost effective initiative is the use of platform sharing; like cell phone companies that collaborate with local companies in order to decrease cost and increase access, financial firms can do the same.

E-BANKING. A special report from The Economist sees that with 3.5 billion people with cell phones and an expected 10-20% year over year growth, personal and business banking transactions are conducted through cell phones more and more. Thus, E-banking capability is quickly becoming an increasing requirement in order to compete in the marketplace. E-banking capabilities provide companies with essential flexibility and differentiation in the market through Internet-based service applications.

MOBILE MONEY. The increase of mobile phone usage in emerging markets makes mobile money a safe, low cost initiative for the financial sector. It is an easier way to transfer money to family and friends, money is sent, and payments and withdrawals can be made without ever going to a physical bank or payment center. M-Pesa, an early developer of mobile money, concluded that mobile money “has enormous social and economic benefits.”

SELF-SERVICE. Self-service and the customer should be a primary focus for firms in this new financial service world, according to IBM. AppViewXS is a self-service portal firms can purchase, so customers can check the status of their account and gain instant access to available services. Customer questions and concerns are addressed more quickly, states an IBM representative. This technology automates many processes; the result is that staff workload is reduced while representatives operate faster and more efficiently.

Financial service firms need to have sustainable, steady expansion in the emerging markets in order to grow in the future. Deloitte and Touche Research reports that financial service firms have not positioned themselves to capitalize on more geographically dispersed opportunities. More than 93 percent of the executives interviewed for this report acknowledged that their firms “are not operating in a globally integrated fashion.”

The same report states that financial firms need to invest away from veteran or mature markets and toward emerging markets because “by 2025, veteran markets will be rivaled by other markets with faster growing economies and increasingly sophisticated financial product appetites.” USA based firms can look toward Japanese and African markets for expansion opportunities. Kennedy Consulting analysts believe that the market will rebound from the global financial crisis in 2011, but there will not be any return to the robust levels prior to 2007 until much later in the decade; hopefully, the five key trends in this report will help the leaders, employees and investors in the financial service industry to look toward a robust sound future.

In addition to growth strategies, in the 2002 Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, Henson and Wilson discuss the extreme changes that have occurred in the financial service industry and how many firms are trying to develop and execute successful strategies based on innovative technology and customers. Aside from the regular ups and downs of the financial world, technology and innovation will always prevail as the win-win for the financial service industry. Because online banking has become the norm for most customers, technology will be very important in these firms’ strategies.

With the customer at the center of most trends in financial service firms, creating new values for their current and potential clients beyond current expectations will be a top priority. The need for convenience mixed with technology makes mobile money a great initiative in the emerging as well as the developed markets. Many firms have speed pay, the ability to pay without swiping the card, as part of their credit card services. An embedded chip in the credit card enables payments to be made by putting the card close to the payment processor. Mobile money will be an expansion of payment and money transfers without the need for a card, the need to go to a physical bank, or to use Internet banking. Payments, transfers, deposits and withdrawals can be made with a cell phone.

The World Bank concurs that innovative technology and an increase in e-business strategies will lead to much lower costs and greater competition in financial services. Internet and related technologies, the World Bank affirms, are more than just new delivery channels; they are an inexpensive, different, and very effective way to provide the same services. Since financial service firms must grow organically, build customer loyalty, and accommodate the customers’ expanding needs for services and convenience, partnerships with new technology businesses will allow them to lower their expenses and be competitive.

Established firms such as Amex, Citibank, and others can partner with groups such as the wired tech savvy Google Alumni who are not averse to risk and who own fledgling technology businesses that are reshaping the industry with a new wave of innovative products, write Spencer Ante and Kimberly Weisul of Business Week. Mobile Money Ventures is one such fledgling company that is a provider on the forefront of alternative financial service products. Small companies such as these are able to provide well-known financial firms the wherewithal to open in emerging markets where there is a need for cooperation with other firms in order to attain then obtain the local customer base.

Today’s competition is fueled not just by profitable customers, but also by the firms that are the most efficient and cost effective. Procedural and cultural clash will result from expanding into unknown markets as seen by the history of Citibank in Asia Minor. But in the long run, tighter regulations, new technology and improved business processes will cause expanding in emerging markets not only to change the demographics of the clients (both geographically and core clients), but also to better the global economy and the future of the financial services industry. Keeping the previous trends at the forefront of managers’ strategic plans, financial firms will rebound bigger and better than ever.

Is Your Child Having Drug Problems? Using the Right Family Health Care and Medical Insurance

If you notice signs of drug/substance abuse with your child, the first thing you need to do is to create a very loving and friendly environment for discussing the problem. You need to discuss your concerns with your child in a kind manner. Making a child with drug problems to speak, or preferably, say the truth is a serious task. So, you as a parent will need to be patient and exercise a great deal of wisdom. There are many reason why children abuse drugs. Below are some of the most common reasons:

Keeping Wrong Friends and Peer Pressure:

It is a statement of fact that if a child plays with a wrong company, that company can seriously and negatively affect the behavior of the child. As parents, try as much as possible to know the company your child keeps by making it OK and friendly for them to come over to the house occasionally.

Stress:

No doubt, the pressure to succeed these days is much. Also, unknowingly, parents contribute by pushing their children a little bit too far on what they believe should be achieved. As parents, you should know the strengths and weaknesses of your child, you should set reasonable goals for the child and help in achieving these goals. Also, avoid making disparaging comparisons. Such comparisons are known to crush children’s self esteem which in-turn results to depression.

Behavioral Limits and Boundaries:

Some children abuse drugs and other substances simply because their parents let them run wild. It is true that children appreciate strict behavioral limits despite the protests they put up most times. These limits gives them a more feeling of security and love. Parents should learn how to make their Yes be Yes and No, No!

How can you afford the treatment charges needed for a child with drug problems and/or how can you afford the fees needed to get quality check-ups on your child periodically by a medical professional? Easy, make use of the right family health care and medical insurance protection in the state you live. This is the surest way to help you deal with the financial challenges involved in keeping your child drug free and providing treatment where necessary. Start by comparing free quotes on family health insurance now.

Banking and Financial Services – Essential Part of Everyone’s Life

Banking and Financial Services

Nowadays, Banking and Financial Services are an essential part of everyone’s life. Every day people use different types of banking and various financial services. Some examples include paying utility bills or insurance premiums, shopping online or through Debit/Credit Cards. These technology driven banking and financial services have simplified transactions and made life easier.

Why Banking and Financial Services?

No one is left untouched by the impact of money. We all have to rely on banking and financial service providers for effective use of our money. Be it lending, investment, or insurance, people need to depend on banking and financial service providers.

Life in the digital age has become somewhat more secure and simpler through the implementation of beneficial banking and finance practices. Different banking services provided by major banks like personal banking, enterprise banking solutions, and investment consultancy help investors properly utilize their money with the aim to grow and gain future financial benefits. There is protection which consumers may be able to obtain to ensure that your investments are protected. Insurance companies provide protection from several uncertainties that may come without notice. Life and non-life insurance covering all kinds of emergencies give people peace of mind.

Apart from that, several financial institutions provide consultancy for the right of investment so that your money is invested in the right place and your can enjoy the maximum possible benefits on your invested money. Your investments may also help in tax savings and other economic benefits.

Credit Services – Economic Relief When You Are in Need

Credit/lending services are among the most popular segment of modern banking and finance industry. We come across several situations in life when we face some sort of cash crunch at a crucial moment in life. Its times like these when banks and lending institutions come to the rescue by offering various credit schemes and loans. In addition to this consumers may also need credit to turn their dreams into reality (like buying a luxury vehicle or a dream house). This is where banking institutions can also assist us.

Credit services may help people by increasing our quality of living. Banks and lending agencies provides credit for almost every need. You can get loans not only to purchase a dream house, or luxury vehicles, but also for emergency medical treatments, higher education, or even a loan for a wedding.

In summary, different types of banking and financial services are an essential need for everyone. One cannot expect to live a comfortable financial life without the right banking and financial services assistance and security.

The Difference Between Home Health Care and Home Care

Most seniors prefer and feel comfortable retiring in their own homes as much as possible when the need for long term care arises, regardless of their health condition. They would choose to receive care at home even if their health becomes physically exhausting and financially devastating.

Everyone must have heard of home health care and home care, but can’t figure out the difference of the two. The two services seem so related with each other, although the differences could be very trifling. Home health care service is directly related to medical services in line with home chores, while the latter is restricted to housekeeping and other personal care for the patient. Home health care can be used to assist a person recover from illness or injury. This may also include but not limited to speech therapy, occupational and physical therapy that patients with chronic condition might need. Home health care requires registered nurses, therapists and home health aides to ensure the health and safety of patients.

Perhaps the biggest question is how to determine if you are receiving quality home health care services. There are so many agencies where you can find help, but you may likely end up in a substandard company if you can’t figure out the qualities of a good home health care.

When hiring an independent home health caregiver, make sure to conduct extensive background check on that person to ensure he or she has no criminal background. You must interview the applicant and ask for references that you may check afterward. Before the interview, make sure you had prepared a detailed list of what a sick spouse or loved ones need, and then ask what specific services he or she can deliver. The screening will be less strenuous if you know what to expect and the qualities you are looking for.

Hiring a home health care professional through an agency would be more efficient, because it could lessen the screening process. Normally, these agencies have available staff ready for the work the moment the client needs the services. Good thing about this arrangement is you can meet that individual and discuss everything you expect from the job before he or she formally starts working. You must tell the provider all the details about your loved one:

•Health condition – illnesses or disability
•The drugs or treatments used and how they must be taken
•Behavioral problems – if the senior has unmanageable depression, fear, anger etc.
•Nutritional requirements
•Likes and dislikes
•Special needs

Other than those things, there may be other special requirements your loved one might need. For example, tell the caregiver what kind of clothing he or she needs every day to prevent any discomfort. The health provider should also know your contact number and other immediate family members in case of an emergency. Common things like where to find food, emergency kits, and how to fix household or medical appliances must be instructed to lessen the worry. Anticipating all the possible risks and changing needs of your loved one can help you become more prepared when any unexpected events happen.