Questioning Banking


Bankers have accepted that FinTech is here, reports The Daily FinTech in its SIBOS 2016 wrap-up story. Realism in FinTech among both banks and startups, the move to realtime payment, and (naturally) semi-real blockchain topped its list of takeaways.

It may be a long leap from last week’s conversations on banking, cybercrime, and blockchain to this week’s links. But both raise more questions on the present and future of banking technology than I’ve seen in a while.

Plus a special Blockchain Watch, with coverage of a talk given by William Mougayar, author of The Business Blockchain, at Chicago’s 1871 technology accelerator.

FinTech federal charter could trigger community lending rules

The new regulations imposed upon FinTech firms would be similar those placed on banks by the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, which is limited to depository institutions, according to Bloomberg. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is considering creating FinTech charters and wants to draw on the law’s principles of giving credit and other financial services to low- and middle-income communities and extend it to other banks.

Are banks becoming more like tech companies?

Banks, which were once reluctant to embrace new technology, now are becoming the centers of technological improvements. “Today, we are clearly benefitting from our collaborative, experiment-based approach to innovating banking and how we look at everything from a digital lens,” writes Neal Cross in a post for LinkedIn.

Make branches integral to cross-channel sales and delivery

For some reason, banks have held a rather traditional view of what functions their branches should have. But with such technological changes sweeping the financial services sector, it’s time to rethink their physical branches, asserts Ron Shevlin in a post for The Financial Brand.

Are banks still relevant?

Banks need to take a new look at their analytics capabilities to see what information they can glean from data analytics, writes Jeffry Pilcher for The Financial Brand. As digitally native companies tap into data that helps to tailor their services to consumer needs, banks need to pick up the pace in order to remain competitive.

SWIFT’s global payment innovation initiative sounds intriguing. But will it improve payments?

The Global Payment Innovation initiative is meant to facilitate same-day availability of funds, end-to-end payments tracking, clarify and simplify fees, and improve remittance information, according to the Association for Financial Professionals. But it is yet to be seen whether such improvements will make payments more transparent on both ends.

New report says the global FinTech landscape reaches over 1,000 companies

VBProfiles’ FinTech landscape report found that more than 1,000 FinTech companies startups and historical incumbents, and together they raised more than $105 billion. “One of the most striking data points that we found was that investments in FinTech more than doubled between 2014 and 2015, from $17.8 billion to more than $38 billion,” Baptiste Parravicini, head of marketing at VBProfiles, told Forbes.