Fintech and innovation: special focus
From cloud technology to cashless payments, digital currencies to P2P networks, mobile banking to FX robots… financial institutions worldwide are looking to lead technological advances while also trying to keep up with them. And as well as the cost of innovation, many organizations are finding much of their technology budgets focused on dealing with regulatory burdens. Access some of Euromoney's recent coverage here.
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Fintech: Incumbents and disruptors all want a piece of iwoca
The pioneering fintech lender has grown fast by offering much needed working capital in hours – rather than weeks – to small business customers poorly served by the banks. But now the banks want their share of iwoca.
FX: CLS and Traiana extend aggregation service to four EM currencies
The past few years have seen CLS beef up its offerings in operational risk management well beyond its core settlement business, with services such as netting and compression; the expansion of its aggregation service to emerging market (EM) FX is the latest string to its bow.
New challenger banks drive third-party provider collaborations
Recently emerged challenger banks are taking advantage of new regulations to team up with multiple third-party payment service providers (TPPs) to gain a slice of the customer’s business they would otherwise not have access to.
How to bank corporates in the next 10 years
In a decade of tech developments, don’t forget that insight and experience will trump any app.
FX: Cobalt fends off blockchain competition
Despite the progress of other projects applying blockchain technology to FX, Cobalt’s CEO remains confident that his post-trade processing network can reach critical mass.
Banks are exploring new and radical ways to offer more to their clients through digital platforms. But they shouldn’t forget the bedrock of banking.
World's best digital bank 2017: Citi July 2017
Citi aims to develop new banking apps with the speed of a Silicon Valley startup and deliver them across a vast incumbent bank.
Can digital banking save the world?
Maybe not, but we might at least have a few more trees.
The cyber security threat to FX algos
Although processes are in place to limit the impact of rogue algorithms, there are further steps electronic FX trading networks can take to protect themselves from cybercriminal activity.
FX’s OTC nature will limit machine learning
Almost two decades after the principles of machine learning were applied to FX trading, challenges remain to be addressed for the technology to become ubiquitous.
Corporate cards popular as working capital solution
The use of corporate and virtual cards as part of a working capital management solution has become a defined strategy for some treasurers, who are also seeing the benefits of having an additional level of data.
Santander plays digital catch-up
FX’s OTC nature will limit machine learning
Almost two decades after the principles of machine learning were applied to FX trading, challenges remain to be addressed for the technology to become ubiquitous.
Corporate cards popular as working capital solution
The use of corporate and virtual cards as part of a working capital management solution has become a defined strategy for some treasurers, who are also seeing the benefits of having an additional level of data.
Retail banking: The real use of digital
Technology is an opportunity not a threat – international retail banks need to realize that.
IFC invests in portfolio compression service for EM FX
Competition has become intense in the FX portfolio compression business in recent months, but until now the focus has been on more liquid G10 currencies.
FX: Noble Bank launches service to reduce post-trade costs
By allowing clients to create their own pools of credit, Noble Bank International reckons it has developed a service that will significantly reduce counterparty settlement risk for FX trading.
Emerging Europe: Home Credit sets its sights on Asia’s shoppers
Czech group Home Credit has ridden the consumer finance roller coaster in Russia over the last decade. Now it’s betting big on Asia and even taking on China’s online retail giants.
Latin America: Data talks big in Brazil – for now
The country’s biggest banks are working on the big data challenge. If successful, it could transform the industry and its performance. But quantifying the impact and differentiating between potential winners and losers is almost impossible.
FX: Pragma unleashes algo traders on NDF market
The non-deliverable forward (NDF) market has been among the fastest growing corners of the FX market, as investors looking for yield increasingly turn their attention to emerging market (EM) currencies. Now, with Pragma’s algo-trading clients joining the party, liquidity could be set to surge even higher.
Middle East's best digital bank 2017: Emirates NBD.
Sucden looks to reduce FX pricing complexity, increasing volumes
Institutional FX and derivatives broker Sucden Financial claims its new OTC FX options service has broken fresh ground in addressing concerns raised by corporates around liquidity, costs and the availability of pricing data.
Fintech: The second wave of challenger banks
The UK has been one of the world’s key testing grounds for new financial technology thanks to London’s status as global financial centre and the UK authorities’ support for new competition to the incumbent banks they had to rescue in the crisis, but the big four banks’ central role as clearing banks has kept truly disruptive innovation away from the profitable core of retail banking, until now.
Fintech: PrimaryBid transforms equity capital raising for small companies
Taking payments off retail investors’ debit cards for new share placings has quickly changed the way AIM-listed companies place new equity and could have implications for bigger deals.
FX: How low can you go? New solution cuts tick-to-trade latency to 120ns
Two technology firms say they have pushed the boundaries of trading latency a step closer to the limit with a solution that cuts tick-to-trade latency from 250 nanoseconds to just 120.
Fintech: What the poor can teach everyone else
Developed markets have much to learn from the spread of digital financial services among the poorest in the emerging world.
Wealth management: Lombard Odier leads an impact revolution
Lombard Odier may be a traditional Swiss private bank, but its investment in technology and impact investing has made it an example of a next generation wealth manager.
Fintech threatens the big banks’ grip on the primary markets
Fintech may not disrupt capital markets as quickly or as profoundly as it has retail financial services, but the incumbents should not be complacent. With regulators insisting on greater transparency and audit trails for investor allocations, the control of information that made the banks’ masters of these deals is already slipping.
India’s banks dial in on demonetization
Senior bankers hail acceleration of digitization; impact felt across financial services industry.
Are impact investments the new hedge funds?
To keep the spirit of impact investing, it is worth opening up the terminology to be more inclusive of a myriad of strategies.
KYC registries becoming useful data utilities
Know your customer (KYC) registries and utilities were created to comply with rising regulatory requirements. However, as a trusted source of counterparty information, they are finding additional uses across business lines.
FX: CLS netting service expanded to cover all tradable currencies
CLS has responded to calls to expand the scope of its forthcoming netting service, CLSNet, to include less liquid EM currencies. From next year, currency traders will be able to net off trades in more than 140 currencies, regardless of whether they settle on CLS, in a move that is set to enhance liquidity across the FX market.
Fintech disruptors turn into incumbents
The trend for fintech upstarts to collaborate with the big banks they once sought to challenge is now so well established that the boundaries of their business models are no longer clear.
Indian banks respond to Modi's demonetization shock therapy
November 8, 2016, will go down in history as the day Donald Trump, a real estate mogul and reality TV host, was elected the 45th president of the United States and leader of the free world – but, in India, it marks a perhaps equally surreal event: demonetization. Can the scrapping of bank notes used in the bulk of the nation’s cash transactions finally catapult this long-time financial laggard into the 21st century?
HSBC and Tradeshift launch supply chain finance ‘game changer’
HSBC sees new lending opportunities in the increasingly digital exchange of purchase orders and invoices between big companies and their smaller suppliers.
Fintech: NCino offers to overhaul European banks
The provider of cloud-based wholesale bank operating systems has grown fast in the US, starting with SME lending for community banks and growing to a key partner of the country’s biggest commercial lenders.
Africa finds its own path for fintech development
Fintechs in Africa are developing along different lines to their counterparts in Europe and the US, sourcing funding and support away from the banks.
E-commerce treasurers look for alternative payment options
E-commerce needs a strategic rethink in how payments are collected to increase efficiency and reduce clearing times. PSD2 is one possible resolution, with social media also starting to play a role.
CLS and TriOptima expand compression offering as service passes $1 trillion mark
CLS and TriOptima have marked a milestone in the development of the triReduce CLS FX Forward Compression Service by expanding it to allow a greater number of trades to be compressed.
Swift gpi looks to set new global payments standard
After a successful year-long pilot phase, the new Swift global payments innovation (gpi) messaging platform is now live, but it still has some way to go before meeting Swift’s aspiration of it being adopted as the global standard.
Regulation and innovation thrive together in the FCA’s sandbox
The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) regulatory sandbox has been a hit with market participants and regulators alike, giving firms whose services were never anticipated by existing rules the chance to test out new features without fear of fines or enforcement action.
FX: DIY performance analysis tools hit the masses
Performance analysis solutions, once so pricey only the biggest banks could afford them, are becoming more widely used for FX strategies as regulations demand greater due-diligence processes and sell-siders are under pressure to prove they are giving clients value for money.
Banking: Regtech promises better and cheaper AML and KYC compliance
Rather than moaning about the time and money spent chasing false-positive alerts of criminal or terrorist financing, banks ought to be sharpening up their own anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) systems or renting in better ones.
Treasury vendors take on corporate tech outsourcing
Running the latest treasury platforms internally can require a substantial upgrade in tech and increased IT spend, especially for smaller companies. For some, the solution is to look to third-party vendors for further outsourcing.
FX mobile trading devices go through growing pains
Although use of mobile devices to place FX orders is growing steadily among retail traders, demand from sell-side institutional traders has stalled becase of compliance and functionality restrictions.
RMB trade slowdown prompts treasury sophistication
The growth of renminbi trade has stalled, but it has forced a turning point to how corporates use the Chinese currency.
XTX puts pressure on ‘last look’ in spot FX
FX market-maker XTX Markets is placing its bets on trade transparency, making a new tool available to the buy side that will, for the first time, enable them to calculate the cost of trades rejected by market-makers.
BNPP puts digital heart in its three-year plan
BNP Paribas COO Philippe Bordenave tells Euromoney that the bank is putting digitization at the heart of its new strategic plan.
FX: MetaTrader 5 finally takes off
The long-awaited addition of hedging functionality to online trading application MetaTrader 5 (MT5) appears to have convinced at least retail FX customers that, seven years after its launch, it might at last be time to trade up their trading platform.
Seven-bank consortium to deliver trade finance on blockchain this year
Some of Europe’s biggest banks have joined behind KBC’s blockchain prototype to help SMEs increase trade across the continent.
Concern over copy trading grows at social FX platforms February 2017
The growing popularity of social FX trading has some platform providers worried that inexperienced traders are taking excessive risks through strategies they don’t fully understand.
Trade finance modernization turns towards blockchain
Treasurers are looking for digitized trade finance solutions; blockchain may be the answer.
Aussie banks look to head off competitors in eFX
Australian banks are increasing their commitment to electronification, spurred on by aggressive competition from non-bank market makers – particularly for spot FX business.
Private banking: Smarter, faster ways of giving
With humanity’s challenges seemingly more urgent than ever, the world’s wealthiest are trading cheque-book giving for greater engagement. Not only should the world benefit, but so too those banks that help them with their goals. What role can the world’s leading private banks play?
Citi’s own fintech upstart disrupts from the inside
Citi's new mobile app is a first crucial step to re-invention. Head of consumer banking, Stephen Bird, tells Euromoney the bank may have only a couple of years to convince customers it is the high-quality, always-connected partner with the services they want.
FX: Start-up BestX wins first bank client with JPMorgan
JPMorgan’s decision to adopt a newly launched trade analytics service for its market-leading currencies business highlights the need for independent validation of execution quality in foreign exchange, according to the service’s co-founders.
Fintech labs could be at saturation point
Fintech labs have been a way for banks to work with start-ups to develop the products and services the incumbents need. With so many banks now taking this same approach, what's the chance of true innovation?
CMA’s competition concerns halt MasterCard's VocaLink acquisition
DTCC puts blockchain at heart of $11 trillion credit derivatives market
Taking post-trade processing onto distributed ledger could be the first big step, with clearing and settlement and even payments to follow.
Origin launches new platform for private placements
Fintech comes to a €300 billion a year, core segment of the European primary debt capital markets.
Technology fuels rise in corporates’ FX algo usage
Corporate use of algorithmic FX trading appears to be bucking the trend of lower overall levels of corporate FX activity.
Barriers to information sharing impact cyber security measures
Sharing of information that could prevent cyber-attacks is being impeded by strict privacy rules and concerns over reputational damage.
Year in data 2016: There are signs that the fintech boom is slowing
Are we past the peak for fintech?
Fintech: Banks are just at the start of their digital journey
Banks are trying to rebrand themselves as technology companies. But even the ones at the forefront of the digital charge are relative laggards.
Transaction services: Regulate, or innovate?
Banking regulators have a remarkable ability to stop innovation in its tracks. But when they work in favour of the industry, amazing things can happen.
Fintech sandbox risks creating unofficial endorsements
The creation of the FCA’s fintech sandbox, hailed as a step forward in regulatory collaboration, risks creating a disproportionate advantage for products developed through the process.
Thomson Reuters offers clients TCA via BestX
Thomson Reuters has entered a partnership with BestX to provide its buy-side clients with execution cost analysis functionality. It goes beyond what is envisaged in recent regulatory guidance for transaction cost analysis, allowing fund managers to refine their trading activities to reduce costs rather than simply meet compliance requirements.
BTG aims downmarket as technology reshapes Brazilian banking
BTG Pactual launches online-only investment platform; Banco do Brasil shedding jobs as it pushes digital.
BitLicense not template for UK, say experts
While accepting that regulation can help increase consumer and business confidence in cryptocurrencies, providers and industry analysts agree that the BitLicense model is not the way forward for the UK.
Data sensitivity further complicates PSD2
Implementing Payment Services Directive II is already causing headaches for plenty of European banks, even before they face up to the potential impacts of data privacy and messaging standards.
R3 releases Corda as blockchain strains start to show
Even as some original founders withdraw from the R3 consortium of banks developing blockchain proofs of concept, it opens up what could become a key piece of infrastructure for the future of wholesale financial services.
Compliance not the only driver for FX firms to beef up comms technology
Regulatory requirements are driving the development of more sophisticated monitoring software, but FX market participants also have much to gain commercially from ensuring their communications systems are technologically robust.
FX market grapples with tech dilemma
Banks and brokers face a tough decision as they struggle to keep up with technology: when to abandon upgrades and take the plunge into a new system. Increasingly, starting again is looking like the easier option.
Fintech creeps up on the capital markets
The application of fintech to wholesale banking is, to date, less clear than in retail financial services, where peer-to-peer lenders, start-up remittance companies, crowdfunders and robo-advisers are quickly picking up market share from the incumbents. It is more likely that fintech startups will collaborate with and sell to the incumbents in capital markets than disintermediate them. But they will still transform those markets and the business leaders.
Fintech: Coaching for asset managers
By identifying and managing unconscious behavioural biases, Essentia Analytics aims to help portfolio managers make more money for their clients.
Fintech: Blockchain landmarks point to transformation of trade finance
First international test; regs and compliance must catch up.
The fintech revolution continues to spread even into the most staid corners of banking.
The regtech headache of going digital
Qumram offers a solution for banks that must be able quickly to reconstruct online discussions with their clients carried out across multiple digital channels.
Krzana is the search engine of the future
Krzana aims to give users an edge over rival investors by sucking the rare, important signals that will move markets out of the vast and noisy din of financial news media.
Western Europe banking: Challengers at the gate
The role of challenger banks in the UK has been debated at the highest political levels. But many of the people running these institutions believe their potential is limited not by lack of business opportunities, but by arguments about capital treatment. Brexit holds out the possibility of change, but that would require UK regulators to fly in the face of Basel standards. Anyone hoping for that is likely to be disappointed.
Financial inclusion: Fintech and the GDP boost
Financial inclusion should be a win-win-win – for the unbanked, for economies, and for banks themselves.
Banks should look beyond the fintech threat to modernize
Banks that believe fintech firms are their primary threat should look instead at how their internal processes are hampering competitive growth.
Africa: Bank de-risking hits money transfer firms
African money movers lose correspondents; remitters turn to informal channels.
Peer-to-peer foreign-exchange providers seek to differentiate themselves in a saturated market that has yet to achieve profitability.
UBS: Steely on the outside, cashless on the inside
UBS moved into its new home at 5 Broadgate last month, the biggest building ever let in central London.
Correspondent banking: New networks change the face of transaction banking
As the number of truly international banks shrinks, new alliances and networks are being formed to meet the needs of clients. Choosing the right partner is an important and complex process. Increasingly, corporate treasury teams are taking a keen interest in the banks’ decisions.
Transaction services: Keeping up with the internet giants
The internet has created a new kind of company that needs to be international and multi-currency from the outset. They are businesses that usually understand technology better than their banking partners. So how are the world’s leading cash managers meeting the challenges posed by these new clients?
FX: CLS to offer payment netting service to non-members using distributed ledger
The provider of settlement services for foreign exchange is looking to expand its influence in the FX markets by providing a netting service for payments that is available to institutions that are not CLS members and in currencies it does not settle. By using the distributed ledger, it also hopes to facilitate greater use of this technology.
Latin America fintech: Brazil’s digital puzzle
New regulation in the pipeline to cover fintech companies; large banks wary of cannibalisation of revenues.
So far bankers have considered platform as a service (PaaS) mainly as a way to free their own software developers from the constraints of relying on scarce in-house IT resources.
Technology: AI and the spectre of automation
Sitting in his office in central Madrid, Marco Bressan, the chief data scientist at BBVA, gives a small chuckle when asked about the topic of artificial intelligence. He notices that as soon as a new article is written in Wired or the Harvard Business Review, his phone starts ringing.
Digital can be Shariah-compliant
Digital initiatives boost Hong Leong Islamic Bank; Islamic finance fertile ground for fintech.
Banker of the year: The unstoppable Francisco González
BBVA’s executive chairman has thrown himself into every challenge he has faced in a career spanning more than 50 years. Now Francisco González is focused on what that future will actually be. ‘Platform as a service’ does not trip off the tongue as a killer phrase to describe the future of banking, but the visionary that other bank CEOs flock to for insights into the transformation of their industry sees it as the destination for winning banks.
Banker of the year: González work ethic transcends multilayered career
The most celebrated fact about Francisco González is that, uniquely among bank CEOs – since May 2015 he has been executive chairman of BBVA – he began his career as a computer programmer.
Tech innovation bridges growing SME inequality
The sharp divergence in availability of financing for SMEs is increasing, according to new data from Misys. With growing inequality, technology is being leveraged to try to bridge the gap.
Clean data demand holds back Mifid II
The implementation of Mifid II has been postponed to allow additional time for improving data quality. Meeting this standard, though, is requiring a substantial amount of work.
PSD2 threatens bank’s real-time payments dominance
The opening up of accounts access by PSD2 could take the drive for real-time payments in Europe out of the hands of the banks, and hasten it’s time to market.
What banks can learn from fintech CEOs’ reaction to Brexit
Start-ups fear a funding stop and loss of access to the single market, but are already making back-up plans that could point the way for their peers in the more established parts of UK finance.
FX: Order management systems come of age
OMSs are extending their influence across the buy and sell side, impacting the efficiency of broker-dealer sales desks and risk-management practices.
AI creates efficiencies in sanctions checking
The growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning could dramatically reduce the amount of time and resources spent on sanctions checking.
At your service: the rise and rise of PaaS June 2016
Bank FX trading platforms have moved closer to the platform-as-a-service model, although the technology’s market impact has been diluted by operational changes among the largest traders.
Electronic trading jumps in Asia
Despite disparities between individual markets, the growth of electronification across Asian FX markets continues apace.
New Change FX developing P2P matching engine for corporates
New Change FX is developing a peer-to-peer matching platform that will enable corporates to net down their portfolios and reduce their need to trade currencies with banks. But is this a stepping stone towards a full P2P FX exchange suitable for corporates, or is such a venue ultimately only of interest to retail traders?
Corporates lack investment options on liquidity pools
Despite the frenetic pace of innovation in transaction banking in recent years, a lack of viable investment products is resulting in low returns on corporates' large liquidity pools.
Overall investment in FX technology has declined in line with the wider financial services sector over the last 12 to 18 months as banks focus on specific markets and business objectives. But there’s no shortage of innovation in banks’ proprietary or off-the-shelf platforms.
Blockchain disrupts transactional accounting
Treasurers have much to gain from the integration of decentralized ledger technology into traditional accounting environments.
RateSetter calls for revolution
Rhydian Lewis, co-founder of UK marketplace lender RateSetter, is calling for the death of banking as we know it, and visited the House of Commons in London in April as part of his campaign.
Treasurers embrace corporate cards
Corporate treasurers are showing increased interest in credit cards – with the payment data boosting working-capital management – but the benefits might not be available to every company.
India: DBS's digibank launch brings in biometric banking
DBS’s launch of a new digital bank in India provides a test case for a branchless model of banking in Asia that will influence a dozen other markets in the years ahead.
Euromoney Innovations in Islamic Finance 2016
Euromoney highlights six of the strongest key innovations in Islamic finance from the last 12 months.
High transaction costs turbocharge payment revolution
Emerging markets: Fintech for the unbanked
If digital payment providers share the cost of building new networks, they might profit handsomely from high volumes of low-value payments between two billion people unserved today by the world’s conventional banks, and become a new testing ground for fintech.
Banks begin blockchain payment integration
Banks are taking tentative steps to integrating blockchain technology, but so far they have focused on following established payment processes.
Fintech 2016: The fintech revolution gathers momentum
After a record year for fund raising, large fintech companies are now emerging in marketplace lending and payments, with many more newcomers deploying venture capital money raised in $25 million to $50 million chunks to transform capital markets and traditional banking mainstays such as mortgage lending. The fintech start-ups are building revolutionary applications for blockchain, attacking every specialist niche in the financial world and keeping the image of fintech clean with business ventures aimed at inclusion.
Fourteen fintech firms in focus
Fintech inevitably leads the search for greater efficiency and transparency to the most fiercely guarded corner of banks’ turf: the new-issue business.
In illiquid markets, information leakage can be highly damaging. Zeroflows wants to make it easier for investors to find the other side of the trade without betraying intentions to a multitude of brokers.
Two large fund-raising rounds have equipped the property-focused marketplace lender to grow into a mainstream mortgage provider.
Having attracted investment from Zoopla and with an Isa offering in the works, Landbay sees a big opportunity in marketplace lending for landlords.
While credit conditions appear to be easing for medium-size borrowers, small companies face big hurdles in securing finance. Finpoint aims to help them over.
Starting by transforming the workflows around invoices, Applied Blockchain is developing practical uses for shared ledger technology on private networks.
Acting for now as a secure exchange between conventional and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Stockholm-based Safello is developing what it sees as a ground-breaking transaction browser.
|Global Invest Her
As evidence emerges that start-ups led by women make more money for venture capitalists than those led by men, a new platform aims to help women entrepreneurs get funded.
As worries mount that large volumes of student debt extended in developed markets will never be repaid, EdAid seeks a new model for student loans and new lenders.
Fintech 2016: Wirex brings blockchain to personal banking
Start-up is growing fast; bitcoin leg cheapens FX conversion.
Fintech 2016: SyndicateRoom’s success
As incumbent banks were hit by falling equity valuations in the first quarter of 2016, newly-founded fintech firms were debating how best to absorb the vast amounts of equity allocated to them by venture capitalists, how to manage these investors’ exuberant growth expectations and the best tactics for dealing with high private-equity valuations on the fintech sector. SyndicateRoom is one of the great success stories.
Fintech 2016: MangoPay delivers financial services to fintech sector
The French payment API provider is becoming the partner of choice for crowdfunding and crowdinvesting platforms across Europe that the incumbent banks can’t or won’t serve.
Fintech 2016: Huddlestock aims to disrupt institutional asset management
Norwegian fintech company aims to put small investors into investment ideas normally reserved for hedge funds.
Asia: Cyber-heist topples Bangladesh bank chief April 2016 $101 million stolen by cyber-thieves; fears of an inside job.
Europe’s student loan market turns to non-banks
Future Finance plans European expansion; more non-bank student lenders expected.
FX: Cryptocurrency trading venues snowball
The emergence of new trading venues marks a notable advance in the development of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, although exchanges vary in their product offerings.
Virtual account management looks beyond Sepa’s borders
After the groundwork was laid by Sepa, virtual account management (VAM) had the chance to thrive in Europe. Now the question is how to make it work better for corporates and banks alike, and expand its use outside western Europe and the traditional corporate sector.
Technology: Traditional banking is Finn-ished
A cooperative bank in one of the EU’s smallest countries seems an unlikely place to find someone who wants to ‘blow up’ traditional banking. But OP’s Tom Dahlström is on the side of the disrupters.
Swedbank: New wolf in sheep’s clothing
Under Michael Wolf, Swedbank has won plaudits for the rewards it has given investors and its advances in digital banking. So what brought about the former CEO’s departure?
First there was M-Pesa, Kenya’s innovative and highly popular text-banking service that turned mobile phones into mobile ATMs, transferring money by SMS.
UK payments move opens up space to challengers
March 2016 Proposed changes by the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) will shake up the monopoly on payments, and will give challenger banks a welcome shot to grab market share.
Tesco late payments: a case of old-fashioned bargaining power?
Tesco recently made headlines after being found to have deliberately delayed payments to its suppliers. From the corporate treasury perspective, payment delays are typically attributable to more complex reasons than a buyer simply wielding its bargaining power over suppliers. In any case, new technology is helping to reduce buyer-supplier friction.
Invesco joins asset managers in robo race
Robos selling to gain scale; buy side sees ETF distribution role.
FX prime brokerage enters new era
The past 12 months have seen fees rise in FX prime brokerage, with many admitting there is probably more to come this year – but it has not all been bad news for clients, with the business benefiting from innovation, with technology, and particularly risk-management systems, an increasing priority among providers.
New entrants shake up prime brokerage field
For many prime brokers, 2015 was a chastening year amid rising macro risks, capital charges and innovation paving the way for a new breed of providers – but the traditional bank providers and the new entrants insist they target a different client base.
Fintech: US non-bank lenders close in on mortgages
JPMorgan teams up with On Deck Capital; SoFi lends $4.5 billion in 2015.
Technology investment: US tech start-ups get dose of reality
Private/public valuations diverge; investors becoming ‘more rational’.
Panda breath – an Asian perspective: Friendtech or foetech?
The fintech bubble is inflating rapidly in Asia, with near hysteria over how it will improve everything from return on equity to erectile dysfunction.
Fintech: Blockchain moves from hullabaloo to hard graft
In the second half of 2015 hype around the potential for shared ledger technology to transform banking rose to a peak. Now comes the hard work as banks and fintech companies seek to put test cases into actual use. As the first practical applications begin to emerge, Euromoney surveys the banking market to ask what’s next for the blockchain.
Tech IPO pricing an art, not a science
Past performance is obviously not an indication of future fee business in tech IPOs.
Peer-to-peer FX providers hedge disintermediation threats
Leading P2P providers are confident their FX products can rival leading banks, but tech bulls concede the shifting FX market-structure landscape will still see the top-tier financial institutions dominate.
EMFX ripe for electronic trading, vows start-up R5FX
The new trading platform for emerging-market currencies is now live with the Indian rupee, Brazilian real, Chilean peso and Colombian peso.
Rival blockchain services test corporate appetite
Interoperability rather than exclusivity appears to be the likely path to success for corporate blockchain services.
China's international payment system gathers steam
November 12, 2015
One month in and it’s a case of so far so good for the China International Payment System (CIPS), even allowing for limitations in operating hours.
Big data transform treasury role
Companies are beginning to recognise that the insights garnered from big data can help them move towards the concept of real-time financial analysis, especially when combined with internal data from traditional data-management systems.
Real-time payments face euro split
Europe does not have the infrastructure in place for implementing cross-border real-time payments. The ECB have called for this to happen, and EBA have recently issued an RFP to find a provider.
Getting to grips with blockchain
Banks have suddenly cottoned on to the power of the blockchain technology beneath Bitcoin.
Wealth management: big data, better relationships
Technology has given wealth managers the ability to collect more data than ever before. How they use that information is now critical to their future success. So why aren’t more private banks embracing the opportunity?
Turkey debate: Digital revolution opens new horizons for Turkish financial innovatorsNovember 2015
Turkey’s economy has been slow to go digital but increasing smartphone penetration is offering unparalleled growth opportunities for banks, mobile operators, e-commerce platforms and a host of new generation players.
Third-party digital payment providers enter corporate space
Payment applications developed by companies outside the traditional banking system account for a growing share of financial transactions, with the plethora of new players raising questions on processing costs, technical standards and demand in the burgeoning corporate payment market.
CLS and TriOptima unveil portfolio compression service for FX swaps and forwards
Regulators have cited portfolio compression as one way market participants can reduce risk in their trading. TriOptima has long provided the service for other asset classes, but until now it has not been available for FX swaps and futures.
US faster payments: Banking’s technological backwater
Fintech firms and foreign adoption of faster payments are revealing what many have long known – US consumer banks have resisted innovation in favour of profits. Now they face a death by a thousand cuts unless they embrace change.
US banks have been notable for their reticence over consumer banking innovation for a number of years, and their silence is growing ever more obvious.
Regulators must tread carefully to not stifle innovation
While banks continue to devote a lot of resources to compliance activity, there are signs that this investment is having less of a negative impact on service innovation.
ISO 20022 has the potential to bring considerable benefits to regulators and regulated institutions, although the integration challenge should not be underestimated.
Challenging times: Real-time payment systems
The number of countries with real-time payment systems continues to rise, raising the importance of addressing issues such as fraud detection and prevention, and collaboration.
Middle East goes digital as bank mergers loom
Banks in the Middle East are pushing ahead with new digital payment methods as the impact of the falling oil price starts to bite.
North America: Modernising a mature transaction banking market
The North American banking and treasury market is highly evolved but technology offers many routes to further sophistication.
Western Europe sets standard on payments
The Single Euro Payments Area prompted a wholesale change in how European banking operates and set a precedent for other regions on the possibilities open to them.
Corporates ask banks for tech contingency plans
Corporates are realising they need a plan B when a technical error hits their payment systems, but banks are showing limited appetite to produce one.
Fintech: US banks fall for temptation of Apple Pay
US digital infrastructure far from ready; alternatives to mobile payments here to stay.
Credit Benchmark revolutionizes internal models
Pools data to improve accuracy and transparency; could disrupt ratings industry.
US banks take mature TS market to next digital level
The North American market is already at a point of sophistication with its tech-led banking and treasury capabilities. US transaction bankers reveal the next stages of the market's digitization.
Saxo unveils ‘next-generation white-labelling business’
Saxo Bank has thrown open its doors to third-party institutions and developers to use its trading infrastructure with the launch of OpenAPI, bringing multi-asset trading capabilities to institutional and retail traders. It hopes the move will encourage a new generation of apps and services, harnessing the innovative spirit of a new wave of fintech companies.
Latin America's fragmented treasury markets brought into focus
Bankers and corporates are establishing systems to facilitate cross-border payments and FX processes as intra-regional trade grows.
Western Europe: Wealth managers unlock Italian digital banking
Fineco share price shoots up; rivals set up similar businesses.
Fintech: Fund managers face robo-adviser threat
$1 billion cut in revenues from 2016; regional banks and fund houses must respond.
Fintech: Investors back new non-bank lender to SMEs
Iwoca a game changer, say banks; it will lend at scale to small companies.
Mobile, integration, China drive Africa treasury strategy
Transaction bankers reveal the opportunities and challenges facing the continent amid signs integration is boosting intra-regional payments.
EM FX hedging: treasury management systems outshine ERP
With the recent upheaval in emerging markets (EMs) heightening the importance of hedging strategies, treasury management systems (TMS) providers look set to cash in.
Banks seek to nurture emerging fintech talent
Rather than relying exclusively on in-house platforms, or buying in third-party resources, banks are benefiting from nurturing the next generation of talent to experiment with emerging fintech solutions. Citi, Commerzbank and DBS reveal their incubator strategies.
FX technology bets to drive dealer market shares
The jury is out on whether the rise of tech-savvy non-banks means FX banks should adopt either a full service, market champion model or a simplified, limited service provider model, or something in between.
FX providers mull outsourcing through the cloud
Areas of the FX market where outsourced or cloud solutions have the potential to exert a greater impact include platforms that electronify the workflows associated with FX options trading, although bank conservatism is likely to prolong the lifespan of in-house solutions.
FX technology investment strategies revealed
While substantial investment has been made in FX technology since the global financial crisis, there are areas of the market where its impact has yet to be felt.
Digital solutions streamline corporate banking
Corporates managing multiple bank accounts are finding digital solutions to improve efficiency, including electronic bank account management (eBAM) and virtual accounts.
Electronification of Asian FX on the rise
Fuelled by regional treasury centres, electronification of FX is gathering pace in Asia.
Inside investment: Mind-bending returns within the technological revolution
Four intellectual revolutions have undermined our sense of self, but anomie and profits are not incompatible.
Treichl’s reinvention 2.0 at Erste Bank
Erste’s long-serving chief executive has already transformed the bank once, by taking it into the former communist countries of emerging Europe. Now he is looking to reinvent it again as a cutting-edge digital player.
Top FX banks brace for disruption wave
Demand for single-dealer platforms continues to drive adoption of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) in the FX space, allowing smaller players to compete with the top-tier firms in pre- and post-trade services.
Standard Bank embarks on software transformation drive
Standard Bank is the first bank in Africa to implement core banking systems SAP and Finacle, amid ever-increasing pressures to consolidate client data.
Awards for Excellence 2015: Best financial technology innovation
Algomi, the non-bank, is driving innovation in the bond market, being both a disrupter and the enabler for banks.
FX data analytics: banks’ new frontier
Banks cannot afford to ignore the potential value of using insights from data analytics to personalize their FX services.
Banks struggle with real-time FX settlement challenge
In the absence of an industry-wide consensus on faster settlement, availability of real-time FX conversion is likely to remain patchy – challenging the growth of immediate payments in corporate banking.
Stronger bank-corporate dialogue urged to tackle cybercrime
Corporates are calling for banks to work more closely on cybercrime and fraud risks they face – but banks also want to see corporates being more honest about their experiences.
Winds of change blow through FX risk management
Market volatility has impacted FX risk-management processes, although differing approaches to technology investment means the effect on market participants has been uneven.
Banks and telcos do battle in mobile money revolution in Africa
Mobile money in Africa has been dominated by Safaricom’s M-Pesa in Kenya, but the banking sector will be much better equipped to lead the sector in the long term, says one investor. However, in the short-term, regulations will prove key in determining who wins market share.
Intel Capital’s Sodhani warns on tech VC valuations
$15 billion raised year-to-date for tech venture capital; financial services tough to disintermediate.
Payments companies increase focus on AML following Ripple Labs' fine
Payments platform Ripple Labs' fine for neglect of anti-money-laundering measures was a watershed moment for the payments industry, as it was the first time a company in the sector had been found to fall outside of compliance in the US.
Behavox uses big data to monitor rogue traders
Fintech start up aims to spot market rigging, using clues in how traders talk, not what they say.
Fintech: How do you solve a problem like innovation?
As investment in technology becomes a priority for financial institutions, they are having to look for the right experience among board members and rethink their structure to ensure they are on top of innovation.
Saxo consolidates systems to win over mobile traders
Saxo Bank has consolidated its disparate trading systems onto single platform SaxoTraderGO in a bid to modernize the look and feel. Saxo hopes it will secure the allegiance of a footloose trader community, allowing clients to monitor their positions on the move and execute orders while serving up dinner.
Commercial cards offer supply chain finance solution
Commercial cards are providing an alternative source of supply chain finance and offer attractive extended payment dates.
Eurozone poised for cross-border real-time payments
The number of EU countries with real-time payment systems continues to rise, but prospects for systems that work across borders remain uncertain outside Europe, though block-chain technology could offer one solution.
What's missing from Facebook's digital payments plan
Facebook’s arrival on the digital payment scene will inevitably see it become a significant player. But, so far, Facebook is not offering a revolution in the global payment infrastructure and tie-ups with disruptive new technologies would truly transform the FX landscape.
Digital banking: Electronic shock for China's old guard
Tencent and Alibaba are at the vanguard of setting up new online banks. It's a great way to shake up the old state players and, by mining their data, get credit ratings for China's underserved population. But do upstart tech companies really have the political and business resources to challenge the incumbents?
Wealth management: Private banks reconsider physical networks
Increased costs outweigh better revenues; technology will take time to repay investments.
Corporates call for banks to beef up tech advisory
Corporates need more assistance from their banking partners with on-boarding technology services such as Swift messaging, treasurers tell Euromoney.
Circuit breakers: Does FX need a kill switch?
Foreign-exchange broker FXCM’s CEO calls for wider adoption of circuit breakers on FX platforms to prevent another Swiss franc shocker as seen on Black Thursday, but critics question whether it is the right solution and even suitable for an over-the-counter (OTC) market such as FX.
Electronifie combines lit and dark corporate bond trading
New trading system raises funds, prepares launch; 22 of top 50 asset managers signed up.
Private banking: Don't believe the techno hype – the branch model is not dead
Technology versus branches. Is it either/or? Euromoney data correct some misconceptions about sources of growth in the industry and the Europe-US divide.
Financial technology: Snowflake unlocks markets for intangible assets
Innovation is held back by the gap between the old financial system, investing and lending primarily against hard assets, and the new knowledge economy that depends on intangible assets. A new type of bank could benefit SMEs seeking to develop innovative products. It could also give investors the chance to redeploy speculative capital more productively. But who is the driving force behind Snowflake?
Bond trading: Information trumps execution
Inside the honeycomb: is this the future of bond trading? As bond market participants face up to the reality of diminished liquidity, low turnover and heightened risk of price gapping, the search for solutions is veering away from new trading protocols and exchange-like platforms towards providers of high quality pre-trade information. Do Algomi’s Honeycomb and MTS’s tie-up with B2SCAN point the way ahead?
Neptune initiative on track for second phase
Standard bond-trading language project retains support of dealer banks as it enters network-building stage.
Credit Suisse to launch new digital wealth management offering
Next month Credit Suisse Private Bank will be rolling out new digital capabilities in Asia, and April will see the launch of a tablet banking offering in Switzerland.
Pioneering WeBank launches; China set to lead industry.
Investment banks pile into big data analytics
Goldman invests in big data analytics platform; Deutsche makes key hires in analytics and data.
Exit Bitcoin, enter block-chain technology
Negative publicity around cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has deflected attention from the potential of the underlying technology to facilitate real-time – and therefore much cheaper – international payments.
Going digital could be a do-or-die challenge for banks
It’s not enough simply to invest in technology infrastructure to bring down costs. Banks need to use digital products and services to reconnect with their customers.
Bank FX technology spend on the rise
Investment in FX technology is expected to mirror growth in wider financial services IT expenditure over the next few years.
Banks arm themselves against ever-more sophisticated cyber threats
Cybercrime, ranging from individual hackers to large-scale and state-sponsored attacks, poses a growing problem for the financial services industry.
Sepa-like revolution upends traditional payments model
Companies are recognizing the benefits of applying the principles of Sepa to payment and collection processes beyond the single euro payments area, helping to boost liquidity and cross-border flows, consolidate treasury processes and reduce FX risks.
Bank intraday tools get mixed reception
Corporate treasurers and asset managers are turning to innovative predictive tools that help identify FX volatility and liquidity opportunities, bankers say. However, not everybody on the buy side is convinced the new solutions are for them.
Lack of mandate slows faster payments implementation
The UK is leading the way in operating a system of real-time payments, but other countries need to work harder to coordinate their systems to meet local demand.
Market innovations restoring confidence in FX, says Tradition
The disruption associated with the electronification of FX trading has overwhelmed some market participants, but while policymakers ponder stronger efforts to regulate market structure, especially high-frequency trading (HFT), market players say the latest generation of innovations are now revitalizing FX trading.
Electronic FX trading gathers steam in 2014
While other leading markets are yet to follow Switzerland’s lead and mandate automated trading of currency, the industry moves inexorably towards automation. But the push creates new market risks for both the buy side and sell side.
Data transform strategies for banks and corporates alike
The growth of data as an analytic and compliance tool is transforming strategies for banks, corporates and intelligence-providers alike.
Fix fines fuel technology gold rush
Technology companies are gearing up for a potential gold rush around FX benchmark trading, amid expectations the multi-billion dollar fines imposed on banks last week will accelerate appetite for solutions to boost transparency, oversight and pricing, analysts say.
The analysis of structured, semi-structured and unstructured information from multiple sources, commonly referred to as ‘big data’, could improve FX pricing as well as reduce the potential for regulatory infringements, according to technology experts.
Africa: Banks and telcos mobilise for money
There’s no doubt mobile money is Africa’s future, but who is best equipped to benefit most: the telcos with their networks, or the banks with their products and service? And why are they fighting when they could be cooperating?
Innovations in Wealth Management Technology Awards 2014: Results index
Recognising wealth management industry leaders in client services, products, and back office technology.
Headcounts might fall as banks prepare for the digital future, but those whizz kids building apps don’t come cheap.
Amrolia to lead Deutsche Bank digital drive
FX market veteran takes up new role developing digital technology and reducing business complexity across Deutsche Bank’s markets platform.
Tech: Looking out for zombies, angels and unicorns
Talking about the paranormal might get you some interesting looks in your next meeting at a bank. But in tech, talk of angels and unicorns is par for the course.
Bitcoin market starts to mature
Interest and use of cryptocurrency bitcoin has undergone a meteoric rise in the past year, but it is now moving away from speculative investments into the real world of cross-border business transactions.
Bank revenues under threat from alternative payment providers
Providing payment services is likely to become more attractive to brands with large, loyal customer bases that see value, either directly or indirectly, in processing transactions.
Social trading grows amid calls for regulatory oversight
The full-scale disruptive potential of social trading is beginning to become clear, according to proponents. But there are fears that it is encouraging inexperienced traders to load up with risk in the pursuit of large returns and there have been calls for tougher regulation.
Electronic bank billing: Bills, bills, bills
Global banks and their corporate clients need to work together to bring billing into modern digital age and more in-line with other industries.
Digital banking: Clouded thinking
Big data, analytics and technology have the potential to transform the global investment banking industry into a leaner, meaner and better-equipped money making machine. Some investment banks have recognised the opportunity. Few, if any, have worked out how to make it happen.
Digital banking: Tech elite size up investment banking opportunity
Vincent Kilcoyne, UK & Ireland capital markets industry lead at SAS, one of the largest business analytics software providers, smells an opportunity. “This challenge is probably one of the biggest they have ever had."
Digital banking: Institutions lag hedge funds in big data use
The demise in 2012 of Derwent Absolute Return, the only hedge fund purely using a Twitter feed to inform its investment decisions, may have come as little surprise to many in the market.
Digital banking: BBVA’s González – The digital banker
BBVA has embarked on a bold transformational strategy to become the world’s first digital global bank, and reinvent itself as a knowledge-based information company, fit – it hopes – for the modern era and beyond. Could the Spanish bank be providing a blueprint for the future of banking? CEO Francisco González certainly believes so.
Digital banking: Credit scoring goes social
Those in need of credit are turning to emerging online platforms rather than their traditional banks. It’s faster, easier and more transparent. And emerging market business is leading the way.
Digital banking: Lessons from the digital disrupters
The world’s biggest banks have been slow to embrace the digital era. What can financial services CEOs learn from new, tech-based companies that have successfully disrupted other industries? What needs to change?
Digital banking: TripAdvisor: Rewriting the travel industry
TripAdvisor is one of the forefathers of tech innovators that changed the world of travel.
Digital banking: Amazing Media: Where the love of old-school radio meets the digital age
The advent of digital fully exposed the known flaws within the music industry.
Digital banking: Waze: Letting community drive the business
Waze was set up with one simple aim – to reduce every user’s drive by at least five minutes.
Digital banking: Khan Academy: Educating the world online for free
‘The biggest role technology has now is that it can allow us to break out of the factory model and take us back to the ideal of individualized instruction: meeting each student where they are and allowing them to master a subject completely before they move on.'
Outsourcing technology brings rewards – and risks
Banks need to keep up to date with the changing technological landscape, but with time and financial constraints, enlisting an external vendor might not be the best option.
Rising Bitcoin adoption emboldens crypto-enthusiasts
Despite the volatility in its price and its still-limited practical use, an increase in the number of merchants accepting Bitcoin in recent months has ignited optimism among digital-currency proponents.
Sean Park: Beck to the future?
Sean Park, one of the bond market’s best-known characters during his time at Paribas and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, is now engaged in disrupting the financial industry he was once at the sharp end of.
CureCoin: A cryptocurrency aiming to beat cancer
The CureCoin Forum has teamed up with Stanford University to launch a new ethical cryptocurrency that aims to find cures for common, life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, by bringing together science and the craze for cryptocurrencies.
Taking mobile banking in Africa to the next level
The use of mobile-banking services in Africa has rocketed in recent years, but the rapid advance of this type of payment technology is throwing up challenges over how to manage this growth while protecting the end-user.
Safaricom and Airtel plan yuMobile acquisition
Kenya’s largest mobile phone carriers will push ahead with the acquisition of yuMobile after Kenyan authorities removed a number of restrictive conditions on the deal.
BNP Paribas’s acquisition of DAB latest in growing trend
Banks are in the thick of grappling with their own digital transformation – pushing more and more banking services onto digital platforms and largely mobile devices – and deals such as this can help accelerate that change.
US falling behind Europe on electronic payments
The US’s continued penchant for paper payments contrasts with the dynamism of the European market, but change could be afoot in both markets as new payment systems disrupt cheques and chip-and-pin technology.
Private banking technology/innovation debate: Time to play catch-up on technology
While other industries have embraced technology to win clients and become more efficient, wealth management and private banking are still finding their way. Euromoney gathered leading private bankers and nontraditional wealth advisers to discuss how the industry can embrace innovation.
Banks are learning to like what social media has to offer.
Chief digital and data officers are helping drive banking into a new technological age.
Banks come late to mobile-banking partyJune 2014
Banks are hurriedly developing mobile-banking platforms to keep pace with rising demand among consumers and clients to transact business via their smartphones, but some pure technology firms are stealing a march on them in mobile payments.
Transaction services guide 2014: Corporate clients demand more
June 2014Transaction banks are under pressure to keep up with a growing list of client demands. Investing in technology is essential.
Wealth management goes online in the US
May 2014A new advisory platform targeting US households that have between $100,000 and $1 million of investable assets could disrupt the wealth management industry.
Asia CFOs target organic growth and technology investment to boost profitsMay 2014Chief financial officers of some of Asia’s largest companies are primarily targeting the use of technology to increase profitability this year, marking a shift in focus from engaging in operational efficiencies and improving working capital management.
FX investors opt for technology fix to FX benchmark probe
May 2014The regulatory probe into allegations that traders have colluded to manipulate the $5.3-trillion-a-day foreign exchange market has some way to run, but some investors are pre-empting the results with technologies they say will help them reduce their reliance on industry benchmarks.
Mobile banking apathy on the rise as industry launches Paym
May 2014One third of bank customers have no need for mobile banking services, according to a survey of mobile phone users by Buzzcity, a mobile advertising network.
MasterCard’s Cairns: “We’re a tech stock … which outperforms Google”
May 2014In a wide-ranging interview, Ann Cairns, MasterCard’s president of international markets and resident statistics buff, talks to Euromoney about tech-sector valuations, the digital revolution, acquisitions, regulation, and a yacht called…
Price to pay for liquidity in technology arms race
May 2014Progressive investment in trading technology over the past decade has pitched banks aggressively against one another in an intensifying arms race to offer the best access to FX liquidity. It’s a race that shows no sign of abating any time soon.
Vodafone calls on Romanians with M-Pesa
May 2014Vodafone sparked a flurry of interest from bankers in emerging Europe last month with the launch of its M-Pesa payments service in Romania. But the firm’s director of mobile money tells Euromoney that traditional lenders would struggle to replicate its business model.
Card companies see mobile payments as weapon in war on cash
April 2014MasterCard has labelled cash its “number one enemy” and is devising ways to eliminate cash payments with a two-pronged strategy that divides payments into digital and physical components.
Digital-payment revenue in sub-Saharan Africa expected to soar
April 2014Electronic-payments revenue in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) could reach up to $16 billion annually in the next few years if the growth of mobile payments in Kenya is repeated across the continent, according to a recent study by McKinsey and the Gates Foundation.
US payments: Forget faster, think better
March 2014While the debate about payment-system improvements in the US have tended to focus on making them faster, in line with trends in Europe and Asia, demand in the US is focused on other priorities.
Paym: the most exciting development in payments since cards
March 2014The launch of Paym is likely to see existing banking apps become considerably more useful, allowing easy payments to be made between friends using only their phone numbers and effectively making most mobile banking apps direct competitors of Barclays’ Pingit.
M&A spurt could bring fresh wave of company data cyber crime
Corporate finance activity is expected to keep on rising this year, particularly in mergers and acquisitions, but companies that engage in deal-making need to be vigilant of the threat of cyber crime around acquisitions.
US payments reform: evolution versus revolution
When the US Federal Reserve held a consultation last year about implementing a real-time payments system, the plan received a cool reception from banks.
SG launches financing platform to support large company supply chains
A subsidiary of French banking group Société Générale has launched a new supply chain finance platform designed to enable large companies to provide much-needed financing support to their small and medium-sized suppliers.
Asia private-bank technology to follow Netflix-lite model
A new analytics system for private banks – allowing clients to track peers’ investments – is being launched in Asia this week, responding to calls for greater peer advice and recommendations.
Citi to launch new private-bank client technology
Citi Private Bank is set to launch its new client/banker technology platform at the end of February, with the hope it will be the industry standard for digitalization.
ParFX gains credibility as first phase of on-boarding nears completion
The addition of JPMorgan and Citi to start-up trading platform ParFX marks the acceleration of the platform’s growth as it plans to open to the buy side in the summer.
Back to the future: BPOs potential to revolutionize trade finance
Global transaction services banks have put the crisis behind them and are gearing up for a new phase of technological development and innovation, which could revolutionize the processes involved in trade finance.
New payment channels fail to undermine bank enthusiasm for corporate cards
Banks remain as committed as ever to their corporate-card franchises, despite the emergence of new payment channels, including mobile-payment technologies that some argue could ultimately make cards redundant.
Banks make belated compliance push to combat market abuses
As more financial scandals continue to emerge, regulators and banks are hoping technology and new internal controls will allow them to get to grips with the rogues. Trading floors might never be the same again.
FX probe sparks shift in social trading
Amid litigation fears and calls for greater communication transparency, financial institutions have imposed heavy restrictions on traders’ electronic communications. However, social trading is here to stay and new platforms, such as Saxo Bank’s TradingFloor.com portal, are capitalizing on the gap in the market.
E-banking security ranks top in selecting cash manager, say companies
The strength and quality of a bank’s electronic banking security is the most important factor in selecting an international cash manager, according to finance officers and treasurers who voted in Euromoney’s cash management survey.
Bank Services Billing: European companies seek greater transparency on bank charges
BSB (Bank Services Billing) has been used by US corporates for many years, revolutionizing the way companies can compare and analyse bank charges. However, this service is only just beginning to gain traction in Europe.
South Africa and Nigeria lag as internet set to add $300 billion to Africa’s GDP
Internet connectivity in Africa has the potential to transform the continent, contributing up to $300 billion to GDP by 2025, according to a McKinsey report. However, some of the country’s most advanced economies, such as South Africa and Nigeria, are lagging behind other innovative peers, says Paul Cook of Silvertree Capital.
Exchanges: Nasdaq reels from double blow
Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld’s head must be spinning. Just as the exchange was mounting its fightback from losing the iconic Twitter listing, the key architect of its move away from equities markets has upped and left the firm for a rival. Will Nasdaq stay on its diversification course?
Call for higher account fees to provoke banking innovation
Some UK politicians have been calling for banks to revise their charging models to ensure better value for money and innovation for their customers.
Li Ka-shing is permanently trending
Asia’s richest man appears to follow just three people on Twitter: the political giants that are president Barack Obama; former Mr Olympia and Conan the Barbarian Arnold Schwarzenegger; and senator John McCain.
Bank branch evolution gathers pace
Economics and technology are conspiring to undermine the position of bank branches, which are evolving from their predominantly transactional roots to places where guidance can be offered for more complex business.
Opening windows with the internet
From the archive: in June 1996, with some prescience, then Euromoney reporter Felix Salmon investigated how far the net, or "internet protocols" would shake up banking.
Security questions raised over contactless card payments
Leading banks have been pushing contactless cards hard in the past few years but new research suggests there are security issues associated with these types of low-value transactions, which are expected to hit one billion in the UK next year.
Banks shift technology focus from speed to experience
The rationale behind technology has evolved over the last couple of decades. Where in the 1990s investment in technology was principally about increasing the speed at which transactions could be executed, and thereby saving cost, recent enhancements have been more about improving functionality and the customer experience.
S&P might be taking too narrow a view when it identifies tech glitches as a credit risk for exchanges.
Evolution better than revolution in online banking authentication
As more banking is done online, financial institutions have had to rethink their customer authentication strategies to ensure they remain relevant in a rapidly changing technological age. But for all the talk of biometric security, the principal focus remains relatively low tech.
A research report published this week by Aite Group highlights the extent of the cyber threats faced by banks and corporations.
Equities: Twitter tease fuels IPO speculation
S-1 filed in secret; Market capitalization could be $16 billion.
Social media and high-speed algorithmic FX trading a dangerous mix
As use of social media becomes more widespread as a tool to disseminate and garner FX market information, concern is mounting about the threat it poses when combined with high-frequency algorithmic trading.
Trade finance’s paperless modernization gathers pace... slowly
Trade finance is renowned for its quaint reliance on paper documentation and relative lack of technological sophistication, but despite the pressure on IT budgets, the business is modernizing, albeit slowly.
Banks’ ‘chronic’ overcapacity in FX provision to persist for foreseeable future
The chronic overcapacity built up by the leading banks in the FX market is likely to persist as the cost of building bespoke electronic trading portals continues to rise.
Cash management: A revolution in cash for China
Demand for sophisticated cash management services in China is rising as the authorities press for greater business efficiency at home and Chinese corporates expand their foreign operations. Renminbi liberalization is another driver.
PayPal checks in to mobile payments space
PayPal has launched a new mobile payments service, an extension of its existing app functionality that allows users to pay for low-value transactions. The company’s well-known brand boosts its reach but is the platform scalable and does that even matter?
How technology could push banks to form global alliances
Some banks could be set to form global alliances, in the same way global airlines have split into oneworld and Star Alliance factions, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Paul Taylor. He suggests the next stage of global financial development could be called ‘Correspondent Banking 2.0’.
Financial messaging providers converge
Bottomline Technologies’ acquisition of financial messaging companies Sterci and Simplex GTP could represent a new era of increased integration in the world of financial messaging.
Bitcoin infrastructure evolving to enable greater use for payments
Escrow services crop up but lack of mainstream financial intermediaries might be an obstacle to bitcoin’s evolution into a mainstream currency.
Austin re-emerges as hub for tech start-ups
The managing director of Techstars, a mentorship-driven start-up accelerator backed by more than 75 venture capital firms, explains how Austin, Texas, is re-establishing itself as an alternative destination for venture capital.
Venture capitalists: Everyman as entrepreneur
Some six million businesses were created in the US in 2012. The country is experiencing a start-up boom. What impact is the wave of entrepreneurs having, and how are the angel investor and venture capital industry adapting?
Hopes rise for mobile banking in Nigeria
Could mobile banking revolutionize the Nigerian banking sector? Some analysts think so. The demand for mobile banking is there, in principle, but security concerns and high transaction costs are moderating the pace of adoption.
Nigeria’s emerging ‘cashless policy’ boosts card payments
The Central Bank of Nigeria’s push to encourage debit- and credit-card adoption is poised to disrupt cash transactions, boosted by new electronic initiatives, claim bankers.
Long-dated bonds: Apple goes pear shaped
Long-dated bonds collapse on tapering talk; volatility underscores need for new thinking on liquidity.
Mobile POS platforms set to revolutionize banks’ SME relationships
Mobile point-of-sale technology – which facilitates contactless low-value payments – is gradually taking off in the retail space, thanks to new cost-effective platforms. Transaction bankers need to provide innovative software and sales solutions, targeted to the SME sector, in particular, analysts say.
Awards for Excellence 2013: Best Wholesale bank for technology innovation
BNP Paribas: The Smart Derivatives platform has created a communications channel for investors in structured products.
Awards for Excellence 2013: Best Retail bank for technology innovation
CaixaBank: Clients are at the heart of the Spanish bank’s technology drive – they even come up with the ideas.
Security concerns dampen mobile-payments enthusiasm
Early adopters of cutting-edge mobile-payments technology should be aware of the complexity of the security challenges, experts have warned, with a lack of regulatory oversight of app developers or security standards, thanks to divergent interests of the multiple parties involved in transactions.
Banks give social media the cold shoulder
Social media is still not seen as a core plank of retail and transaction banks’ marketing and client-interaction strategies, amid security and reputational fears, while many still see platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, as frivolous. Nevertheless, a couple of institutions are bucking the trend.
Worlds apart: banks and Bitcoin convergence unlikely anytime soonJuly 2012
Banks remain disinterested or wary of Bitcoin but there is a growing acknowledgement that the digital currency’s popularity cannot be overlooked indefinitely, if a recent gathering of the faithful is anything to go by. From trade to settlement, Bitcoin offers plenty of opportunities – and threats – for banks.
Bitcoin: to use or to hoard, that is the question
Bitcoin faces an uphill battle to satisfy the conventional functions of money as a medium of exchange, store of value and a unit of account, participants say at a leading conference on the digital currency this week.
VocaLink database could give mobile payments a new lease of life
The pace of adoption of mobile payments in the UK has been hindered by a lack of innovation and a payment culture that still sees traditional banking facilities as offering convenience and security. However, in a bid to break the impasse, VocaLink, an international payments network, has launched a new ‘game-changing’ initiative.
FX: an exchange-traded future?
The development of FX trading venues has been idiosyncratic, but can it follow other asset classes toward an exchange-traded future?
UK’s Faster Payments inspiring international interest
Countries such as Australia are enviously eyeing the UK’s Faster Payments system, with close-to-real-time payments revealing the traditional three-day infrastructure to be old-fashioned and slow.
Explosion of digital currencies such as Bitcoin creates regulatory headache
Like it or not, electronic currencies are here to stay, challenging traditional payment channels. Euromoney surveys the contenders for digital dominion as security and regulatory challenges bite.
First Bitcoin, now Google-backed OpenCoin: a new disintermediation threat for banksJune 2013
The success of electronic currencies such as Bitcoin has turned the worlds of currencies and payments systems upside down. The latest player to join this game is OpenCoin, which in April received seed capital from a consortium of venture capitalists, including Google Ventures. Rather than becoming merely another payments system, OpenCoin is looking to be a paradigm-changing payments system that disintermediates traditional bank platforms.
Transaction banks: The chicken or the reg?
What comes first for transaction banks? Their financial institutions clients want them to help meet new challenges – especially around regulation and depressed earnings – through innovating new products. But the big cash managers find most of their technology budgets focused on dealing with regulatory burdens.
Request for proposal: a quiet revolution
The growth of e-auctions, consultants and Sepa, as well as rising corporate demand for innovative services, means the request for proposal (RFP) – the bidding process for corporates when tapping a bank for cash-management services – is evolving to meet new demands.
Bitcoin: a threat to the transaction banking industry?
Transaction bankers should wake up to the competitive threat that is Bitcoin, which, in theory, offers a multitude of benefits for multinational companies. Nevertheless, an information deficit and regulatory concerns will continue to temper corporate adoption of the digital currency, analysts say.
Banks mull corporate demand for mobile technology
Could transaction banks soon compete on the basis of their mobile platform alone, as is often the case in emerging markets?
Experian takes control of social-media risk
The use of social media by financial institutions has grown – from a non-existent base – during the past two years, but security fears have tempered the pace of adoption, a risk the recent media hacking by the Syrian Electronic Army lays bare.
Two-speed future for high-frequency algorithmic trading
Three years on from the infamous flash crash of 2010, there is relief for some that speed limits do not feature in new European rules on high-frequency trading, but others now see a gap in the market for a slow lane.
New FX technology resolves phantom liquidity
Fragmentation and phantom liquidity bedevil the foreign exchange market with its proliferation of trading venues. Investors and corporates want to see the true depth of the market and what amounts they can really trade at the enticing prices being flashed at them. In a low-return world, these end-users are getting rigorous on trading cost analysis. Banks are developing new technology to respond.
Corporate treasurers – inspired by the Web 2.0 applications, tools and widgets employed in their day-to-day lives – are demanding a higher standard of user experience from their transaction banking platforms. Banks must upgrade their systems and interfaces to keep pace.
Winds of change blow through transaction banking industry
A survey by Celent, the financial research firm, sheds light on the structural shifts in the transaction banking industry in recent years, including organizational restructuring, technology spending and banks’ priorities for investment and growth.
Umpqua redesigns retail banking
Umpqua Bank in Portland, Oregon, has succeeded in making bank branches profitable. It is now the largest community bank on the US west coast. CEO Ray Davis talks of giving customers an entirely different experience. How far can he go?
Google Trends – your new trading analyst
Knowing what finance terms people are Googling can give you an investment edge. That’s according to three academics who analyzed changes in the frequency of 98 terms – such as revenue, credit and Nasdaq – in Google searches from 2004 to 2011.
Innovation gathers momentum for treasurers
Visibility and control are crucial for the treasury, while the pressure to reduce costs, improve efficiency and enhance resilience remains great. In response, banks and technology firms are innovating in areas from connectivity to bank account management, writes Laurence Neville.
International cash management banks adapt to a tough new world
Cash management banks are having to adapt their business models to face tough economic realities, regulatory imperatives, technological innovations and the ever-growing expectations of their clients, writes Laurence Neville.
Birth pangs for nascent electronic bank account industry
The arrival of electronic bank account management (eBAM) is awaited with great anticipation by corporate treasurers around the world. The prospect of automating the opening and closing of accounts, as well as changes to signatory information, has attracted substantial interest among corporate treasurers. However, with Swift’s eBAM Central Utility initiative recently shelved, plenty of technical challenges remain.
Citi’s top transaction banker sees technology as key to growth
Citi is banking that its global footprint and strong corporate relationships will ensure transaction services remain a growing source of revenue in an otherwise challenging period for its other businesses. Technological innovation will help the bank adapt to shifting market and client demands, the bank’s top transaction banker tells Euromoney.
Transaction banking: a year of fundamental change
Two issues dominated payment systems during 2012: the switch to Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) instruments and the rapid evolution of online – and especially – mobile technology, which will have significant implications for payments, reports Laurence Neville.
Sanctions battle creates compliance challenge for banks
Banks that are desperate to reduce costs are cutting their IT budgets across the board, but the one growth area for technology vendors is in compliance systems. The rapid speed and growth in the number of global transactions combined with a growing number of watch-lists have caused banks’ operational costs for sanctions compliance to sky-rocket.
Bank Payment Obligations – a new way to trade
A new payment instrument could be about to transform global trade – but are banks and corporates prepared?
New clouds on the transaction banking horizon
Everyone’s talking about cloud but, thus far, the adoption of this transformational technology has been hindered by regulatory and security fears. Nevertheless, the cloud will have a crucial role to play in the world of transaction banking in the years ahead.
FX robots poised to execute voice brokers
Algorithms are set to become the norm for FX execution among institutional investors such as pension funds and corporates, and the change may come quicker than many expect.
Cash management in Africa: Dial M for Money
Mobile banking in Africa is snapping on the heels of traditional payment mechanisms. Nevertheless, there are growing opportunities for banks but questions remain over the regulatory and economic impact of the cell phone revolution.
Textual dealing: the oncoming revolution in mobile payments
Last week, the Payments Council announcement that the UK banking sector is building an industry-wide mobile payments service, which will enable customers to transfer money as easily as sending a text. But will this service benefit businesses as well as individuals? And how much progress have banks made in delivering mobile banking services to their corporate clients?
Definitely, maybe: bank-agnostic technology for corporates threatens proprietary services
Banks’ proprietary cash management portals are under pressure, as corporates migrate to bank co-operative networks, such as Swift, attracted to the allure of multiple service providers and hedging counterparty risk.
Skills gap blights transaction banking as industry’s allure jumps
The appeal of the transaction services industry for new talent has never been higher, as high-impact, pejoratively dubbed 'casino' investment banking job opportunities vanish. Technologic nous and an ability to navigate new client demands – amid market and regulatory shifts – are key skills that budding transaction bankers must develop to make their names in the industry.
Space: the next frontier for investing
Paypal’s Elon Musk, Microsoft’s Paul Allen and Charles Simonyi, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson – all billionaires associated with investments 62 miles beyond Earth in space. But space is now on the radar of institutional investors and is being pitted as the next great innovation economy.
Foreign exchange: Future of cost analysis is 24/7
Transaction cost analysis (TCA) in the FX market will become a daily activity for the currency traders of institutional investors and asset managers, and their custodian bank partners, says Jim Cochrane, analytics director at agency broker and financial technology firm ITG.
Technology take-off threatens bank foundations
Paypal can make your payments. Google wants your wallet. Facebook sees what you like. Apple and Amazon know when you spend and what you spend it on. How far can the new, powerful technology companies threaten the traditional role of banks?
Emerging markets: New consumers, new banks
Often using new technology, banks are serving emerging market consumers in innovative ways.
HTML5 the future for FX single-dealer platforms
FX banks will use HTML5 to build the front-end of their single-dealer platforms (SDPs), according to a survey from Caplin, the technology vendor.
Adoption of mobile FX trading gathers pace
Some of the biggest retail FX brokers are reporting a surge in mobile trading activity that is only set to continue as mobile applications become the dominant venue for FX trading.
Investment banking: No clouds on tech banking horizon
Facebook’s pending multi-billion dollar IPO is raising the spectre of a new tech bubble. Bankers argue that today’s tech and social media boom is different to that of the late 1990s. But the competition for mandates is more pressing than ever.