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26 July 2017

As a financial technology broker, we have the privilege of operating in the heart of the financial technology eco-system. From this position we observe a quite odd but stunning anomaly within financial institutions.

Every single day in the financial press we read about financial institutions investing vast amounts of money in emerging technologies such as Blockchain or Artificial “Intelligence”. The relationships with the sexy Fintech start-ups are managed by dedicated innovation teams, after all who doesn’t want to feature on a photograph with the next cool Unicorn CEO? The applicability in the day-to-day business is not entirely clear (yet) but who cares. This is the place where the future is made today.

Every time we meet with heads of business and compliance within the same financial firms, we are confronted with people who work under an enormous time pressure to make their systems, processes and procedures ready for compliance with the endless chain of new regulations and with the business breathing down their necks to make them more efficient and cost less.

An army of highly skilled people are programming, coding, finding, collecting, federalizing and cleansing data. Others are working on creating analytics and reports. The image of Monty Python’s “The Crimson Permanent Assurance” comes spontaneously to mind. In the meantime the core tasks such as facilitating financial transactions need to be permanently fulfilled. Any system or application failure can cause a major crisis both from a business and compliance perspective.

The obvious anomaly I referred to in the introduction is the huge open field between legacy technology which today forms the core of most financial firms, and the so-called disruptive technology that is expected to become the core in the future. That open field remains as good as unexplored and neglected by senior management teams. The technologies in this particular field are mostly mature and have a track record of stability and performance. They have been developed not to be disruptive in terms of existing business models and processes, but to bring them to the next level through complementary and low impact approaches .

Innovation teams are not concerned with the "mid-field" technologies, because they are only looking for the next ‘big sexy thing’ that will replace what has been in place for many years.

The business/operational teams don't have time to properly assess and try available solutions because they are busy working on acute issues (many of which could be solved by those mid-field technologies).

Real “obvious” quick wins at relatively low cost are ignored or in the best case scenario put aside in favor of seemingly more urgent matters.

Dear senior business managers,

In today's financial world, with enormous regulatory and operational challenges, please be aware that there are technologies on the market place that are NOT disruptive to your business but form a complementary key to enhance your today’s business across all of compliance, regulations and customer excellence in a timely, highly risk averse fashion all with the human and technical resources you already have today!

Insight Details

Topic
Compliance & Regulation, Data Management, FinTech, Infrastructure & IT, Payments, Retail Banking, Trading, Transaction Banking
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