Everything about legal and other ramifications.

Open Banking and the (Eternal?) Crucial Question: Market-Driven or Regulated?

For a good four years now, open banking has been a topic considered relevant by the Swiss financial industry. This was triggered in particular by the EU regulation PSD2, which became valid for all member states in 2018 and was subsequently implemented. Various players have been working on this topic since then, but implementation is progressing slowly.For this reason, the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF) feels compelled to make a clear announcement. Regulation seems to be getting closer.

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Cross-Company Data Exchange in a Cross-Industry Trust Network – Added Value for Customers, Companies and Partners! 

More extensive business cases such as opening a bank account or an account with a FinTech require several minutes of time each for a low-value-added customer experience – wouldn’t it be great if you could skip all the tedious steps relating to data collection during onboarding and start right away with the advisory service or the effective satisfaction of your core needs? These and other questions have been considered for a little more than half a year as part of a workshop series of the OpenBankingProject.ch (OBP) and discussed together with more than 30 companies from the Swiss financial industry. This article is intended to provide an overview of the background, initial delivery results as well as the current state of knowledge of the efforts within the OpenBankingProject.ch workshop series.

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Money – What Is It Anyway?

What is money anyway? Sure, it’s something we pay with, and according to the International Monetary Fund, something modern economies couldn’t function without. In today’s blog post, we’ll dig a little deeper into the meaning of money and get a broader picture of what it is. The question is, in my view, particularly relevant today, when new constructs such as cryptocurrencies, which diverge from what is generally considered money, such as the euro, Swiss franc or US dollar, are sometimes considered “money”.

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Synthetic Data – The Future of Data-Driven Financial Services?

One of the biggest challenges in this context is the handling of bank-specific and personal data and its processing by artificial intelligence (AI). The basis of data-driven services is a high-quality and up-to-date database. But not all companies have a large enough database to train an algorithm, and the sharing and basic use of some data is strictly limited – sometimes even within the company. To counteract these problems, the concept of synthetic data has become established.

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Target Models for a Digital Asset Offering in the Regulated Space

The topic of digital assets has finally reached the mainstream. The potential for services that make it easier for customers to acquire digital assets is great, but so far only a few financial institutions offer such services. According to the banks, there are many reasons for the lack of a comprehensive offering, e.g. concerns about the value of digital assets, high scepticism regarding money laundering or a lack of know-how in the operational handling of the new asset class. This blog post addresses the last point and aims to show that there are various operational implementation options for a basic digital asset offering for regulated banks.

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Gaia-X – A Revolution for the Financial Industry?

Cloud solutions are faster, more flexible and less expensive than on-premise solutions. However, the best-known cloud infrastructures – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and IBM’s Red Hat – all have one thing in common: they are headquartered in the USA and are therefore subject to the (decidedly lax) US data protection “law”. This makes using the services difficult from a data protection perspective, especially for financial institutions. The European Gaia-X project could be a real alternative.

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Sustainable Finance: A Step Toward the Circular Economy

Sustainability is on everyone’s lips and now impacts all regions and sectors of the global economy. Increasingly, financial industry stakeholders, including customers, investors, suppliers and regulators, expect financial services providers to play an active role in financing the transition from a linear economy to a circular economy. ESG criteria are a tool for companies to become more sustainable and to comply with the regulatory efforts of policymakers and regulators.

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Open Banking Summit 2020 – Opportunities and Implementation Scenarios for Open Banking in Switzerland

Recently, the Swiss Bankers Association published an overview that outlines the status of open banking in Switzerland and formulates requirements for its further development of open banking. These requirements include the clear strategic positioning of Swiss banks and the joint development of standardized APIs for data exchange between financial institutions and third-party providers. The aim of this overview is to “support the dialogue in the financial center”, as Richard Hess writes in the initial contribution to the blog parade of the Swiss Bankers Association. The Open Banking Summit of the standardization initiative OpenBankingProject.ch pursued the same goal on September 10th, with various presentations focusing on these two requirements.

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Reflections on the Future of Swiss Banking

The financial sector is currently facing one of its biggest challenges with the Corona pandemic: A collapse in economic growth, high unemployment, credit defaults and volatile stock markets. Furthermore, the old problems such as pressure on margins, increasingly intense competition, the shift of the customer interface towards innovative fintechs and the ubiquitous digitalization have not yet been solved. These developments challenge traditional business models of local banks, but also offer opportunities for those who are willing to change or reinvent themselves.

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Are we heading for a happy society?

In a few years’ time, new or further developed sensors in smartwatches will not only record the wearer’s movements, but also their heart rhythm and breathing as well as their stress levels via measuring their skin surface tension. Around the world, thousands of developers are working on the new possibilities, hundreds of investors are evaluating the economic potential, and millions of consumers are waiting for the new gadgets. Will intelligent machines such as smartwatches with such capabilities bring us one step closer to a happy society?

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