By Caitriona Whelan, Head of Compliance and Controls, RBS
Can you please tell the Risk Insights readers a little bit about yourself, your experiences and what your current professional focus is?
My name is Caitriona Whelan and I am Head of Compliance and Controls for the RBS Payments business. I have been with the bank for three (3) years having previously worked at Mastercard as a lawyer where I supported EMEA and UK/ROI. I started my career in Investment Banking where technology was at the forefront of every action/transaction therefore I have always had a healthy interest in technology as an enabler. I worked for a Fintech startup for several years during the Noughties as General Counsel. During that time I really got to appreciate the challenges facing FinTech startups e.g. competition for resource, funding, sales, marketing, risk management. No different to those which large scale players encounter however with a start up you have limited access to support.
My current professional focus is to advise and facilitate on the delivery of a Payments Transformation programme from a Controls and Compliance perspective. RBS has many legacy systems however it embarked on a transformation programme some time ago with the objective of reducing the number of legacy systems as well as implementing new and more agile applications. The end game is to ensure the organisation continues to provide safe and secure payments to its customers.
What, for you, are the benefits of attending a conference like the Payments Forum and what can attendees expect to learn from your session?
This will be my second year attending this conference (last year I was fortunate to be asked to host the second day of the event) and I am really looking forward to it. The event is content rich, innovative in its scope and therefore not repetitive in terms of content which I think is very important.
There will be a great selection of presenters which always makes for a great conference.
Finally for me I enjoy the networking aspect of conferences like the Payments Forum, a great opportunity to meet old and make new friends.
What impacts do you feel GDPR has had on the payments industry and will do in the future?
I believe that GDPR is a good piece of regulation as it brings clarity and certainty for all players in the ecosystem, be it Data Controllers, Data Processors or consumers.
One of the key elements to providing payment services is to ensure that they are safe and secure. Proper understanding and implementation of GDPR will facilitate this.
How can RegTech best be used to standardise regulation interpretation?
RegTech plays a vital role in interpreting regulation whilst at the same time facilitating the implementation in order to achieve compliance. It is very much in its infancy however already we can some great work from RegTech start ups in the KYC/CDD/AML space.
In your opinion, how equipped is current infrastructure to manage changing regulation and innovation?
I think the issue is not so much about how the infrastructure can manage changing regulation and innovation and more so about the sheer volume of regulation in the pipeline. This has been a catalyst for the industry to look at how it delivers change/innovation resulting in the introduction of news ways of working.
How do you see the impact of Payments evolving over the next 6-12 months?
There are many exciting changes happening within the Payments industry over the next 6 – 12 months e.g. Confirmation of Payee, PSD2, all of which bring their own challenges. Through innovation and collaboration where appropriate, I believe that these changes will move the industry in a positive direction and deliver a fast , seamless and safe platform for the consumer.
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