FIve Questions with FIS
AFSA’s featured Business Partner for June is FIS. We asked them a few questions about the value of their business partner membership and the issues they’re facing. Learn more at FISglobal.com.
What are your financial services clients telling you are their biggest challenges and opportunities for 2021?
We’re in a unique period in the credit cycle where performance is as strong as ever, and sales have rebounded. Yet there are growing credit concerns on the horizon that many financial services clients are proactively working to mitigate. Predictive technologies can play a key role in supporting these risk containment initiatives.
Also, after navigating the challenges of the pandemic, we’re seeing an increasing percentage of automotive lenders prioritize their digitalization upgrade plans.
Another significant area of focus is cybercrime and fraud. Given the amount and flow of sensitive personal data, financial services firms are targeted 300 times above the average. As breaches have become more common, more costly, and more widely publicized, it is imperative that technology partners have both the latest and most secure systems in place.
Lastly, many institutions we’re speaking to have expressed concern about very narrow and focused CFPB examinations in 2021 and how these might evolve going forward. Some firms have had to answer numerous follow-up questions after their initial examination.
What have you heard are some key initiatives for your clients in 2021 that you are planning to support?
We’ll be supporting any initiatives that help reduce the need to hire additional resources, either for today or once sales really take off and delinquencies start to go up. Everyone knows that the labor market is difficult; and outsourcing is one solution. But automation can also help control the costs of hiring and training new staff, especially when you adopt modern technologies like robotics and AI.
What are some of the lessons you learned throughout 2020 that have helped your company be more productive, more efficient, more sustainable, more profitable?
As the largest FinTech company in the world, FIS was ahead of the curve and able to pivot quickly to an almost entirely remote workforce. This was an invaluable differentiator for us last year. We’re proud to say we actually added more than 5,000 positions during the pandemic and delivered over 2,500 project go-live launches across our Capital Markets division. This was achieved entirely remotely, and is a testament to our great talent, amazing clients, and collaborative spirit.
One fact that every firm has grappled with is that legacy systems are hard to replace. An additional lesson learned during the pandemic is that when you need to pivot quickly, react to changes in the marketplace or respond to business disruptions, outdated legacy systems can be devastating to a business and its revenue streams.
From an FIS perspective, a key takeaway was the importance of establishing true client partnerships when addressing significant global challenges. Without these long-lasting partnerships, it could have been significantly more challenging to navigate this period and proactively address evolving market demands.
What changes have you made to your business model or solutions’ road maps in response to evolving mobility and digital retailing trends?
The evolution of mobility will continue to be led by the adoption of electric vehicles and the corresponding infrastructure developments around them. We see in the near term the commercial vehicle market being at the forefront of adoption with the improved economics available to those fleets.
This provides challenges for existing platforms in the market; in response for these developments, FIS has extended our existing deep commercial and asset based capabilities to incorporate telematics integration and variable pricing models. We also recognize that as the future of mobility develops, our clients need to be able to respond quickly. We have continued our investments in our low-code extensibility layer enabling flexibility to assist our clients ability to be nimble and push new features or products to market quickly and autonomously. This layer can be used for a number of use cases including connecting via API’s to a business process, validation of data, or the introduction of finance program changes such as EV incentives.
Alongside the evolution of mobility, we are seeing digital retailing trends continuing to accelerate post-pandemic. The disruption within the used car market has shown that the digital customer experience is a key differentiator, as is the effective use of digital channels to drive leads and customers.
Meeting this challenge requires both the investment in our existing platforms and enabling that capability to be delivered through API’s as well as bringing exciting partners into our ecosystem. We are actively promoting disruptive tech through our FIS Ventures Fund and FinTech Accelerator.
This approach has served us well and ensured that we are constantly innovating and bringing new solutions to our automotive ecosystem.
June 11th, 2021 by Dan Bucherer