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Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services: Premium compliance support, new features, and expanded markets

What’s new: strengthening of compliance and risk assurance capabilities, enhanced customer experience capabilities, and expansion into new markets

As we continue to expand our Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services offering, we are excited to share our latest updates including new features in general availability and in preview, as well as expanded availability in select new markets. Our goal is to equip every financial organization with the digital capability required to succeed in today’s challenging economic and regulatory environments. We remain committed to helping our financial services customers improve time-to-value, reduce costs, increase agility, accelerate innovation for sustainable growth, and create deeper customer connections.

According to IDC1, 44.6 percent of financial services respondents consider driving more revenue-generating activities the most critical technology initiative for their organizations, while 41.1 percent are focused on delivering digital services faster and accelerating the shift to the cloud. In this context, delivering technology that speeds time-to-value and improves customer outcomes is vital—and this is exactly where Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services and its latest updates can offer compelling business value.

Compliance Program for Microsoft Cloud: Supporting customers in their compliance needs

Moving to the cloud creates incredible opportunity for our customers in any industry, but for the financial services industry, meeting regulatory requirements is foundational.

At Microsoft, we understand that it is essential to meet or exceed those requirements. We have innovated in this space and are leading the technology industry with our unique compliance program that helps customers navigate the complexities of meeting regulatory requirements around the globe. We are now offering the full value of the Compliance Program for Microsoft Cloud as a part of Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services. This will provide our customers with white glove support for their risk, audit, and compliance teams. It includes four key features:

  • Ask an Expert: Directly engage with Microsoft’s subject matter experts to address top-of-mind compliance concerns as well as accelerate regulatory assessment and approval cycles.
  • Risk and Control Mapping: Get support from Microsoft with cloud risk assessments to help you meet your due diligence needs.
  • Compliance Community: Learn about the latest regulatory compliance developments directly from Microsoft experts, industry peers, and thought leaders via ongoing virtual sessions, summits, and webcasts.
  • Proactive Risk Assurance: Receive proactive communication from Microsoft’s experts on external audit results, ongoing updates of Microsoft’s cloud estate, and changing regulatory compliance requirements.

Now generally available: Intelligent appointments

Customers today expect more when it comes to convenience and simplicity in engaging with their financial institutions. The key to addressing these expectations and delivering great customer experiences is in continuous improvement of financial services offerings that better connect people, processes, and systems. In our latest release of Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services, and based on customer feedback, we have focused on continued improvements to the banking customer engagement capability to deliver differentiated customer experiences.

One key challenge for many customers is in finding the right person with the right expertise at the right time, easily and conveniently. Intelligent appointments, now generally available, is a new feature of banking customer engagement that offers customers a self-scheduling meeting experience, on the customers’ preferred channels. It easily and quickly matches customer financial product inquiries with banking experts. Customers can find contacts with the relevant skills and availability for virtual or in-person appointments.

Additionally, intelligent appointments can be used in combination with Virtual Appointments, now available in Microsoft Teams. With Virtual Appointments and intelligent appointments together, financial institutions not only get a great virtual meeting experience, but all the functionality needed to facilitate efficient and meaningful virtual or in-person meetings.  

In preview: Increased investments across verticals

For all organizations regardless of industry, the key to success in the digital era lies in the data: how to store it, secure it, combine it, and harness it. By migrating to the cloud and taking advantage of common data models, financial institutions especially are better able to put their data to work, apply intelligence, extract insights, derive new business models, and deliver better, more differentiated customer experiences through modernized applications that drive new growth.

To that end, we are pleased to highlight a set of new features we are releasing for preview (the United States and the United Kingdom only) that help our financial services customers put data to work and demonstrate our commitment to making Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services more relevant and useful to the whole industry. They include:

  • Onboarding application (retail banking and other verticals): Delivers a flexible and intelligent product onboarding experience with automated document workflows enriched by AI analysis to assist the document verification process. 
  • Unified client profile (wealth management): Helps deepen client relationships with meaningful advice, providing relationship managers with a good understanding of a client’s financial status, investment portfolios, financial goals, important life moments, and other personal attributes. 
  • Property and casualty insurance data model (insurance):  A dedicated property and casualty insurance data model captures new attributes including policy and coverage information, claims, and insurance providers and producers.  
  • Wealth management data model (wealth management): An extension to the banking data model that captures new attributes including financial goals and investment instruments specific to wealth management. 
  • Small business data model extension (retail banking SMB): Extends the data model foundation of Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services to represent individuals and allows linking small businesses to individual financial holdings. 

Update on our partner ecosystem

Our partner ecosystem has been a key component to the success and scalability of Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services. Our partners are dedicated to better serving customers by helping provide more integrated solutions that reduce risk across the ecosystem, identify new opportunities for innovation, and decrease time to market.  

For this release, we are also pleased to announce new solutions and offerings from leading systems integrators (SIs) like Accenture/Avanade and PWC and independent software vendors (ISVs) like ArganoArbela, ASC, Bambu, BioCatch, Mambu, Thought Machine, and Wealth Dynamix to extend our capabilities. We’ve partnered with these organizations to publish solutions that deliver a differentiated customer experience, empower employees, and manage enterprise risk with solutions built on our offering.

New markets and languages

This month, in our continued efforts to support customers around the globe, we are expanding the international availability of Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services to include Brazil, Singapore, and the special administrative region of Hong Kong. Available languages now include Brazilian Portuguese and traditional Chinese. We plan to continue to expand our cloud presence in many more markets and languages in the months to come.   

Learn more

To learn more and stay informed, visit our Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services website.

1IDC’s Worldwide CEO Survey, 2022: Industry Perspectives, Doc # US49613122, August 2022.