Friday, 27 May 2016

BCBS 239 compliance: A catalyst for effective change

It’s the end of May 2016 and as the BCBS 239 deadline is now five months overdue, banks are still asking what approach towards compliance will prove to be the most effective. Some banks have taken a methodical and timely ‘check-the-box’ approach whilst some have viewed the regulation as an opportunity to thoroughly strengthen their underlying governance, architecture and data quality.

To first understand the logic behind both strategies, it’s worth revisiting what the regulation is and how it came to be. Back in January 2013, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision published the BCBS 239 principles for effective risk data aggregation and risk reporting, in response to the lessons learned during the 2007 global financial crisis.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Authentication by ‘selfie’ - will MasterCard bring a smile to the payments world?

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, MasterCard announced the launch of a new authentication solution: payment by ‘selfie’. This follows last summer’s announcement when it stated that it wanted to make passwords and payment codes superfluous.

Cardholders will soon be able to take a selfie at the supermarket cash register instead of entering a password in order to identify themselves as the genuine user. By the middle of 2016, MasterCard’s German customers should be able to prove their identity and authenticate payments in this way. Following this, it is set to be launched in Austria in 2017. Ajay Bhalla, the head of MasterCard's security department is convinced that the "selfie generation" will welcome and use the new feature.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

UK retail banking in need of transformation

After a two-year investigation the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published provisional recommendations to improve retail banking in the UK. It’s a sector that deserves attention but once again a golden opportunity to perform a radical overhaul of the existing market has been shunned in favour of a more modest set of anticipated outcomes. 

Friday, 20 May 2016

Rising to the challengers

Challenger banks have been a black cloud looming over the “big four” for the past few years. The traditional High Street banks have been braced for these challengers to shake things up and create an entirely new environment, just as budget airlines did to the aviation industry in the nineties. And with the UK’s FCA keen to see consumers benefit from “effective competition” for regulated financial services, the time seems right.

While those working in the industry are tracking every move of the challengers and what they offer, this awareness has yet to filter down to customers. With the big four still holding over 90% of the UK market, and consumer awareness of challenger brands failing to gain momentum, is the impending shake-up going to happen, and if so, when?

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Reality check: What has brought Android Pay to Europe?

Should cash be abolished? To further fan the flames of the debate, Google has dared to step across the pond and launch Android Pay in the UK – the first European country that the service will be available. 

Eight banks and eleven retail chains are being supported by MasterCard to participate in the launch. It’s a strong line-up but how does Android Pay compare with its competitors Apple Pay and Samsung Pay?

Monday, 16 May 2016

UK Regulator Fosters Innovative Collaboration in Financial Services

Last month and after many weeks of planning, we supported the FCA to deliver a highly collaborative two day hackathon focused on improving access to financial services. 

You can look this up on Twitter using the hashtag #FCAsprint. To our knowledge, this was the first event of its kind by any regulator worldwide and saw big name brands come together with a shared purpose including KPMG, Visa Europe, Funding Circle, Lloyds Banking Group, the Post Office, iProov, HCL Financial Services, Fidor and the Financial Services Consumer Panel.

Monday, 9 May 2016

The Biometric Banking Revolution

You only have to look through the newspapers of late to see that the biometrics revolution is well and truly entering the mainstream. From voice recognition, to fingerprint and retina scanning, many industries are poised to, and in some cases, already benefiting from new authentication technologies. 

No sector is experiencing this new wave of identity-defined authentication quite like the finance and retail banking sectors. High-profile banks and financial organisations such as RBS, Nationwide MasterCard and HSBC have taken significant measures to put their customers’ identity firmly at the centre of new security policies. It’s this approach, matched with the latest in technological innovations, that will and should be implemented across a variety of sectors.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Robo-advisors – as revolutionary as they seem?

The rise of the robo-advisor has been well documented over the past year or so. The FCA recently announced an Advice Unit that helps firms develop robo-advisor models, and RBS has also publicised that they will be sacking hundreds of face-to-face advisors in favour of robots.

Armed by what appears to be a cheaper, more accessible service, the likes of Nutmeg and Wealthfront have not been shy in their promotion of being at the forefront of opening up obtainable investment opportunities to a wider audience.