By: Massimiliano Alvisini
The Eurofi Financial Forum in Vienna got underway in full swing earlier this month as several hundred participants from the European and international financial industry and public authorities gathered to discuss regulation of the financial services industry in the EU.
I was glad to be a part of a panel that looked through trouble-shooting the wins and barriers and fittingly called “Disruption in EU retail payments: Opportunities & Challenges”.
While change and disruption will be constant it is my belief that implementation of RegTech solutions across the EU will be key to achieving a more seamless EU payments market. With the developments of blockchain and AI, it will be possible to use RegTech to create products that help companies with the compliance requirements contained in regulation that applies to the whole financial services industry such as GDPR, NIS (Cybersecurity directive) and AMLD.
A harmonized EU-wide online (i.e. non-face-to-face) KYC framework, including digital identity framework, would lift a significant barrier to the development of FinTech solutions, particularly those solutions which can be used across national borders. This would facilitate the introduction of a truly cross-border financial services market. The same goes for AML rules, which if developed beyond minimum harmonization will support the EU single financial services initiatives.
RegTech could also be a solution to the ever more present issue of banks de-risking remittance service providers. Banks ceasing to supply accounts to money transfer operators disproportionately affects those in greatest need of aid and support, as remittances play a key role in the developing world.
I attended Eurofi last year in Tallinn, but this year the debate and discussion in Vienna were even more vigorous and even more special as Vienna is also the headquarters of the Western Union International Bank. I congratulate Eurofi for hosting yet another unique platform to contribute to informative discussions on the most pressing issues of our industry.