Thursday, 27 April 2017

Banking on loyalty – a bet worth making

Data protection has quickly grown from being a buzz-word to a concern keeping board-level executives up at night.

As demonstrated by recent high profile cyber attacks, the cost of a data breach now comes in all shapes and sizes – from significant financial repercussions to damaged reputation and loss of existing customers. Ensuring this is avoided while improving the customer experience is the real tightrope challenge.

Friday, 21 April 2017

When you have to be right, right now

In-Memory Compute Grids (IMCGs) allow banks to process data faster and more accurately, too. Richard Bennett, Vice President of Regulatory Reporting for EMEA in Wolters Kluwer’s Finance, Risk and Reporting business, examines the latest trends banks need to consider.

You’re limping through the desert, dying of thirst, when you come upon an oasis with what appears to be a bottomless well. You can’t believe your luck. Then you drop the bucket in and discover that the rope tied to it is so knotted and twisted that it stops short of the water line. By the time you straighten it out so that you can take that desperately needed drink, it may be too late.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

India’s take on large scale payments innovation: ‘Leapfrogging’ to lead the pack

A new wave of payments innovation is taking place globally and emerging, high growth markets are the ones to watch. Encouraged by increasing customer demand, favourable regulation and unburdened by legacy infrastructure, countries in high growth markets are beginning to lead the pack when it comes to large scale payments innovation.

A great example of this leapfrogging trend can be found in India. As the country’s leading payments services provider, we are seeing first-hand that India is fast becoming a hub of payments innovation and disruption at scale. India is home to several of the ingredients necessary to encourage new technology to flourish and old systems to make way for new. Key among these ingredients are the increasing customer demand for digital payments, a supportive regulatory environment and a highly skilled tech market.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Preparing data functions for the 2017 stress tests

In November 2016, the Bank of England (BoE) published the results of its 2016 banking stress tests which measured the resilience of UK’s major banks’ balance sheet in adverse scenarios. These incorporated a synchronised UK and global recession with associated shocks to financial market prices, and an independent stress of misconduct costs. The stress tests also represented the BoE’s first annual cyclical scenario (ACS), a new approach to stress testing, which examines the resilience of the system to a more severe stress than in previous years.

In 2017, the BoE is expected to extend stress testing even further by including a biennial exploratory scenario which will test the resilience of banks to risks that may not be directly linked to the financial cycle. At a UK level, the 2017 stress test scenario also includes a severe level of stress, with substantial impact on UK residential and commercial property, UK GDP and unemployment. However, the impact could be even more severe if the economic and political challenges currently facing the EU and Eurozone were to be incorporated, such as high-debt levels, security concerns and Brexit.

Friday, 24 February 2017

NSFR implementation in Hong Kong: practice makes perfect

As banks in Hong Kong gear up for the 2018 implementation of the Basel III net stable funding ratio (NSFR), the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has launched another study into its likely impacts that should both reassure the local financial sector and also serve as a reminder of the need for careful preparation, not least on the technology front. Here Amita Cheung, Regulatory Reporting Manager for Wolters Kluwer’s Finance, Risk & Reporting business, examines the challenges ahead.

The HKMA’s quantitative impact study (QIS) on the modified net stable funding ratio (MNSFR) is the third of its kind and part of a broader, multi-year consultation exercise on NSFR’s local implementation. While previous studies targeted so-called ‘category 1’ institutions - generally larger, internationally active banks - that will be subject to the full force of NSFR requirements, this study will gauge the ability of smaller category 2 banks to adhere to MNSFR, essentially a less stringent ‘NSFR light.’

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Fighting the friction: Bridging the gap in innovation between B2C and B2B payment solutions

The elimination, or at least reduction of all forms of ‘friction’, perceived or obvious has been an enduring human obsession, and great excitement surrounds new discoveries. One can only imagine the furore that followed the first ancient Mesopotamian saying to his or her peers, “Hey guys, instead of dragging this heavy wooden box across the ground…why don’t we attach some round things that spin to the underside?”

Fast-forward 5,000 or so years, and though the types of friction we are seeking to reduce have become a little more nuanced, the excitement of a new discovery is just the same. It’s what makes FinTech such an exhilarating industry to be a part of, as such discoveries and innovations are increasingly prolific. ‘Friction’ in our industry usually refers to the time taken to make payments, and ‘frictionless payments’ are those transactions that can be completed in an instant.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Boost revenues and cut wasted marketing spends with enhanced insight into digital sales

Digital marketing and promotion is now commonplace in retail banks. And with the rise and popularity of online banking, how customers consume financial products has also been transformed. Sales, the crucial link between the two, is also making digital progress too. The top ten banks across the UK, US and Australia now offer digital applications for 6 in 10 personal banking products. The ever-growing power of the internet makes the need for this integration of digital – and the opportunity it presents – obvious.

While substantial progress has been made it also shows there is still room for improvement. And this is especially true when it comes to digital sales. For example, retail banks are behind when it comes to the sharp rise in smartphone use, and the potential for mobile as a sales channel. Despite the availability of online digital applications, only 9% of personal banking products in the UK can be applied for using a mobile device. With two-thirds of UK adults now owning a smartphone, there is every reason to forge ahead in this area.