Data is with us: ignore it at your peril

04 January, 2018
Harold Bosse, Global Head of Product & PMO
Harold BosseGlobal Head of Product & PMO

We have been talking about Big Data for years – its potential, its possible impact and the way it shapes business. For some it has always been, to a certain degree, a case of “jam tomorrow” but in cross-border payments is no longer a nice to have, it is here with us now and companies are exploiting it, be it big or just run-of-the-mill data.

As globalisation increases and business becomes more international, the wealth of information and data is getting bigger. Cross-border payments companies now realise that data is part of everyday life, allowing companies to comply with regulation, better understand their customers, tailor products they might need and to allow their clients to maximise their own experience.

Data-driven companies have long used increasingly sophisticated tools to influence their decision-making processes. Banks in particular, those vast cauldrons of data, have been employing data scientists in their droves for years now. They recognise the value they have within their own networks and they need the right people to extract it, calibrate it and use it to inform client strategy and product development.

Let’s be clear about this: ignoring the possibilities of data would be a missed opportunity for any business but in fintech this could be fatal. However, it would be foolish to presume that a company can use – and monetise – all of its data across the organisation. It cannot because there are so-called “Chinese walls” that do not allow certain types of information to be shared. Data owners may have the technical ability to use it within their systems to good effect but must follow regulatory obligations.

To really harness the power of data, a certain degree of agility and smart thinking is needed, and it has to be done with compliance in mind. If you do not manage data well, not only will you get left behind from a product perspective but you may be at risk of not complying with ever increasing and complex data regulation.

In the world of fintech, we’re already seeing new technologies such as distributed ledger technology making data more immediately available. Others, such as blockchain, allow for immutability of data and the process of zero-knowledge proof. The latter is brought into play when one party has confidential data but needs to use elements of it to prove or validate certain information.

Leveraging incomplete or partially obfuscated data at near real-time speed is becoming increasingly critical, not just for being in a position to take management decisions but also for delivering state-of-the-art multi-jurisdictional compliant products.

The compliant data age is certainly upon us and it really plays to Earthport’s strengths and core offering. It enables us to gather the information that highlights what clients need and how we can add greater value to our relationships. It enables richerproducts  and tighter compliance while becomeing a valuable source of intelligence.

It really is time to get smarter in cross-border payments.

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