Four Financial Technology Trends to Watch in 2015

 

The beginning of a new year brings new excitement and plenty of prognostication. This is especially true when you are talking about a constantly evolving field like financial technology. In 2014, technologies like Hadoop shaped a new direction for financial firms. With more than 11 months to go in 2015, these are a few trends we see emerging in the industry this year:

 

Customer Experience – Customer experience is critical.  Even small firms today seek a global reach, so new technology cannot just be good enough. It will have to include world-class designed customer-first tools like journey maps. Firms will seek to make things more seamless for users who will be accessing their technology around the clock.  For example, at CME Group, we have developed a new portal that once complete, will enable all of our customers to access web-enabled CME Group services with one login on any networked device, including mobile.  The portal will not only provide a more efficient and secure communication mechanism, but it will also expand into new opportunities for more intricate and efficient workflows.

 

Security – We’re in an increasingly insecure world when it comes to technology.  The unfortunate realities of recent disclosures remind all of us for the need to stay vigilant and put security and compliance first.  As an example, we recently rolled out two-factor authentication to provide greater confidence and control in accessing our web-based services.  While nothing can stop “zero-day vulnerabilities,” security initiatives and services will continue to demand priority in 2015 and likely well beyond.  There are a significant number of exciting new vendors and products, like Wickr for encryption, that will help address critically needed capabilities.

 

Democratization – With rapidly advancing cloud services, both infrastructure and software as a service tools like Duco, it’s clear 2015 is going to be the year when benefits of cloud become accessible to everyone.  Additionally, the trend of expanded tools and services for end clients is likely to accelerate.  United States Options exchanges provide advanced option analytics that ten years ago were reserved only for the elite few.  In our case, our CME Direct trading platform and CORE what-if margining tool provides end customers access to capabilities previously unavailable to most while preserving critical value-chain relationships and risk management.  We see more financial technology moving to this model and greater complementary capabilities.

 

Data Science –While fatigue has certainly set in around the references to big data, there’s no doubt the next wave will be applying value to all of the data that has been collected.  Recent technology like Hadoop (and next Spark), hardware acceleration, and Oracle appliances are just the start of analytics and automation previously thought unimaginable.  The end result will be greater insights and available information on our markets, and previously unthinkable applications with emerging technology like machine learning and deep learning.  Entities like Enlitic, a company that uses recent advances in machine learning to improve medical diagnostics, are quite intriguing.

We’ve already been introduced to new and important ways of enhancing financial technology in 2015. We think these are just a few to keep in mind in the months ahead.

Ari Studnitzer is Managing Director of Architecture and Product Management in the Technology division at CME Group.

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