Article | March 26, 2020
The global coronavirus pandemic has far-reaching implications for every aspect of the economy, and fintech is already feeling some of the consequences of the escalating crisis. From canceled events to shrinking opportunities for fundraising, we’re talking through some of the biggest challenges this crisis will present to the industry. We’re also highlighting the areas of opportunity unique to fintech as the situation continues to evolve.
Article | April 7, 2020
Many finance companies are getting some massive help from AI handling things like security, loss prevention, and predictive decision making — think underwriting for mortgages or credit decisions. While AI is making the rounds for many companies and organizations, a few are taking that capability to a new level. Let’s take a look at a handful of companies doing amazing things with AI.
Article | July 7, 2021
Technological innovation over the recent decades has attracted increased interest of researchers and industry experts thereby becoming an integral part of everyday lifestyle. The challenge lies in resolving the dispute between a forward-looking innovative structure promoting innovation, and a proportionately meticulous schema that is capable of winning faith of consumer.
Information technology is fast turning to be a key instrument in the lives of consumer across generations. In current global economy, customers across industries have been pampered and the credit goes to “Bigtechs ” like Ali Baba, Apple, Amazon, E-bay, the list being exhaustive along with “Fintech ” and “Incumbent banks ” as a result, consumers expect swift product delivery with flawless service.
A review of available literature is suggestive that further expositions tend to focus on fintech and its integration in banking arena investigating the factors that underpin the choice of external partners to collaborate, design, develop and implement fintech capability while addressing the gap between research and industry evolution.
Recent developments in technology have refurbished global economies at an immensely fast pace, making the business environment extremely challenging with continued margin pressure. Digital technologies are intrusive to not only the competition but also to the role of payments in businesses impacting the ultimate consumers.
Investigating digital transformation has been of continuing interest across industries. Digitization might abolish some vital job roles, threatening the human workforce reluctant to digital changes. However, observations are indicative of focus towards higher-value tasks and creating unprecedented opportunities. For instance, adoption of digitization in financial industry, provides considerable opportunity to relationship managers to spend minimal time in operational activities and maximum towards advising customers.
Amongst many ideas laying the foundation of fintech adoption, a growing body of literature recognizes two vital causes for the evolution of fintech companies that can be routed back to a decade. Firstly, the global economic financial crisis also called economic recession that has distinctly exhibited to consumers the flaws of the traditional system. Second, the evolution of new technologies that boosted mobility, easy flow of information, speeding up the service delivery and lowering the costs.
The way banks engage the customer today has gained fresh prominence, with a movement from branch banking to digital systems, benefitting from customer insights. Aiming to enhance consumer engagement and gain competitive advantage, debates continue about the best strategies banks adopt to engage with customers that has resulted in adding capabilities and complex technology on top of systems and processes to meet dynamic customers’ expectations to gain real time personalization.
Much debated question is whether organizations with traditional framework are able to come up to such expectations becoming capable of disrupting industry by prompt digital delivery using advanced algorithms and digital platforms to successfully provide unrestricted access to information bits. Promising superior experience to users, however, if industry experts hit the bulls-eye and tend to offer more competitive prices, enhanced operational controls may entitle lesser risk and probability of higher revenues.
Such developments bring along advantages and disadvantages at the same time. Whereas advantage lies in reduced transaction processing times, service excellence and global integration the disadvantages lie in the fact that not many users are keen to shift to the fintech modes as far as their financial transactions are concerned since they are apprehensive of the risks associated with such adoption, witnessing this paradigm shift in the pace at which industry is developing focussing on much saturated red ocean of retail banking and gradually making a shift towards payment systems, which seems to be an untapped blue ocean of opportunities.
The underpinning factors that govern the financial industry are KYC / AML and CFT together forming the basis for regulatory controls. Ethical transparent business knit together with service excellence, minimal risk, a strong regulatory framework in the competitive industry has given the incumbent banks an opportunity to partner, collaborate and codevelop with technology and consulting firms for collaborative innovation.
Technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain are capable of providing effective product suite to clients resulting in scalability of business.. On the other hand, robots replacing front end customer interface causes threat of redundancy to human capital and increase the training costs. As a result, many times an informal approach to collaboration tends to delay the outcome since the senior management looks at digitization in transaction banking as a profitable step and the middle management is hesitant of human redundancy, training etc which might cause delay.
Taken together, a probable explanation advocates that common goals of digitization in financial institutions are regulatory control, risk mitigation, increase in revenue and to meet dynamic customer expectations by co-developing with external partners to gain competitive advantage. This adoption may further lead to higher cohesiveness in departments, improved value chain and reduced turnaround time with higher resolution quality.
The digital transformation is capable of reducing the operational costs and overheads leading to increased profits, improved efficiency, better regulatory controls with less risks and collaborative opportunities for partners taking benefit of its tech talent to reach desired results.
Anikina, I.D., Gukova, V.A., Golodova, A.A. and Chekalkina, A.A. 2016. Methodological Aspects of Prioritization of Financial Tools for Stimulation of Innovative Activities. European Research Studies Journal, 19(2), 100-112.
Boston Consulting Group 2018, Three Keys to successful digitization in Transaction Banking, Boston Consulting Group, pp1-2
Botta, et.al.,2016. Technology innovations driving change in transaction banking. [Online] Accessed on March 11, 2018 Available at:https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/technology-innovations-driving-change-in-transaction-banking
Capegemini & LinkedIn, 2018, World Fintech Report, p. 9-10
Hammond, Alex, August 2017, How banks are getting the digitization of core banking wrong, pp 1-8, [Online] [Accessed on April 02, 2018] Available at:https://www.bobsguide.com/guide/news/2017/Aug/23/how-banks-are-getting-the-digitisation-of-core-banking-wrong/
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Markovitch, Shahar & Wilcott, Paul, May 2014, Accelerating the digitization of business processes, Digital McKinsey, McKinsey & Company, pp 1-5
Mehrotra, Mohit, 2014, Digital Transaction Banking: Opportunities & Challenges, Deloitte Consulting Pte Ltd., pp 1-22
Olanrewaju, Tunde, July 2014, The rise of the digital bank, Digital McKinsey, McKinsey & Company, pp 1-5
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Article | April 15, 2020
The 21st century doesn’t fail to surprise human society with its innovation. Blockchain is going as a part of mainstream business operations and it's impossible to keep FinTech unaffected.
As the new universality of the twenty-first century, technological advancements have now unquestionably seeped into the workflow structure across multiple industries and are an indispensable element of varied business processes. Assignments that once needed human hands, bulky machines, and physical currencies have now been efficiently digitized. Mobility, cloud services, and consumers who have grown up in the digital age are forcing a CHANGE.
Technology has been the core of a number of disruptive trends in financial services and it is a driver behind three key themes; the first being convergence of other industries into financial services that is frankly leveraging data and technology, the second is wholesale sort of interruption or disruption of business models and new entrants entering into the competitive landscape and certainly last is a much more transformative journey and that is the leveraging of things like Blockchain Technology, which is completely going to change the financial services ecosystem and marketplace in 2020.
Anyone with an internet connection can now engage in day-to-day banking activities, trading and investment in the stock market, widen e-commerce platforms, make online payments, exchange currency online, undertake equity funding, and more. Similarly, new players are now experimenting in different areas of financial activity such as banking, payments, peer-to-peer lending, wealth management, and more.
FinTech itself is at the cusp of the renovation as if there was a need. That flux of change is coming from the headwinds of Blockchain swinging its wings. Its stagnant style of doing business is apparent to all. What needs to be examined though, in this distinct phenomenon is the contribution of Blockchain which has enhanced this progressive revolution.
Table of Contents
•Why use Blockchain for Fintech?
•How is it currently managed?
•How big is the impact of Blockchain in FinTech?
•Blockchain for Global Payments/Cross-Border Transfers
•Blockchain in Trading and Trade Finance
•Blockchain in e-KYC Utilities
•for Credit Scoring
•Conclusion (All in all)
Why use Blockchain for Fintech?
When we talk about FinTech, or technology for finance, we are going to touch a very delicate aspect. We are in 2020 and banks still demand people to send them a fax with their information, because regulators that are there are not catching up with the technology. So Blockchain for FinTech is a very powerful tool. But until the regulators don’t allow it to be deployed in full, recognizing digital signature, recognizing a contract, a time stamp by blocks in a blockchain is going to be hard.
How is it currently managed?
Let’s understand this with an example - payment with a credit card. Before the payment with a credit card arrives in our bank account, there are 12 companies with 12 databases. They bring the data one to the other before it arrives to the bank account. With the blockchain, it’s up in a single transaction. So in many cases for remittance and for rebalancing accounts, even between branches of a single bank, a blockchain solution allows to remove error in transaction. There are banks that have branches in different time zones. At the end of the month, one time zone branch writes the transaction in the previous month, the headquarters writes the transaction in the next month. And when the month goes to level, it creates a lot of confusion. The accounting system based on blockchain technology will guarantee that all is aligned perfectly.
How big is the impact of Blockchain in FinTech?
Blockchain surely is born for fintech and is already bringing quite a lot of interest. The reaction of the financial industry is being very positive, one of adoption. When the financial board saw blockchain, rather than getting scared, they started adopting the technology for their own good. In fintech, blockchain is making a big influence to start with.
According to a survey on the financial services sector and fintech conducted by PwC, around 77% of the financial services industry plan on adopting blockchain by 2020. Banks being 1/3rd of the institutions surveyed have shown an inclination in incorporating blockchain in their operations as was reported by a study published by Accenture and McLagan (January 2017) that made mention of at least eight of the ten biggest global investment banks comprising the blockchain route.
Blockchain for Global Payments/Cross-Border Transfers
Blockchain-powered payments are hyper-secure and private. Each user has personal cryptocurrency keys that they can use to conduct transactions safely. The blockchain ensures that only participants involved in a particular transaction know the details of this transaction. Any changes to the transaction are possible only with the consent of all participants.
Learn more: https://capital.report/blogs/tracking-the-future-of-cross-border-payments-with-ai-ml-and-blockchain/8124
As per Deloitte, blockchain-based payments from business-to-business and peer-to-peer results in 40% - 80% reduced transaction costs. They’re also settled within seconds. Yes, it would be a paradigm shift but as per a projection by Mckinsey & Co. blockchain could drive $50 - $60 Billion in transcontinental B2B and $3 - $5 Billion in P2P payments respectively.
A blockchain records and validates every transaction and administers transactions in a way that no one can tamper with or delete them post-execution. FinTech companies such as Aeternity leverage this advantage of the blockchain to protect payments.
Another benefit of blockchain is that it eradicates the need for a mediator to handle financial services like money transfers. This is a huge relief for businesses that provide peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions.
Learn more: https://rubygarage.org/blog/how-blockchain-works#article_title_1
Blockchain in Trading and Trade Finance
The trade financing field requires lots of tedious paperwork and bureaucracy. Stock and share purchases have to pass through brokers, exchanges, clearing, and settlement. Shipping, for example, requires client-side etiquettes like lading bills, invoices, and the letter of credit. Each transaction is typically completed within three days. Yet transactions can be delayed when trading transpires over the weekends.
The blockchain technology can release traders from troublesome checks of counterparties and optimize the complete lifecycle of a trade. Using a blockchain, companies can intensify trade accuracy, speed up the settlement process, and reduce contingencies.
Ornua and Barclays completed the world’s first blockchain trade transactions in 2016, employing four hours rather than a week on a letter of credit — a document guaranteeing the export of $100,000 worth of agricultural products. IBM & Maersk collaborated for a global trade platform to attain scalable solutions of Blockchain in Fintech. Furthermore, Forbes released its report of Top 50 Billion-Dollar companies who’re exploring the scope of implementing blockchain solutions.
Learn more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeldelcastillo/2019/04/16/blockchain-50-billion-dollar-babies/#3d2cf7be57cc
Blockchain in e-KYC Utilities
Identity can be undoubtedly established by government-issued documents such as driver‘s licenses, social security cards or passports, etc. Establishing identity through KYC verification is a lengthy procedure.
While exploring the bank-driven approach to KYC customer record sharing, there is always a debate around centralized versus decentralized approaches.
According to Niall Twomey, Chief Technical Officer, Fenergo, The centralized model offered centralized KYC utilities, controlled by a single entity. The main proponents and vendors behind these models at the time were incumbents with huge data resources and reach, which makes sense when it comes to creating a KYC utility. However, each utility had separate financial institution members, meaning that the overlap of customers and the ability to re-use customer information between them was seriously diluted. This was a key showstopper for utilities at the time. This led to a shift towards a decentralized model, where control is shared and participants coordinate with each other without going through a single intermediary.
Blockchain is a form of distributed ledger technology, having a specific technological foundation and cryptographic features that enable the storage of data in an immutable (unchangeable) ledger of ‘blocks’ of records. The blocks of records are linked in groups or a ‘chain’, which are maintained by a decentralized network, where all records are approved by consensus. It can build trust between financial institutions as it is auditable, and can help streamline the attestation process; ensuring clients are in charge of their own personally identifiable data.
The use of blockchain, currently best known as the foundational technology for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, could overcome inefficiencies and duplication of effort in KYC information gathering between legal entities within a more comprehensive financial corporation or even between competing banks.
The blockchain offers a digital identity system. Using this system, clients need to go through validation just once and can then use this verified identity document to conduct transactions all over the world. A blockchain allows clients to
• Manage their personal identity data and reputation;
• Share their data with others without safety concerns;
• Log in to digital services without passwords;
• Digitally sign any type of documents, such as claims and transactions.
for Credit Scoring
FinTech companies are widely using blockchain to cater to the unbanked population lacking CIBIL score and helping them get credit. Apart from the unbanked and underbanked, two more groups of consumers — credit invisible and unscorable — lack banking services. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) shows that one in ten adults in the USA don’t have any credit history, and 19 million Americans have unscored credit records.
Unscorable consumers mean people who have credit records at least in one credit reference agency but the data is too out-of-date to generate a reliable score. Consequently, millions of people are deprived of loans, mortgages, the ability to rent apartments, and more.
Traditional banks and lenders approve loans based on a system of credit reporting. Blockchain technology unlocks the possibility of peer-to-peer loans, complex programmed loans that can approximate a mortgage or syndicated loan structure, and a faster and more secure loan process in general.
When you apply for a bank loan, the bank evaluates the risk involved. They do this by looking at factors like your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and homeownership status. This centralized system is often unfriendly to consumers. The Federal Trade Commission concludes that one in five Americans have a “potentially material error” in their credit score that negatively affects their ability to get a loan
Alternative lending using blockchain technology offers a cheaper, more efficient, and more secure way of making personal loans to a broader pool of consumers. With a cryptographically secure, decentralized registry of historical payments, consumers could apply for loans based on a global credit score.
All in all
In fintech, blockchain finds application in areas like digital ID, customer authentication, insurance, to name a few. Blockchain practitioners are experimenting with this technology to bring out new use cases and applications to solve the repetitive and complicated issues in the fintech industry.
Blockchain in fintech is anticipated to reach $6,700 million by 2023 in the United States. Financial institutions will use blockchain for smart contracts, digital payments, identity management, and trading shares. The blockchain sector in fintech has been intended to provide banking with a more seamless and efficient experience. We will soon see the process of cash to crypto and vice versa to become ubiquitous.
Blockchain technology has tremendous potential to deliver excellence in core areas of banking and financial institutions’ business model. But to succeed in implementing blockchain, financial institutions should collaborate with the ecosystem before they launch blockchain solutions.