Programmer Jobs And The Financial Services Sector

Programmers throughout the United Kingdom have a variety of industries in which they can work. IT consultancies and firms that contract professionals to corporations can be lucrative and dynamic. Defence, aerospace, and engineering firms need programmers who are interested in learning about their specific needs and developing IT solutions appropriate for these needs. However, one of the best areas of entry into the job market for a young programmer is in the financial service sector. Programmers need to understand what prospective jobs in financial services require before taking the leap into this lucrative industry.

One aspect of financial service programming jobs in the United Kingdom is creating proprietary systems. Banks and financial advising firms need to have a variety of programs to keep track of funds, account information, and other data. While some banks contract out these services to outside IT firms, many have hired programmers to develop in-house systems. Programmers who are hired to create these systems often have to complete their technical work and then provide training and the new system to employees. In this way, programming jobs in the financial service sector can be interesting and engaging for an IT professional.

Perhaps the biggest aspect of the programming job in a financial services firm is providing updates and corrections to IT systems. Programmers often monitor transactions in real time to determine if there are any glitches or bugs that need to be fixed in the system. As well, programmers will usually run a variety of diagnostic tests and assessments on a system daily to determine if any problems develop as data accumulates in the office network. Programming jobs in banks and financial advising firms are often about patience, reviewing systems, and keep an eye out for the smallest of problems.

Finally, programming jobs in the financial services sector often require efforts at outreach to non-IT professionals. Bank personnel, financial advisors, and stock traders alike are more familiar with their specific job responsibilities than IT issues. As such, programmers who are fixing problems or installing new updates need to keep professionals updated on what is going on. Programmers often need to send out e-mails or go around to individual workers affected, depending on the size of the office. In these communications, a programmer has to explain why the system is down or what they are doing that is causing a slowdown in the network. However, programmers should also explain the consequences of updates to help keep their colleagues in the loop.

Call Recording for Mobiles in Financial Services Companies – Laying Down the Law

Financial companies have long since had to record all phone calls from landlines, but new regulations from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) could see call recording used for mobile phone calls – and then stored for six months.

From March 2009, firms have had to record all telephone conversations and electronic communications relating to client orders and the conclusion of transactions in the equity, bond, and derivatives markets.

By law financial companies have to record email conversations and phone calls from fixed lines however, mobile phone calls were previously exempt from this regulation as the technology simply couldn’t handle it. Now, the technology is well able to record mobile calls. The FSA is currently holding a consultation before deciding to include mobile calls into the rules.

The FSA consulted on the taping rules last year, with them completing a further review of the cost-benefit analysis and discussing with the industry the scope and practicalities of the possibility of recording on mobile devices, both corporate liable and personal devices.

It is expected that recording mobile conversations will become mandatory to close a potential loophole in the FSA’s current taping framework. The FSA believe that if they were to keep the mobile phone taping exemption, those wishing to circumvent the rules have incentives to move ‘relevant conversations’ on recorded fixed lines to unrecorded mobile phones.

This undermines the taping regime’s effectiveness. Therefore, removing the exemption, it is believed, will contribute to achieving the economic benefits as follows: recorded communication increases the probability of successful enforcement; and this reduces the expected value of exploiting private information and hence reduces insider trading.

This, in principle, leads to increased market confidence and greater price efficiency.

The latest reports on this subject for the FSA found that the overwhelming majority of firms in the financial services sector did not employ mobile recording solutions. In the period since the exemption was created, most firms had done little to prepare for mobile recording, preferring to wait until the FSA requires recording from mobiles before implementing a solution.

However, several authorised firms and suppliers have indicated that the level of interest in mobile call recording is now much greater than ever before in the financial services sector. Several authorised firms have requested detailed pricing and technical proposals from suppliers and have discussed in detail how mobile recording technology might be integrated with their existing communications and recording solutions.

The supply side for mobile call recording has also evolved somewhat. In particular, the largest provider of cellular services to City financial firms and the largest provider of managed trading turrets to the financial sector have both signed deals to distribute the same company’s mobile recording solution in the UK. Although neither the cellular operator nor the provider of managed turret services has yet signed a deal within the UK financial services sector, both companies appear confident in the reliability and scalability of the underlying technology.

Why is this issue of interest to mobile managers? It is not typically their remit to concern themselves with FSA compliance issues?

It is likely that suppliers will provide workable and scalable solutions to record accurately voice, sms, mms, and email activities against a particular cellular number. The raw call files and billing data from the airtime carriers and recording technology from specialist suppliers will integrate nicely to tag a call made at a certain time, from a certain number, whilst recording its content.

However it is likely that there will be a requirement to store the data and calls for at least 6 months, possibly more. The storing in itself is not an issue, with the voice files, text transcripts and other data being stored more than likely via a 3rd party data storage solution.

The problem however escalates when you add into the mix the general complexities of managing mobile fleets. In any given 6 month period in any large organisation there will be a multitude of changes driven by people leaving the organisation, people starting with the organisation, numbers being recycled between individuals and projects.

The challenge will therefore be not relating the content recorded in a call to a specific time, and a specific number, but having the data on who held that number at that period of time. If the numbers are recycled and reused in the organisation, if the caller has since left and a new starter been issued the number, then this must also be logged. There is a requirement for a robust and approved solution for attaching the mobile number to an individual in that same time period.

This is an issue neither the call recording providers, nor airtime providers are likely to be able to help with. It is a database management issue and a mobile management issue which organisations will need to address and become comfortable with their solution. It could be solved internally utilising database tools and internal resources, or could be outsourced to a management company providing mobile management solutions.

This is not a typical wireless expense management issue, it is not telecom expense management, it comes down to process management, and ensuring the recording solution chosen, the airtime carrier, and this specific process can all work together. Getting any component piece of the solution wrong may lead to great inefficiency when locating the correct data, inaccuracies in personnel allocation, and worst case a compliance issue with this FSA legislation carrying heavy fines for individual organisations.

Successful B2B Lead Generation For Financial Services

Business-to-business (B2B) telemarketing does not confine only to several companies. It is a helpful tool that can be used by all firms, the nature of products and/or services notwithstanding. The financial services industry, too, can utilize the telephone as its major instrument to increase its number of qualified financial sales leads.

From its conception until now, cold-calling has been swarmed with challenges. Talking to the bosses, who are strangers to you, is one of the biggest hurdles. However, through effective planning and execution, all of the obstacles can be passed through to reach company’s goals and objectives.

The following statements are some of the tried and tested means to generate more quality sales leads, especially for the financial services sector.

1. Script must not be used.

As opposed to what others are thinking, using script in cold-calling is not that effective. It actually limits the success rate in a business-to-business (B2B) telemarketing. Instead of scripts, come up with a free flow and flexible call guide. This will assist professional telemarketers to converse more efficiently with sales prospects. Using scripts does not have customization and personal touch.

Moreover, callers must know the specific needs of the target leads. By doing so, they will be able to inform prospects with the right solutions to their problems.

2. The benefits must be the core of the conversation.

During the conversation, professional telemarketers must focus more on the gains that a customer can get if s/he opts to buy. Less must be discussed about the company. This is so because the sales leads show more enthusiasm in knowing what can solve his/her problem/s. Furthermore, they are interested in getting information on how can the products and/or services give benefits and/or lower their expenses.

Always remember that prospects initially want to know how can a thing uplifts their lives, especially that you are selling financial products.

3. Shorten the introductory statement.

Frequently, decision makers get bored when they hear long opening lines from the caller. With this, cold-callers must practice a short but enticing opening pitch in order to catch the attention of the prospects.

4. Don’t beat around the bush.

Managers and directors value each second of their work time. Therefore, professional telemarketers ought to be direct, honest and straightforward. They must hit the bull’s eye immediately and never mention something that can’t help any relation to the products and services.

5. Sales is part of a process.

Callers must keep in mind that sales is not an independent event. Yet, it is a part of a process. For that reason, they are obliged to keep things moderately. They are not to push for the sale to close quickly. Why? Because this might lead to losing customers.

Every sales prospect is an employee of another company. They think not only of their personal benefits but of the entire company. This means that it takes time for them to make a decision. What telemarketers should do is to nurture them while the leads are still in the decision-making stage.

6. Utilize a set of diverse marketing methods.

Telemarketing must be combined with other tools to optimize lead generation. Firms, then, are obliged to try search engine optimization, email marketing, pay per leads and the likes.

7. Build a relationship.

One of the keys in success, not only for financial services, is to build rapport with the customers. How? Professional marketers must nurture them by keeping them informed, educated and valued.