Gartner, Inc. has announced the winners of the 2017 Gartner Eye on Innovation Awards for financial services in the Americas. The awards recognize innovative use of technology-enabled capabilities to highlight "best-in-class" financial industry initiatives launched within the past 12 months and to offer insight as to developments in digital innovation.
The finalists presented their case studies during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, and winners in three categories were selected by the audience.
Most Innovative Digital Business Model:
Winner: Bank of Montreal — Bank of Montreal's Digitization Program is re-engineering the bank's sales, service and operations processes to enable straight-through processing, automate low-value-adding tasks, strengthen operating controls and eliminate paper from the ecosystem. To do this, a number of new tools, systems and processes have been set up. For example, eForm Factory teams have been set up to convert old manual forms into new eSignature-compatible eForms, which are automatically generated (and error-proofed) by source systems. Through this conversion process, the overall form library is being rationalized in order to simplify the number of eForms to manage in the future. The eForm + eSignature capability enables fully paperless processes and eliminates manual steps, including reducing human error, lead times on processes and allowing customers to interact with the bank in the channel of their own choosing.
Finalist: Allstate — In order to reduce average wait times for roadside service and rescues, Allstate created the Good Hands Rescue Network (GHRN), a digital platform allowing qualified independent service providers to complete nontow, roadside rescues on behalf of Allstate. The platform facilitates the digital exchange of customer requests for emergency roadside assistance by enabling a fully digital network of more than 1,000 skilled crowdsourced rescuers to safely, quickly and reliably rescue customers in less than 30 minutes, on average. This cuts down wait times by at least 15 to 30 minutes. On average, the GHRN platform enables more than 25,000 rescues a month.
Finalist: TIAA — Before 2016, TIAA's technology teams released new functionality only once a month, over the course of a single weekend, incurring downtimes. In 2016, TIAA Digital constructed the ability to implement technical changes in a variety of delivery timeframes, ranging from hourly to monthly cycles. This development process, called the Multi-Speed Engine (MSE), enables the firm to improve the customer experience more rapidly and much more efficiently. It also satisfies the need to quickly integrate enhancements in the digital channel. Since then, MSE has significantly expanded TIAA's web development process, offering new ways to implement solutions faster while reducing manual effort and downtime.
Most Innovative Digital Customer Service or Product:
Winner: USAA — To help remove the effort in saving money, USAA implemented a pilot program, called Text Savings, to assist members with saving money by automatically identifying and transferring small amounts from checking to savings along with engaging members with daily text updates to help create greater financial awareness. During the 60-day pilot, conducted with 645 members, 63 percent increased their savings by 10 percent and 46 percent doubled their savings. Additionally, this functionality is different than others in the market because it comes directly from the bank and not a third party, which increased members' feelings of safety and security.
Finalist: Northern Trust — In early 2017, Northern Trust launched the world's first commercial blockchain platform for the private equity (PE) market. The product addresses the needs of asset managers, investors and regulators by providing a standard application for presenting real-time fund information. The solution goes well beyond a new application, as the true record of PE fund structure and ownership is stored on a highly secure blockchain platform. The blockchain provides trust among participants as it is an immutable record of past activity that can only be updated through mutually agreed on smart contracts. A complex security apparatus was also built around the core blockchain to ensure that data can be accessed only by the appropriate market participants.
Finalist: Virginia Credit — Virginia Credit Union (VACU) partnered with SimpleNexus to pilot a mortgage mobile platform for loan officers and applicants that would close communication gaps and take the pain out of document collection. The platform provides a swift process of real-time notifications for loan status changes, anytime access to loan details, and an easy way to contact loan officers. A document capture feature eliminates the need to provide physical documents, giving the option to quickly and securely supply documents with a simple click of the camera. The platform enhances staff ability to provide personalized service and information while focusing on the highest-value activities rather than answering status questions. The end result is a much less stressful member experience and a faster process than has traditionally been able to happen. Mortgages run through the platform are closing approximately 20 percent faster, freeing up loan officers to handle additional loans.
Most Innovative Digital Cost-Saving Initiative:
Winner: Bancolombia — In 2016, Bancolombia began using robotic process automation (RPA) technologies within its processes in order to solve some challenges, including releasing human talent from repetitive tasks, improving the customer experience and increasing productivity. The main innovation for Bancolombia is the transformation of work and how it is executed. The bank aims to develop a virtual workforce combining human, robotic, cognitive and analytical capacities to give customers a better experience with the service, satisfying their needs with different bank interactions.
Finalist: Goldman Sachs — To assist with customers dealing with credit card debt, Goldman Sachs launched Marcus by Goldman Sachs, its first consumer-facing brand in the firm's 147-year history. The custom-built technology behind Marcus was created from the ground up within Goldman Sachs, and was formulated with the consumer at top of mind. The approach focused on the issues consumers are facing and addressed the stigma surrounding debt while providing a practical alternative to credit card debt. Marcus is grounded in consumer-centricity. The product features and user experience are all informed by conversations with consumers. Marcus provides an alternative option to help consumers end the revolving cycle of high-interest credit card debt with a fixed-rate, no-fee personal loan that could save consumers money. To date, Marcus has issued more than $1 billion in loans to consumers.
Finalist: Liberty Mutual — A real-time hurricane tracking and projection app helps Liberty Mutual executives quickly and efficiently predict damage and losses, ultimately enabling leadership to quickly dispatch the right number of adjusters to an impacted area for expedient service. Executive managers and other internal users can use the Cat-i mobile app to view the most up-to-date projections based on data from the Hurricane Viewing Guide and the National Hurricane Center, which refreshes storm information every six hours. This app gives executives the information they want much faster — from waiting up to a day to on demand — and saves the catastrophe teams hours of time every storm.
From the winners of the three categories attendees chose Bank of Montreal as the overall winner of the 2017 Gartner Eye on Innovation Award Americas.
Award submissions were assessed using a robust and dynamic framework to ensure that the assessment process is pertinent and objective. The Gartner Awards Framework (GAF) is utilized as a structured model of assessment that enables the participating organizations to be benchmarked against world-class performance standards. The GAF consists of specialized assessment modules pertaining to the evaluation criteria for each of the award categories. The criteria and subcriteria provide a robust set of requirements that are used as the methodology for benchmarking and learning among the participating organizations.
The identification of a Gartner award winner or finalist is not an endorsement by Gartner of any vendor, product or service.
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