By Dougie Belmore, Head of Payments, CYBG, Clydesdale Bank
What for you are the benefits of attending a conference like the ‘Payments Europe Summit’ and what have attendees learnt from your session?
Having attended the previous Payments Summit conferences, I would say that the key benefits for participants centre around the wide range of topics on offer, and the opportunity to discuss the various emerging issues with likeminded payments professionals.
The ability to interact on a formal and informal basis with other participants provides an excellent opportunity to broaden networks, and to get to the heart of the aspects which are currently challenging our industry.
I would hope that my session provided a broader perspective on the rapid pace of change which is impacting our industry, both regulation driven and from new and emerging participant.
How can risk professionals address the evolution of payments infrastructure with increased non-bank entrants in the market?
The landscape in which we operate is changing at a pace which has not been seen for many years, and this brings with it both opportunity, and risk. As we all evolve and adapt to the new norms we need to continually question how we engage and where our boundaries are.
One of the key challenges which we all face is that of consumer confidence, knowing that the infrastructures which underpin their daily financial requirements are strong, robust and capable of delivering when and where they need them.
Resilience will be critical across all aspects of the new landscape, and this will require a different approach from the traditional ‘old school’ views of how infrastructures are designed and delivered. Greater use of modern technologies will be essential if we are to provide greater flexibility and a richer customer experience, with an always available capability to meet the needs of the ‘on-demand’ generation.
Why is broadening bank capabilities through collaboration of key consideration?
Collaboration brings with it the opportunity to evolve in ways that the previous mindsets would not have allowed. No longer do the key banks and financial institutions need to be seen to build and develop their own infrastructure, and to own all parts of their estate. There are so many new and emerging technology developments across our industry, many driven by smaller and more nimble participants. Whilst they may not have the size and scale to take significant market share, they do have the technical capability to provide market disruption and to change the way that consumers behave and think about their financial needs.
By partnering with these new challengers, the established banks can move past some of the legacy infrastructure issues which have traditionally held them back, allowing them to explore new ways of engaging with their customers and delivering services in a way which meets their evolving demands.
What are the challenges of fulfilling regulatory requirements across collaborations and how can risk professionals address these?
While the development of infrastructures can be shared and outsourced, the regulatory responsibility and obligations cannot. This can create very challenging positions when balancing risk v reward; trying to evolve and develop whilst still maintaining a robust and resilient infrastructure is not a simple task.
Legacy platforms and old school thinking will always be barriers for the more traditional players in the market, and problems that the newer, more agile participants do not have to consider to the same extent.
What changes or trends in the infrastructure of payments should professionals most prepare for over the next year?
The advent of Open Banking and API’s has provided a huge opportunity for the payments landscape to evolve in ways that were previously never considered possible.
As more ‘non-traditional’ players enter the market, providing new and innovative ways for customers to transact will see further breaking down of some of the old and established methods. Whilst many customers may not readily respond to the new and evolving landscape, there will be many who readily embrace the new digital revolution and who look to drive product and service development in new directions.
With ever evolving regulation being introduced to ensure that the customer is protected, it will be for the industry to find the balancing point between protection and service, ensuring customer demands are met.