Friday, 29 April 2016

#Brexit good for UK #FinTech

Behind closed doors in a small office, off an nondescript corridor, in a rather large building on Rue Wiertz in Brussels, Belgium a hushed conversation took place last month. Shortly afterwards a piece of European Parliamentlegislation was quietly shelved. It carried the rather dull title of “Directive 2009/125/EC” and it was one of the most dangerous documents in Europe!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Bank Heists for the Digital Age

As the line between the virtual and real criminal world grows ever murkier, it’s not surprising online bank robbers are using the anonymity afforded by cyberspace to infiltrate the real world and get their hands on physical cash.

At the same time, within the online world, criminals are diversifying, borrowing each other’s methods and innovating on a new level to fulfil their demands.

Friday, 15 April 2016

A Tale of Two Wallets

Wallets, or purses, have been around since bartering was replaced by the exchange of goods for currency of whatever variety. Therefore they were handy means of carrying that currency in case you needed to ‘buy’ something on your travels. 

Centuries, if not millennia, have passed and we are now in the electronic, or digital, age. The wallet and/or purse are still with us albeit with that all important prefix the ‘E.’ 

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Pulling for Blockchain

Capital markets firms will stop thinking blockchain is something to be suspicious of and start to realise its enormous possibilities this year. Blockchain will soon evolve into “the” disruptive technology that will totally transform the banking system, eliminating the need for securities depositories and central clearing, and reducing settlements delays.

Goldman Sachs jumped in late in 2015 by making a patent application for a cryptocurrency settlement system, called SETLcoin, which it reckons will offer, “nearly instantaneous execution and settlement” of trades including stocks and bonds. This decentralised, cryptography-based solution cuts out the middle man. It has the potential to redefine transactions and the back office of a multitude of different industries.”

Monday, 11 April 2016

Rationalising Global Connections to Drive Costs Down, Visibility Up

Over the past fifteen years, investment banks have seen a massive expansion in global connectivity, encompassing hundreds of links to exchanges and buy side clients as well as infrastructure to backup sites.

This complex connectivity infrastructure is business critical, delivering reliable resiliency, but is also very expensive, from hardware to leased lines and exchange memberships. There is, without doubt, both significant duplication and under-utilisation of these key resources.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Payments is so hot right now

There was (as is often the case with such industry gatherings) a huge amount of hot air generated at Money 20/20 Europe, which took place in Copenhagen this week. Twitter was awash with people raving about how various new fangled offerings are going to rewrite the payments rulebook. Virtual reality headsets are the next big thing. Biometrics is a must have. Social has changed everything, blockchain technologies rock, etc etc.