Digital Distribution On New-Age Insurance Exchanges

https://dailyfintech.com/2022/05/26/digital-distribution-on-new-age-insurance-exchanges/
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Investors are sharpening their focus on digital marketplaces that generate business for incumbent carriers. Building a successful marketplace in insurance is far from trivial – significant friction exists, and a critical mass is needed for the network effects to be valuable to participants. On the one hand, owning the customer relationship is crucial. On the other, the problems of unserviceable customers and poor experiences become amplified manifold in digital distribution. It has never been as important to offer more efficient, accessible, and bindable policies online.

Companies are finding new means to unlock the next generation of embedded insurance, setting up platforms on which future insurance products can be scaled.  These insurtechs are providing an insurance exchange that connects insurers, distributors, and customers to buy and sell different insurance and protection products. Consequently, its a cinch for clients to offer financial products outside their area of specialization by partnering with other providers. Non-insurance companies can provide insurance coverage for their customers. All can access a large user base of potential customers, who can choose from a wide range of financial products, making it easier to buy insurance.

Major insurers are joining new digital exchanges to sell not only their own policies but also those of rivals. These powerful new platforms, including Semsee, bolttech, Bold Penguin and Uncharted, pull data from many carriers, allowing agents to see multiple quotes for policies. Chubb, Travelers and Liberty Mutual have signed on, as have agencies that sell policies.

Bolttech’s exchange, having amassed over $5bn in annual premiums from 150 carriers across 5,000+ product-market combinations, is an example. This year, it became Asia’s latest insurtech unicorn with 7.7 million customers across Asia, North America and Europe. It acquired Europe-based i-surance, a B2B2C digital insurance platform, as part of its international growth strategy. This deal followed the close of an $180 million Series-A funding round. Bolttech offers innovative device protection and other digital products across Asia.

For device protection, bolttech developed Click-to-Protect, a remote diagnostics tool. Using artificial intelligence and computer vision, it can diagnose the condition of any mobile device before confirming eligibility for coverage. Its global innovation team is now building in enhanced capabilities such as fraud detection via optical character recognition plus a new Click-to-Protect offering for smart watches. Click-to-Protect is currently available across multiple markets, including Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, the Philippines and South Korea.

Singapore-based Uncharted is an ecosystem of carriers, MGAs, brokers and partners. Its insurance platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) powers embedded distribution and servicing solutions for a global marketplace. With any product-channel combination, it can be deployed in any market in a matter of weeks. Uncharted iPaaS offers a unique and configurable stack of core insurance services, each addressing key customer experience touchpoints and enabling a digitized end-to-end insurance process for insurance distributors and underwriters.

Partnering with best-of-breed technologies, the iPaaS comes integrated with payment gateways (Stripe), CRM (Salesforce), data analytics (Google) and omnichannel servicing (Zendesk). Using transactional and conversational data from core policy, pricing and claims, clients optimize and tread the balance between customer experience and portfolio management across its global digital portfolio.

The growth of digital distribution represents a shift in how insurers compete in markets for personal coverage as well as business and commercial lines worth hundreds of billions of dollars annually. A company that writes policies for autos but not homes can use such exchanges to offer homeowner coverage from other carriers, pre-empting customers from shopping elsewhere. The auto-policy company earns a sales commission on the homeowners policy while the other insurer gets the premium revenue. While exchanges bring more customers, they also pose a threat by allowing smaller insurers with specialized policies to reach a large market, clearly a risk for big insurers.

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https://dailyfintech.com/2022/05/26/digital-distribution-on-new-age-insurance-exchanges/

4 Reasons to be Optimistic about Fintech Right Now

https://finovate.com/4-reasons-to-be-optimistic-about-fintech-right-now/
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We’ve seen some bad news in the tech sector lately. YCombinator is asking its portfolio founders to “plan for the worst” and prepare for a downturn and Klarna is laying off 10% of its employees. Headlines such as, “Tech’s High-Flying Startup Scene Gets a Crushing Reality Check” aren’t helping consumer or investor sentiment, either. It can be tough to remain optimistic.

The good news is that the fintech industry is resilient. So amid the recent onslaught of disheartening news, here are four reasons you can be optimistic about fintech right now.

DeFi is promising

Fintech’s future is bright, and one shining light is decentralized finance (DeFi). It’s hard to know the exact implications DeFi will have on banks, fintechs, and other traditional financial (TradFi) organizations.

However, it’s clear that decentralizing traditional operations such as money transfers and loans will make a more efficient financial system. What’s more, DeFi is poised to help the 1.7 billion unbanked individuals across the globe benefit from financial services they’ve previously never had access to.

The best innovations are born when times get tough

It’s true that necessity is the mother of invention. Whether it’s an economic downturn, a pandemic, or a crisis in a different form, difficult times have proven to motivate people to develop creative solutions. This can be seen in countless examples from the COVID Recession of 2020. After the COVID pandemic hit, businesses were forced to figure out a way to convert their offering or service into the digital channel. In fact, many fintech companies grew while firms in other sectors were forced to make major cuts.

With new crises come new issues, and new problems that businesses and consumers need help solving. A bear market or an economic downturn would be no different; the best innovations are yet to come.

Still room for improvement

Because the fintech industry is relatively nascent, many of the problems the industry set out to solve still exist. In a piece we published earlier this month titled, “Has Fintech Failed?” we took a look at all of the ways fintech is failing to help consumers and businesses. As a few examples, underbanked populations are still lacking quality financial solutions, there are no open banking mandates in the U.S., fraud is rampant, and digital identity is flawed. The good news is that this leaves a lot of room for improvement, and therefore a lot of room for new competitors.

Fintech is here for a reason

When all is said and done, fintech is made to help individuals and businesses better manage their finances and more easily access financial services. Because money is not an optional tool for survival in the modern economy, financial services companies have a unique ability to help others through a recession or slowdown in their own industry. This pervasiveness makes for endless opportunities for banks, fintechs, and DeFi alike.

The fintech industry is not just here to serve financial services organizations, but rather to help people in this world that need financial services the most. That’s why we’re here, and it’s certainly something to be optimistic about.


Photo by Marija Zaric on Unsplash

https://finovate.com/4-reasons-to-be-optimistic-about-fintech-right-now/

Powwi to Implement BPC’s SmartVista Suite to Manage Transactional Service Requirements for Customers

https://thefintechtimes.com/powwi-to-implement-bpcs-smartvista-suite-to-manage-transactional-service-requirements-for-customers/
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BPC, the digital payments provider, has announced a strategic partnership with Powwi, licensed as a deposit-taking institution (Sociedad Especializada en Depósitos y Pagos Electrónicos – SEDPE), one of Colombia’s most successful payment companies and a champion of financial inclusion.

Under the terms of the five-year agreement, Powwi will implement BPC’s SmartVista suite to manage the transactional service requirements for its customers and to help drive growth across the country.

Used by over 350 financial institutions across 100 countries, SmartVista Platform offers a selection of modules which can be used as micro services to deliver full end-to-end banking and payment experience or as a standalone.

Powwi will implement the platform to deliver a superior, faster and relevant experience to their customers in a safe and convenient way. BPC’s SmartVista will drive internet and mobile devices, offering vital, real-time banking services such as balances and account information, fund transfers, bill payments, payment of services. It will also simplify the ability to open online accounts for transactions with a complete digital security scheme.

“We are honoured to have been selected as the issuing processor provider for all of Powwi’s debit and prepaid cards,” said Juliana Peña, VP sales Andean region of BPC. “Our five-year alliance will allow us to work closely with Powwi, one of the most innovative digital financial wallets in the region and an impressive force for good. The company launched with an ambition to make it possible for anyone to make their digital payments, including the unbanked. Together we can help Powwi to achieve this goal and more – and we are proud to do so with the assistance of a fantastic team on the ground.”

Established in 2017, Powwi rose to prominence by focusing on promoting greater financial inclusion through fintech payments innovation. Its banking technology was created to serve the unbanked population in Colombia through simple, easy-to-access services with smart mobile payment features and virtual wallets.

According to Luisa Fernanda Cárdenas Sánchez, president at Powwi, this alliance represents an opportunity to expand the paytech’s service offering to its broad consumer base in Colombia and to also enhance the prosperity of society. “Financial inclusion is a key driver for the country’s economic growth and has significant effects in the overall development of those that cannot access basic banking services. With BPC’s platform, Powwi can do more to close the wealth gap and offer better and more convenient services for all. “

She added “BPC will support and enable next-generation payment services for our digital debit and prepaid cards, branded Visa or Mastercard. In addition, it will manage the processing of all national and international transactions, as well as enable effective fraud management with the SmartVista Fraud Management suite, which provides all the necessary digital security features to mitigate risk and to ensure the successful use of our services across the country”.

Powwi promotes financial inclusion under an end-to-end digital strategy, offering loans and savings to a vast population that still does not have access to formal financial services. It achieves this business goal by leveraging an innovative aggregator model that widens its network of companies, nonprofits and microfinance institutions, from cooperatives and residential complexes to credit originators and compensation fund providers. Together these players are used as a channel to disburse small loans and support bank account services for Powwi customers, who are also granted debit and prepaid cards issued by Visa and Mastercard.

“With this alliance Powwi will have access to our highly experienced team,” added Peña from BPC. “Together we will achieve implementation agility and support during the entire project. We will also offer economic flexibility and our expert knowledge of banking regulation in the Colombian market. This will help to speed up deployment in the digital economy so that Powwi can continue its amazing work across the country.”

Latin America is one of the regions with the fastest growing number of internet users in the world. By the end of 2022 nearly 76 per cent, of the continent’s population will be online, according to Internet World Stats; In Colombia, out of the 51.39 million inhabitants that make up the country, 35.50 million are Internet users, with broadband connectivity reaching nearly 70 per cent of the nation.

  • Francis is a junior journalist with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

https://thefintechtimes.com/powwi-to-implement-bpcs-smartvista-suite-to-manage-transactional-service-requirements-for-customers/

Issue #365 – What If Competition Rises?

https://www.fintechweekly.com/fintech-news/issue-365-what-if-competition-rises
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https://www.fintechweekly.com/fintech-news/issue-365-what-if-competition-rises

How 3 FIs are leveraging Amazon Web Services to improve business

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/how-3-fis-are-leveraging-amazon-web-services-to-improve-business/
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Financial institutions are leveraging Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) tools to improve operations and customer experience. FIs are deploying tools for facial recognition, natural language processing and customer interactions, Alvin Huang, a capital markets specialist in business development and financial services at AWS, said Tuesday during the AWS Financial […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/how-3-fis-are-leveraging-amazon-web-services-to-improve-business/

Finovate Best of Show Winner Chimney Inks Partnerships with a Pair of U.S. Banks

https://finovate.com/finovate-best-of-show-winner-chimney-inks-partnerships-with-a-pair-of-u-s-banks/
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  • Chimney announced partnerships with two banks, Farmers & Merchants Bank and Northwest Bank, that will deploy Chimney’s embeddable financial tools to boost customer engagement.
  • Formerly known as Signal Intent, Chimney won Best of Show at FinovateSpring in 2021.
  • Courtesy of this week’s agreements, Chimney now boasts a total of 15 bank partnerships.

In a bid to boost customer engagement, Farmers & Merchants Bank and Northwest Bank have teamed up with Chimney and will deploy the New York-based company’s financial calculators to help their customers make better decisions about their financial futures.

“In the last two years, we’ve seen greater investments into digital experiences that put customers first,” Chimney co-founder and CEO Matthew Covi said. “Consumers no longer want to be pushed products and services; they want experiences that add value to their everyday life and improve their financial health.”

Previously known as Signal Intent – and winning a Best of Show award in its Finovate debut a year ago at the all-digital edition of FinovateSpring 2021 – Chimney offers embeddable modern financial calculators that can be launched quickly and require no coding to set up and deploy. Chimney has developed more than 35 financial calculator templates, covering a variety of financial categories. Whether a business is looking for tools to better engage homebuyers, automobile shoppers, or simply consumers looking to improve their investment portfolios or savings and budgeting habits, Chimney provides organization with the kind of embedded turnkey digital experiences that help turn website visitors into customers.

“F&M Bank has grown slowly and safely since 1907, earning its reputation as ‘California’s Strongest,’” F&M Bank CEO and board chairman Daniel K. Walker said. “We have supported the communities we call home for more than 100 years, and we aim to continue that. By working with Chimney, we will build deeper relationships with customers by transforming and personalizing their banking experience with the help of meaningful data. We believe this will be incredibly valuable to our customers.”

F&M Bank serves customers in South California and has more than $11 billion in assets. Iowa-based Northwest Bank has 70,000 customers and $2.3 billion in assets.

Chimney began 2022 with a pre-seed investment from the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator and a seed investment from Anil D. Aggarwal, founder and chairman of Fintech Meetup, as well as Fin Venture Capital and Converge. The company rebranded as Chimney in February, in a shift that Covi said reflected a commitment to move beyond “providing outstanding products and services” and toward “delivering not just the products consumers want, but the experiences they expect.”


Photo by Pixabay

https://finovate.com/finovate-best-of-show-winner-chimney-inks-partnerships-with-a-pair-of-u-s-banks/

Bryce Elliott, Truist CIO, joins Bank Automation Summit Fall speaker faculty

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/bryce-elliott-truist-cio-joins-bank-automation-summit-fall-speaker-faculty/
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Bryce Elliott, Truist’s chief information officer for wholesale and enterprise payments, will join the panel “In the Air: How to Develop for the Cloud in Order to Enable Technology Strategy” on Monday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m. UTC at Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022. The summit will be held Sept. 19-20 at the Hyatt Olive […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/bryce-elliott-truist-cio-joins-bank-automation-summit-fall-speaker-faculty/

Transactions: Scienaptic AI, Teslar Software continue run of community bank wins

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/transactions-scienaptic-ai-teslar-software-continue-run-of-community-bank-wins/
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Swiss core provider Temenos will upgrade digital banking at Canadian Tire Bank, the companies announced Wednesday.   Temenos, one of the world’s largest core providers, will enhance account opening and buy now pay later (BNPL) capabilities for the $6 billion Oakville, Ontario-based bank, whose customer base clears 2 million customers.  Canadian Tire Bank selected Temenos over […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/transactions-scienaptic-ai-teslar-software-continue-run-of-community-bank-wins/

Stripe Unveils App Marketplace

https://finovate.com/stripe-unveils-app-marketplace/
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  • Stripe is launching the Stripe App Marketplace.
  • The company’s business customers will be able to browse the new digital store to find and integrate third party apps into their own operations.
  • Businesses will be able to develop and launch their own custom apps within their own company.

Ecommerce technology company Stripe launched an offering that will help businesses tap the technology from third parties to enhance their own offerings. The new launch, the Stripe App Marketplace, is a digital store where businesses can browse popular third-party tools.

Integrating third party tools into their own solution enables businesses to customize Stripe. Adding multiple operations under their Stripe account also enables businesses to automatically share contextual information across apps.

As Mailchimp Chief Product and Design Officer Jon Fasoli explained, “Let’s say, for example, a business owner wants to automate a targeted message when a customer makes a purchase, sending them a specific discount offer to encourage repeat purchases. The Mailchimp app automatically syncs this customer’s information between Stripe and Mailchimp, streamlining their operations and saving them time.”

Mailchimp is one of more than 50 app providers that are launching in the Stripe App Marketplace. Others include DocuSign, Dropbox, Intercom, Mailchimp, Ramp, and Xero. Stripe plans to add apps from more third party providers in the future.

The marketplace isn’t just limited to third party providers. Businesses can enlist their own developers to create custom apps within the Stripe App Marketplace to use within their company.

​​”With Stripe Apps, businesses can customize Stripe with their SaaS tools to best serve their customers,” said Stripe Apps Head of Product Bowen Pan. “We’re excited for this new chapter and can’t wait to see the ingenuity of all the apps that developers will build in the months and years ahead.”


Photo by Bruno Kelzer on Unsplash

https://finovate.com/stripe-unveils-app-marketplace/

Spotlight: The Driving Forces of Global Regtech Adoption

https://thefintechtimes.com/spotlight-the-driving-forces-of-global-regtech-adoption/
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The 2008 financial crisis repositioned the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) industry forever, sowing the seed for massive regulatory renovation and increased compliance costs. Following the crash, regulators have been quicker to catch up to firms that have failed to comply with the more stringent regulatory landscape; which has driven more companies to invest more heavily in regtech solutions. 

Throughout the entire month of May, The Fintech Times has dedicated its focus to highlighting the most current developments in this ever-perplexing and constantly-changing sector. We’ve explored which regulations are expected to have the biggest impact, areas where regulation is falling behind, as well as how regtech translates into the likes of embedded finance and open banking.

According to the data of Verified Market Research, the global regtech market size was valued at $15.68billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $87.17billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 23.92 per cent in the space of seven years.

Considering a smaller time frame, data also suggests that the global regtech market size will grow by $7.6billion in 2021 to $19.5billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 20.8 per cent during this period.

In a similar light, a study from Juniper Research suggested that the amount being invested in the sector will reach $76.3billion in 2022; and that total spending is forecast to grow 48 per cent per annum.

The growing global regtech market

Increased attention on financial regulations, increased adoption of advanced technology, and rapid expansion in collaboration between national regulators and financial institutions are thought to be some of the major drivers of the heighten regtech adoption the industry is seeing now.

Financial oversight is becoming increasingly data-driven, with regulators requesting data with greater depth and regularity. The sort of data required to assess compliance with most prudential rules, which are often quantitative and must be of high quality: structured, well-defined, accurate, and thorough.

Furthermore, banks have made, and continue to make, significant investments in the data and analytical IT solutions that are required. As a result, there is a rise in demand for regtech solutions for financial services, which is propelling the market forward.

On top of these factors, the increased number of fines imposed on large financial institutions, as well as incidents of money laundering and fraud involving respected firms, are driving up the demand for appropriate regtech solutions.

Regulators are keeping a tight eye on the entire industry, and have imposed more than $300billion in fines and penalties on the financial industry since the crash of 2008. Therefore reporting requirements and transparency are more important than ever for businesses to maintain compliance.

APAC is the fastest-growing region in the regtech market

The Asia Pacific (APAC) is home to many developing economies, and many countries in this region are adopting new technologies to comply with procedures for increasing the efficiency of financial systems.

The key countries involved in the movement include Australia, Japan, Singapore, India, China and New Zealand.

APAC is expected to witness the fast-paced adoption of regtech software and is estimated to be the world’s fastest-growing regtech market owing to the rise in the adoption of new technologies, high investments for digital transformation, the rapid expansion of domestic enterprises, extensive development of infrastructures, and increasing GDP of various countries.

Various industry developments 

Back in March 2020, MetricStream established its presence to help the company develop faster in Australia and New Zealand. This business development provided MetricStream with access to the rapidly increasing Asian market, leveraging its governance, risk and compliance (GRC) products and solutions to serve Asian clientele.

Then in April 2021, IBM announced a definitive agreement to acquire the Boston-based application resource management (ARM) and network performance management (NPM) software provider Turbonomic. The acquisition provided enterprises with complete stack application observability and management, allowing them to ensure performance and cut costs by utilising artificial intelligence (AI) to optimise resources including containers, virtual machines, servers, storage, networks and databases.

More recently in November 2021, the regulatory reporting firm Point Nine partnered with FIS to focus on the provision of trade and transaction reporting services to legal entities across the globe.

Latest trends

With the supporting technology developing just as fast as the financial industry itself, certain trends have risen to prominence this year, including the increased incorporation of contemporary solutions such as AI and machine learning.

Tomek Mlodzki, CEO and co-founder of the ID verification company PhotoAiDTomek Mlodzki, CEO and co-founder of the ID verification company PhotoAiD
Tomek Mlodzki

Here, Tomek Mlodzki, CEO and co-founder of the ID verification company PhotoAiD, details what he believes to be the biggest trends that are currently at work within the industry: One of the most notable is the increasing adoption of AI and machine learning within regulatory compliance. This is allowing businesses to automate various compliance tasks, including report generation and monitoring for early signs of non-compliance.

“Another significant trend is the growing use of big data within regtech. This is providing businesses with new insights into their compliance risks by uncovering previously hidden patterns and correlations. This, in turn, is helping organisations to devise more effective compliance strategies and procedures.

“Finally, there is an increasing focus on collaborative solutions within the regtech space. This includes platform-based solutions that allow multiple organisations to share data with one another.”

Adding to these initial thoughts, Shiran Weitzman, CEO and co-founder of Shield, considers how regtech is now finding itself incorporated into the wider use of communication channels; being a particularly topical area given the rise of remote working teams.

Shiran Weitzman, CEO and co-founder of ShieldShiran Weitzman, CEO and co-founder of Shield
Shiran Weitzman

Weitzman comments: “Today, across regulated industries, there are millions of human digital interactions every second. Communication channels, like Zoom, WhatsApp, Slack and more are now an integral part of the new workplace, but, with the proliferation of these electronics channels, we’ve seen a new wave of regulatory and compliance concerns that global institutions must address immediately.

“While banks and financial institutions never would have considered these communication channels pre-pandemic, they’ve become a part of our everyday company interactions, which, unfortunately, has led to a rise in harassment, bullying and other forms of toxicity in the workplace, while financial regulator requirements are being updated to maintain market transparency, integrality and investor protection.

“Some of the world’s largest institutions are even facing potential billions in combined fines because employees were using apps like WhatsApp. In today’s hybrid world especially, it is essential that the right technological solutions are put into place to regulate and monitor employee interactions globally, across regulated institutions.

“Regulation requires documentation, no matter if the employee is performing a nefarious activity or not. A historically manual process, today’s most advanced solutions employ current monitoring technology that uses AI, machine learning and other technological solutions to automatically capture, archive and provide surveillance over the communication channels that have become especially relied upon in remote and hybrid work environments.

“Modern employee communication channels have created massive operational, data, risk, conduct and compliance challenges, so institutions must ensure their compliance and regulation technology adapts along with the electronic communications tools that are being used.”

  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

https://thefintechtimes.com/spotlight-the-driving-forces-of-global-regtech-adoption/

African Tech Firm, EdTech Network and Incubator Come Together to Launch 5G Tech Spaces Across Africa

https://thefintechtimes.com/african-tech-firm-edtech-network-and-incubator-come-together-to-launch-5g-tech-spaces-across-africa/
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New Cameroon business incubator signs up with Pan-African tech firm and Finnish education technology network to spread 5G tech spaces across the African continent.

The recently launched Cameroon-based Boris Bison Youth Empowerment Business Incubator (BB Incubator), the Pan-African video game publishing company Ludique Works and the Finnish technology learning accelerator network Start North are to jointly introduce their technologically advanced learning environments, the ‘5G Mokki Tech Spaces’, across the African continent.

BB Incubator provides office facilities, computer equipment services, internet connectivity, entrepreneurial training and business advisory services to local startup companies and developing entrepreneurs.

The 5G Mokki Tech Spaces are a high-tech learning and communication environment in the shape of a small cottage.

The name ‘Mokki’ comes from the Finnish word ‘mökki’, which translates into ‘cottage’. The cottage enables innovative uses of 5G mobile communication technology.

In the case of the BB Incubator and its startups, it can be used, among other things, to develop software applications that require ultra-fast internet connections, to render immersive, 3D virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) learning experiences, as well as to deliver innovative services and remote work to corporations around the globe.

Compared to the technology standards preceding it, 5G wireless communication technology will enable data connections that are faster on mobile devices when compared to the fastest fixed broadband services; with its true potential capable of enabling entirely new categories of applications.

Powerhouse potential

With its natural resources, young population and growing markets, Africa has the potential to become a productivity powerhouse. Given Europe’s and Africa’s overlapping timezones, European corporations could find access to technologically skilled labour and services from Africa via high-touch, 5G-enabled remote connections in real-time.

Developed by Start North, the 5G Mokki Tech Spaces aim to provide the technology that enables advanced learning environments with remote connectivity, as well as to offer learning solution content, starting in the fields of technology and entrepreneurship.

As part of a collaboration programme between Start North and Ludique Works in Africa, over 250 young people from across the continent applied for the 5G Summer School. More than 60 participants successfully completed the programme with a number of them earning European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits.

Tapping into Africa’s talent

At the launch event of the 5G Mökki network at Häme University in Finland, in October 2021, Dr Mark Nelson, founder and director of innovation at the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab, drew parallels between the high-tech cottage, the invention of the microscope in biology and the telescope in space research, allowing the exploration of social interaction and society without people having to travel from one place to another.

Without innovative approaches to training and job creation, traditional degree-based education falls short of creating sufficient employment opportunities. To illustrate this point, approximately half a million students graduate from Cameroon’s universities every year, but only some three thousand of these graduates tend to find employment. Cameroon is no exception in Africa.

The expansion of the 5G Mokki Tech Spaces network in Africa is in part facilitated by financial instruments developed jointly by the African Union and the European Union, aimed at improving connectivity, know-how, and sustainable social and economic development.

The 5G Mokki Tech Spaces network provides an opportunity for international corporations to tap into highly skilled, young African talent, not only to render remote work but also to spur innovation. Companies can, for example, submit a technology challenge to one of the 5G Mökki Summer Schools, or assign a fully-fledged development project.

Boris Ngala, founder and CEO of BB IncubatorBoris Ngala, founder and CEO of BB Incubator
Boris Ngala

Boris Ngala, founder and CEO of BB Incubator and one of the co-founders of the 5G Mokki Tech Space network, said: “Our aim is a Pan-African tech space network that connects the African continent to Europe and the rest of the world, promoting the learning and adoption of technology, remote work, and entrepreneurship.

“In addition to promoting education, jobs, and the economic development of the regions, the network also aims to curb climate change by utilising the latest technology.”

Douglas Ogeto, co-founder and CEO of Ludique Works and one of the co-founders of the 5G Mokki Tech Space network, added: “The 5G Mokki Tech Space network has the ability to serve international and local companies, to provide creative-economy and technology-based jobs and promote entrepreneurship based on the learning of the latest technology and hands-on projects that serve local conditions.

“Furthermore, this is supported by an extensive national and international collaboration with universities and companies.”

  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

https://thefintechtimes.com/african-tech-firm-edtech-network-and-incubator-come-together-to-launch-5g-tech-spaces-across-africa/

Going Full Circle: Why Business Leaders Need a 360 View to Gain a Competitive Edge

https://finovate.com/going-full-circle-why-business-leaders-need-a-360-view-to-gain-a-competitive-edge/
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This is a sponsored post by Ann Kuelzow, Global Head of Financial services at InterSystems.


Amid ongoing disruption, sudden market changes, and unforeseen circumstances, the ability to leverage live data and gain a 360-degree view of the enterprise is vital for financial services firms to gain much-needed resilience and agility. However, for many organizations, a number of data-related issues currently stand in their way.

Research from InterSystems has found that the biggest data challenge firms are facing is delayed access to data. This is followed by not being able to get data from all the required sources, and not getting it in the format needed. Meanwhile, line of business professionals also cite a reliance on IT teams to analyze and turn data into actionable insights as a key frustration.

Getting to the root cause

The majority of these concerns are likely to stem from organizations having amassed overly complex data infrastructures that rely on a disjointed set of production applications and data management technologies. This has resulted in the creation of a large number of data and application silos which make it difficult to obtain information and insights in a timely manner, and in a way that is easy to interpret and share. This is evidenced by 98% of respondents reporting that there are data and application silos within their organization.

The impact is significant, hindering their ability to gain accurate and current visibility of their distributed data assets to further vital initiatives such as business 360, improving enterprise risk and liquidity management, and data-driven decision-making, for example. Furthermore, more than a third of line of business professionals say they are basing decisions on assumptions rather than real-time information. Meanwhile, an overwhelming 86% of global financial services institutions lack confidence in using their data to drive decision-making.

This has major implications for both financial services organizations and their customers and requires solutions that enable firms to gain access to consistent, accurate, real-time data to enable them to leverage live data and power their critical business initiatives. This is where new, modern approaches to data management, including smart data fabrics, are primed to help.

More diverse data, for better insights

The smart data fabric, a new architectural approach, provides an overarching and nondisruptive layer that connects and accesses information from source systems on demand. It accesses and harmonizes data from existing systems and silos inside and outside the organization, ensuring that the information is both current and accurate. Together, this helps to eliminate delays which lead to errors, missed opportunities, and decisions based on stale or incomplete data.

With so much data at their disposal, using a smart data fabric allows financial services firms to incorporate both real-time event and transactional data along with historical data. Doing so provides business users with self-service analytics capabilities, enabling line of business professionals to make “in the moment” decisions. By incorporating more data from more diverse sources, firms can obtain a more complete and comprehensive view of the business and more insightful analytics.

This approach also addresses limitations of previous approaches, such as data lakes, data warehouses, static reports, and dashboards, while allowing firms to maximize their previous technology investments, rather than needing to “rip and replace.”

Empowered by a 360-degree view

Together, the capabilities provided by a smart data fabric will help firms overcome the issues they have identified by giving them access to a consistent, accurate, real-time view of their enterprise data assets. This will enable them to gain better insights and leverage live data to drive decision making.

With a truly comprehensive 360-degree view of the enterprise, including trading activity, customers, regions, risk, capital, and assets under management, firms will be better placed to respond to growth opportunities, address challenges in an agile manner, and make more informed, accurate business decisions.

By obtaining near real-time visibility across various departments and regions, firms will be able to improve various aspects of the business, from their understanding of market risk and risk reporting, to cash flow and regulatory compliance. Additionally, they will not only be able to gain a complete, 360-degree of the business, but will also be able to establish a comprehensive view of customer and institutional client activity to fuel a wide range of initiatives.

Data as a competitive differentiator

As financial services firms look to address their data challenges, a smart data fabric approach will help to ensure their concerns around outdated, inconsistent, and inaccurate data become a thing of the past. It will also help to restore confidence in using data to drive decision making and arm them with the critical insights needed to retain, support, and grow their client base, gain better visibility for risk management, and adapt to changes and disruptive events in the moment.

Amid ongoing disruption, sudden market changes, and unforeseen circumstances, this 360-degree view of the enterprise and ability to access and utilize real-time data will give them the resilience and agility needed to weather any storms that may arise and gain a true competitive advantage.

Find out more about InterSystems and their recent survey into the biggest technology and data challenges their organizations face >>

https://finovate.com/going-full-circle-why-business-leaders-need-a-360-view-to-gain-a-competitive-edge/

Mastercard To Facilitate the Launch of Sokin’s Card Programme Across the Middle East and Africa

https://thefintechtimes.com/mastercard-to-facilitate-the-launch-of-sokins-card-programme-across-the-middle-east-and-africa/
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Sokin has come together with Mastercard to connect consumers across 39 new markets to more open and transparent payment services; eliminating barriers that have historically hindered access and financial inclusion.

The fintech payment firm signed a multi-year agreement with Mastercard to support the rollout of its fixed-price payment services across the markets of the Middle East and Africa.

Sokin will leverage Mastercard’s digital-first banking solutions and card services to expand its footprint and launch its card programmes for businesses and consumers.

Sokin’s card programme will be available in 39 countries in the Middle East and Africa, including Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Nigeria and South Africa.

Mastercard will collaborate with Sokin to offer solutions to the 35 million migrant workers currently active in the region, whilst also supporting those who regularly transfer and receive money around the world.

Sokin is hoping to transform the region’s financial services landscape on a local scale by providing its 578 million population with an alternative to traditional banking services.

Kaushik Sthankiya, chief commercial officer at SokinKaushik Sthankiya, chief commercial officer at Sokin
Kaushik Sthankiya

“The obstacles to accessing opportunities in the global payments ecosystem have resulted in the exclusion of millions of people that are unable to easily, and instantly, make essential payments and transfers,” said Kaushik Sthankiya, chief commercial officer at Sokin.

“We’ve launched this progressive partnership with Mastercard to boost financial inclusion, helping our customers to access a wider range of financial service products across different markets, and we’re excited to provide digital payment solutions to people in the Middle East and Africa.”

This year, Sokin will start to offer consumers in 39 countries unlimited international money transfers and payments with no mark-up on transactions or hidden fees.

Its proprietary technology facilitates the process within its peer-to-peer mobile app. Customers are able to access a large portfolio of currencies via an app interface which remains the same – no matter the user’s location – and is accessible in five languages; including French, Portuguese and Spanish.

Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President Market Development, Mastercard, MEAAmnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President Market Development, Mastercard, MEA
Amnah Ajmal

“As the partner of choice for fintechs around the globe, we are proud to support Sokin’s expansion to the diverse markets in the Middle East and Africa, connecting its people to global payment solutions in a digital-first, transparent and safe way,” said Amnah Ajmal, executive VP of market development for EEMEA at Mastercard.

“By combining Mastercard’s trusted and secure solutions with Sokin’s innovative services, consumers will be able to benefit from wider choice and greater convenience.”

The collaboration is an extension of existing agreements previously announced in the UK, Europe, South Asia, Singapore, Latin America, Mexico and Brazil, to help consumers make transactions on their own terms.

  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

https://thefintechtimes.com/mastercard-to-facilitate-the-launch-of-sokins-card-programme-across-the-middle-east-and-africa/

UK Fintech News Roundup: The Latest Stories 25/05

https://thefintechtimes.com/uk-fintech-news-roundup-the-latest-stories-25-05/
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Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week we look into the impact of Eastern European conflict on UK business plans; while debt collection takes a digital approach. 

Ukrainian conflict affects UK business expansion

Ukraine Flag Shard

Ukraine Flag Shard

Proactis, which offers software solutions for digital trade, has released research that highlights the impact the Russo-Ukrainian war has had on UK business plans. 

The Proactis eRecovery Report shows that 19 per cent of major UK businesses had expected or planned to expand into at least one of Central and Eastern Europe prior to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The study outlines how the impact of this disruption in Eastern Europe will force UK businesses to change their plans to instead explore expansion elsewhere in the world. 

CEO of Proactis, Tim Sykes, said: “There is a sense of positivity about international trade, but while UK firms continue to seek out expansion opportunities, the one in five that were considering Eastern Europe as a prospective market will now have to look elsewhere.”

Online gambling guide opens for Irish users

Celebrating Gambling

Celebrating Gambling

CasinoAlpha Ireland has now officially launched. The database contains a selection of various online casinos; all of which are licenced by the Irish Revenue Commissioners as well as other regulatory bodies including the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority

The aim of the company is to ensure players are able to access the information that will allow them to make better financial decisions when gambling. Its website contains both an ‘education’ and ‘blog’ tab. The first of these tries to raise gambling addiction awareness as well as game rules and strategies. The blog section attempts to bring gambling specialist’s perspectives on subjects that will be specifically important to Irish readers.

CasinoAlpha attempts to analyse the market accurately and update the facts when required to give its users the best information to make gambling related decisions. Adina Minculescu, head of content at the company, said: “Through forming and expanding our team with members with various academic backgrounds, we aimed for data accuracy and critical thinking.”

ESG investment platform from Temenos

Money Plant Pot

Money Plant Pot

Cloud-based banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform Temenos has launched an investment platform that lets banks produce environmental, social and governance (ESG) services at a greater speed and scale. It aims to help banks and wealth managers meet the ever-growing demand for sustainable investing. 

ESG investing has created a way to invest in companies based on their commitment to one or more of the ESG factors. Bloomberg analysis has shown that ESG assets are on track to exceed £42trillion by 2025. With the new Temenos investment platform, banks can create investment products and power digital experiences that will allow investors to build a portfolio that aligns with their own personal values. 

Product director at Temenos, Alexandre Duret, explained that the platform “provides a fast track for our banking clients to launch innovative ESG investment products underpinned by robust, compliant processes, including new MiFID rules applicable in the EU from August 2022.”

Family saving app reports significant asset growth

Parent Child Counting Money

Parent Child Counting Money

Savings app Beanstalk has reported a 350 per cent growth in assets over the last year and has now registered over 12,000 users since its launch in 2020. The app offers a succession of tools that aim to make it easier for specifically parents to save money for both their children and themselves. 

Beanstalk lets users manage their own and their children’s accounts in one place. They are given the ability to invite friends or family to contribute towards a child’s junior ISA or send money for special occasions. The app has begun a six-figure crowdfunding round in which it aims to raise funds to help build on its current scale through greater customer acquisition. 

Julian Robson, co-founder of Beanstalk, said: “We are on a mission to help parents by making it simple and affordable to build a nest egg for their children’s future, regardless of how much they are able to save.”

Debt collection goes digital

Debt collection

Debt collection

Digital debt collection solution InDebted has announced its launch in the UK in an attempt to transform the way debt is collected. The company wants to offer an intelligent, empathetic and digital-first approach to debt collection. The consumer-first approach comes at the same time as it announces results of consumer polling conducted by Opinium on InDebted’s behalf.

The research  reveals that 49 per cent of adults in the UK who have interacted with traditional debt collectors in the past had experienced harassment or aggression as a result of the tactics used to get them to repay. It also found that 56 per cent of those involved in the poll said that their experience with UK debt collection agencies in the past had made it more difficult to resolve their debt. 

“At a time when the cost of living crisis will see an increase in debts, consumers in need of support are being failed by the broken debt collection model,” said Josh Foreman, chief executive officer and founder of InDebted. “At InDebted, we are guided by a digital-first, data-driven solution that puts consumer outcomes at the heart of everything we do. Ultimately, we believe that those in debt deserve better from debt collectors.”

https://thefintechtimes.com/uk-fintech-news-roundup-the-latest-stories-25-05/

Consumers Call For Identity Checks To Extend Beyond Financial Services

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Knowing who’s who whilst online has never been as important to global consumers as it is now. Identity checks form a crucial access point to financial services, but as new research from Jumio points out, consumers are becoming increasingly interested in seeing such checks being extended to other areas of digital services; such as healthcare and social media. 

Jumio, a provider of orchestrated end-to-end identity proofing, eKYC and AML solutions, has released the findings of its global research, conducted by Opinium, which brings to light the impact of the increasing use of digital identity on consumer preferences and expectations.

Jumio Insight 1

Jumio Insight 1

The research questioned 8,000 adult consumers split evenly across the UK, US, Singapore and Mexico. It found that, on average, 57 per cent have to use their digital identity ‘constantly’ or ‘often’ to access their online accounts following the pandemic.

Consumers in Singapore report the highest level of digital identity use at 70 per cent, as opposed to in the UK which recorded 50 per cent, the US which recorded 52 per cent and Mexico which recorded 55 per cent.

Demand for digital identity as a form of verification

As providing a digital identity to create an online account or complete a transaction becomes more commonplace globally, consumers are now expecting this as part of their engagement with a brand, specifically in certain sectors.

68 per cent of consumers think it’s important to use a digital identity to prove who they say they are when using a financial service online, closely followed by healthcare providers at 52 per cent and social media sites at 42 per cent.

While all markets were united in financial services being the most important sector for robust identity verification, consumers in Mexico believe it is an important step when interacting with sharing economy brands, whilst UK consumers believe it should be required when shopping online.

Where more sensitive personal data is concerned, consumers indicated robust identity verification becomes even more important.

Jumio Insight 2

Jumio Insight 2

Leaders and laggards: certain sectors need to enhance their usage of digital identity    

Despite more consumers demanding digital identity solutions for verification when engaging with companies online, they aren’t confident that all businesses are doing everything they can to protect their online accounts.

Only one-third of consumers believe that their bank has implemented more online identity verification checks since the pandemic to protect them against online fraud and identity theft.

Similarly, in the gaming and gambling space, 41 per cent of consumers say they are ‘confident’ that providers are doing what they can to accurately verify identities and prevent identity-related fraud.

Online identity verification can restore trust

While digital identity solutions are recognised as important in preventing identity-related fraud, consumers have other concerns that these solutions could address.

In healthcare, one-third of consumers are most concerned about not knowing the identity of the healthcare practitioner they are engaging with. This was of particular concern for 45 per cent of consumers in Mexico.

In the social media space, an overwhelming 83 per cent of consumers think that it’s important for social media sites to verify identities so that they can hold users accountable for online hate speech. As such, the use cases and benefits of digital identity extend beyond just fraud prevention and could provide a solution to broader consumer concerns.

Philipp Pointner, Jumio’s chief of digital identityPhilipp Pointner, Jumio’s chief of digital identity
Philipp Pointner

“As our use of online services only continues to grow, organisations are clearly implementing the robust identity verification methods required to prevent the risks associated with virtual services,” said Philipp Pointner, Jumio’s chief of digital identity.

“But this research reveals the demand for digital identity solutions, too – particularly in the financial services and healthcare spaces – and is clearly now a point of differentiation. Implementing these kinds of solutions should be a ‘when,’ not a ‘maybe,’ and will now ultimately determine whether a consumer chooses your business over another.”

  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

https://thefintechtimes.com/82927-2/

Stablecoin News for the week ending Wednesday 25th May.

https://dailyfintech.com/2022/05/25/stablecoin-news-for-the-week-ending-wednesday-25th-may/
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Here is our pick of the 3 most important Stablecoin news stories during the week.

Here come the Regulators!

After the failure in recent weeks of an Algo stablecoin (Terra) the Regulators have now got some red meat to stick their teeth into and propose sweeping regulations of the entire industry and this week they pounced.  

Regulators Are Paying Attention to UST (coindesk.com)

First, BIS led with concerns about a “shadow” financial system that could severely impact the existing Banks who are disadvantaged by not having a level playing field (I’m not making this up).

“This “shadow crypto financial system” serves both retail and institutional clients, such as dedicated investment funds. An uneven regulatory treatment across banks and crypto exchanges and significant data gaps suggest that a proactive, holistic and forward-looking approach to regulating and overseeing cryptocurrency markets is needed. It should focus on ensuring a more level playing field with regard to financial services provided by established financial institutions and intermediaries in the emerging crypto shadow financial system by introducing more stringent regulatory and supervisory oversight for the latter.”

BIS Working Paper 1013: Banking in the shadow of Bitcoin? The institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies

However, they then go onto admit that traditional Financial Institutions barely touch the stuff with total exposures of $188 million in 2021.  There are multiple individual Crypto Whales with substantially more exposure. 

Then followed the G7 “In particular, the G7 calls for rapid implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) ‘travel rule’ and stronger disclosure and regulatory reporting, for instance, as regards reserve assets backing stablecoins” 

G7 Finance Leaders Call for Swift and Comprehensive Crypto Regulation – Regulation Bitcoin News

So in summary, this week regulators grasped the opportunity to promote themselves as the solution and politicians were busy signalling that they were responding to popular demand.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Alan Scott is an expert in the FX market and has been working in the domain of stablecoins for many years.  Twitter @Alan_SmartMoney

We have a self imposed constraint of 3 news stories per week because we serve busy senior Fintech leaders who just want succinct and important information.

For context on stablecoins please read this introductory interview with Alan “How stablecoins will change our world” and read articles tagged stablecoin in our archives. 

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New readers can read 3 free articles.  To  become a member with full access to all that Daily Fintech offers,  the cost is just US$143 a year (= $0.39 per day or $2.75 per week). For less than one cup of coffee you get a week full of caffeine for the mind.

https://dailyfintech.com/2022/05/25/stablecoin-news-for-the-week-ending-wednesday-25th-may/

Poor Money Management and Social Pressures Are Sinking UK Wallets; Latest Consumer Survey Finds

https://thefintechtimes.com/social-pressures-are-sinking-uk-wallets-latest-consumer-survey-finds/
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With the UK becoming increasingly comfortable with post-pandemic life, people are starting to spend more time out socialising, and more time spending money that they weren’t spending during the lockdown.

Following its survey of UK adults, credit card company Aqua has uncovered the key factors contributing to Brit’s social overspending.

According to the results, Brits overspend an average of £328.22 annually at restaurants and £287.19 at bars and pubs; the two worst environments for overspending.

It was also found that although people did consistently overspend in social situations, respondents reported feeling anxiety (24 per cent), regret (16 per cent) and guilt (12 per cent) when they felt pressured to do so.

The survey delves into the UK regions that are most prone to overspending, identifying the biggest spenders against the country’s biggest savers.

Here’s an outline of what Aqua’s survey found:

  • Londoners are the biggest social spenders

Those living in the Greater London area tend to spend more money than the rest of the country on their social lives, according to the research.

When comparing the basics of a regular night out like the average cost of a pint in London (£5.50) vs. other areas of the UK such as Leeds (£3.54) it’s easy to understand why Londoners have a more expensive social life.

On average, Greater London residents put aside £101.03 per month for socialising with friends, £108.77 per month for spending time with family, £96.28 for going out with colleagues and £110.46 for spending time with and going out with their partner.

  • Baby boomers are the most frugal 

Aqua found those over the age of 55 were the least likely to overspend, with almost three-quarters of respondents over 55 stating that they don’t feel pressured to spend more money than they want to when out, compared to 58 per cent of those aged between 25 and 34.

  • Men overspend more than women each month

The research revealed that men tend to overspend more than women by £21.87 per month, meaning men spend a massive £977.76 a year above their annual budget. This compares to £715.32 for women, a difference of £262.44.

  • Financial status is the main reason people overspend

As many as one in three respondents said they overspent as they didn’t want their friends and family to think that they couldn’t afford things. Additionally, 28 per cent of the participants said that the fear of missing was the cause of their overspending habits.

“Socialising is a part of everyone’s day-to-day life, but nobody should feel that they have to avoid socialising due to financial stress,” said Sharvan Selvam, commercial director at Aqua.

“Creating a budget allows you to understand what you can afford each month, and reduce the risk of going over credit limits or into overdrafts. Additionally, learning to effectively talk about finances with loved ones will help alleviate some of the pressure that you may feel to overspend.”

  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

https://thefintechtimes.com/social-pressures-are-sinking-uk-wallets-latest-consumer-survey-finds/

LemonEdge Finds Burnout Is Causing 31% Of Financial Services’ Employees to Leave the Industry

https://thefintechtimes.com/lemonedge-finds-burnout-is-causing-31-of-financial-services-employees-to-leave-the-industry/
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A third (31 per cent) of financial services and banking professionals are planning to leave the industry due to high pressure, according to a new report by LemonEdge, a global digital accountancy platform for the private capital and venture capital industry.

With burnout mounting, a further third (31 per cent) of banking and finance professionals are also planning to leave their current role as a result of high pressure, but continue to stay within the same industry. The upcoming exodus from the industry risks valuable talent leaving the sector in record numbers, and stems from increasing levels of burnout, which has worsened for many since the pandemic and working from home, or hybrid model set up.

Some workers have experienced the positive benefits of hybrid working, and even decreased levels of burnout, but a third (33 per cent) of financial services and banking professionals state levels of burnout has increased due to changes in work environment since the pandemic and working from home hybrid model. Within this, one in six (14 per cent) state burnout has increased exponentially.

When uncovering why workers are planning to leave their positions in record numbers, the study by LemonEdge found that financial services and banking professionals state a heavy workload (42 per cent) is the main contributor to feeling heightened pressure within their role. This is closely followed by manual processes (36 per cent), long working hours (32 per cent), tight deadlines (26 per cent), and increasing demands from management (25 per cent).

While some workers claim to be thriving in these conditions, much of the general workforce in banking and services are feeling the weight of burnout. These increased pressures are negatively impacting the mental well-being of financial service workers, as a quarter (26 per cent) are feeling nervous about the future, whilst a further 23 per cent are specifically worried about their health or mental health.

Overall, one in six (15 per cent) financial services workers feel as though they can no longer continue, or have the desire to continue in their role within the industry, rising to 21 per cent of males.

In order to overcome burnout, a third (33 per cent) of financial services professionals are in agreement that a reduced workload would reduce burnout. Other solutions include time off work (27 per cent), more support from management (25 per cent), and faster, more efficient technology (23 per cent).

Gareth Hewitt, co-founder and chief executive officer at LemonEdge, comments: “An exodus of industry professionals is a sure sign that levels of burnout have reached an unacceptable scale. Any experience of burnout is serious and with thousands of employees planning to leave the industry as a direct result of high pressure, it should be a clear warning to firms before they risk losing valuable talent.

“The risk of burnout to employers is huge, and there are simple measures firms can introduce to reduce the risk of burnout, making the lives of their employees’ much simpler, easier, and with less stress. Firms need to be aware of the impact absenteeism and presenteeism will have on both their employees and business productivity. Just because you’re working from home, or in a hybrid model, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy time off. With one in four (23 per cent) asking for faster or improved technology to eliminate manual processes, firms need to look at their approaches to improve the lives of their staff. In this day and age, technology, not only can but should, provide the automation and flexibility that can contribute to reduced stress, reduced working hours, and lower risk of burnout. At LemonEdge we are passionate about providing the tools and technology that enable financial services professionals to get home on time.”

  • Francis is a junior journalist with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

https://thefintechtimes.com/lemonedge-finds-burnout-is-causing-31-of-financial-services-employees-to-leave-the-industry/

Bite Investments’ Report Finds Main Drivers for Digitalisation Among Investment Firms

https://thefintechtimes.com/bite-investments-report-finds-main-drivers-for-digitalisation-among-investment-firms/
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Bite Investments has released a report in association with Mergermarket concluding that enhanced data access and operational efficiencies are the main drivers for digitalisation among investment firms. The report, titled “The Tech’s Factor: The digitalization of private markets in 2022 and beyond” reveals how digitalisation is shaping the private capital industry and how fund managers are adopting to tech, for what purposes and how the size of a firm can be a determining factor in speed, success, and satisfaction.

The report surveyed US senior executives from middle market, boutique funds, and asset managers on the topic of digitalisation of the private markets. The research revealed that it is crucial to be ahead of the game when it comes to digital adoption. 90 per cent of firms with AUM of more than $1billion agree that keeping ahead of the game in regard to technological capabilities at their organisation is a top priority.

“Investors are arguably the most important part of the private capital ecosystem. Therefore, catering to their desires and demands is an absolute priority for alternative asset managers. Digital adoption is needed to help enhance this client onboarding”, said William Rudebeck, CEO Bite Investments.

“There are great expectations for digital growth. We found that big firms are much further along in terms of digital adoption and how this will be applied to their value chains. This means that smaller firms can still capitalise on a first-mover advantage among peers,” said John West, managing editor EMEA at Mergermarket.

“The pandemic has been a catalyst for digital adoption in the private capital industry. But regardless of what happens with covid-19, the realised benefits of this change are here to stay. We are not going back to the old ways of doing business”, Rudebeck added.

The report demonstrates what a digital future would look like for the private markets industry. Key findings include:

  • External digital investments are expected to increase. Over three-quarters (80 per cent) of larger firms expect to make external digital investments (e.g., to advisors and services providers) north of $1million, with 33 per cent anticipating investments of between $5million and $10million. Smaller firms with AUM of less than $1billion expect to make commensurately smaller investments into external digital investments.
  • Portfolio/fund management and analysis, and investor profiles ranked first as firms’ top digital priorities. Larger firms also identified that digitalisation investments will improve investor onboarding, relationship management and communication whereas smaller firms listed due diligence as a top business function to digitalise.
  • Cloud/Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) will have the largest impact on how private equity firms operate over the next ten years. For this reason, increased investment in cloud/SaaS solutions are deemed necessary to improve operations. A majority of firms are expecting to invest further into areas in which they have already made progress and investments. These include cloud/SaaS solutions (78 per cent –80 per cent) and social media, mobile and collaborative digital technologies (75 per cent – 83 per cent). The primary benefit of using cloud/SaaS platforms is to streamline operations.
  • Third party service providers are used for a wide variety of services. The size of the company often dictates the services needed and prioritised. For instance, 81 per cent of larger firms use a specialist third party software service provider for their due diligence. However, smaller firms are more likely than larger ones to say they currently use third parties for their portfolio/fund management, analysis, and investor profiles.
  • Operational efficiencies will be the single most important long-term effect of digitalisation. Operational efficiencies at the portfolio company level are essential to a private capital firm’s value creation playbook. Other long-term benefits respondents most commonly expect from their digital investments include access to enhanced quality and quantities of data (78 per cent of all respondents). Digitalisation projects will not succeed without good, clean data.

“These insights reaffirm that as digitisation accelerates, fund managers will have to adapt to continuous tech evolution. Our mission at Bite Investments opens possibilities in alternative investment markets with digitisation, and a new forward-thinking approach, enabling firms to configure their own digital platform to improve the experience for existing and prospective investors and limited partners”, Rudebeck concluded.

  • Francis is a junior journalist with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

https://thefintechtimes.com/bite-investments-report-finds-main-drivers-for-digitalisation-among-investment-firms/

Open banking: Balancing innovation with security

https://bankautomationnews.com/premium-plus/plus-risk-security/open-banking-balancing-innovation-with-security/
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After years of stop-start evolution, the market boom that open-banking advocates have been waiting for appears to be underway. The potential of this sector is as large as it is untapped with the sector projected to be worth $43.15 billion by 2026, equivalent to an annual growth rate from 2019 upwards of 24%. Open banking […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/premium-plus/plus-risk-security/open-banking-balancing-innovation-with-security/