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2018年金融科技业十大预测

对金融科技公司来说,2017年是重要的一年,但2018年的发展同样让人兴奋。以下是我们对2018年金融科技领域的一些预测:

1. 比特币与加密货币--会出现机构级别的投资者吗?

2017年比特币和其他加密货币打破了许多记录(尤其是在价格方面),引起了公众的广泛关注和兴趣。潜在投资机构相继宣布投资加密货币、推出加密基金,从中介到银行的"现任"服务提供商也进入了这一领域,预计这一领域的火爆情况在2018年还将继续。

零售领域也期待创新。尽管加密货币或首次币发行(ICO)取得许多突破性进展,但对用户来说,投资它们并不方便。如何保管密码仍需要更多经验。例如,你忘了银行密码随时可以找回账户密码,但如果忘了加密货币密码,就再也找不回来。

2. 加密法规与税收--监管机构和税务机关也准备加入吗?

截至目前,监管机构大多对加密货币采取了一种平衡实用的方法。但他们也明确表示打击任何违规行为,美国证券交易委员会对数据访问对象的调查报告就是一个很好的例子。然而,监管机构可能针对某些盲目的首次币发行采取更高调的执法方式,希望这种做法能起到杀一儆百的效果。

预计税务当局也会更加活跃,尤其是比特币价格上涨的情况下。美国国税局最近要求美国一家大型加密货币交易所提供账户持有人的姓名,这可能预示了未来的发展方向。

3. 首次币发行(ICO)--这个新行业能成功吗?

过去一年,ICO发行吸引了大量媒体关注,并通过代币销售累计获得30多亿美元资金。未来,这一行业很快就从"两个人加一纸理念"的模式发展为经验丰富的团队加专业营销公司的完美商业模式。

尽管ICO狂热在2018年可能会平息下来,尤其是从ICO的数量和筹集金额角度来看,但我们预计该行业还是会随着行业进一步发展而进一步制度化。KYC(了解你的客户)、AML(反洗钱)流程、管理方式、透明标准这些关键领域体现尤为明显。预计行业翘楚将践行更多创新项目,最近香港金融科技协会的实践就是一个很好的例子。

4. 管理科技--未来整合浪潮?

管理科技(RegTech)将继续成为金融机构的兴趣点,金融机构不仅希望更加高效地完成监管义务,而且还希望能有效降低相关风险和成本。

然而,漫长的销售周期和采购障碍仍将是挑战,特别是法律和合规团队对管理科技还不太熟悉。此外,这一领域还缺乏占主导地位的公司,这将会导致行业进一步整合,而管理科技创业公司可能还会被某些不想被淘汰的传统技术提供商收购。

5. 银行拥抱金融科技--创新团队的终结?

尽管创新团队在金融科技早期发挥了关键作用,银行与创业公司还在学习如何合作的时候,就经常因去烧预算而受到批评,创新团队更多的是被作为一种营销工具,而不是一种组织内有意义的变革驱动力。

随着银行高级管理层对金融技术的熟悉、对金融技术的了解,可以预见许多金融科技公司将完全避开创新团队,直接处理相关业务。这样除了能节约金融科技创业公司的时间和精力,还能继续把创新作为一种思维模式根植于整个组织中,而非仅仅局限于创新团队。但说起来容易做起来难!

6. 监管科技--监管机构将使用新技术?

监管科技,简称"SupTech",是指监管机构采用新技术,使监管更有效,减轻合规负担。可能与有些人的想法相反,许多监管机构进行先进的数据分析和人工智能工具试验,不仅是为了检测市场操纵,还为了处理每月收到的成千上万份监管文件。

预计一些主要监管机构将继续充当这一领域的先锋。例如,新加坡金融管理局正在计划在监管报告上使用机器可读模板,并彻底修改数据收集习惯,甚至允许金融机构在监管机构两次要求相同数据的情况下拒绝其要求。

7. 开放银行--你的银行数据将与你最喜欢的科技公司合并?

2018年金融技术议程的首要议题还是围绕开放银行业务、开放应用程序编程接口(API),欧洲PSD2(《支付服务指令修正案》)等监管法案、香港监管机构宣布开放API框架等监管举措推动了这一领域发展。

尽管大多数人都认为开放银行是整个行业的普遍走向,但观察当前银行如何在2018年实现自己的定位、科技大公司将取得什么样的进展还是很有趣。在开放的银行模式中,消费者会选择科技公司还是更信任传统银行?结果还是个未知数。

8. 语音界面操作--Alexa会成为你的新银行家吗?

尽管关注焦点仍在手机端,但语音界面操作正逐渐被接受和使用。从欧美的亚马逊Echo、谷歌Home到亚洲的百度小鱼、阿里巴巴Genie,语音助手逐渐成为我们日常生活的一部分,一些研究甚至预测2022年前大多数美国家庭将拥有此类设备。

与近年来聊天机器人的情况类似,预计金融机构将继续研究如何把解决方案与向客户提供的产品整合。尽管仍面临许多数据安全和隐私问题,但这领域看起来仍然很有发展前途。那么Alexa能成为你的下一个银行家吗?

9. 金融科技套利--西方研究,东方销售?

亚洲通常被公认为B2C金融技术的全球领导者,主要是因为中国的几家大公司(比如百度、蚂蚁金融、腾讯(BAT))在向公众提供金融服务发面取得了进展。但亚洲想要继续成为B2B金融技术领导者,不一定要从创新角度出发,还可以从应用和整合方面入手。

考虑到相应的技术掌握情况及客户基础的要求,亚洲金融机构通常非常渴望尝试新的解决方案。大多数金融机构以及大型国际银行的亚洲分部现在都有了合理的自主权决定使用哪些创新手段。对全球专注B2B的金融科技公司来说,这可能是一个机会,他们可以在西方做研发,在亚洲投入应用,还可以利用香港或新加坡等地作为中间站。

10. 欺诈和网络安全--如何避免害群之马?

尽管存在诸多障碍,但金融科技行业仍在继续发展。这一行业面临最大的挑战可能是重大事故,如网络攻击,消费者的私密数据有可能被窃取。或者是公开欺诈案件,可能会严重损害银行、公众对金融科技的好感。例如,2014年Mt.Gox丑闻之后,比特币的行业环境遭受了重大挫折,这一事件导致它的发展势头减弱。近年来,P2P贷款的声誉则受到多重丑闻和庞氏骗局的严重损害。最近,针对银行的网络攻击一直持续不断,而且可能还有针对缺乏安全基础设施、幼小的首次币发行的攻击。

对于更广泛的金融科技行业来说,要继续保持繁荣,重要的是确保每个人都在专业、诚信和透明下的机构内工作,并采取适当的预防措施,尽可能避免意外事件发生。

It was a big year for FinTech in 2017 – and 2018 is shaping up to be every bit as exciting. Here are some FinTech predictions for 2018:

1. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies – here come the institutional investors?

Many records were broken in 2017 by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Not only did they achieve record high prices, they also generated a lot of public awareness and interest. Expect this to continue in 2018, with potential institutional investors announcing crypto investments or launching crypto funds, plus some of the “incumbent” service providers, from brokers to banks, entering the space.

Look out for many new innovations in the retail space as well. Despite the numerous ground-breaking features of cryptocurrencies or ICOs, investing in them is still not very user-friendly. And the safekeeping of private keys requires even more experience. For example, while you can always regain access to your bank account if you lose your bank’s PIN, your crypto-assets are lost forever if you lose your private keys!

2. Crypto regulations and tax – are the regulators and tax authorities set to join the party as well?

Many regulators have taken a balanced and practical approach to cryptocurrencies so far. But they have made it clear that they will crack down on any violations, with the SEC’s investigative report on the DAO being a good example. However, more high-profile enforcement cases against reckless ICOs look set to take place, with regulators seeking to make examples of some of the bad apples for the rest of the industry.

Expect the tax authorities to be more active, too, especially with the rise in the price of Bitcoin. The recent IRS request for the names of account holders at one of the large US crypto exchanges may be an indication of things to come.

3. ICOs – is the child becoming a teenager?

ICOs generated a lot of media attention in the past year with more than USD $3 billion raised via such token sales and the industry evolving fairly quickly from a “two guys and a white paper” model to one of the experienced teams advised by professional firms with well-thought-through business models.

While the ICO frenzy may calm down in 2018, especially in terms of the number of ICOS and the amounts raised, expect the industry to further institutionalize with the further development of best practices. This will be seen especially in key areas from KYC and AML processes to governance and transparency standards. Expect more industry best-practice initiatives to take place, too – the recent one from the Hong Kong FinTech Association being a good example.

4. RegTech – a wave of consolidation ahead?

Regulatory technology (RegTech) will continue to be highly interesting to financial institutions looking not only to deal with their regulatory obligations more effectively and efficiently but also to reduce the risks and costs associated with such functions.

However, the long sales cycles and the procurement obstacles will remain a challenge, especially as legal and compliance teams are often relatively unfamiliar with RegTech. In addition, the lack of dominant players in this space will cause further consolidations in the industry, with RegTech startups likely being acquired by some of the traditional technology providers who don’t want to be left behind.

5. Banks embracing FinTech – the end of innovation teams?

Although innovation teams played a crucial role in the early days of FinTech, when banks and startups were learning how to work together, many were often criticized for lacking budget and serving more as a marketing tool than acting as drivers of meaningful change inside the organization.

With the increased familiarity and understanding of FinTech by banks’ senior management, expect many FinTechs to avoid innovation teams altogether and deal with the relevant business lines directly. As well as saving FinTech startups’ time and energy, this will continue to embed innovation as a mindset across the organization rather than having it limited to just the innovation team. Easier said than done!

6. SupTech – say hello to your new tech-driven regulator?

Supervisory Technology, SupTech for short, is the use of new technology by regulators to make their supervision more effective and the compliance burden imposed less painful. Contrary to what some may think, many regulators are already experimenting with advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence tools – not only to detect market manipulation but to process the thousands of regulatory filings received each month.

Expect some of the leading regulators to continue to act as pioneers in this space. For example, the Monetary Authority of Singapore is looking to use machine-readable templates for regulatory reporting, as well as completely revamping its data-collection exercises – even allowing financial institutions to turn down the regulator’s request if it asks for the same data twice.

7. Open Banking – aggregating your banking data with your favorite tech firm?

Discussions around open banking and the opening of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) will continue to be at the top of the FinTech agenda in 2018, powered by regulatory initiatives such as PSD2 in Europe or the Open API framework announced by the Hong Kong regulators.

While most agree that open banking is the general path that the industry is heading towards, it will be interesting to see how incumbent banks try to position themselves in 2018 and what advances large tech firms will make. In an open banking model, will consumers trust a tech firm as their main interface or their traditional bank? The jury is still out.

8. Voice as a user interface – is Alexa your new banker?

Although the focus is still on mobile first, voice as a user interface is becoming increasingly accepted and available. Voice-enabled assistants – from Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home in the West to Baidu’s Xiaoyu and Alibaba’s Genie in Asia – are increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, with some studies even predicting that the majority of US households will have one by 2022.

As was the case with chatbots in recent years, expect financial institutions to continue experimenting with how they can integrate such solutions into their offerings to customers. While there are still a number of data security and privacy issues, this is an area that looks promising. So could Alexa be your new banker?

9. FinTech arbitrage – build in the West and sell in the East?

Asia is generally recognized as the global leader in B2C FinTech – mainly due to the advances that the large Chinese BATs (Baidu, Ant Financial, Tencent) have been making in how they deliver financial services to the public. But Asia is also continuing to emerge as a B2B FinTech leader, not necessarily from an innovation perspective but rather in terms of adoption and integration.

Financial institutions in Asia are generally very eager to try new solutions due to the relatively tech-savvy and demanding nature of their client base. Most financial institutions, as well as the Asia divisions of large international banks, now have reasonable autonomy with regard to what innovations they can bring onboard. And this may be an opportunity for B2B-focused FinTech firms around the world to develop their R&D in the West and deploy them in Asia, using places such as Hong Kong or Singapore as stepping stones.

10. Fraud and cybersecurity – avoiding bad apples and Black Swans?

The FinTech industry is continuing to grow despite numerous hurdles. The biggest challenge could be a major incident, such as a cyberattack in which sensitive consumer data risks being stolen. Or a flagrant fraud case that could seriously undermine the goodwill the banks and the public at large have towards FinTechs. The Bitcoin ecosystem, for example, had a major setback following the 2014 Mt. Gox scandal, which slowed its momentum. And the P2P lending space was severely tainted by multiple scandals and Ponzi schemes in recent years. More recently, cyber-attacks on banks have not only continued but have targeted young ICOs that may have less secure infrastructures.

For the broader FinTech industry to continue to prosper, it will be important to ensure that everyone is operating at an institutional-grade level of professionalism, integrity & transparency, and to take the appropriate precautions to avoid any unforeseen events (as far as possible!).


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