Facebook Twitter Linkedin
 

Blog

Fresh from SWIFT Business Forum Romania 2017

 

 

The 8th edition of SWIFT Business Forum Romania was held by the Romanian Association of Banks on the 8th of November in Bucharest, with the kind support of Allevo.

 

Gathering around 100 representatives from financial institutions, the conference was focused on celebrating 25 years of SWIFT in Romania, along with debating challenges and opportunities for the financial banking industry, compliance issues and the inevitable digital transformation (a round table we were proudly a part of).

 

The opening plenary consisted of a SWIFT 2020 Strategy update, a SWIFT RTP update and what the strategy means for RO banks, as well as a presentation of the Romanian banking system 2020 vision.

 

 

The next topics of discussion were packaged in a 2-hour panel in which:

 

  • Marianna Janssens (SWIFT) presented the Global Payments Innovation (GPI) initiative;
  • Ruxandra Avram (National Bank of Romania) talked about PSD2 reshaping the payments business, as well as information security;
  • Ionel Dumitru (TransFonD) showed the audience how the future of RON payments is “Instant”;
  • Mihaida Meila (Central Depository) presented the securities market developments and announced the 10-year anniversary of her institution;
  • Michael Formann (SWIFT) talked about reinforcing the security of the global banking system – CSP.

 

Panel highlights:

 

The No.1 counterparty for payments with Romania as the sender is none other than the US (over 20% of our international payments).

 

According to Capgemini’s report “The Currency of Trust: Why Banks and Insurers Must Make Consumer Data Safer and More Secure”:

  • Either the information security management or the security policy are inadequate for 50% of banks.
  • 79% of the financial institutions taking part in the survey are not confident about their ability to detect breaches.

 

 

 

 

Gizem Tansu (SWIFT) then held a focus session on financial crime compliance and the KYC Registry, stressing the importance of this secure shared platform for all banks and the fact that the documentation upload to the Registry is completely free.

 

Name Screening Service is another solution proposed by SWIFT, part of its support to the community in fighting financial crime, offering real-time online screening of single names and supporting effective sanctions compliance by enabling customers to efficiently screen single names of their own customers, suppliers and employees against sanctions, PEP and other lists.

 

 

Round table: The digital transformation – between opportunity and regulation

 

Allevo was represented at the round table by Sorina Bera (CEO), who talked about our current and future projects, including FinTP Connect (our PSD2 solution), FinOps Suite (part of the Treasure Open Source Software co-funded from the ERDF through the Competitiveness Operational Programme 2014-2020), as well as our Instant Payments approach.

 

Due to the rapidly-changing landscape of technology and regulatory compliance alike, software solutions providers must be one step ahead of all other players (be they banks, service providers or consultants), since their compliance to new regulations is based upon the formers’ ability to offer compliant solutions.

 

In fact, software solutions providers have to take the first step in terms of analyzing new regulations, in order to anticipate market needs and requirements, and in this endeavor we constantly consult with final beneficiaries, as a team, to come up with the best solution possible, one that really makes a difference.

 

Since we are all on the same side and have a common goal (compliance), team work is essential. Even though the regulator (in our case, the National Bank of Romania) was not part of this round table debate, they are in the same boat with the rest of us, considering that the ultimate goal of all regulations is to benefit the consumer most of all.

 

In terms of innovation, we strongly believe that its key purpose is to keep the customer satisfaction at the highest level possible and we keep that in mind when we develop all our products.

 

 

 

 

In the end, here are a few results of a Roland-Berger pan-EU study, who challenged 5 beliefs on digitalization:

  1. Customers request a digital banking experience – TRUE, and this is valid for all age groups, not only younger generations; it depends mostly on the levels of education and income. What banks can do is define relevant customer groups, compile digital offerings tailored to specific target groups and clearly communicate them.
  2. The higher the number of digital channels, the better – FALSE. The point is to develop end-to-end digital solutions to be able to address customers through the right channel, with a personalized offering.
  3. Online is revolutionizing banking – TRUE, but the possibilities are even greater, by offering additional value.
  4. The branch is dead – FALSE, but it needs to become more innovative! Banks should adapt the branch offering/service model and make it more attractive by adopting the right blend of innovative branch concepts.
  5. Banks are facing a trust issue in the digital world – FALSE. Trust in banks is nothing but an opportunity to offer secure proprietary apps and communicate the distinct value they add to customers’ lives, in order to reinforce mobile banking use.

 

Final thought: PSD2 will further accelerate the digital transformation and 78% banks plan to at least leverage the changes to open to new opportunities, if not even significantly benefit from the development. Moreover, half of these banks are looking to use PSD2 to develop an ecosystem with other partners.

 

We look forward to seeing you at SWIFT Business Forum Romania 2018! Thank you!

 

 

Prospects of the Banking System in Moldova 2017 - Conference Wrap-up

 

 

Last week, we put together in Chisinau the first international conference linked to our most recent project for SMEs and corporate treasuries: FinOps Suite*. A major focus of this conference was to extend the FINkers United community in Moldova, one of the main goals of our project funded under the Competitiveness Operational Programme 2014-2020.

 

On October 26th 2017, the event unrolled by bringing on stage representatives of the main pillars of the financial and banking environment in both Romania and the Republic of Moldova. These amazing speakers helped us deliver a successful event for the audience formed by 90 decision makers and operations professionals from the local market.

 

We take this opportunity to give special thanks to the ones who accepted our invitation to join us on stage to share insights of their experience and a short history about the evolution of their institutions, lessons learned, current and future projects and things to look forward to, namely: the Romanian Banking Association, the National Bank of Romania, TransFonD, Eximbank Romania, the National Bank of Moldova, the Moldovan Banks Association, Victoriabank and Moldova Agroindbank.

 

 

 

Conference Highlights


  • With regards to Basel II and III, the National Bank of Moldova is expecting to conduct a phased implementation, first deadline being July 2019.
  • The role of the Moldovan Banks Association is to serve the interest of the banks, given the general context of the banking system reform, and Romanian experts have already trained bank employees on several topics, with help from MBA.
  • The National Bank of Romania highlighted its 4 main focus areas: PSD2 (obviously), Directive 2014/92/EU on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, Regulation (EU) 2015/751 on interchange fees for card-based payment transactions, and MiFID II (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive).
  • The main projects of the Romanian banking community are centered around increasing the financial intermediation (crediting), the digital agenda and financial education.
  • The Romanian Banking Association (ARB) also talked about introducing digital technologies, the role of innovation in the banking services and new technologies (blockchain), as well as instant payments services at the EU and Romanian level (ARB– TransFonD project in progress)
  • TransFonD recommends a unitary adoption of standards in order to ensure interoperability and ease of processing.
  • The Romanian State Treasury operations account for about 21% of Romania’s payments volume and they are successfully being processed by Allevo’s solution since 2005.
  • One of the early FinTP adopters, Eximbank Romania, talked about making smart investments in technology: open source options, such as FinTP, that ensure transparency of code and, thus, enhanced security (the customer is able to audit and scan the code that runs in its back-office). They also presented how they ended up making the choice for FinTP and how their internal architecture is put together. It was a very down to earth and hands-on overview of how a bank operates from behind the scenes and how systems that need to flawlessly function at their best are designed and implemented.

 

 

 

 

  • We announced our first banking customer in Moldova who has already adopted one of Allevo’s solutions, FMA, which helps them streamline operations and ensures a backup of the production environment and of the connection to SWIFT. We have been long present so far on the Moldavian market, delivering IT and consultancy services to local banks, but this is the first Allevo product we sold to one of these banks. We are very proud to add such a reference to our portfolio.
  • One of the most prominent issues in Moldova, as well as in Romania, is the lack of workforce, and banks definitely feel it. It is closely followed by lack of technical resources, especially given the constant advance in technology. It’s difficult to keep the pace...
  • Both local banks who made the honor of taking the mic, Victoriabank and Moldova Agroindbank, presented a high-level overview of the local market, what they expect from the regulator, projects they have in the pipeline and their strategy of addressing the financial inclusion issue.
  • The National Bank of Romania advised Moldavian banks to not only expect regulations from the central bank, as those generally come in response to what is already happening on the market. Instead, it’s really important to approach self-regulation, in order to ensure a constant and early enough evolution.
  • Business continuity is essential and major banks should be able to recover instantly! For example, in Romania, 5 banks total 70% of the payments volume. These systemic banks cannot suddenly disappear from the grid.

 

All in all, the October conference in Chisinau was, beyond doubt, one of the many key steps in promoting our FinOps Suite solution worldwide, as well as expanding the FINkers United community beyond borders, and we would like to thank everyone involved for making this possible. Already looking forward to our next endeavor...

 

*FinOps Suite is the business name of the software solution being developed within our Treasure Open Source Software (TOSS) project.

 

 

 

Intertek ISO 9001:2008CMMI Level 2ISO  9001/2008 Dun & Bradstreet