Payments, Banking & FinTech roundup: October 2020

The increase of collaboration within the financial ecosystem, and the acceleration of digitalisation continue to be themes shaping 2020 as we move into Q4.

These were just a couple of the topics explored at Sibos 2020. Despite shifting to a virtual environment, it was another great year for the annual event, with an impressive attendance and plenty of interesting insights from experts across the banking industry. As a Sibos partner, Banking Circle was proud to host virtual activities at the event. If you didn’t make it, on-demand sessions are available to watch on the Sibos website.

October also saw the launch of Banking Circle’s new whitepaper: Bounce-back banking: 5 markers for success in delivering SME financial services. Our latest research explores the attitudes of SME business leaders across Europe, as well as taking a look at how financial institutions can support smaller companies in their COVID-19 recoveries.

Plus, continuing the focus on SME needs, in conjunction with The Paypers, we hosted a webinar that looked at rethinking how to serve small businesses and what the future of the SME banking model might look like.

Finally, our CEO, Anders la Cour took part in The Banker Masterclass video series, discussing the action being taken by incumbent banks to meet the needs of their customers in a digital age.

Here are other important stories from the industry you may have missed this month.

Banks continue to shift towards digital ecosystems

Digitalisation of the financial ecosystem has been accelerated further in the wake of the pandemic, and a new infographic from Contentstack reveals that 45% of finance leaders plan to transform their businesses into digital ecosystems with banks at their core.

In fact, 4 out of 5 banking executives believe that financial services platforms are the future of finance.

The graphic explores both continuing digital trends and new technologies, and includes advice about the technologies banks and financial service providers can adopt in order to create seamless omnichannel experiences.

View the infographic here.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issues a warning to banks over remote working surveillance

The FCA has reminded banks of their responsibility to maintain standards of surveillance of staff working from home.

Whilst some leeway was granted initially for banks adapting to a new way of working, with the usual levels of recording and surveillance not possible, the FCA is stating that firms should now have overcome these challenges, updating policies and refreshing training where necessary.

The FCA’s Director of Market Oversight, Julia Hoggart claimed “our expectation is that going forward, office and working from home arrangements should be equivalent – this is not a market for information that we wish to see be arbitraged.”

Find out more about the announcement here.

The FCA and the Bank of England (BoE) launch an AI forum

The use of AI in financial services is becoming more prevalent. Indeed, interest in the potential uses of AI has been partly driven by coronavirus, as a means to tackle some of the immediate problems triggered by the pandemic.

With this change, the FCA and BoE has launched an AI forum. The aim of the new initiative is to assess the opportunities and risks that artificial intelligence poses to financial services, through a series of meetings and workshops that will focus on data, model risk management and governance.

The regulators are hoping the forum, which is expected to run for a year, will encourage discourse between the public and private sectors. The primary aim is to share information and increase understanding of the practical challenges of using AI in financial services, as well as highlight existing or potential barriers to deployment, and consider any potential risks or trade-offs.

It is also hoped that the forum will help to gather opinions on where principles, guidance or regulation could support safe adoption of these technologies.

The first global open banking and open finance directory opens

The Open Future World directory has been launched by the global open banking and open finance hub to help companies connect and build awareness of what they have to offer.

The directory is open to regulated and non-regulated entities and is free of charge to “encourage everyone in the sector to share their information”. Co-founder Nick Cabrera envisages that as the directory evolves, a more advanced search functionality will be available.

The venture is a collaborative effort, being developed with the support of various organisations involved in the ecosystem.

Read more about the Open Future World directory.

FinTechs to expand workforces in 2021

According to a new report from the Conexus Group, recruitment in the industry is expected to increase over the coming year. The FinTech Skills and Employment report 2020 reveals that more than half of FinTech employers are planning to grow their staff, and for one in five, this growth will be considerable.

Despite the impact of the pandemic, the sector has actually already seen a 2% increase in headcount in 2020, with 60% of employers claiming to have hired remotely. Encouragingly, 61% of FinTechs made no furloughs or redundancies during this time either.

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