At Infosys Cards and Payments, we help our clients harness the power of technology-led innovation across the entire payments ecosystem encompassing payment networks, merchant services, stored value, FI payment services, and payment aggregators. Our thought leadership and a design thinking approach helps us co-create solutions with our clients to address their business problems.

December 28, 2017

Payment Banks - Key technology imperatives

 

It was around a year back in the immediate period post the dramatic Demonetization in India that I first felt the need to get a mobile wallet.   Before that, mobile wallets were a mere fancy without the "killer use case".   Demonetization provided that push and there is no looking back for myriad number of mobile wallets since then.   When I last looked, there were at least 20 mainstream wallets with many more in the sidelines.  The next step of evolution for these wallets is the latest move from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) - Payment Banks.   With the arrival of Payments Banks, wallets have started to lose market share in less than 1 year since they became mainstream (a testament to the rapid evolution in this space). Paytm has evolved by launching a Payments Bank of their own.   

Payments Bank is a new concept which I like to label as a 'mini bank'.   With limitations on deposit amounts and product offering, these banks will have to find revenue streams that mainstream banks may ignore/find too small.  For example, since they cannot issue loans or credit cards, Payment banks will have to monetize their data, bet on huge volume to offset the end user's expectation of 'free' service and depend on selling financial products like insurance, mutual funds and ETFs.    One player in the market has already started pushing for Gold ETFs to be purchased on its platform.

 

The three key levers available for Payments banks are shown below:

Figure 1 Financial imperatives for Payments Banks

 

All these will ride on having a massive user base which would be a given for any successful player in this space.   Given these financial goals, it immediately becomes obvious that these banks will have to deploy innovative technology solutions to survive and flourish.     Let's look at what banks will need in each area:

Monetize Data - Big Data

"Data is the new oil" will soon become the most clichéd line.   But innumerable examples show this to be a fundamental feature of our society going forward.   Payments Banks will have at their disposal all kinds of financial data that can be converted to actionable information that will be of great interest to other companies like traditional banks (e.g. credit worthiness/score), online retail (spending pattern), even the government (tax compliance?).   This will require the bank to build robust data platforms that will provide the insights others are interested in.     Big Data and Analytics will be the driving force behind their success in this area.   Efficient data capture that brings in the right attributes will be an obvious need, but even more importantly, ability to rapidly change their systems to adapt to new learnings, needs will be critical.   If they build large, inflexible systems like most large banks have ended up with, they will soon find that they are outflanked by nimble fintech startups.  

High Volume - High Performance

An obvious revenue stream for Payment Banks is to charge something equivalent of the much maligned Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) used by credit card companies.   In the Indian context, small retailers will balk at the 2% -3% fees that are charged as MDR so Payment Banks will need to have a lower rate and couple that with incentives for high volume.  Not having to roll out expensive POS machines and associated costs, is a big positive for Payment Banks.   But they must build robust, scalable payments platforms that function flawlessly.    Any problem will be magnified multifold in today's social media driven environment.   A CRM system that keeps the ever expanding customer base at the core and offers engaging User Experience, deep customer analytics, and enables the bank to offer customized offers to its customers will play a major role in expanding the customer base.   The expanded customer base will mean that the banks that are able to deploy Robotic Process Automation (RPA), AI and bots quickly will be able to achieve profitability faster.

Having a scalable and highly available Cloud based platform will be one way to achieve this.  Services like Performance Engineering offered by FS STAR team and Performance Testing services from IVS can play a key role in helping Payments Banks achieve the scaled up performance.   

Multi Product - Integrate everyday

With the need to cross sell multiple kinds of products like Insurance, Mutual Funds and ETFs, Payment banks need to build interfaces quickly and efficiently into existing marketplaces to provide efficient services to their customers.   While the philosophy of keeping costs low will be a mantra even here, the key would be the ability to integrate rapidly with different partners.   The easier they make it for large established players in the respective areas to integrate with their payment platform, the bigger the portfolio of products they can offer.  

Getting the right SI to build their systems is going to be key for Payment Banks.   Infosys has deep expertise of integrating partner products like GPP, Finastra along with our own Finacle to achieve seamless system build.    For a large bank in Australia, we helped build a complete end to end solution that was the first to integrate with and process under the new National Payments Program (NPP) structure.

To conclude, what are the key imperatives for Payments Banks?  It's all about leveraging technology to the maximum and tapping into nontraditional sources of income.   Sustaining large customer bases on high performing systems, mining data arising from these customers and rapid innovation to offer new products based on the insights gained from the customers.    System integrators like Infosys will play a key role in enabling these banks on these dimensions and it will be an exciting couple of years as the banks innovate and leverage cutting edge technology to achieve their ultimate goal of profitable growth.

Continue reading "Payment Banks - Key technology imperatives" »

October 17, 2017

New Payment Platform - Australia's transformational journey to cashless society

Payments Industry is undergoing disruptive change over the last few years. And this change will continue for foreseeable future. Digital payments are rapidly replacing currency as the primary instrument for payment transactions. With the increased accessibility, affordability and reliability of technology, cash-less society is turning out to be a reality. While cash still remains 'king', newer and better payment instruments are changing the customer behavior rapidly.

There are three 'C's which are critical for any good payment instrument. And in comparison to cash as payment instrument, Digital Payments are showing better performance on these three 'C's. They are:

1. Confidence: The instrument has to be 'trusted' by the transacting parties; ensuring soundness of digital payments including availability, security and reliability.

2. Convenience: The instrument has to be easy and quick to use. While societies find cash as a 'convenient' instrument, modern technologies using mobile phones, contact less cards, wearable devices etc. are turning out to be much more convenient than cash.

3. Cost-effectiveness: Handling cash is costly as it involves printing, logistics, distribution, processing etc. The digital payments can provide much better economy of scale.


Considering these imperatives and industry trends, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) started an initiative called New Payments Platform to propel Australian market into such cash-less world. In 2014, thirteen financial institutions, including the Big 4 banks in Australia, signed up to build the New Payment Platform (NPP). Accordingly, Industry Consortium was created to govern the program under the leadership of RBA. This Consortium has representation from all the thirteen financial institutions.

NPP provides basic payment infrastructure which offers following key capabilities to retail and business consumers in Australia:


1. Near real time payments - Payments can be made from one party to another almost instantaneously, including settlement. Within a matter of few seconds, funds will be transferred and made available for payee to use.


2. 24X7 availability - The infrastructure is always-on. The platform is designed to be made available for 99.995% of the time. It means a maximum down-time of 2 min/month. Besides, there would be zero data loss for the transactions during any outage.


3. Data-rich - The global ISO20022 messaging standard is used to provide ability to send more complete remittance information along with a payment transaction.


4. Simple Addressing - The centralized addressing service enables retail payments by way of using an identifier like phone number or email ID or an organizational identifier. There is no need to use complex account codes and branch codes of the payee.


5. Versatile - NPP offers basic payments infrastructure on which financial institutions can build 'overlay' services looking at the specific needs of their clients. These overlay services can offer additional functionality to retail and business customers of financial institutions. In many ways, NPP is similar to operating system on a mobile phone, while overlay services are the apps built on the top of this operating system.


While smaller financial institutions have not signed up for NPP directly due to their inability to make upfront investments, they are expected to tie up with others to make use of the capabilities offered by NPP. This approach will ensure that entire Australia supports NPP covering each and every consumer.


The participating financial institutions see the initiative as an opportunity to create a futuristic payments platform that meets not only stringent NPP requirements; but also enables rapid adoption of overlay services. Some of them have a simplification roadmap to replace other digital payments platform with NPP.


In late 2015, Infosys was chosen as the System Integrator for one of the Big 4 banks in Australia. The payments business contributes 15% of the bank's revenue from the customer base of 3 Million. The bank believes that 50% of its payments business is at risk without NPP. Importantly, the bank sees NPP as a huge revenue generation opportunity through overlay services. It is also the largest investment initiative for the bank for FY2016 and FY2017.


The scope for Infosys includes technology architecture/design, requirements, development, infrastructure sizing/selection/build, integration across channels and back-end systems, testing and vendor management services. It is the largest 'turn-key' project for Infosys in the region and across FS business at the moment. Infosys has pushed its traditional boundaries and accepted stringent SLAs, liquidated damages and full responsibility for the work done by the product vendor. Infosys has set up an integrated team of 175+ professionals with participation from 10+ units (ADM, DCG, CIS, EAIS, IVS, Lodestone etc.). In addition, product vendor is also the key partner of Infosys in this journey. The valiant efforts put by this team for last 20+ months have brought us very close to the completion of the program. The bank acknowledges the contributions made by this team has already given an interim Engagement Level Feedback (ELF) of 6/7. The go-live is expected to happen before the end of 2017. The team is now busy giving a final push and take the platform to 'live'.


Once 'live', NPP is expected to alter the customer behavior like never before. As of now, 47% of payments in Australia happen using cash. Conservative estimates suggest that Australia will be a cash-free society by October 2027, while aggressive estimates suggest that this feat will be achieved by June-2022. When that happens, it is certain that NPP would have played a huge role in it. And Infosys can take pride in its contribution to this transformation!


October 13, 2017

Design Thinking - Our approach to identify and address untold customer needs

Financial Services Industry is getting disrupted with emerging players meeting customer expectations with new technologies and business models. To address these disruptive changes for our clients, we find Design Thinking to be a refreshing approach to problem-solving and use the core premises of desirability, feasibility, and viability. Design Thinking spark customer-obsessed innovations thereby solving the initially unrecognized challenges faced by our customers.  Infosys has been working closely from an organizational perspective to incorporate Design Thinking and an innovator's mindset into how our teams collaborate, ideate and prototype more user-centric solutions.

 

In this blog, I will share two such specific examples from Loyalty and Lending Program Design.

 

Design considerations across loyalty burn and earn customer journey

 

Through empathy sessions, we listen to our clients, end-users, and industry experts and formulate the best responses to the megatrends in the Loyalty and customer experience space.  Following is an outcome from such a Design Thinking session specifically addressing Loyalty Issues faced by customers today.

 

Customer Journey

Customer Persona - Empathize

Addressing Solution -Define and Ideate

Design Considerations - Prototype & Test

Earn

I do not understand the Loyalty Program - too complicated.

The Loyalty Program should be easy to understand and easy to use.

 

Show them Value from the program

 

Explain them the point accumulation and redemption process through interactive statements and communication

 

Provide Chatbot/FAQ/Self-serve channels to clarify doubts around the Loyalty Program

 

It takes too much time to earn meaningful points

Show Contextual Loyalty at the point of Sale- time for immediate gratification

 

Short term Loyalty promotions build long-term loyalty by making customers feel valued and understood frequently and thus maintain & grow a relationship.

Provide them additional benefits for their frequent purchases.

 

Convergence of online and offline commerce - provide deals in stores based on their online searches

 

There are just too many Loyalty Cards in my wallet

 

Why should we use your loyalty program?

Can the various points become interoperable with minimum costs involved in redemption?

 

Can we provide unique value to the customer for program differentiation?

Blockchain or Points Bank based solution with a partner ecosystem

 

Personalized offers - build relationship beyond spend pattern - non-liner loyalty design(Behavioral rewards) for effective engagement

 

Can I get special treatment for my loyalty beyond cashback/points?

Can we offer special pricing for the customer based on the relationship?

 

Can you waive annual fee or provide travel benefits beyond points/cashback offers?

 

 

Gamify the experience with Leaderboards/ Milestones/ Variable tier benefits.

 

Can I get benefits for sharing with my friends in Social Media?

 

Can I get benefits for sharing feedbacks of my experience?

Offer points for Social media likes or shares

 

Offer special benefits for sharing any constructive positive/negative feedbacks.

Plan non-linear engagement models

Burn

Can I be reminded to use the points and best offers at the right time?

Can we offer a personal shopping experience for best deals?

Automate the deal-finding algorithm based on various factors and send push notifications/auto-apply best offers

 

 

Do you know me, my interests?

Allow using points in both online and offline stores

 

Understand customer spend pattern and push right offers for redemption at right location at right time

Allow expedited redemptions for preferred customer categories

 

Customer segmentation and analytics led campaign management

 

Beacon-based notifications

 

Can I redeem my points/cashback seamlessly?

Mobile coupon or better automatic redemption at smart point of sales

 

Promote redemption and avoid making rewards points a balance-sheet liability. Rather engage customers through meaningful redemption options to make the experience meaningful.

Offer Omni channel redemption options

 

Focus on great customer experience, think just beyond points accumulation or burning if you solve some real customer problem (i.e. Starbucks App to order beforehand and avoid queue or Uber VIP Program to arrange cars with privilege)

 

 

DT.jpg

Design Thinking Approach to Lending Program Design

 

Almost one-third of Bank revenue comes from Lending which is under pressure from fintechs and other anti-incumbents. Banks need to build a frictionless digital lending experience by extracting intelligence from the data that persists within and outside the enterprise to fight back in the Lending business. Following is a sample Design Thinking outcome for desigining Lending Program. 

 

Customer Journey

Customer Problem - Empathize

Addressing Solution -Define and Ideate

Design Considerations - Prototype & Test

Apply for loans

Customers expect a seamless connected experience across channels, instant quote generation, and faster loan disbursal

Build a Digital user-friendly interface to reduce loan application time and paperwork and improve loan origination experience.

 

Workflow Management - Configure Status and define a Status workflow. Configurable business rules Track Status and Asset Status (when applicable) 

 

Lead Management - Generate and Track Leads

 

Build Self-serve options like Chatbot, interactive video guides, loan repayments calculators, payment reminders, set up automatic payment facilities etc.

 

Need a unified approach towards Lending Platforms

 

Need to utilize already available information from various sources to avoid asking a question which we already know - Can I get most of the information in the form pre-filled?

Single View of the Customer and consolidation of platforms to help Customer Support, Risk Management, and faster decision making

 

Document & Content Management - Better capturing, storing analyzing and retrieving systems to harness customer relationship and transactional data. Use improved Paperless signing, Optical Character Recognition(OCR) and other digital technologies to minimize paperwork

 

Build Mobile Apps for effective Loan Origination through handheld devices - this is very effective in contextual car loan space

 

Build systems with high Straight Through Processing and Automation to reduce multiple redundant touchpoints and improve disbursal time.

Faster and more accurate Credit Decision making

Credit Decisioning Team to take a quick and improved Credit Decision to compete with the Fintechs while analyzing new dimensions of data which was not available/used before

Build new interfaces/APIs to collect relevant data from various sources (like Social Media, 3rd parties etc.).

 

Use Big Data Analytics Platform to analyze unstructured data and then feed them to Machine Learning algorithms and historical data for better decision making.

 

Build improved monitoring systems for timely alerts, forewarnings, compliance and fraud prevention.

For Student Loans build Decisioning systems which think beyond FICO score and consider potential future earning of the student from the degree to decide the overall credit risk.

 

Build better personalized risk-based pricing systems with improved multi-dimensional credit risk system

 

Improve Credit Underwriting and Decisioning efficiency by building a more dynamic and real-time credit portfolio management system.

 

Use Robotic Process Automation(RPA), Distributed Ledger Technologies and Internet of Things(IoT) technologies for automation and transparency in Trade Finance/Supply Chain and Operations Space.

 

Partner with right Fintechs for acquiring niche and hard-to-build capabilities.

Direct and Open Marketplace Lending

How a bank can complete with Fintechs offering Direct Lending solutions which offer faster loan disbursal and better rates

Adopt Lending-as-a-service model to partner with Fintechs.

 

Use Incubation partners to drive build a faster working prototype with improved credit decision model.

 

Embrace regulations driving Direct Lending and monetize the opportunity.

Banks are adopting Challenger Bank model to test new Direct Lending models and then making it mainstream with Legacy modernization and Lego-building-block approach.

POS Lending

How can banks venture into Point of Sale(PoS) instant lending which is becoming a bigger trend. PoS Credit is helping Merchants to reduce increase sales and reduce shopping cart abandonment

Develop short-term financing products and integrate with PoS and Checkout process. Partnership with merchants for engagement and sponsorship is the key

 

Need instant Credit scoring and decisioning systems based on internal and external data sources

Partner with merchants and POS Platforms to push Bank driven POS Lending Solutions.

 

Develop Machine Learning based instant credit scoring and decisioning systems.

Handle Regulations

How to effectively manage regulations related to Lending, treasury, and Liquidity(BASEL etc.)

How can I effectively manage the cost of compliance especially when competing with fintechs having a lesser burden of regulatory compliance

Use Digital technologies to reduce the cost of compliance by reducing paperwork.

 

Use introduction of any new regulation as an opportunity to build a nimble IT and operations Infrastructure so that handling future regulations become easier.

 

 

October 2, 2016

Augmented reality, gamification and new voice interfaces transforming tomorrow's commerce

In my previous post, I discussed how carefully orchestrated use for emotions and senses can improve purchasing and payment experience increasing the likelihood of spend. This post is a continuation of the same theme providing more details on how payments and advertising are getting transformed with new emotional interfaces, gamification, and augmented reality technologies.

Pokémon GO, the revolutionary augmented reality game, is changing the way small businesses do marketing. In this inherently, social game players need to walk around and catch creatures with the smartphones. Local eateries and small businesses are using this opportunity to increase traffic through various Pokemon Go Marketing techniques (Pokemon Lure Modules, Pokemon Gyms, Pokemon Paid Sponsorships etc.).

Although Google Glass did not get expected success, Snap Inc. (formerly Snapchat Inc.) is introducing a new wearable 'toy' called Spectacles which can capture 10 or 30-second videos and share with Snapchat friends. This makes absolute sense as opening an app from user's smartphone can take quite some time and for unplanned circumstances, the user may miss capturing the moment. There is also a plan to use Spectacles for context sensitive advertising as evident from their Patent application.

open.jpg

The other big opportunity is Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven Voice Interfaces like Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa powered Echo. These Intelligent Agents do things for you, understand what we say in proper context and continually learn to improve response accuracy. This will introduce Voice Commerce replacing today's advertising and Voice Payments becoming the foundation for Voice commerce. It will be quite a revolution! 

August 2, 2016

How to process Investment in Associates in Oracle E-Business Suite?

 

When an investor entity exerts significant influence over an investee entity, the latter is called an 'associate' of the former. When the investor has the right to take part in the financial and operating policy decisions of the investee, it is treated as a 'significant influence.' However, the term 'significant influence' does not include 'controlling influence,' in which case, the investee would be called a 'subsidiary' of the investor entity. The investor may acquire this 'significant influence' by holding a 20-50 percent stake in the equity capital of the investee, or through terms and conditions of its investment that provide the entity such rights.

Continue reading "How to process Investment in Associates in Oracle E-Business Suite?" »

June 1, 2016

Redefining loyalty points to save, not spend

 After a year of employment, I became an excited owner of my first credit card. The fact that it did not mandate instant re-payment, and instead provided the flexibility to re-pay after a certain duration depending upon the billing cycle and grace period, took-on a new approach to my purchasing approach! What intrigued me most was the concept of loyalty points, also referred to commonly as reward points, which the card company provided to all its card members for making purchases. And it worked quite well to encourage customer loyalty towards the card brand.

Continue reading "Redefining loyalty points to save, not spend" »

April 23, 2016

Human senses and emotions - Design considerations for Payments Business

In this TED Talk Jinsop Lee suggests how design using multiple human senses (sight, touch, smell, sound and taste) can significantly improve the experience (I strongly suggest you take time to see the talk). Instead of just focusing on sight and touch, addition of a new dimension such as smell can significantly improve the interaction experience. If you have experienced shows in Universal Studios etc. you are probably getting what I mean (light, touch, smell and sound all creating a magical reality together). Beyond the senses use of human emotions (sad, angry, scared, tender, excited, happy) also play a significant role in experience design. Think of a couple enjoying their honeymoon in an exotic island resort - combination of their emotion (tender) and restaurant design with great touch, sight, sound, taste and smell(all five senses) can make the evening a once in a lifetime experience. Great hotels make money by designing these unique experiences for which customers are always ready to pay premium.

senses.jpg

Payments is a universal value exchange process between customer and business. Customized design of this process using the principle of senses and emotions can significantly improve customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. For example when a customer is sad and scared(e.g. some close relative is struggling with cancer and customer is paying urgent hospital bills for an operation) the payments experience should sympathize with the customer (e.g. offering some installment plans, additional comments of encouragement printed on the receipts etc. should be considered). But when a group of college students are paying for a weekend party (happy  and excited) pricing and payments experience should be designed differently - we can consider use of wearables(experimenting with the trendy way of paying), use of exciting colors in the Point of Sale (red/yellow), use of exciting background music(sound) etc. to improve the payments experience and increase the likelihood of spend. Gamification is another opportunity to exploit human emotions - especially in a group setting customers pay more when you mix gamification(and dynamic pricing) with loyalty strategy. 

Companies are recognizing these trends and 'senses and emotions' based product design is getting significant traction with the advent of new technologies like Mobility, Predictive Analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) etc. Payment players such as American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Bank of America are investing heavily in wearable wallets, biometrics, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to make payments invisible. We are seeing new partnerships of payment players with device players such as Ringly, Nymi, Jawbone, GM (key fob), TrackR, and more. We are seeing trendy ways of payment authentication such as pay-by selfie facial authentication by MasterCard. All these innovations are subtle use of human senses and emotions to improve payments experience. We believe these trends will continue and amplify in coming days.

October 28, 2015

Math based currencies - Fool's gold or future of transactions?

This week I read a bullish viewpoint on Bitcoins (alternate link) from the famous Winklevoss twins who have started a licensed and regulated bitcoin exchange company Gemini. They own significant amount of bitcoins and think this value exchange over internet will have profound impact on our lives in the long term. This interview has some interesting viewpoints - why expanding credit card/ACH networks is costly and hence not best solution for international trade, why Bitcoin is better than gold (what happens if asteroid mining becomes successful) etc. They think the only significant problem with Bitcoin adoption is regulation and hence they are trying to address it with a regulated exchange. There are other problems with Bitcoins as well - one of them being the energy inefficiency of the Bitcoin transactions. Some think in present format Bitcoin is not ready to replace the fiat economy due to its extreme energy inefficiency compared to other existing protocols (here is an Economist's version comparing gold standard or money movement). 

Napster failed to be a financially successful music distribution company (probably it was early for its time) but it opened up a Pandora's Box for innovation in this space (some successful cases would be Apple iTunes and Spotify). We may see similar history repeating in Virtual currency & Distributed Ledger space. We are still early to assess the future -these new technologies may compete and win against incumbent players or incumbent players may adopt them and make them mainstream. But one thing is certain - these disruptions will improve the efficiency of financial market, increase trust and open up new business opportunities.

September 15, 2015

Adhering to Dodd Frank Act Supervisory Stress Testing

Post financial crisis US government has enacted an act 'Dodd-Frank wall street reform and consumer protection act. As per this act US bank holding companies with 50$ billion or more in consolidated assets, to conduct an annual stress test. Federal Reserve calculated its projections of a BHC's balance sheet, risk-weighted assets (RWAs), net income, and  resulting regulatory capital ratios under these scenarios using data provided by the BHCs and a set of models developed or selected by the Federal Reserve.

These projections have to be done for nine quarters planning horizon based on three macro economic scenarios (baseline/adverse/severely adverse). It requires banks to calculate

1. PPNR from net interest income, non interest income and non interest expenses
2. Pre-tax net income from PPNR, Revenues, Provisions and Allowance for loan loss
3. After tax income from pre-tax net income and taxes
4. change in equity capital
5. change in regulatory capital

FED projects revenue, expenses and various types of losses and provisions that flow into pre-tax net income based on data provided by Bank Holding Companies with models developed by FED and validated by economists from FED. Banks also have to run their own stress tests with common stress scenarios and assumptions used by FED to help gauge the potential effect of stressful conditions  on the ability of banking institutions to absorb losses while continue to act as credit intermediaries.

BHC's need to compare results of stress tests with scenarios of varying magnitude to improve decision making. Oracle financial services analytical application provides Stress testing as packaged analytical application to achieve all below.

1. Compare results of stress testing across multiple stress scenarios
2. FR Y-14 reporting with projections of PPNR, OTTI, Fair values under different scenarios (FR-Y14 Monthly/Quarterly/Annually)
3. Reporting of OCC DFAST 10-50B results schedule

With all these capabilities OFSAA Stress testing analytics will be an effective enterprise solution to accomplish dynamic regulatory requirements and provides forward looking quantitative evaluation of impacts of stressful economic conditions on BHC capital and capital decision making by management.

OFSAA Analytical application will also enable Bank holding companies to pull out regulatory reports of all magnitude scenarios, quickly respond to emergency business situations and also to cater to evolving regulatory requirements and reporting templates that may get introduced by regulatory bodies.

September 10, 2015

Implementation challenges of CECL Methodology (Current Expected Credit Loss) & leveraging OFSAA LLFP Analytical Solution

In 2012 Financial account standards board (FASB) issued a proposed accounting standard update that proposes that banks and other financial institutions modify recognition of impairment from an "incurred loss" or "probable loss" basis to a "lifetime of loss" estimate. Global financial institutions need to set aside loan impairment reserve for duration of the exposure as opposed to reserving for ''probable losses''. This proposal require banks to calculate loan reserves future loss estimates based on past events, current conditions and reasonable forecasts about the future.

Under this new proposal, though there is no need to determine loan reserve at the loan level it is very important for banks to maintain granular detail throughout the life of the loan. In addition to considering loan attributes, borrower attributes historical loss experience of loan with similar characteristics also need to be considered. Effect of current economic environment as well as projected economic environment arised over the life of the loan.

While implementation of an expected credit loss model require significant work of banks & financial institutions, following are potential challenges to be considered.
a. Complex vintage analysis
b. Data requirements specific to life of loan calculation (LOL)
c. Discounted cash flow analysis
d. Forecastable features(like future drawdowns, delinquency, discount rates, prepayment).

Incorporating CECL method will have significant impact on how banks/financial institutions set aside reserves for future credit losses on impaired assets. In order to address many of these implementation challenges of CECL model Oracle financial services provides packaged solution, OFSAA LLFP which can be leveraged by global banks. LLFP solution provides capability like historical transition matrix , Cohort method for vintage analysis and discounted cash flow methodologies to address these challenges.