A new way to pay- Fintech innovation at the point of sale

Ewan Dunbar our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 1/11/2018 12:28 PM
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?


For additional opportunities check out our current vacancies. Contact our UK Team at 0208 408 6070 or email ukinfo@harnham.com to learn more.

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MeasureCamp Berlin

MeasureCamp Berlin: A Preview

In preparation for this year's MeasureCamp Berlin, we sat down with Benjamin Bock, communications lead, to discuss what to expect, as well as his thoughts on the industry in general. Here's what he had to say: Can you explain MeasureCamp for people who haven’t been yet? MeasureCamp is an open, free-to-attend analytics 'un-conference' made by analytics professionals for analytics professionals (and everyone who wants to get there) around the globe. In that sense, it’s different to any conference you know of. Our schedule is created on the day of the event, and our speakers are fellow attendees. Listen to talks, give a talk, and discuss topics that really tickle your fancy. What can we expect at MeasureCamp Berlin this year? Let’s begin with what you can’t and never will expect at MeasureCamp Berlin: Sales pitch presentations. We’ve all been there… you are visiting a fancy, expensive conference and all you get is Heads of 'This n’ That' talking about what their team did, what they spent money on and that you should buy Product X to be as Data-driven as them (mind the cynicism). At MeasureCamp you can expect talks and discussion rounds by around 150 fellow experts, who all know the daily adventures of cleaning Data, setting up analytics or debugging tracking code or running mind-bending analysis first hand.  What is your best tip for someone that has never been at MeasureCamp before? Don’t rush it! MeasureCamp is about mingling with the analytics community as much as it is about the talks and discussion rounds. Pick a few talks that really interest you and use the rest of the day to get to know other attendees. Our awesome sponsors are also more than happy to talk to you. What is the best advice you got last year at MeasureCamp? On a personal level, I was able to get some really good advice when it came to data privacy topics. GDPR was still fairly fresh and nobody really knew if what they had done was actually enough to not get into trouble. That’s the kind of advice you only get if you have the chance to talk to other professionals face to face. On another note, what are the most sought-after skills and technologies currently used? I can only speak of my experience here. On a hard skill level and depending on the individual role, you need a solid understanding of web technologies (JavaScript, HTML, CSS) and tag managing systems to be able to implement tracking (plus some knowledge in mobile development when your focus lies on apps). When it comes to analysing and visualising Data, you should understand the tool you are working with and its underlying Data-structures. Being able to retrieve tool-agnostic Data with SQL and running more sophisticated calculations (e.g. with Python) has become more and more important over the last few years. But there are some softer skills, that should not be overlooked as well. As an analytics professional, you should never assume that your knowledge and language are common ground. You need to be a strong communicator, who is able to explain complicated concepts broken down to the absolute basics. In your opinion, what will be the biggest challenge in digital analytics in the next year? Two weeks ago, I would have answered “bringing web and app Data together”. Now that we know Google is working on that topic, it’s still a challenge, but one I am happy to tackle in the coming year. Digital Analytics is constantly changing. What do you expect to be the most talked about topic at MeasureCamp this year? As a Tracking Specialist with a focus on Google products, I’d love to hear some talks about Google Tag Manager Custom Templates. But my top guess is, that the newly released Apps and Web properties beta for Google Analytics will be the talk of the hour. MeasureCamp Berlin is an open and free-to-attend 'un-conference', taking place this year on the 28th of September. The final batch of tickets will be released on the 21st of August at 03:00 PM (CEST). Click here for more information and to get hold of your place. 

Where Tech Meets Tradition

Where Tech Meets Tradition

If you’re lamenting the decline of handmade traditional products, cast your cares aside. There’s a new Sheriff in town and its name is, Tech. Just a generation ago, children would leave the farm or the family business, go to school, and then move on to make their place in the world doing their own thing. Away from family.  Today, the landscape has changed and those who have left are coming home. But this time, they’re bringing technology with them to help make things more efficient and more productive. Is Tech-Assisted Still Handmade? In a word, yes. Artists still make things “from scratch”, except now technologies allow them to not only see their vision in real-time, but their customers, too. Have you ever wondered what the image in your head might look like on paper or in metal? What about the design of prosthetic arms and healthcare devices by 3D printers? You’re still designing, creating.  But just like any new technology, there’s still a learning curve. Even for cutting-edge craftspeople who find that sometimes, the line between craftsmanship and high-tech creativity may be a bit of a blur. Not to mention the expense for either the equipment required or being able to offer art using traditional tools at technology-assisted prices. Somewhere between the two, there is a trade-off. It’s up to the individual to determine where and what that trade-off is. Life in the Creative Economy One of Banksy’s paintings shredded itself upon purchase at an auction recently. AI is making music and writing books. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Blockchain all have their place in the creative economy from immersive entertainment to efficient manufacturing processes. Each of these touches the way we live now. In a joint study between McKinsey and the World Economic Forum, 'Creative Disruption: The impact of emerging technologies on the creative economy', the organisations broke down the various technologies used in the creative economy and how they’re driving change. For example: AI is being used to distill user preferences when it comes to curating movies and music. The Associated Press has used AI to free up reporters’ time and the Washington Post has created a tool to help it generate up to 70 articles a month, many stories of which they wouldn’t have otherwise dedicated staff.Machine Learning has begun to create original content. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have come together as a new medium to help move people to get up, get active, and go play whether it’s a stroll through a virtual art gallery or watching your children play at the playground.  Where else might immersive media play out? Content today could help tell humanitarian stories or offer work-place diversity training. But back to the artisan handicrafts.  Artistry with technology Whilst publishing firms may be looking to use AI to redefine the creative economy, they are not alone. Other artists utilising these technologies include:  SculptorsDigital artistsPaintersJewellery makersBourbon distillers America’s oldest distiller has gotten on the technology bandwagon and while there is no rushing good Bourbon, but you can manage the process more efficiently. They’ve even taken things a step further and have created an app for aficionados to follow along in the process. Talk about crafted and curated for individual tastes and transparency. It may seem almost self-explanatory to note how other artisans are using technology. But what about distilleries? What are they doing? They’re creating efficiency by: Adding IoT sensors for Data Analytics collection Adding RFID tags to their barrels Creating experimental ageing warehouses (AR, anyone?) to refine their craft. Don’t worry, though. These changes won’t affect the spirit itself. After all, according to Mr. Wheatley, Master Distiller, “There’s no way to cheat mother nature or father time.” Ultimately, the idea is to not only understand the history behind the process, but to make it more efficient and repeatable. A way to preserve the processes of the past while using the advances of the present with an eye to the future. If you’re interested in using Data & Analytics to drive creativity, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expect consultants to find out more. 

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