A newly announced partnership between Japanese Softbank and IBM aims to build artificial intelligence to new levels, even introducing IBM's Watson to Softbank's robot Pepper. But first, IBM's Watson will have to learn Japanese.
In announcing its agreement to acquire wealth planning software company eMoney Advisor on Monday, Fidelity Investments clearly articulated that technology is central to its strategy for serving customers.
When government budgets were trimmed in recent years, many governmental departments took a new approach to IT security.
The White House said this week it would veto legislation currently in the U.S. House of Representatives that would scale back the Volcker rule. The legislation and the threat to veto it are the latest indications that the battles over Dodd-Frank, the Volcker rule and other financial reform legislation will become increasingly intense in the coming year, with opponents fighting to dismantle it and proponents fighting just as hard to preserve it.
A year marked by headline grabbing cyberattacks ranging from Target's credit card breach to a hack at JPMorgan ended with an attack that may have trumped the rest in headline-grabbing ability. While not directly affecting finance or payments, the malicious attack on Sony Pictures must have scared executives of financial firms and all other firms by the havoc it wreaked on its target and the precision with which it used cybercrime to inflict maximum financial and reputational damage.
We are closing a year with some of the largest hacks of credit card data yet seen in the U.S., and preparing for a new year when the move to more secure EMV chip card technology will become mandatory. But card security experts warn that where tighter security may close some doors to fraudsters, they will look for new ones to open.
For several years now, financial firms have been under increasing regulatory pressure to monitor and manage the risks posed by their vendors, and even their vendors' vendors. As financial firms hone their vendor and third-party risk management skills, their metrics for measuring the riskiness of their vendors may one day become a standard part of the vendor contracts, much like service level agreements, one vendor says.
Vanguard is seeing strong adoption of a pilot program that offers automated financial advice, with assets more than quintupling in the first three quarters of the year. The automated platforms, known as robo-advisers, have seen strong growth this year, with financial companies like Fidelity and Charles Schwab announcing similar services and independent robo-advisor companies achieving solid expansion.
The FX market now sees more than $5 trillion in turnover a day, but the rate of growth in this complex and fragmented market may have been surpassed by its rate of change. Last year's Triennial Central Bank Survey of foreign exchange and derivatives markets activity conducted by the Bank for International Settlements, found that two-thirds of the trading growth in the market since the last survey in 2010 came from non-dealer financial institutions, pointing to a growing role of smaller banks, institutional investors and hedge funds in a market that once had a more clear-cut dealer-to-dealer and dealer-to-client structure.