FINTECH AND DIGITAL BANKING – PSD2 DIRECTIVE

FinTech companies specialized in digital transactions are popping up more and more and will continue so in the upcoming years especially with the application of the PSD2 directive. The directive is set to contribute digitalization of banking, however paying attention to certain rules especially security. Development of instant paying and better information for consumers will be the basis on which the service will develop.

Research from Pricewaterhouse and Coopers has shown 75% of FinTech companies are oriented to development of their own services and payments in cooperation with the banks, while the remaining 25% focuses exclusively on working with the banks. Those are probably the ones that already cooperate with the banks in regards of digitalization. PSD2 is probably one of the initiators of applied digital technology in banking in Europe. This can be seen in quality and modernization of services where when applying new digital solutions, especially in m-banking a large number of banks are cooperating with FinTech companies to keep up the with the competition.

It is considered that open banking, through this directive is letting non-financial players into payment service markets. Due to enhanced competition it is causing a price drop of fees, and the research of PwC has shown that lower transaction fees are the main motive for which one would change the service provider according to 65.48% respondents.

Gijs Boudewijn, President of the Payment Services Committee in European banking states that the main objective of the directive is to enhance the competitiveness of banks, increase security of services, client protection and facilitating innovations in this sector. Banks have, till now avoided giving information to third parties, but with the new rules they have to find a balance between security and developing new, simpler services for users.

OPEN BANKING

Open banking is set to increase competition and lower the costs for citizens and enterprises – what  great news to hear!

It is estimated that people who exceed their permitted overdraft for a week or two will save, on average £180 with these new changes.

The British regulator for market competition, CMA, has adopted a package of measures which with the help of technology should increase competition in banking sector and lower the costs for citizens and enterprises though better insight into accounts and data sharing with multiple service providers.

Older and larger banks don`t have compete with each other to attract clients, and smaller and newer ones have difficulties in finding a way to expand their business. This means many people are paying more than they should, but have no benefits from new services, the CMA states.

4 large British banks control 77% of the market of bank accounts and more than 80% of the accounts of small enterprises.

With that in mind regulators seek to speed up the technological innovations requesting that banks adopt the so called “open banking” system. This system will enable citizens and small enterprises to safely submit their data through smartphone apps to other banks besides their mother bank, so they could more successfully manage their accounts with multiple banks and compare their prices.

Additionally the CMA wants to facilitate transferring accounts, which now only 3% of citizens and 4% on enterprises do. Regulators estimate this will cause savings of around £92 for citizens and £80 for enterprises annually.

Some specific measures have already been taken in form of support to citizens and enterprises which exceed their limits ad-hoc where Banks earn on such fees approx £1.2 billion annually, but from now they will have to warn their clients of exceeding limitations and send them notifications to avoid costs.

Will these measures from regulators result in more savings? It remains to be seen. There is already some criticisms that regulators have not considered seriously the industry structure, and that they are relying solely on new technology to encourage competition instead of planning themselves.

 

Events we are attending in 2018

Where has 2018 gone? In the final quarter we look forward to some fresh knowledge and updates in finance technologies. FinTech is getting more developed each year and as new technologies pop up, we are well positioned to be ahead of the game.

Check out the events we will be attending in September, October and November.

FinTech.li – “FINANCE MEETS FUTURE”, Liechtenstein, September 26, 2018.

Conference for finance and technology, it is the new format of FinTech.li cooperation with inventx AG. We can expect an innovative day with international audience and trends offering:

  • networking in a personal and familiar atmosphere with decision makers
  • a careful selection of speakers and personalities
  • no advertisements but knowledge at the forefront
  • 20-minutes-only-speeches, with practical experiences and no adverts

PayExpo Europe 2018. Set for October 9 – 10, 2018 at Business Design Centre in London. PayExpo is one of the best places to share knowledge and rub shoulders with the disruptors and innovators driving change in payments. Being one of the largest payment events in UK it is a great place to update yourself in matters of fast, easier and more secure payments. PayExpo is offering to:

  • free entry for MNO`s, banks and merchants
  • projection of payment market for the next 10 years
  • over 2000 senior decision makers

Lendlt Fintech Europe 2018 – November 19-10, Business Design Centre, London. LendIt Fintech Europe is the continent’s leading event for Innovation in Financial Services. This year’s event will attract 1,200+ fintechs, banks and investors from Europe’s most influential companies to learn, network and do business. Hot topics will include: lending innovation, financial inclusion, digital banking, blockchain and AI. One of the best industry events to attend if one is to understand the key drivers that push the market.

 

 

Meet us at NextGen Banking London: the AI Revolution

There is no doubt that AI is the next wave of computing and will unleash major change in all industries. But what does the rise of AI mean for the next generation of banking?

For financial institutions, AI represents an opportunity to radically improve efficiency, risk management and regulatory compliance, and customer service.

But to stay ahead of the AI revolution, financial institutions need to navigate a complex array of AI techniques, cultural challenges and technology decisions, to ensure they lay solid foundations for their AI-driven futures.

Finextra’s NextGen Banking London 2018 conference on 17 May will bring together practitioners from across the financial services industry to explore what the AI revolution means for banks – and what financial institutions need to do in the short, medium and longer terms to benefit from AI, and ensure their customers do so as well.

The conference programme will tackle a number of important questions including:

  • What do we mean by AI? It’s a broad church. What are the key AI techniques financial institutions are – or should be – exploring?
  • In which business and application areas within financial services does AI have the most potential now and in the future?
  • What are the technology and cultural considerations banks must address to move forward with AI?

Whether your business is in retail or commercial banking or capital markets, and whether your focus is front or back office, the AI revolution means change.

Join us at NextGen Banking London 2018 and gain actionable insights into how to profit from that change by leveraging AI and the benefits it can bring.

We’re Hiring – B2B Business Development Manager

B2B Business Development Manager

ABOUT 3rd SQUARE SOFTWARE

3rd Square Software is a fast growth, U.K. and Canadian based company providing businesses and individuals with leading FinTech services throughout the world.

3rd Square practices continuous improvement techniques aiming to deliver 100% customer satisfaction via web, mobile app and browser extensions. We are looking to add a business development manager to our team to help communicate the benefits of www.amipaid.com; a service that alerts you if you are paid or a payment you are expecting doesn’t hit.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Review product sites ensuring information is accurate and appealing.
  • Prospect via email, phone, Skype and LinkedIn finding businesses who could benefit from ‘Am I Paid?’.
  • Manage marketing communications releasing timely and relevant articles to our blog, newsletter and social media.
  • Analyse for possible deal breakers, and bring forward improvements, proactively suggesting solutions.
  • Work collaboratively with the development, business, and communications teams.

 

REQUIREMENTS

  • First class technical and communication skills.
  • Keen interest in ensuring quality, and pushing internally for the best.
  • Forward thinking, self starter.
  • Can-do will-do attitude working at a fast pace.
  • Excellent spoken, written and where appropriate graphical communication skills.
  • Team player with a robust work ethic.
  • Sales experience is desirable but not essential.

 

We’re Hiring

QA and UX Testers Required

ABOUT 3rd SQUARE SOFTWARE
3rd Square Software is a fast growth, U.K. and Canadian based company providing businesses and individuals with leading Fintech services throughout the world.

3rd Square practices continuous improvement techniques aiming to deliver 100% customer satisfaction via web, mobile app and browser extensions. We are looking to add a number of QA / UX Analysts to our team to help us make sure we deliver the highest possible standards and experience, initially for our www.amipaid.com and www.amipaid.co.uk; ‘Am I Paid?’ service.

You’ll be an integral part of the team and closely involved with the development of our products from start to finish. This is an opportunity for someone who’s got a knack for knowing, and clearly communicating what makes a service great now and into the future.

 

 

Quality Assurance and User Experience is at the heart of everything we do.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES
– Review product sites ensuring information is accurate and appealing.
– Conduct manual testing on our development, staging and live servers.
– Create automated testing using 3rd party software and monitoring results.
– Sample usage data for anomalies, identifying drop off points.
– Analyse for possible issues and improvement proactively suggesting solutions.
– Isolate, replicate, and verify reported bugs.
– Work collaboratively with the development, business, and communications teams.

REQUIREMENTS
– First class technical problem solving skills.
– Keen interest in ensuring quality, and pushing internally for the best.
– Forward thinking enabling testing of all possible scenarios.
– Can-do will-do attitude working at a fast pace.
– Excellent spoken, written and where appropriate graphical communication skills.
– Team player with a robust work ethic.
– Experience with analysis to create and maintaining automated testing.
– A testing qualification is desirable but not essential.

Viva la Open Banking Revolution!

2018 has been the year of the Open Banking revolution, and it’s been hard to miss the press coverage. In summary, historically, banks have withheld banking data and information about income, transactions and spending. The recent change in law means that banks and building societies now must authorize regulated businesses, such as ‘Am I Paid?’ to access data following an explicit opt-in from the user.

The new rules are devised to promote the development and increased use of new online and mobile services via open banking, and make payment services across the world safer. The new rules also mean that legally, banks only have the right to block data access if it detects fraud or insufficient opt-in permission.

Data transfer and sharing is often enabled by an application programming interface (API), it is a set of clearly defined methods of communication between various software components. APIs have been leveraged in non-banking (an somewhat banking) settings for years, for example Facebook, Google Maps, LinkedIn, Twitter and Amazon all offer APIs to leverage their data and add allow developers to build functionality surrounding their services. Techcrunch, in 2016, reported that Salesforce generates 50% of its revenues through APIs, eBay up to 60%, and Expedia 90% – many business’ whole business model is based on API’s such as Twilio and Zapier to name but a few.

Open Banking has unlocked banking data, therefore creating a whole range of potential new business models and in which not only the banks can compete, where previously with their locked down infrastructure meant there was less incentive for them to innovate.

Payment Collection Services
Bill collection services and collection systems have been given the opportunity to flourish with Open Banking. With the new wave of AI based learning software, standard collection agency fees should reduce as work is automated.

Open Banking has also made it easier for businesses to sell unpaid invoices as transaction history can be verified without the need for potentially doctored copies of bank statements. There is a huge market for collection agency services where debt collections can be automated, reducing the need for manual labour and reducing potential for human error. A good example of this is within ‘Am I Paid?’ anyone can can automate collection letters, emails, SMS and automated phone calls to clients. Collection agency rates are typically 10 to 20%, by automating collections follow ups, it is possible to train clients to pay on-time, knowing that their service will be terminated quickly through non-payment.

Automation makes chasing outstanding invoices and past due invoices much easier as credit controllers and business owners can control the level of automation that suits them, for example whilst learning the system, all unpaid invoice debt collection communications can be approved before going to the client, once confident that the system is prompting as expected, debts and past due invoices can be set to be chased fully automatically.

With advanced collections services such as ‘Am I Paid?’ you can relax knowing that you will be notified if and when money due is paid to you, and additionally can often remove the need to hire a debt collector as the majority of the work is automated for you.

Open Banking increases the breadth of financial services accessible by permitting services other than your bank or building society primarily safely and securely to access your account data. Allowing you to decide which, if any services can access your account data and for how long.

The shift in people’s perception about allowing access to their bank account data is inevitably going to be a slow process, however as it becomes the norm, and people realise the benefits in allowing known reputable brands. Time will tell how quickly this happens. As expected, the first 3 months have been quiet given banks going live at different times, and all initial participants on limited testing basis.

The next phase of adoption is the interesting bit and there is much more to come, as per the Open Banking Roadmap. The UK’s November Budget statement committed to broadening the Open Banking standards to cover other products such as credit cards and e-wallets into 2018 and 19 and beyond that potentially including all financial products from pensions, to mortgages.

Automated debt collection considered less intrusive and annoying

Here at ‘Am I Paid?’ we have seen a lot of different templates being used to remind of unpaid debt, and we are in a privileged position to be able to correlate that with thank you messages to see what type of messages being sent works best.

Every business is different, and we encourage you to use A/B analysis to fine tune what works best for your business, more on that below, however it’s important to note that we do not analyse bank account data, only the messages that have been sent to maintain our privacy standards, and to meet clients expectations of not looking at private data, infact all bank data is encrypted so even if we wanted to analyse it, we couldn’t.

Automated debt collection works best
From our analysis of what results in the best collection of debt, it is clear letting it be known that messages are automated distances yourself from the collection process, so you can maintain potential future business with the customer and results in more debt being collected ongoing.

Automating allows you to remain detached from the situation, it avoids confrontation and results in less futue delinquent payments. When someone knows that you have a robust system in place for monitoring debt and taking appropriate action, this results in less future debt.

Create a sense of urgency
By adding an automated cut off date, which can be a date when any action will occur if they don’t pay, e.g. cut-off future business with them, take court action, contact an industry trade group or making their non-payment public. It is particularly effective to say that you will terminate their ongoing service if the debtor relies on the service you provide, e.g. rent, server hosting, email, utilities, etc.

Other top tips:
– Add a route for them to contact you to discuss if they can’t pay.
– Link to a page where they can download invoices.
– Let them know how and make it easy to pay.
– Can you create a win-win situation? Consider giving a discount or bonus for consistent payment.
– Stay compliant by keeping to contract terms, debt collection legislation and not making false promises that may harm the chances of debt collection.

A/B Analysis
A/B analysis sets a process where trial and error fine tunes historical performance to make a more positive outcome. By continuously trialing new content and discarding the results that performed worst, and shortlisting those that perform best you end up with a list of useful tactics that have performed for you in the past.

1. First Reminder
Dear [name], ‘Am I Paid?’, our automatic bank checking system has not yet detected your payment for [amount] that was expected [date]. Pay / Invoice / Contact Us: [link to payment / invoices / contact]

2. Second Reminder
Dear [name], our automated bank checking tool www.amipaid.com has still not detected your payment. Your access will be automatically terminated / court action will begin on [date]. Pay / Invoice / Contact Us: [link to payment / invoices / contact]

3. Final Reminder
Dear [name], this is an automated message from ‘Am I Paid?’ to let you know that despite our previous reminders your payment has not been detected. We regret to inform you that action will begin [date]. Pay / Invoice / Contact Us: [link to payment / invoices / contact]

Of course, unlike email, with SMS via delivery reports you will be able to check that messages have been delivered.

If all else fails
If your debt collection process isn’t working you may want to reconsider getting paid upfront, increasing your deposit amounts or using the services of a debt collection agency.

Actions speak louder than words – 7 reasons to ditch manual late payment checking

Getting paid is at the heart of every business, so the person responsible for checking this is key. People sometimes think checking the bank is easy, but try doing it every day, if not twice a day, now throw in multiple accounts to check, and looking for multiple payments. It requires time, patience, trust, accuracy, attention to detail and excellent memory, or further time to know who’s who and what was owed. If you’re pushed for time or trying to get paid quicker, a professional automation solution could be for you. Here are seven time-saving, pleasing features that might stop you thinking of logging into your bank as a four-letter word.

1. Spend Less Time Yawning at your Online Banking
Gone are the days of laboriously, repeatedly logging into your bank. Now you’ve got the power to free up your time, and be prompted to follow up for that money owed, right in the palm of your hand. Your smartphone will alert you if you have or haven’t got paid in just a few clicks — no more endless nights wasting time looking through bank logs matching payments, from now on you can relax knowing that job is done.

2. Create New Payers in Seconds!
Literally seconds. When we timed ourselves creating a new payer who owes you money, it took ten seconds. With automatic bank checking, every time you enter a new expected payment, their details will be stored in your account on the cloud and you can choose to set it as a recurring expected amount or a one-off. So you are not only saving time the first month, but every time into the future.

3. Promise is a Comfort to a Fool
“I’ll pay you next week”, how many times have you heard that? Great, they’ve made a promise but now your work load has increased. You need to wait a week (is that in 7 days time, this coming Monday, end of the week?), remember to check for the payment, log into your bank, see it’s inevitably not been paid, remind them…cycle repeats! Looking for the payment someone promised is time consuming, time you could be spending doing something more productive, like enjoying your weekend, so why not automate?

4. Don’t be a Curtain Twitcher
Checking your device is the modern equivalent of looking out the window every 5 minutes to see what’s going on in the street. How much of your life do you want to spend waiting for pages to load, fiddling to find passwords, finding somewhere to charge your device to see if that payment has hit? With automatic bank checking, you can forget about it until you are alerted.

5. Get Paid Faster
If you don’t ask you don’t get, it’s that simple. When a payment doesn’t hit, condition your payers to know that you’re ontop of expected payments and that late payments won’t be forgotten about. Hit them with an email, SMS or call, why not add warning of on a penalty and make them jump to it? ‘Am I Paid?’ is simple and safe, and a much faster way of getting you paid.

6. Chase Professionally
What’s the right tone to have in an email, when should you start making calls? We pack all that with templates and process suggestions putting you in control.

7. Better Debt Collection
With a cloud-based late payment checking solution, every expected bank payment can be tracked and stored. If you need to follow a set debt collection process, or simply get a quick overview of all your expected payments, automatic beats a manual process any day of the week.

MEET US AT THE ANNUAL RETAIL BANKING TECHNOLOGIES SUMMIT IN VIENNA

Join us for the 2nd edition of Retail Banking Technologies Summit in Vienna, on the 20th to the 22nd of February 2018.

Conference Topics Include:
– Emerging technologies: Focus on Tech Trends & Innovation
– Potential of blockchain technology – unlocking real benefits of blockchain through its sweet spot
– How is digitization changing retail banking customer experience?
– Relation between technology an digital threats, financial crime and cybersecurity
– Where next for FinTech? Uncovering the next stage of innovation
– Open banking and API Economy
– Transformation strategies in retail banking
– How AI can deliver a personalized banking experience
– Driving customer experience in the digital channel

Book a slot now to meet us in person at the event.