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Fintech Movers & Shakers – Vizor Software appoints Dermot McCann as Head of Regulatory Reporting for APAC

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Vizor Software have appointed Dermot McCann as Head of Regulatory Reporting, as part of the company’s strategy to support the increased demand for its regulatory reporting solutions for the APAC region.  Dermot is based in Sydney, representing part of the Vizor leadership team with responsibility for customer engagement, growth and partnerships in the region.

Dermot joins Vizor as the former Co-Founder and CEO APAC at Priviti, a global RegTech company that specialises in consent for data sharing.  Previously Dermot has held senior executive roles with Optus, Kaseya and IBM, is the former chair of the AIIA Financial Services group, holds a Master’s Degree in Business and Technology from University of New South Wales and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

‘’I’m delighted to join Vizor at such a pivotal time for the company and the industry.  With the increasing volume of regulatory change and granular data requirements, financial institutions need a new way to respond.  Vizor is the industry leading provider of financial regulatory reporting solutions and their commitment and success over the past 20 years is a testament to a fantastic dedicated team with a clear vision and I’m excited to join them.  Our focus in the region will be to expand on our existing relationships with regulatory bodies including APRA and MAS and bring the benefits of that experience to all regulated entities across banking, insurance and superannuation.’’ Dermot said about his new appointment.

In his new role, Dermot will lead an experienced team of Regulatory Reporting specialists and technology experts. ‘’I’m excited to have Dermot on board as an outstanding leader who can accelerate our growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Dermot’s breadth of experience in the financial services industry and engagement in the RegTech ecosystem complements our local team and partners working to deliver APRA Connect.‘’, commented Joanne Horgan, Vizor’s Chief Innovation Officer. ‘’This appointment reflects our commitment to digitalise and increase efficiency between regulators and regulated entities.’’

Source: https://australianfintech.com.au/fintech-movers-shakers-vizor-software-appoints-dermot-mccann-as-head-of-regulatory-reporting-for-apac/

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London based Fintech Finastra Partners with Be | Shaping the Future to Offer Managed Services

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Finastra, a financial services software and Cloud-enabled solutions provider, has decided to extend its partnership with Be | Shaping the Future, a global group offering consulting, IT and digital engagement services to the financial services sector.

The partnership extension should see Be offering managed services – via its Germany-headquartered division Be | Shaping the Future GmbH – for Finastra’s treasury and capital markets software (Fusion Kondor and Fusion Risk) deployed in the Cloud across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (DACH).

The partnership between Finastra and Be should result in growth in market share while providing greater value to new and existing clients. It also includes the launch of Finastra solutions in a Cloud-enabled environment,  along with flexible managed services.

Financial institutions may potentially be able to lower their operating costs by as much as 75% and adapt to market challenges a lot faster by reducing implementation and development lifecycles by around 50%.

Rüdiger Borsutzki, MD at Be | Shaping the Future GmbH, stated:

“Our team brings deep domain knowledge of the investment and commercial banking markets and a can-do attitude with a commitment that supports our clients’ pace and culture. We pride ourselves for our access to a superior network, expertise and experience aimed at driving collaboration and growth for the wider ecosystem. Our work with Finastra is well aligned with this vision and we’re looking forward to delivering on this evolution of our partnership.”

With a strong local presence – which spans the DACH region – and a client-centric approach, Be | Shaping the Future GmbH will offer 24/7 support in order to make sure financial service providers have the support they need while conducting business.

Denise Parker, SVP, Partners and Ecosystem at Finastra remarked:

“We are excited to extend our long-standing partnership with Be. We’ve worked together for many years and are confident that their successful track record in supporting our customers will continue. This move will help us to deliver our treasury and capital markets solutions across DACH quickly in the cloud, with 24/7 support on the ground.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/05/175155-london-based-fintech-finastra-partners-with-be-shaping-the-future-to-offer-managed-services/

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The four biggest challenges facing the payments industry right now

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We all know that 2020 was an unusual and challenging year for everyone and as much as we would have all wished that things could have gone back to normal the second the clock struck midnight on the 31 December, that has unfortunately not been the case. Most industries and businesses continue to face a number of challenges, some carried over from last year and others new to 2021. The payments industry is no exception to this. In difficult times it is even more important to understand our key challenges, so we are able to manage and overcome them.

To support that end, from my own experiences through 2020 and in 2021 so far, I have outlined the four biggest challenges I see for the payments industry and my thoughts on how to approach them.

Uncertainty

The biggest challenge facing payment providers this year is the continuing and over-riding state of uncertainty in the short term, but also for the medium to longer term. This isn’t limited to fintech and payments either, the past 12 months have been difficult for businesses in most sectors. This especially causes a problem for businesses as to how they manage the immediate and short-term challenges they are facing, while at the same time retaining focus on their medium- and longer-term planning and strategy.

Making decisions that protect the business in the short term and to adapt to the current situation can often be at odds with longer term goals. Increased uncertainty around for example, changes in customer behaviour and preferences, rules and regulations, and the economic outlook, adds a further layer of complexity for payments businesses in making strategic decisions.

Moreover, it would seem the current state of uncertainty may persist for some time. This combined with us being to a greater extent in ‘unchartered waters’ makes it even harder to forecast the future. With the struggles that COVID-19 has brought upon us, customer shopping behaviour has been forced to change and organisations have had to work hard to keep up with changing demands and requirements.

This has led to many businesses having to completely rethink their plans for the year and change much of their existing business model, which in turn has a knock-on effect to their business partners such as payment providers. Uncertainty as to whether the shift in customer preferences reflects a permanent change, or whether they will revert back to ‘normal’, once the pandemic is over, adds further difficulty in maintaining a balance between pursuing short-term initiatives and long-term initiatives – and deciding which of those to pursue. The past is not a reliable indicator of the future is probably now an even truer statement than ever. 

Uncertainty does however bring opportunity, and it is often challenges and uncertainty which drive forward leaps in innovation too. Businesses need to remain proactive in these times by staying up to date with industry developments, emerging customer trends and having a close eye on any new opportunities that may arise.

A business that manages to remain focused on its medium- and longer-term goals as well as its short-term challenges and which can remain nimble and flexible in its responses to the current uncertainty, has the best chances to be able to spot and take advantage of opportunities quickly. To do this, businesses need to keep their operations constantly under review and make changes decisively to adapt to the current climate as they push forward with their plans and development.

Regulation

Regulations are also likely to see a further overhaul in 2021. Following on from the ongoing legacy of the Wirecard scandal, regulators worldwide will certainly want to avoid any similar high profile and catastrophic collapses happening within the payments industry again. As a result, regulators are likely to introduce tougher and stricter regulations to keep customer funds safe and to protect the wider financial system.

Most of us would recognise that regulations are a good and necessary thing for the industry but changes in regulation can often present a challenge from a business perspective. This challenge can present itself through assessing the new requirements, through to deploying them and the potential additional time and resources required to ensuring ongoing compliance is achieved and maintained.

Key to successfully ensuring compliance with current regulatory requirements and making changes to meet changes in regulation, is to ensure the requirements are fully understood by the business. Where there is any doubt, it is always worthwhile seeking external advice which can help the business make the required changes and ensure compliance more quickly and can often be more cost effective in the long run.

It is also worthwhile receiving the regular update bulletins from regulators, which can help the business anticipate when new regulations will be announced and can help in understanding the updated requirements and what is required for the business to remain compliant.

Overall, there is a need for business to maintain investment in its compliance function to ensure this is fit-for-purpose and is effective in ensuring ongoing compliance with all current and emerging regulatory requirements. 

Fraud

Fraud remains a key challenge facing the payment industry, as well as an issue which can have a significant impact on both businesses more broadly and end consumers. Financial crime has seen an increasing trend in recent years and is one that is constantly evolving as criminals continue to get more sophisticated and more inventive with their approaches. In parallel new fraud prevention and detection methods and techniques have been developed and deployed. But this is a constantly changing game, with criminals adopting new strategies and the payment industry and other financial institutions deploying increasingly sophisticated techniques to stop them.

COVID-19 has created some degree of additional risk of fraud, thanks to an increase in online shopping including shoppers who have never previously shopped online in the past and are perhaps less familiar will some of the more obvious signs to be wary of. Criminals are all too aware of this and are happy to use this situation to their advantage.

Unfortunately, there is currently no way to full eradicate the risk of fraud. Payment providers continue to develop more sophisticated fraud prevention and detection tools to reduce the incidence. AI and other automated tools offer increasing levels of fraud detection – but at the same time criminals are also using new and more sophisticated techniques to try to avoid detection.

The best way to win in the battle against cybercrime and fraud is to ensure that all businesses have robust and effective controls in place, whether these are around access to data, protection of physical assets such as laptops, or measures to prevent unauthorised access to the business’s IT network and system. This is particularly important for any business that holds customer personal data or payment card information, where the business must ensure this data is fully protected to remain compliant with regulations and to avoid the risk of a costly and reputationally damaging breach.

Brexit

The fourth challenge for the payments industry, and for services industries more broadly, has been Brexit. This has been a cause of uncertainty since the outcome of the vote in 2016, not just for businesses operating in, or trading with, the UK but for the country in general. A big fear for many working in the financial services industry was a no deal Brexit along with a loss of access to the European Economic Area (EEA) “passport” for financial institutions based and regulated in the UK.

While the agreement of a trade deal is in my view a better outcome than a ‘no deal’ Brexit, it is disappointing that this did not extend to providing any real certainty for the financial services industry, other than a loss of ‘passporting rights’ and only a verbal agreement at the time the deal was announced that the EU and UK government would continue discussions in 2021 around some form of ‘Equivalence’.

The current situation therefore creates ongoing additional complexity, cost and operational effort for many financial services firms – in addition to the huge industry cost and effort of preparing for the risk of a loss of passporting rights over the past 4 years. While the UK has extended ongoing rights to EU-based firms to operate in the UK, these rights have not so far been extended by the EU to UK-based firms.

Financial services companies along with industry bodies continue to lobby for UK firms who are FCA regulated to be able to operate EEA markets, as they did previously. Currently though, it is unclear if, or when, the EU might extend these additional rights to UK-based firms. In the meantime, UK-regulated businesses have had to adopt alternative ways to work with their European partners and customers.

Clearly there is a hope that there would be movement going forward to allow UK-based and regulated firms to operate in the EU, and we are beginning to see steps towards this with the technology visa that was mentioned in the UK spring budget, but this will most definitely be a situation where we will need to wait and see.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.fintechnews.org/the-four-biggest-challenges-facing-the-payments-industry-right-now/

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Artificial Intelligence

The four biggest challenges facing the payments industry right now

Avatar

Published

on

We all know that 2020 was an unusual and challenging year for everyone and as much as we would have all wished that things could have gone back to normal the second the clock struck midnight on the 31 December, that has unfortunately not been the case. Most industries and businesses continue to face a number of challenges, some carried over from last year and others new to 2021. The payments industry is no exception to this. In difficult times it is even more important to understand our key challenges, so we are able to manage and overcome them.

To support that end, from my own experiences through 2020 and in 2021 so far, I have outlined the four biggest challenges I see for the payments industry and my thoughts on how to approach them.

Uncertainty

The biggest challenge facing payment providers this year is the continuing and over-riding state of uncertainty in the short term, but also for the medium to longer term. This isn’t limited to fintech and payments either, the past 12 months have been difficult for businesses in most sectors. This especially causes a problem for businesses as to how they manage the immediate and short-term challenges they are facing, while at the same time retaining focus on their medium- and longer-term planning and strategy.

Making decisions that protect the business in the short term and to adapt to the current situation can often be at odds with longer term goals. Increased uncertainty around for example, changes in customer behaviour and preferences, rules and regulations, and the economic outlook, adds a further layer of complexity for payments businesses in making strategic decisions.

Moreover, it would seem the current state of uncertainty may persist for some time. This combined with us being to a greater extent in ‘unchartered waters’ makes it even harder to forecast the future. With the struggles that COVID-19 has brought upon us, customer shopping behaviour has been forced to change and organisations have had to work hard to keep up with changing demands and requirements.

This has led to many businesses having to completely rethink their plans for the year and change much of their existing business model, which in turn has a knock-on effect to their business partners such as payment providers. Uncertainty as to whether the shift in customer preferences reflects a permanent change, or whether they will revert back to ‘normal’, once the pandemic is over, adds further difficulty in maintaining a balance between pursuing short-term initiatives and long-term initiatives – and deciding which of those to pursue. The past is not a reliable indicator of the future is probably now an even truer statement than ever. 

Uncertainty does however bring opportunity, and it is often challenges and uncertainty which drive forward leaps in innovation too. Businesses need to remain proactive in these times by staying up to date with industry developments, emerging customer trends and having a close eye on any new opportunities that may arise.

A business that manages to remain focused on its medium- and longer-term goals as well as its short-term challenges and which can remain nimble and flexible in its responses to the current uncertainty, has the best chances to be able to spot and take advantage of opportunities quickly. To do this, businesses need to keep their operations constantly under review and make changes decisively to adapt to the current climate as they push forward with their plans and development.

Regulation

Regulations are also likely to see a further overhaul in 2021. Following on from the ongoing legacy of the Wirecard scandal, regulators worldwide will certainly want to avoid any similar high profile and catastrophic collapses happening within the payments industry again. As a result, regulators are likely to introduce tougher and stricter regulations to keep customer funds safe and to protect the wider financial system.

Most of us would recognise that regulations are a good and necessary thing for the industry but changes in regulation can often present a challenge from a business perspective. This challenge can present itself through assessing the new requirements, through to deploying them and the potential additional time and resources required to ensuring ongoing compliance is achieved and maintained.

Key to successfully ensuring compliance with current regulatory requirements and making changes to meet changes in regulation, is to ensure the requirements are fully understood by the business. Where there is any doubt, it is always worthwhile seeking external advice which can help the business make the required changes and ensure compliance more quickly and can often be more cost effective in the long run.

It is also worthwhile receiving the regular update bulletins from regulators, which can help the business anticipate when new regulations will be announced and can help in understanding the updated requirements and what is required for the business to remain compliant.

Overall, there is a need for business to maintain investment in its compliance function to ensure this is fit-for-purpose and is effective in ensuring ongoing compliance with all current and emerging regulatory requirements. 

Fraud

Fraud remains a key challenge facing the payment industry, as well as an issue which can have a significant impact on both businesses more broadly and end consumers. Financial crime has seen an increasing trend in recent years and is one that is constantly evolving as criminals continue to get more sophisticated and more inventive with their approaches. In parallel new fraud prevention and detection methods and techniques have been developed and deployed. But this is a constantly changing game, with criminals adopting new strategies and the payment industry and other financial institutions deploying increasingly sophisticated techniques to stop them.

COVID-19 has created some degree of additional risk of fraud, thanks to an increase in online shopping including shoppers who have never previously shopped online in the past and are perhaps less familiar will some of the more obvious signs to be wary of. Criminals are all too aware of this and are happy to use this situation to their advantage.

Unfortunately, there is currently no way to full eradicate the risk of fraud. Payment providers continue to develop more sophisticated fraud prevention and detection tools to reduce the incidence. AI and other automated tools offer increasing levels of fraud detection – but at the same time criminals are also using new and more sophisticated techniques to try to avoid detection.

The best way to win in the battle against cybercrime and fraud is to ensure that all businesses have robust and effective controls in place, whether these are around access to data, protection of physical assets such as laptops, or measures to prevent unauthorised access to the business’s IT network and system. This is particularly important for any business that holds customer personal data or payment card information, where the business must ensure this data is fully protected to remain compliant with regulations and to avoid the risk of a costly and reputationally damaging breach.

Brexit

The fourth challenge for the payments industry, and for services industries more broadly, has been Brexit. This has been a cause of uncertainty since the outcome of the vote in 2016, not just for businesses operating in, or trading with, the UK but for the country in general. A big fear for many working in the financial services industry was a no deal Brexit along with a loss of access to the European Economic Area (EEA) “passport” for financial institutions based and regulated in the UK.

While the agreement of a trade deal is in my view a better outcome than a ‘no deal’ Brexit, it is disappointing that this did not extend to providing any real certainty for the financial services industry, other than a loss of ‘passporting rights’ and only a verbal agreement at the time the deal was announced that the EU and UK government would continue discussions in 2021 around some form of ‘Equivalence’.

The current situation therefore creates ongoing additional complexity, cost and operational effort for many financial services firms – in addition to the huge industry cost and effort of preparing for the risk of a loss of passporting rights over the past 4 years. While the UK has extended ongoing rights to EU-based firms to operate in the UK, these rights have not so far been extended by the EU to UK-based firms.

Financial services companies along with industry bodies continue to lobby for UK firms who are FCA regulated to be able to operate EEA markets, as they did previously. Currently though, it is unclear if, or when, the EU might extend these additional rights to UK-based firms. In the meantime, UK-regulated businesses have had to adopt alternative ways to work with their European partners and customers.

Clearly there is a hope that there would be movement going forward to allow UK-based and regulated firms to operate in the EU, and we are beginning to see steps towards this with the technology visa that was mentioned in the UK spring budget, but this will most definitely be a situation where we will need to wait and see.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.fintechnews.org/the-four-biggest-challenges-facing-the-payments-industry-right-now/

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Machine Learning enabled Insig AI, which Serves Asset Managers, Lists on AIM London Stock Exchange

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Insig AI, an AI and machine learning firm serving the asset management sector, has officially introduced its services (May 10, 2021), after the company’s listing on the AIM London Stock Exchange.

Insig AI is a data science and machine learning (ML) solutions provider that offers various web-based apps, sophisticated analytical software, and advanced tech infrastructure so that machine learning algorithms become more accessible to investors.

The Insig AI product suite has been developed to streamline a fund manager’s data infrastructure and enhance their ML capabilities in order to provide actionable and measurable results.

Insig AI has created a range of “out of the box” products that enable investors by allowing them to interact with, and experience their data in a manner they’ve never done before.

The products include:

  • Insig Portfolio – a multi-asset data-science and ML platform developed to improve investment strategies and enable portfolio interrogation and performance attribution while offering actionable and explainable results.
  • Insig ESG – A special tool for creating and running a data-driven ESG investing strategy; offering credible, transparent and evidence-based scoring based on standard or bespoke methodologies.
  • Insig Data – A data transformation tool for cleaning, structuring and categorizing proprietary and third-party data to allow for ML and various other data analytics via Insig or customer apps.
  • Insig Docs – A microservice app that “intelligently” extracts, tags and stores document-based and unstructured data using text extraction and elastic database tech.
  • Insig Exceleton – A tool that converts complex Excel spreadsheets into Python code, thus supporting a fast transition to a modern, ML and data analytics-powered strategy.

The Admission Highlights are as follows:

  • Managed to acquire £6.1 million (before accounting for expenses) through a “placing of 9,172,375 new ordinary shares at 67 pence per share, a 14 percent. premium to the closing share price of the Company of 59 pence per share on 2 September 2020, being the last business day before the Company’s ordinary shares were suspended from trading.”
  • Customer results reportedly show how beneficial or useful Insig AI’s products and services are. One customer’s fund managed to outperform the MSCI World benchmark by as much as 30 percentage points, meanwhile, another has reported a 25% reduction in operational costs.

Previously doing business as Insight Capital, Insig AI’s tech stack has been developed by a multi-disciplined and diverse group of data scientists, consultants, and fund managers.

The firm is being led by Executive Chairperson Matthew Farnum-Schneider, and CEO Steven Cracknell.

Insight Capital was established by Steve Cracknell and CTO Warren Pearson. They previously worked at Goldman Sachs during the 2000’s and then also in 2013 when they led an ML firm in Silicon Valley.

After coming back to London in 2017, they launched Insight to implement various products for fund managers.

Steve Cracknell, CEO at Insig AI Plc, remarked:

“Insig AI will allow investment professionals to keep up with the benefits of modern technology and turbocharge their data science and machine learning capabilities. A core feature of our products is that they are not ‘black boxes’. All outputs are both explainable and transparent – allowing portfolio managers to dig down into the results and methodologies at every step. This approach enables clients to confidently transition to a data-centric business model, advance and scale their analytical potential and gain value, speed and strategic leverage. As we grow and launch future AI and machine learning products, we will continue to give asset managers the edge needed to beat markets and competitors.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/05/175157-machine-learning-enabled-insig-ai-which-serves-asset-managers-lists-on-aim-london-stock-exchange/

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