Banks have been building on the digital infrastructure since the first days of finance. After all those years, banking services remain FinTech-driven and are heavily investing in innovative technologies. Bank innovators have transformed the industry with crucial devices, from the ATM half a century ago to contactless payments today. Each time bringing banking closer to the consumer.
Breaking down financial technology
Fintech is an overarching term of the fast change that finance currently is undergoing. Fintech also refers to innovative startups offering the digital financial services, similar to financial institutions or complementing and integrating with existing business models. A closer look to specific technologies reminds us that financial services are changing from back to front. Advanced technology affects all working areas of the sector and correspondingly affects many areas of financial regulation.
On the front-end the mobile phone is decisive, the end-user expects an accessible and secure experience at the same time. In the back office banks have been building and implementing automated solutions. Big data analytics, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and Open APIs are the most concrete technologies used by financial institutions. Alternative finance, virtual currencies and distributed ledgers (blockchain) are also increasingly becoming part of the financial ecosystem.
Fintech and financial regulation
Since the beginning, the European Banking Federation has actively worked on the digital transformation of the industry and succesfully positioned banks as a crucial building block of the EU Digital Single Market. It is very important that legislation needs to keep up with fast change and luckily many regulators and policy makers are putting the main aspects of financial technology on the agenda.
In its work, the EBF pleads for a regulatory environment where all financial services providers can offer innovative and technology-driven products while guaranteeing consumer protection and security and financial stability.
Innovate. Collaborate. Deploy: the EBF vision for banking in the Digital Single Market:
‘Driving the Digital Transformation’, the EBF blueprint for digital financial services (September 2015)
“Everything thrives on digital technology. If it is not on my phone it does not exist.”
Wim MijsEBF Chief Executive Office
“Banks actively embrace FinTech to serve clients with new products and services, and it’s great to see how fresh competition helps us keep our focus.“
Wim MijsEBF Chief Executive Office
“If Europe really wants to play a role in FinTech globally we need to create room for innovative financial services in a flourishing Digital Single Market.”
OMFIF Podcast on FinTech and The European Digital Single Market – Wim Mijs and Peteris Zilgalvis
Pēteris Zilgalvis, head of the start-up and innovation unit in the European Commission’s digital single market directorate, and Wim Mijs, chief executive officer of the European Banking Federation, join Oliver Thew, programmes manager at OMFIF. They discuss the impact of the digital single market on the European banking sector and wider economy, the role of fintech, and the steps being taken to enhance regulation and co-operation across the continent.
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