May 8th, 2019 - Financial, Global Connectivity
By Tom Lazenga, Vice President of Sales for TNS Financial Services
In the modern world, many services have been automated to achieve maximum efficiency with minimal human effort. This effect has swept across many industries, including financial services, and it comes with both benefits and downsides.
On one hand, the advancement of technology allows business to move faster and have a global reach. On the other, customers are losing some of the human touch that once was associated with these offerings.
In a recent CNN article, veteran trader Peter Tuchman touted the importance of having a human presence on the trading floor, even though computers execute most trades these days. Tuchman maintained having real, live people on the floor serves as a reassurance to investors in the case of a technical error; additionally, when investors can see traders working on the floor during a drastic market change, it boosts the market’s credibility.
The trading floor is not the only area of the financial services industry that has lost the “high-touch” approach. Traders and firms looking to outsource their network infrastructure or market data today might feel they have to choose between having either customer service and support, or fast transactions and advanced technology.
However, finding a network provider who offers both is possible if you know what to look for:
Around-the-clock support is an added benefit for many industries, but for firms and traders, who must prioritize timeliness, it is essential. A strong support system with international access and real-time proactive monitoring indicates a partner who cares about offering a well-rounded service beyond just a network, as well as a concern for security and functionality.
A provider’s business relationships inform future decisions, technological advancements and service offerings for the ever-evolving finance industry. A provider that has boots on the ground in countries where established and emerging financial markets are located, as well as deep relationships with a widespread and diverse group of industry participants, will be better equipped to provide specialized service moving forward. A higher amount of endpoints worldwide also enables speedy connections to new venues, and indicates experience and a reputation of reliability (particularly if these connections are with prominent exchanges and venues).
There is no more important human element than your provider’s leadership. The executive team should represent values that are important to you and your business – whether that is adaptability within a multitude of specialties, innovation within the industry or loyalty to their company. A balanced, experienced and knowledgeable group of leaders will likely infuse these qualities into the rest of their organization.
When it comes to confirming your provider is high tech, you likely will have to base your decision on your specific needs. However, a secure system for trading is an essential for any firm. Extranets are typically more secure than the internet because of their intrinsic privacy, and credentials or certifications from trusted entities can offer additional guarantees that your data will be protected at all costs. High network availability, network monitoring and high transparency are all positive indicators that your provider’s technology can meet the critical needs of the trading world.
Considering these factors will allow firms to identify a network provider that has found the balance between high tech and high touch, instead of sacrificing one for the other. While technology offerings are constantly advancing and improving, the assurance of human support, relationships and leadership remains relevant in the financial services industry.