As the landscape of communication continues to evolve in our increasingly digital world, the financial services industry is feeling the pinch of regulatory scrutiny. In recent years, financial firms have faced nearly $2 billion in penalties from the SEC and CFTC due to unregulated “off-channel” messaging. This surge in “off-channel” communication, including usage of platforms such as WhatsApp, WeChat, SMS, LINE, and mobile calls, is largely fueled by the rise of hybrid work. Yet, regulators maintain that all business communications must be monitored, auditable, and occur only within official channels. In the words of SEC Chair Gary Gensler, “As technology changes, it’s even more important that registrants appropriately conduct their communications about business matters within only official channels. And they must maintain and preserve those communications.”
Meet the APAC Hackathon 2020 Winners
This year’s Digital APAC Hackathon had a total of 29 participants from 8 teams competing for the Most Cutting-Edge Technical Development, Most Impactful Business Automation and Best Work From Home Workflow awards.
Participants represented a wide range of organizations including financial institutions and software vendors. The solutions presented also covered a wide range of use cases across sales, onboarding, asset management, compliance, technology and operations functions.
Best Work From Home Workflow
Citi won the Best Work From Home Workflow award with Citi PSDS (Price Shock Detection System), which was designed to leverage artificial intelligence to stream in data from social media channels, microblogs and chat forums when market-moving events of interest start developing, and deliver the relevant information to traders. These events are defined by the traders who input a set of indicators or keywords to monitor. The updates can be received as a “push” where notifications are sent periodically, or a “pull” where a user can request an update.
The bot was conceptualized due to the challenge that commodities traders face when gathering breaking price-affecting intelligence from a variety of sources such as Bloomberg, Google News alerts, brokers and those mentioned above. All of these sources can be difficult to consume, validate and aggregate.
To that end, PSDS offered a consolidated, fast and accessible way to access multi-language, multi-source event data from social media platforms, message boards and blogs that affect commodities prices in order to generate near-perfect information.
When asked about their participation in the event, Citi’s hacker-in-residence for Citi PSDS, Agrim Singh, had this to say: “Hackathons are a great way to learn about new tools by building for them and Symphony’s APAC hackathon delivered exactly that. Our team had previously utilized the tool as a communication platform, especially so during WFH [Work From Home], but the hackathon gave us the opportunity to not only learn about the Developer platform but also gave us a glimpse of the potential it could possibly unlock across our projects and the organization. We are incredibly grateful to the organizers for hosting this ‘decentralized’ hackathon without hiccups and for the exemplary developer support throughout the event to make building for Symphony a breeze.”
Most Impactful Business Automation
Team Valuefy, representing Lighthouse Canton, won the Most Impactful Business Automation award with their WealthFY bot. The need for this bot was brought about through the cycle time to process an order being too long, non-digital and manual which has a direct impact on efficiency and revenue.
WealthFY addresses this challenge and aims to simplify/digitize the whole order management process across three parties. The bot leverages Symphony’s WhatsApp solution to bring relationship managers, clients and traders into one seamless process. Team Valuefy has also used Symphony to create a notification bot that sends out alerts on daily portfolio movements and transaction alerts, as well as a Q&A bot so advisors can know the portfolio details of the clients they manage by a button click.
When asked about the difference this bot would make, Team Valuefy partner Shrikant Tiwari said “This functionality of tri-party secure connectivity is a game changer in the boutique wealth management space. It opens a realm of possibility which was previously only available to the interbank market. The HNI client can now receive a real time idea from their advisor for consideration and then see it executed almost instantly. All this happens in the client’s favourite app – WhatsApp or WeChat. Through connectivity, a different level of trust is established between advisors and clients. Trust is crucial in the wealth management and private banking space. Think about Uber’s business model and how transparency has inspired so much trust. If we can bring this same level of transparency and connectivity into private banking it could bring about the same level of trust”.
Most Cutting-Edge Workflow
Team Alligator from NatWest Markets won the award for Most Cutting-Edge Workflow with their Project Automation bot, which was built to automate workflows that require large-scale coordination activities (like power shutdowns). It handles task assignments, tracking and collation structured using Symphony elements. Punyabrata Dev. at NatWest Markets had this to say about the functionality of the bot: “The simplicity of the bot is incredible and has no complex requirements from the user. I can imagine it streamlining the audit trails for any big sequential events like PowerDown, DR Test etc.”
A big congratulations to all those who won! Thank you to all who participated. We can’t wait for the next Symphony hackathon!
You may also like
We live in a fast-evolving age of information, where Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools are starting to be used in many areas like financial decision-making and
Almost a decade ago, Europe led the way in shortening the settlement cycle to T+2 – a task that required wholesale re-engineering of European market-structure. Mere months from now, European securities firms will again be challenged – this time with the move to US NEXT-DAY settlement. Once more, our market participants face a complete restructuring of entire organisational workflows.