Posts Tagged ‘Banking’

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Great news we are anxious to share! NAMU has been voted “Best of Show” by the audience of the FinovateSpring 2015 conference for our “Joyful Banking” mobile platform. This much-coveted trade award crowns a very successful stage of the company’s formation. We first presented our innovation late last year at Money 20/20 Launchpad360, wowing the global fintech industry. Today we are in advanced talks, finalizing proof of concept implementations with three global and regional banks. Wow!

Enjoy watching our AWARD-WINNING ONSTAGE DEMO video.

In terms of methodology, only the conference audience members not associated with the demoing companies or with the organizer, voted. Attendees were encouraged to note their three favorites during each day of the two-day conference, traditionally attended by the leaders of the global fintech industry. They were supposed to rate the future winners of the award on the basis of demo quality and potential impact of the innovation demoed. The seven companies gaining the highest percentage of submitted ballots were named “Best of Show”.

“Exactly a year ago, I was in the audience at Finovate. On my way home, I decided to quit my job at Citibank and start up NAMU. The decision was worth the effort, which we engaged in creating the firm and in developing our solution. The appreciation we have just got from the industry leaders is the best reward for our work and the emotions involved. We feel strong and ready for the new challenge of making the NAMU platform a banking reality and not just an idea any more,” – said Thomas Ko, NAMU’s President and Co-Founder, when starting his award-winning presentation.

Thank you FinovateSpring Audience!

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When we think of banking, what image comes to mind? Do we think of giant bank chains which tend to be impersonal or do we think of local chain banks which offer personalized service? Whichever type of bank you are used to, there is often a dilemma when it comes to the user experience.

Life is busy and banks should keep up with consumer demand for good-looking interfaces. Initially, you may question the importance of beautiful designs integrated into mobile banking. Your first concern is most likely regarding safety and functionality. We get it. Our team is meticulous about making sure the banking experience is safe and gets the job done – we’re banking veterans. However, we even go a step further than many banks are willing to do. To clarify, NAMU is not a banking solution – it’s a new banking experience.

Let us explain. Experiences in any context, whether it be shopping or driving cars, create different levels of enjoyment. If, say, you were shopping in a run-down mall, you would probably be hesitant to shop there again. In another example where you’re driving a sports car, driving enthusiasts will be the first to tell you that, compared to a production model, driving a sports car is the difference between night and day. Both will get you from point A to B, but the experience will be different. The experience can be (and is!) the same with NAMU.

Where do these feelings stem from and why do they matter in banking? This points to the limbic system and neocortex part of our brain. Interestingly enough, our limbic system largely influences many of our decisions. It understands the value behind brands and a company’s emotional triggers. Meanwhile, the neocortex focuses more on reasoning and motor commands.

It’s important to understand the limbic system and the neocortex for several reasons. For most of our lives, banks have focused on the financial side of the business (which is good). However, many have failed to focus on out-performing competing banks in online and mobile user experience. In other words, they have out-performed themselves to appeal to the neocortex part of the human brain and have neglected the limbic part.

NAMU is setting out to reunite the key elements in the relationship clients have with your bank. By creating quality software that banks use to enhance the look and feel of their banking system, we create a more joyful experience. Plus, information is secure since the data is retrieved directly.

Who knew seemingly minor changes could have such a profound effect on how your clients perceive banking? Different parts of your client’s brain react differently when he or she interacts with your bank, its representatives and your team. NAMU provides the new tool to expand you didn’t know you needed.

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Thomas Ko, President of NAMU Systems and Piotr Budzinski, NAMU’s CEO are presenting the company’s revolutionary social mobile banking platform for retail banks at the Barcelona Digital Banking and Social Media Conference on Friday, March 27, 2015. They are speakers at the morning quick-fire start-up and fintech session, to take place between 9 and 10.30 a.m. CET at the Rey Juan Carlos I hotel.

NAMU’s application has been successfully launched during the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas last November. It has immediately gained very strong interest from numerous retail banks worldwide. The cutting-edge product known as NAMU “Joyful banking” is now ready for proof-of-concept with banks.

NAMU Systems is a US start-up with offices in New York, London and Poland. The company founders have extensive and successful banking experience, which allows them to innovate with full understanding of both the complexity and the security requirements of banks.

“Now banks are facing their toughest challenge from non-banking competitors. They must innovate not just with adjacent innovation but with a fundamentally revolutionary leap-frogging one. They must fight not to become a dumb pipe.” – said Thomas Ko, NAMU’s President and founder, the ex-global head of mobile banking at Citibank.

“NAMU connects money with memories. It provides a highly visual interface backed by social behavior analytics which focuses on user emotions, experience and lifestyle rather than pure cold analytics. Banks control vast amounts of data and that is the key. With a new algorithm we opened the door for banks to find a new source of revenue in advertising.” – said Piotr Budzinski, CEO co-founder of NAMU Systems, who led strategic technology projects for top European banks and US asset managers prior to co-founding the company last year.

The European Financial Management and Marketing Association (Efma) promotes innovation in retail finance by fostering debate and discussion among peers. The Digital Banking and Social Media Conference is part of the 2015 Distribution Summit, EFMA’s annual must-attend gathering for all topics related to distribution in global retail financial services.


SINCE the financial crisis, it has become commonplace to argue that banks should be run as utilities, not casinos. At least in terms of their financial performance, that seems to be happening. In 2006, the eight American banks that regulators have since labelled “globally systemically important” generated casino-like profits, with returns on equity of 30% on average, according to Oliver Wyman, a consultancy. They are currently managing less than 11%, and there is worse to come: the Federal Reserve recently announced plans to oblige them to raise extra capital. By one calculation that would reduce their return on equity to little over 8%, other things being equal—a lower return than America’s water companies make.

And other things are unlikely to be equal. American regulators continue to biff big banks with blistering fines. Then there is the requirement that banks produce “living wills”, explaining how they could be wound down if disaster strikes: the regulators have rejected every single “will” they have received so far as too flimsy. Making banks easier to close down will probably leave them even less profitable.

Nor are American officials the only ones still taking aim at bankers. The European Central Bank is on the verge of concluding a review of the books of banks in the euro zone, to determine whether they are hiding lots of dodgy loans. Those found wanting will also need to raise more capital. The Bank of England recently surprised many in the City with new rules allowing the “claw back” of bankers’ bonuses for up to seven years when things go wrong. More than half a decade after the financial crisis, bankers are still being bombarded with regulation and retribution (see article).

The quick and the undead
The result is an industry that has become safer and duller than many realise. America’s eight behemoths used to have 23 times more loans and investments than loss-absorbing capital; if a twenty-third of their assets had had to be written off, they would have gone bust. Now they are only 14 times “levered”. They are no longer allowed to speculate in financial markets on their own account; they may trade only on behalf of clients. Many of the deals they used to strike directly with one another must be funnelled through exchanges.

It is a good thing that the big banks are being forced to be safer. The trouble is that many have failed to change their business models accordingly. A few are adjusting to their straitened circumstances, shedding staff and assets as quickly as their star traders once accumulated fast cars and sharp suits. Morgan Stanley and UBS, for example, have slashed trading to concentrate on asset management. But many are hanging on to marginal businesses, in the hope that reviving economies and rising interest rates will make them profitable again. Since that hope is likely to be forlorn, more vigorous overhauls will be needed at the most sprawling outfits such as Deutsche Bank and Citigroup. Big divisions will have to shrink, notably in the ever-less-profitable business of trading bonds, currencies and commodities. Pay needs to fall, too. Given how much banks spend on salaries, squeezing them is an obvious way to boost profits.

Regulators could speed this transformation by giving bankers a clearer picture of what the eventual rules will be. Caprice, whether in the form of apparently arbitrary fines (of the sort New York specialises in), loopy taxes and rules on pay (the European Union) or constant regulatory tinkering (just about everywhere), only slows the necessary adjustment. But the big change must come from banks, which need to prepare for a future as part of the financial plumbing rather than as masters of the universe. No one ever said being dull would be fun.