Rise of the Robots; Rise of RegTech

by Husayn Kassai, CEO and Co-Founder of Onfido Background Checks. First published on FinTech Futures.

Robo advisers are democratizing access to financial services by offering expert financial advice, and with it RegTech is growing. We have seen this trend start in the US, and spread to the rest of the world. With Wealthfront and Betterment already household names and companies like Scalable Capital launching in both the UK and Germany, the market for robo advice is growing, and growing fast.

In its simplest form, the technology essentially involves replacing traditional, face-to-face savings and investment advice with automated, online guidance. Its capabilities extend much further than simply offering advice however; based on complex sets of algorithms, robo advisers can also execute on instruction and even invest money on your behalf.

The advantages of the technology are many, not least its democratization of access to investment and subsequent opening up of wealth management to the masses.

In particular, the need for remote, robust identity verification – ensuring a person is who they claim to be – will be paramount. As access to investment advice becomes more widely available, with many more users looking to sign up in a frictionless way in the comfort of their own home, the challenge of identity verification and the risks that come with it increase, as there may be more bad actors entering the system. It’s reduction of this risk that Regtech like Onfido offers.

Unfortunately, there’s often a tension between necessary compliance and fraud measures and a seamless, easy on-boarding process. It’s a difficult issue to resolve – while rigorous KYC & AML processes might put off honest applicants, making the user experience easier could make it easier for fraudsters to cheat the system. At Onfido, we’re evolving with the needs of the FinTech community to increase conversion and reduce fraud at the same time. With our SDK, it’s as easy as holding your ID document up to your smartphone or computer and taking a selfie. You can do it in seconds, and from the comfort of your own home, avoiding the long, complicated and fallible process of going in branch or even sending documents by mail.

Robo advice is growing to rapid prominence, and recent acquisitions of robo advice platforms FutureAdvisor and AnlageFinger by global banking giants BlackRock and Deutsche Bank respectively shows how seriously the new tech is being taken.

There’s still a long way to go, however. Regtech like Onfido’s has gone from improving financial services to opening FinTech to thin-files. The next phase will be to push financial inclusion even further and tackle the world’s 2 billion currently unbanked individuals. The technology already exists to enable this companies like Payjoy, for instance, can safely and seamlessly on-board users within seconds and at just a fraction of the considerable time and cost it would previously have taken.

Beyond that, penetration into other verticals is inevitable. A handful of companies in the UK and the US are already taking aim at the mortgage market, and many more look set to follow suit. The Robo market is undoubtedly on the rise, and Regtech is coming with it.

Women in FinTech: An interview with Samina Rizwan

Samina Rizwan

This article was first published on FinTech Futures on 22 March 2017. 

Throughout the year we will be profiling women in FinTech, not simply to celebrate their success but also to hear what has worked for them during the course of their careers. This week, Samina Rizwan, Enterprise Architect, Habib Bank Ltd tells us about her path into FinTech and how she has become a distinguished leader within the industry, making a positive impact in the financial services industry. In 2016, Samina was shortlisted for the Woman In Technology (W.I.T) Award with Banking Technology.

How did you start your career?

I started my career 1995, as a Computer Systems Engineer working for a PCB manufacturing company in San Jose. Being a professional engineer, I was excited about the challenges I used to face each day when I routed and designed multi-layered circuit boards in those days where technology was in its midway especially in a country like mine. Yet it was far from sight as to when that type of technology would become common and a career path for engineers in Pakistan. I then switched to the software technology soon after realizing these facts and proceeded with software development further growing into the project management regime and remained as a vendor for another eight years.

I joined the financial industry after 10 years of my career where I started working as customer rather than a vendor and that really change the way I thought about technology, as I was the end user of it. Being a banking technology person, the need of satisfying the bank’s customers became a pressing need of the day. I was engaged in the IT Portfolio Management at the bank working with internal and external customer and also turned the technology back end to offer more innovative financial products.

“I always believe in ‘change for good’.”

What sparked your interest in FinTech?

The Fintech Rise. As the financial world is shrinking and becoming more personal to customers based on their requirements, lifestyle trends, socio-economical changes around the globe has limited the financial institutions to cover the demand and supply cycle of all the customers at an equal and consistent level. Hence the rise of FinTechs gaining momentum and disrupting the financial industry by their financial inclusion in everyone’s life.

What was your lightbulb moment?

In developing countries like mine, the FinTechs have played a vital role along with other service providers like TELCO companies that are providing simple means of payment services to the unbanked masses.

This disruption created a phenomenal change in the financial institution including my previous and current organization to startup banking for the unbanked. This has not only brought in competition to the local market, but is also now becoming popular in the international markets. The African region is offering similar financial products to their customers using technology.

“Women have proven to be an important and critical part of the technology.”

What inspires you?

After having said all about FinTechs, financial institutions, we all remain human at the end of the day and being a human gives us the leverage to bring change on a faster pace, thus driving the technology owners to bring corresponding changes in their technology stacks. I always believe in “change for good” and so I follow the FinTech models to bring changes in the financial institutions while crafting business and IT strategies, bringing in new technologies to the bank, creating room for innovation and new ideas like digital banking.

“Women are far stronger than they think and can carry on another mile to reach the pinnacle of their professional lives and pick themselves up and move on…”

Why is the #WomenInFinTech movement important?

The other half of the world has always been a part of almost every industry, technology included. We, as females have been consistently assisting, creating, developing, researching, innovating, working by all means in all areas of science, technology and engineering at superior levels rather than mediocre levels. The current C-levels in most technology giants currently are “females” and I am really proud to be a woman too. Women, being patient in nature and having the great capability of multi-tasking, have proven to be an important and critical part of the technology.

What piece of advice would you give women starting their careers in FinTech?

I still consider that many women are still far away from being a mid-level and leading positions, and the main reason for such exclusion might be due to mid-career exits from their professional life and entering into domestic lives. It is also due to upbringing of children most of the time in our part of the world. But I would suggest that they are far stronger than they think and can carry on another mile to reach the pinnacle of their professional lives and pick themselves up and move on…

RegTech: providing a step up the financial services pyramid

by Lisa Moyle, Brand Strategy Director, Fintech Futures. First published on FinTech Futures.


There was an interesting discussion at the recent Finance Disrupted event in London, organised by The Economist, that highlighted the opportunity for regtech to support financial inclusion.

Jo Hill, director of market intelligence, data and analysis/strategy and competition (whew…) at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), noted the potential for regtech to make day-to-day banking operations more efficient and effective, ultimately resulting in better experiences for consumers and enabling access to financial services more broadly.

Following an overview of the ways in which Tinkoff Bank and Kreditech were opening up both access and offering improved products and services across Russia and a range of developing markets, a key question was raised with regards to the ideal role of the regulator. Is innovation best supported by a helpful regulator or is the most helpful move they can make to simply stay out of the way? Hill noted the convening power of the regulator and the ways in which the FCA TechSprints, for example, enabled cross organisational teams to come together and create innovative ideas and ways of working.

The link between regtech and financial inclusion may not be as clear as providing a payments app where nothing existed previously. The barriers that regulatory compliance and risk management can throw up when trying to serve the non-textbook consumer, can result in financial institutions simply deeming some customer segments too costly or risky to serve.

Regtech, by driving down the cost of regulatory compliance – estimated to take $270 billion a year and around 10% of operating costs – creating stronger and more robust systems for identifying certain risks, can make more customers more economically feasible to serve and serve well.

As Bank of England Governor Mark Carney noted in his recent speech at the Deutsche Bundesbank G20 conference on digitising finance, financial inclusion and financial literacy, “the twin imperatives of greater inclusion and more competition point to the value of digital identities. Billions of people are still under- or unbanked across advanced and emerging economies”.

Regtech can underpin solutions not simply by creating innovative products but also by enabling financial services institutions to serve more customers without fear of falling foul of existing regulatory frameworks.

Announcing the First FinovateAsia Ever this November

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We are very excited to formally announce that the inaugural FinovateAsia conference will take place in Singapore this November 6th.

As a leading global financial center, the largest port in the world, and a growing hub for entrepreneurs, Singapore is the ideal place for Finovate’s first Asian conference.

The conference will showcase the best new fintech ideas from across Asia via our signature demo-only format to an audience of senior financial executives, influential press, leading entrepreneurs and deep-pocketed investors. 

If you’d like to apply to demo your company’s latest fintech innovation at the event, please email us at demo@finovate.com for more details.

If you’d like to guarantee your seat to this event, tickets are now available at the low pre-sale price of S$595 on the FinovateAsia website.

I’ll be in Singapore next week (June 5-8) to meet with potential partners, sponsors and presenters. If you’re interested in meeting up to hear more about FinovateAsia, please drop me a note directly at eric@netbanker.com.

Thanks and we hope to see you in Singapore in November!

FinovateAsia 2012 is sponsored by: The Bancorp Inc. & Citi Ventures

FinovateAsia 2012 is partners with: BankInnovation, BankerStuff, Celent, Finance on Windows & PYMNTS.com

Announcing the First FinovateAsia Ever this November in Singapore

FinovateAsiaLogo.png

We are very excited to formally announce that the inaugural FinovateAsia conference will take place in Singapore this November 6th.

As a leading global financial center, the largest port in the world, and a growing hub for entrepreneurs, Singapore is the ideal place for Finovate’s first Asian conference.

The conference will showcase the best new fintech ideas from across Asia via our signature demo-only format to an audience of senior financial executives, influential press, leading entrepreneurs and deep-pocketed investors. 

If you’d like to apply to demo your company’s latest fintech innovation at the event, please email us at demo@finovate.com for more details.

If you’d like to guarantee your seat to this event, tickets are now available at the low pre-sale price of S$595 on the FinovateAsia website.

I’ll be in Singapore next week (June 5-8) to meet with potential partners, sponsors and presenters. If you’re interested in meeting up to hear more about FinovateAsia, please drop me a note directly at eric@netbanker.com.

Thanks and we hope to see you in Singapore in November!

FinovateAsia 2012 is sponsored by: The Bancorp Inc. & Citi Ventures

FinovateAsia 2012 is partners with: BankInnovation, BankerStuff, Celent, Finance on Windows & PYMNTS.com

Lock in Your Seat for FinovateFall 2012 by May 18th and Save $300!

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Last week in San Francisco, we hosted our largest Finovate event ever with almost 1,200 innovators watching the cutting-edge of fintech debut live.

It was an incredible gathering that showcased new launches in everything from payments to mobile to security to investing to offers and much more (demo videos will be up soon).

Amazingly, based on our initial projections, this September’s FinovateFall in New York City promises to beat last week’s record attendance and create an unrivaled gathering of the leading entrepreneurs, executives and investors in the financial technology space. 

To lock in your spot in this fall’s record-setting audience at the maximum savings, please get your ticket soon. If you buy your ticket before this Friday (May 18th), you’ll save $300 via the super early-bird price.

We hope to see you this fall!

FinovateFall 2012 is sponsored by: The Bancorp Inc., the law firm of Hudson Cook & Tier One Partners

FinovateFall 2012 is partners with: BankInnovation, BankerStuff, Benzinga, Celent, Filene, Finance on Windows & PYMNTS.com

FinovateFall 2012 — Lock in Your Seat by Friday May 18th and Save $300!

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Last week in San Francisco, we hosted our largest Finovate event ever with almost 1,200 innovators watching the cutting-edge of fintech debut live.

It was an incredible gathering that showcased new launches in everything from payments to mobile to security to investing to offers and much more (demo videos will be up soon).

Amazingly, based on our initial projections, this September’s FinovateFall in New York City promises to beat last week’s record attendance and create an unrivaled gathering of the leading entrepreneurs, executives and investors in the financial technology space. 

To lock in your spot in this fall’s record-setting audience at the maximum savings, please get your ticket soon. If you buy your ticket before this Friday (May 18th), you’ll save $300 via the super early-bird price.

We hope to see you this fall!

FinovateFall 2012 is sponsored by: The Bancorp Inc., the law firm of Hudson Cook & Tier One Partners

FinovateFall 2012 is partners with: BankInnovation, BankerStuff, Benzinga, Celent, Filene, Finance on Windows & PYMNTS.com

FinovateSpring 2012 Officially Breaks Attendance Record

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With less than two weeks to go, FinovateSpring has officially blown past last year’s record attendance of 850 and is rapidly closing in the 1,000-person mark. That said, there are still some tickets available if you want to attend and watch the future of fintech unfold onstage via our signature demo-only format. 

If you’re curious about the companies that will be debuting their latest innovations on stage, check out the full demo lineup as well as the three sneak peaks (#1, #2, #3) that we published on the Finovate blog recently.

And, in case you’re curious who’s in this record-setting audience, here is a small sample of the attending organizations:

  • ADP
  • Aite Group
  • Alliant Credit Union
  • Bain Capital Ventures
  • BancVue
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of the West
  • Bank Technology News
  • Battery Ventures
  • BBVA
  • BCU
  • BECU
  • Benchmark Capital
  • BNY Mellon
  • BT
  • Capital One
  • CashEdge/Fiserv
  • Celent
  • CFPB
  • Charles Schwab & Co.
  • CIBC
  • Citi Ventures
  • Citibank
  • City National Bank
  • CNNMoney
  • comScore
  • DailyWorth
  • Discover Network
  • E*Trade
  • Ericsson
  • EverBank
  • Experian
  • Fidelity
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • First Republic Bank
  • FIS
  • Fiserv
  • Flybridge Capital
  • Gartner
  • GE Capital
  • Google
  • H&R Block
  • Harland
  • Highland Capital
  • Hitachi America
  • HP
  • HSBC Canda
  • ING Direct
  • Intuit
  • Javelin Research
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • LightSpeed Partners
  • MasterCard
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Mint.com
  • Mohr Davidow 
  • NAB
  • NedBank
  • Norwest Venture Partners
  • PayPal
  • PC World
  • RushCard
  • SAP
  • Scottrade
  • Seeking Alpha
  • Shasta Ventures
  • Silicon Valley Bank
  • SunTrust
  • Target Corporation
  • TCV
  • TD Ameritrade
  • The Bancorp Bank
  • The Hartford
  • The Motley Fool
  • TransUnion
  • TSYS
  • TTV Capital
  • U.S. Bank
  • Umpqua Bank
  • USAA
  • Visa
  • Walt Disney
  • Wells Fargo
  • Wired Magazine
  • Xoom.com
  • Yodlee

If you would like to join executives from these organizations (and many others!) grab your ticket today before it is too late. And, if you have any questions about the event, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at info@finovate.com. We hope to see you in May!

FinovateSpring 2012 is sponsored by: Backbase, The Bancorp Inc., the law firm of Hudson Cook, & Intuit

FinovateSpring 2012 is partners with: BankInnovation, BankerStuff, BayPay Forum, Benzinga, California Bankers Association, Celent, Filene, Finance on Windows & PYMNTS.com

FinovateSpring 2012 Officially Breaks Attendance Record

FS2012_low.png

With less than two weeks to go, FinovateSpring has officially blown past last year’s record attendance of 850 and is rapidly closing in the 1,000-person mark. That said, there are still some tickets available if you want to attend and watch the future of fintech unfold onstage via our signature demo-only format. 

In case you’re curious who’s in this record-setting audience, here is a small sample of the attending organizations:

  • ADP
  • Aite Group
  • Alliant Credit Union
  • Bain Capital Ventures
  • BancVue
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of the West
  • Bank Technology News
  • Battery Ventures
  • BBVA
  • BCU
  • BECU
  • Benchmark Capital
  • BNY Mellon
  • BT
  • Capital One
  • CashEdge/Fiserv
  • Celent
  • CFPB
  • Charles Schwab & Co.
  • CIBC
  • Citi Ventures
  • Citibank
  • City National Bank
  • CNNMoney
  • comScore
  • DailyWorth
  • Discover Network
  • E*Trade
  • Ericsson
  • EverBank
  • Experian
  • Fidelity
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • First Republic Bank
  • FIS
  • Fiserv
  • Flybridge Capital
  • Gartner
  • GE Capital
  • Google
  • H&R Block
  • Harland
  • Highland Capital
  • Hitachi America
  • HP
  • HSBC Canda
  • ING Direct
  • Intuit
  • Javelin Research
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • LightSpeed Partners
  • MasterCard
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Mint.com
  • Mohr Davidow 
  • NAB
  • NedBank
  • Norwest Venture Partners
  • PayPal
  • PC World
  • RushCard
  • SAP
  • Scottrade
  • Seeking Alpha
  • Shasta Ventures
  • Silicon Valley Bank
  • SunTrust
  • Target Corporation
  • TCV
  • TD Ameritrade
  • The Bancorp Bank
  • The Hartford
  • The Motley Fool
  • TransUnion
  • TSYS
  • TTV Capital
  • U.S. Bank
  • Umpqua Bank
  • USAA
  • Visa
  • Walt Disney
  • Wells Fargo
  • Wired Magazine
  • Xoom.com
  • Yodlee

If you would like to join executives from these organizations (and many others!) grab your ticket today before it is too late. And, if you have any questions about the event, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at info@finovate.com. We hope to see you in May!

FinovateSpring 2012 is sponsored by: Backbase, The Bancorp Inc., the law firm of Hudson Cook, & Intuit

FinovateSpring 2012 is partners with: BankInnovation, BankerStuff, BayPay Forum, Benzinga, California Bankers Association, Celent, Filene, Finance on Windows & PYMNTS.com

FinovateFall 2012 — Apply Now to Demo Your Newest Fintech Innovations in New York City on September 12th & 13th

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With FinovateSpring coming up in 4 weeks (please get your ticket before it’s too late) and a ton of buzz about the dozens of innovations that will debut there, you might have missed that we’ve begun accepting demo applications for our flagship FinovateFall conference this September 12th & 13th in New York City.

We’re very excited to be returning to Manhattan again to showcase the best new innovations in fintech right in the heart of the world’s financial capital. Last fall, we hosted our largest Finovate audience ever (over 1,000 executives, investors and entrepreneurs) and this year we expect the audience to grow even more.

If you’d like to apply to demo your latest and great fintech innovation at the event, please email us at demo@finovate.com for more details.

If you want to lock in your ticket now to guarantee your seat, you can register at the affordable pre-sale ticket price through April 13th.

FinovateFall 2012 is sponsored by: The Bancorp Inc., the law firm of Hudson Cook & Tier One Partners

FinovateFall 2012 is partners with: BankInnovation, BankerStuff, Celent, Filene, Finance on Windows & PYMNTS.com