Software as a Service gives individual companies access to advanced computer systems without having to design and develop them themselves.
Fintech was a major beneficiary of cloud computing and SaaS. Now financial institutions did not have to rely on face-to-face interactions with their customers, by offering all of their services online. There is also no longer a need for investment in hardware and software, because even companies with limited resources can now build sophisticated systems on rented cloud-based services using software that they can select from SaaS vendors.
In our area of specialization, which is banking and finance, there is a strong cross-dependency between Regtech and Fintech because they share many overlapping areas of influence in an enterprise’s operations.
One example of the overlap between Regtech and Fintech is in providing KYC (know your customer) services. In Fintech, KYC is designed to provide a simple, easy and friendly onboarding experience for new customers, but in Regtech, the KYC process has to conform to regulations. This can and often does shift the focus of the process away from the customer’s experience to the requirement for full disclosure and verification of details.
Because Fintech and Regtech are both rapidly evolving technologies, any financial institution that is looking for proper solutions in these areas should get expert guidance from our team of experienced consultants. Money-Gate has over 12 years of experience consulting for both startup and established banks and EMIs, assisting them to obtain corporate and financial licenses, selecting the best clearing and payment solutions and all the other complex processes required for a successful financial institution.
What is Fintech and Regtech?
Fintech refers to processes that allow an institution’s customers to perform financial activities without human intervention. Automation of all functions, such as money transfers, check depositing and withdrawing funds, loan application, setting up savings and investment accounts and all the other activities that used to require a visit to a street-level bank branch can now be conducted with handheld devices and computers without the customer ever having to move. Also, sophisticated terminals allow customers to deposit checks, draw off reports and submit documentation 24/7 without face-to-face contact with bank staff. The benefits of this are greater convenience for customers, reductions in the institution’s operating expenses, eliminating ‘brick-and-mortar’ locations, and improvements in security.
Regtech works in parallel with Fintech, controlling the regulatory aspects of the institution’s business. In order to operate an accredited financial institution (banks, EMIs and Fintechs), the enterprise has to conform to the relevant monitoring, reporting and compliance regulations. Oversight of operations by regulators requires transparency of the operations, consistency in reporting and standardized operating processes.
Regtech in banking is intended to achieve several goals, including:
- Standardization of operations to ensure adherence to regulations
- Digitization of compliance processes
- Automation of reporting
Regtech compliance systems are designed to identify and address areas where the institution’s existing modes of operation are at risk of breaching regulations. At the same time, the best Regtech solutions will also promote far more efficient regulatory compliance and provide higher-quality outcomes at a lower cost.
Regtech technology provides cost savings both to regulators and to financial institutions. Another significant benefit for financial institutions is that proper conformance to regulations can help avoid fines and penalties in case anything goes wrong.
One of the drivers of Regtech was the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, which saw US$200 billion levied against banks that were at fault for non-compliance. Faced with the expenses for individual institutions in designing and developing their own systems, there has been an explosion in demand for universal applications from third-party actors offering the development of Regtech applications.
As well, there have been significant changes in the types of transactions that have to be reported to regulatory authorities. This represents a significant driver for the automation of the whole compliance and monitoring processes.
How does Regtech work?
Regtech is a broad term that describes many different aspects of how financial institutions can improve their regulatory compliance. There are five main areas of activity, although the borders are not rigid, and some overlap considerably.
The areas are:
- Transaction monitoring and auditing. Sometimes leveraging the controls provided by blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies based on distributed ledgers in the blockchain Regtech ecosystem.
- Identity management. Most relevant are due diligence, KYC (know your customer), AML (anti-money laundering) and anti-fraud detection and screening procedures.
- Risk management. Focuses on regulatory compliance and detection of risks, assessment of risk exposure and anticipation of future threats
- Automated real-time regulatory reporting and cloud data distribution and reporting with Ai and big data analytics
Compliance. Tracking the state of compliance with existing upcoming regulations Real-time monitoring