Emirates Institute for Banking & Financial Studies hosts FinTech 2017, bringing together specialists from global academic and financial establishments
Dubai-UAE: 16 March, 2017: The Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS), a regional leader in banking and finance education and training, lately examined the role of technology in banking and financial services, latest fintech applications, and highlighted emerging global trends as well as the inherent opportunities and risks in the field.
The institute hosted the FinTech 2017 conference that welcomed more than 25 industry specialists from prominent local and global academic and financial establishments including Citibank, Beehive, North Wales Business School, and Khalifa University. Comprising six lectures, the one-day conference touched upon a variety of issues including the relationship between banks and fintech, the role of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending within the fintech sector, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and blockchain.
In addition, the conference also addressed the challenges posed by financial technology that has evolved in the shortest span of time and has a wide geographical reach – such as cyber security and threats to the financial privacy of individuals and institutions. The speakers unanimously reiterated the need to adapt modern technology across banking and financial operations, while strengthening security and privacy of transactions.
Addressing the purpose of the hosting a fintech workshop, Jamal Al Jassmi, General Manager of EIBFS, said: “The fast-paced development of the financial and banking sector in the UAE that is also one of the most dynamic sectors in the region, requires innovative fintech applications. The early adoption of such cutting-edge technologies will allow institutions in the region to remain relevant and competitive and provide advanced financial services to organizations and individuals. Fintech-compliant entities will also be better positioned to strengthen their operational and governance frameworks to guarantee their own security as well as the security of their customers.”
He added: “The digital economy that depends on fintech applications is the future economy. We must address emerging challenges due to this transformation, in order to put in place sound tools and methods that will enable us to achieve the highest level of technological advancements, even while limiting possible drawbacks.”
Attendees exchanged insights into new fintech applications for the retail industry, regulatory challenges, data security, the impact of the high number of competing fintech providers, as well as the collaboration between banks and non-financial institution fintech app developers.
Dr Kelvin Leong and Anna Sung, professors at the North Wales Business School at Wrexham Glyndwr University in the UK, delivered a joint presentation on the use of fintech in non-financial sectors. They cited examples such as the French web platform Finexkap that facilitates financing for SMEs, Starbucks Mobile Order & Pay app that allows customers on the go in the US to place orders and pay via their mobile phones, and the UK remittance app TransferWise.
They concluded that far from being restricted to financial institutions, fintech can serve as a common ground to bring together businesses in the financial and non-financial sectors to collaborate on providing more options and better services to the end user.
For his part, Vivek Vaidyanathan, Director of Treasury and Trade Solutions at Citibank, highlighted the need for financial institutions to use fintech as an opportunity for expansion.
Pointing out the broad definition of fintech, he reasoned how and why banks can and should move swiftly.
During his presentation, Dr Ernesto Damiani, Director of the Information Security Research Center at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, highlighted the correlation between big data and fintech. He noted that the increasing demand from banks and retailers for the prediction of certain incidences through close study of information patterns necessitated the integration of fintech into daily operations. Dr Damiani also examined the issue from the opposite perspective of the end users, who are calling for more filters in the type and amount of information shared about their behaviors.