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A New Way to Pay – FinTech Innovation at the Point of Sale

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Instant transfers, real-time payments, virtual banks, and digital currencies - these are just a few of the ways fintech innovation has been booming in the last few years.

Around the globe, start-ups, upstarts, and non-bank payment providers have shaken up the banking status quo. New technologies, market conditions, and alternative business models fueled by global investment offer much needed change in payment systems as well as complement others already on the market. Demand for optimised payments experience in terms of speed, convenience, and multi-channel accessibility are the new ways to pay.

How to Pay - Let Me Count the Ways


Retail and traditional banking have moved away from slow batched processing as consumer demand drives real-time payment systems. This demand has Consumers in retail banking also benefitting from the development of payment systems that run in real-time rather than via the traditional (and relatively slow) method of batched processing. This demand has in turn furthered innovation in real-time payment infrastructures. Consumers no longer require a bank or credit card to make payments, but can instead use service layers that run on top of existing real-time payment infrastructures.

In our mobile world, mobile wallets are often at the forefront of thought for payment systems and with the rise of P2P payment such as Venmo, Square, and Klarna. While generally focused on the peer-to-peer (P2P), mobile capabilities are much smaller in the wholesale and corporate sectors. But, this won’t last for long. Projected smartphone growth offers banks an opportunity to adapt and consider solutions across devices to meet growing demand.

An increasing number of non-bank providers are entering the payments world as well. Consider the rise of digital currencies, foreign exchange and remittances, and other P2P models which enable users to buy and sell currencies directly at an agreed rate. Real-time technological innovation reduces currency risk faced by banks and money transfer agencies, while also lowering costs associated with money transfer.

Growth in e-commerce makes consumer and retail payments sector the fastest moving in terms of innovation and adoption of new payment capabilities. Renewed confidence in the financial services sector has led to a substantial rise in available jobs, particularly among risk management teams. Yet, professionals to fill these roles remain in short supply.

Roll Out the Red Carpet – These are the Roles in High Demand


Against the U.S., Japan, and globally, the U.K. faces a skills shortage in risk functions. According to a report by Accenture, over 75 percent of organisations say a shortage of core risk management talent impedes their effectiveness. Just over 70 percent are facing a shortage in new and emerging technologies. With an eye to the future, many organisations, capital markets, and U.K. banking plan to strengthen their understanding of emerging technology risk and their data management capabilities.

Roles in highest demand are those in counterparty credit risk, particularly within pricing. While more recently, graduates with quantitative backgrounds found roles in risk methodology, real-time payment structures and the role of e-commerce has created more opportunity for those who candidates who understand pricing models. Those at the first line of defence in regard to assurance, internal audit, IT controls, and cyber security fall within the scope of operational risk functions are also in demand.

The role of Brexit programmes will drive risk change hires in 2018. As negotiations become clearer, other organisations are expected to follow an investment bank in Canary Wharf which has made credit risk function hires a top priority.

Top Challenges in Risk Management Function


Increased demand from regulators, increased velocity, volume of data, legacy technologies, and variety are the top challenges faced by U.K. banking and capital markets. To meet their needs, these organisations are focused on creating teams which blend core competencies, a deep understand of new digital capabilities, and commercial acumen.

Quantitative risk professionals with experience in counterparty and market risk analysis are in high demand as well as those with a pricing model focus. Demand for regulatory and portfolio level market risk managers have also seen an uptick in demand.

In order to overcome shortages, businesses are considering internal candidate pools and moving strong candidates between asset classes. Despite shortages of professionals with key skill sets within risk, employers have remained cautious. Quantitative risk roles are a notable exception, where skills shortages are most acute.

We have an opportunity for a Senior Credit Risk Manager within New Product Leadership to help build a leading Financial Service’s recently purchased Consumer Finance Portfolio. Shape the entire strategy, oversee all Scorecard and Model Development, and build your own team. Interested? Learn more about the position here and for additional opportunities check out our current vacancies. Contact our UK Team at 0208 408 6070 or email ukinfo@harnham.com to learn more.