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Industry roundup: 10 December

Standard Bank goes live on Traydstream platform

Standard Bank South Africa has gone live on the Traydstream platform. The move is designed to create efficiencies in the bank’s trade process. Traydstream digitises documents such as the letter of credit, foreign bills of collections and open account trade finance.

The solution automates document checking, clause matching, rules and compliance verification processes using cutting edge machine learning and optical character recognition (OCR) technology.

Traydstream is designed to improve turnaround times through automated document checking and integrated sanctions screening functionality. It also mitigates the inherent risks of manual processing through the use of the platform and uniformity across the document checking process as per the international Standard Banking Practice (ISBP) and Uniform Customs Practice (UCP) rules.

“This partnership is an important first for trade at Standard Bank,” says Thandiwe Legwaila, Standard Bank head of Trade for South Africa. “It is an integral step in our journey to provide a fully digital, trade experience to our clients. Making the move to digital platforms has become extremely important, as banks look for more efficient and productive ways of conducting business.”


European Payments Initiative adds shareholders

EPI Interim Company, which is responsible for initiating the implementation of the European Payments Initiative (EPI), has announced that PKO Bank Polski (PKO BP), Poland’s largest bank, and OP Financial Group, the Finnish retail bank, are joining EPI as founding shareholders of the recently created company. Furthermore, a group of 12 Spanish credit institutions banks has also formed a consortium and are joining EPI as a collective founding shareholder of the EPI Interim Company.

The admission of PKO Bank Polski and OP Financial Group leads the way for EPI’s access to the Polish and Finnish markets. This confirms the interest of new communities in the joint payments initiative and shows that EPI is attractive to markets which are considered more digitally advanced. Poland will become the first non-euro-based market to form part of EPI and will enable the group to address the challenge of currency conversion within the solution.

Two weeks ago, third-party acquirers Worldline and Nets also announced their accession as EPI founding shareholders.  In the coming months, EPI says it will focus on the implementation of the new solution.

Back in July 2020, a group of 16 European banks from five countries (Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain) paved the way for the future launch of the European Payments Initiative, by announcing the creation of the EPI Interim Company in Brussels, responsible for initiating the implementation of the joint payment initiative.

The ambition of EPI is to create a unified, innovative pan-European payment solution leveraging Instant Payment/SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst), which offers a card for consumers and merchants across Europe, a digital wallet and P2P payments. The solution aims to become a new standard in payments for European consumers and merchants across all types of retail transactions including in-store, online, cash withdrawal and “peer-to-peer”, as an alternative to existing international payment solutions and schemes.


Survey reveals need for specialist data science skills in financial industry

There is an industry-wide need for specialist data science skills to match the growing appetite for meaningful data insights and greater data consumption, according to a survey by SIX among 113 representatives from buy-side and sell-side firms, exchanges, regulatory bodies and other organisations.

Respondents ranked data management - including the sourcing and provision of data - and data analytics as the first and second most important initiatives at their firms currently, and nearly all (90%) of the financial institutions surveyed are set to increase their data consumption to varying degrees over the next 12 months with more than half (52%) looking to generate meaningful insights from. Other findings from the survey reveal that 52% of respondents see being well-positioned to generate meaningful insights from data as a strategic priority, revealing a strongly held industry view on the importance of data and data processing.

Despite this, with only 41% of respondents anticipating an increased demand from their business for data scientist skills over the next 12 months, there is less importance placed on matching up the necessary skills to the desire to better manage and analyse more data. This is crucial, as firms will need expertise in this area to allow them to focus on capturing growth opportunities and seek alpha.

The survey also provided insight into how firms perceive environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) data, with 37% of respondents currently looking to significantly increase their use as well as consumption of new data sets in that areas. The survey was conducted from 28th September to 2nd November 2020.

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