Big Data to play an essential role in the 2020’s fintech revolution

Capital Report | June 01, 2020

  • While it is a cliche to observe that data is the gold of the 21st century, few have considered the role of processing in this metaphor: raw data must be processed to become precious.

  • At the scale of most businesses, the volume of data is too great for humans to handle, so we must turn to data science.

  • Nascent big data technologies such as machine learning have already been applied in fintech.


Bassim Haidar, Founder & CEO, of Channel VAS discusses Big Data and the fintech. While it is a cliché to observe that data is the gold of the 21st century, few have considered the role of processing in this metaphor: raw data must be processed to become precious.

At the scale of most businesses, the volume of data is too great for humans to handle, so we must turn to data science.

This is especially true in today’s current situation as more people turn to technology to stay connected and keep their businesses afloat. Big data processing allows companies to complete complex tasks like risk assessment, providing financial access to groups of people who were previously inaccessible.

Read more: Welcome Technologies in Partnership with Green Dot Corporation Launches Digital Banking Services for U.S. Immigrants

Nascent big data technologies such as machine learning have already been applied in fintech.

At Channel VAS, we apply big data processing techniques to our micro- and nano-finance solutions and enable lenders to provide credit to the underbanked at greatly reduced costs.

Such techniques are still in their infancy, but as they continue to advance over the coming decade they will further empower fintech firms to serve new customers, especially in the developing world, and leave an indelible mark on the global financial landscape.

Big data as a key enabler of financial services innovation

Big data has revolutionised value generation for the financial services industry.


Providers constantly strive to innovate and improve their tools, services and offerings to enhance customer loyalty and surpass their competitors.

In this struggle, big data and machine learning are key. They allow fintech companies to complete the typically protracted and expensive tasks of credit risk scoring and assessments faster and more affordably.

The continued evolution of big data

Big data’s utility will grow concurrent with the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT), progressing mobile technology, and more advanced authentication techniques.

Fintech companies will, therefore, continue to focus on the accumulation and processing of data by actively investing in data science departments.


For instance, at Channel VAS, we rely on big data to develop the proprietary analytic tools and credit scoring algorithms which form the foundation of our business. Such developments have generated new lending possibilities for previously underbanked and underserved audiences.

Overcoming regulatory hurdles

For big data to truly realise its immense potential, however, a drastic shift in the regulatory framework is required. Regulators still seem stuck in an outdated mentality that prevents them from unlocking big data’s true possibilities.

The pandemic has revealed the importance of a robust digital financial system, particularly in emerging markets.

To make this the decade where the unbanked move online, regulators must develop a centralised database by consolidating and centralising data from other regulatory parties such as financial institutions, insurers, telephone companies, aggregators, and payment services.

Read more: EPAM Team Up with Fnality to Develop Next-Generation Blockchain-Based Payment Systems

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VSoft’s IRIS Digital Banking Platform streamlines multiple banking channels under a single access point. IRIS allows account holders to easily conduct transactional and non-transactional tasks using the device of their choice.


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FINTECH

Quint Group joins growing tech community at Alderley Park’s Glasshouse

Quint | June 01, 2021

Global fintech Quint Group is set to join Bruntwood SciTech’s rapidly growing tech community at Glasshouse, Alderley Park. Quint owns and operates a number of fintech businesses which are focused on improving access to credit. The business, which, as well as in the UK, has operations in San Diego, Warsaw, Foshan, Sydney and Cape Town and clients that include major financial services providers like Goldman Sachs, Shawbrook Bank and Admiral, will move its HQ to Glasshouse to support its ongoing growth. Established in 2009, Quint Group is part of the UK’s fast growing fintech sector, which contributes over £11bn to the economy per year. Greater Manchester, was recently named the largest regional fintech ecosystem by Whitecap consulting, with over 150 firms employing over 8,000 people. Quint has taken close to 12,000 sq ft of office space at Glasshouse, which is home to businesses specialising in AI, digital health, life sciences, and software development, and digital communications and animation including Lokulus, Regit and Currentbody. Quint will join Bruntwood SciTech’s community of over 500 science and tech businesses across the UK, including those in other fintech hotspots in Leeds and Birmingham. This includes access to business support and community programmes that help firms to find talent, collaborate and enter new markets. Alderley Park is also home to many amenities, including a gym, 400 acres of scenic woodland offering walking, running and cycling routes, coffee shops and a newly opened pub and restaurant, The Churchill Tree. Mike Ransom, Quint Group managing director, said: “For over a decade, and despite a challenging 2020, Quint Group has successfully gone from strength to strength and our old office no longer suited our need for a more flexible and collaborative workspace. After a careful review process, we selected Glasshouse at Alderley Park for our new UK HQ. “Innovation is what powers our business and so becoming part of an ecosystem of like-minded businesses at Alderley Park will be great for us. And on a more tangible level, it’s a beautiful environment with brilliant amenities that will mean our team is excited about coming into the office.” Kath Mackay, managing director of Bruntwood SciTech – Alderley Park, said: “Glasshouse has been specifically designed for digital and tech businesses, providing space to collaborate, network and grow. It’s the perfect place for Quint to kick start its ambitious growth plans. “To see a business such as Quint relocate from Macclesfield to Alderley Park is a real endorsement of the community we’ve created here, with co-location playing a major part in their decision to move. It’s also a sign of the strength of the wider fintech ecosystem in Greater Manchester and its growing contribution to the UK’s global reputation.” Greg Cox, founder & CEO of Quint Group, added: “Our move to Glasshouse allows us to provide a world class working environment for our fantastic staff in a space that represents where we are and where we are going as a business. I see our move as the start of an exciting new chapter in our growth story.” Since it was established, Quint has won numerous awards including The Queen’s Award for Enterprise, recognising its growth and international reputation and regularly appears in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies To Work for list. Hallams Property Consultants advised Bruntwood SciTech on the letting. Hallams, Colliers and OBI are agents on Glasshouse.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Global Business Spend Indicator, New Survey By American Express, Shows U.S. Businesses Have Bullish Outlook on B2B Spending

American Express | June 01, 2021

Survey indicates that U.S. spending is on the rise across nine key business-to-business (B2B) categories. U.S. survey respondents cited that raw or processed materials, such as lumber, metals, and chemicals, are outpacing all other B2B spending categories. Automation is anticipated to be the fastest-growing area in technology spending, with nearly half of U.S. survey respondents planning to automate or further automate their B2B payments over the next year1. Flexibility is key for the U.S. businesses surveyed, which are adapting their supply chains due to pandemic challenges. New York, June 1, 2021 – American Express today launched the Global Business Spend Indicator (GBSI), a new survey of global businesses conducted with the Centre for Business and Economic Research (CEBR)². The survey reveals U.S. businesses are the most bullish and optimistic when it comes to B2B spending among the six countries covered in the survey, with 76% of U.S. businesses expressing optimism about their prospects over the next 12 months. Respondents predicted that B2B spending in the U.S. will be an average of 3.4% higher in the second quarter compared to the same period last year. Applying that projection from the survey respondents to broader U.S. macroeconomic data would equate to an estimated $140 billion in additional B2B spending from U.S. businesses³. “B2B spending is an important bellwether for the overall health of the economy, and the GBSI study shows U.S. businesses are investing and spending more, whether to adopt to the new ways of operating during the pandemic, or to digitize and streamline their operations,” said Dean Henry, EVP, Global Commercial Services at American Express. “It also reveals that some of the trends that have emerged or accelerated during the pandemic, such as payments automation and new approaches to managing the supply chain, are likely here to stay.” CEBR estimates that the value of B2B expenditures each year amounts to nearly half (48%) of gross output (the total value of sales or receipts) in the U.S. economy. This means that for each dollar spent in the U.S. economy, approximately 48 cents are B2B transactions. The GBSI is designed to explore the importance of business spending in both the global and local economies based on a survey of more than 3,600 businesses of all sizes and across industries in the UK, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, and the U.S. For this report, B2B spend is classified as goods and services that a business purchases from another business to keep their business running. The survey looked at nine B2B spending categories, and three additional categories of taxes, people / workforce, and travel, entertainment and expenses, for a robust look at the dynamics and impact of overall business spending. Raw or Processed Materials Top B2B Spend Categories U.S. businesses surveyed reported that they have increased their overall B2B spending across all the core categories since the start of the year. The highest growth rates were in spending on raw or processed materials such as lumber, metals, and chemicals, which rose by an average of 6.2% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, according to survey respondents. This would equate to an estimated $37 billion in additional spend when applied to U.S. macroeconomic data, most likely due to rising prices of raw materials after the onset of the pandemic. This trend is expected to continue, with the U.S. businesses surveyed anticipating another 6.4% rise in spending in this category from Q2 2021 over the prior quarter. U.S. Businesses Lead in Payments Automation, with Plans to Continue Investing in the Year Ahead Within the technology spending category, automation is the fastest anticipated growth area among the U.S. businesses surveyed. While many businesses have already been digitizing their B2B payments over the past few years, the pandemic helped accelerate this trend more broadly. The GBSI found that, of the six surveyed countries, U.S. businesses have the highest level of automation across most business functions, including with purchasing / procurement, payroll, paying suppliers, supplier analysis, and syncing payments to the existing ledger. In fact, nearly half of U.S. businesses surveyed said they are mostly or fully automating the making (48%) and receiving (51%) of payments from business customers. In addition, there is more opportunity ahead as nearly half (46%) plan to automate or further automate each of these functions over the next 12 months. With more automation, U.S. businesses may vastly reduce their reliance on manual payment methods – like writing and sending physical checks – which are still prevalent, with 33% of U.S. business spend currently using physical payment methods, according to the businesses surveyed. On the whole, technology spending by U.S. businesses surveyed rose by an average of 4.1% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, equating to an estimated $25 billion in additional spend when applied to U.S. macroeconomic data, likely driven by the rapid digitization of businesses such as e-commerce capabilities or website enhancements. Nearly a quarter (22%) of U.S. businesses surveyed list increasing their online presence among their top three goals and 39% expect to expand their use of virtual cards over the next 12 months. U.S. Businesses Prioritize Streamlined and Flexible Supply Chain Relationships For many businesses, the experiences during the pandemic highlighted ways to streamline and seek more flexible ways to manage their supply chains and operating practices. Over the last 12 months, 23% of U.S. businesses surveyed took steps to simplify their network of suppliers, 23% reduced or avoided long-term commitments to purchase from specific suppliers, and 22% chose suppliers with more flexible payment terms. Looking Ahead Over the next 12 months, U.S. businesses in the survey cite increasing profitability (34%), securing new business or bringing on new customers (32%), and remaining competitive (31%) as being among their three most important goals. CONTACTS: AMERICAN EXPRESS Melissa Filipek melissa.j.filipek@aexp.com Felicia Macdonald felicia.m.macdonald@aexp.com

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FINTECH

IBM and EY Build Centre of Excellence to Help FIs Transition to the Cloud

IBM, EY | May 10, 2021

IBM and EY have joined forces to create a centre of excellence dedicated to helping financial institutions accelerate their digital transformations with hybrid cloud solutions. The majority of banking and financial services organisations have yet to deploy core systems to the cloud due because of the huge complexity and concerns over security, risk, governance and control. According to a 2020 IBM survey, while 91% of financial institutions are actively using cloud services today or plan to in the next nine months, on average only nine per cent of their mission-critical regulated banking workloads have shifted to a public cloud environment. The centralised virtual hub aims to change this, housing offerings in areas like regulatory compliance, digital trust, and security to help clients use the cloud at scale. Available on IBM Cloud for Financial Services and built with Red Hat OpenShift, the hybrid cloud solutions leverage IBM technology and EY teams’ experience working with financial institutions. Howard Boville, head, IBM Hybrid Cloud Platform, says: "As part of the Centre for Excellence, we’re helping financial institutions modernize their systems by integrating EY industry and regulatory experience with IBM’s open hybrid cloud and cognitive technologies, to ultimately fuel customer digital transformation."

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PAYMENTS

Data Mynt Payment Processing Platform Now Supports Bitcoin Payments

Data Mynt | April 06, 2022

Data Mynt, a leading provider of simple, stable cryptocurrency payment products, now enables payments over the Bitcoin network, which already supports roughly 225,000 transactions per day and $30 billion USD dollar equivalent volume per day worldwide (as of publishing). Now the Data Mynt payment processing platform enables payments from any wallet and asset across the $2 trillion combined market cap (as of publishing) available to make a payment over the Bitcoin, Ethereum Mainnet and Polygon networks. The Data Mynt payment processing solution enables merchants and enterprises to expand their payment options for their customers and partners. At the same time, it reduces payment processing costs and eliminates frictions such as chargebacks and crypto price volatility. As a payment processor, it only makes sense for us to enable our merchants and partners to accept what the world already accepts—the biggest cryptocurrency, Almost one-quarter of the US population owns Bitcoin. Many other countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, UAE, Singapore, Israel, India, Mexico, and South Africa have even higher adoption rates. Data Mynt merchants can feel good knowing they offer these Bitcoin owners another payment option." Data Mynt CEO Alex Christian. About Data Mynt Data Mynt is a leading crypto payment processor. Its wallet, asset and blockchain-agnostic suite of solutions offer partners and merchants an omnichannel approach to accepting on-chain crypto payments free from volatility and the risks and costs of traditional payment methods. The Data Mynt payment platform is also designed to streamline implementation delivering a seamless customer experience.

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VSoft’s IRIS Digital Banking Platform streamlines multiple banking channels under a single access point. IRIS allows account holders to easily conduct transactional and non-transactional tasks using the device of their choice.

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