Banking and Finance Stream

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030. The new SDGs, and the broader sustainability agenda, go much further in addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people. In all these endeavours banking remains key to achieving the SDGs. According to the United Nations, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) need to address all forms of exclusion and marginalization, disparities and inequalities in access and participation.

Information Technology has been described as the great revolution of the 21st century. There is no denying that not only has Information Technology contributed immensely to improving the quality of life of most citizens in the world but has contributed to the ability of business to innovate, work more efficiently, the banking public has been taken out of banking halls to bank from the comforts of their homes, brick and mortar in financial institutions is soon becoming a thing of the past as customers bank from anywhere as long as they have a mobile ICT gadget and broadband connectivity. This guarantees equal access to banking to all regardless of where they are based. That includes remote areas of the country as long as there is access to the internet.

Money laundering functions as a critical nexus connecting the ‘shadow economy’ of these criminal activities with the economically regulated world. Utilizing the high speed, border-spanning telecommunications networks of the digital age, criminals can more easily obscure the illegal source of their profits and thus use tainted money in the legitimate financial system. Consequently, law enforcement agencies, regulatory authorities, and policymakers worldwide bemoan the insufficient capacity of anti-money laundering (AML) measures to counter such technological advancements.

The advancements in ICTs has improved the speed and quality of analysis of suspicious transactions. The use of ICT is slowly emerging as one response to critical issues faced in our world. As such there are a number ICT implementations beginning to take shape in response to incidents which will lay the foundation for further evaluation of regulatory mechanisms for handling crimes these include: Automated Fingerprinting Information Systems (AFIS), that is, the introduction of the fingerprint authentication system during Mobile Banking, integration of Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) in almost all parts of the country and Use of Geographic Information Systems(GIS) in e-commerce etc. Use and integration of IP based CCTV systems with other banking systems.

The successes of using ICT models are well documented. By providing real time, precise and concise information, by improving the efficiency with which information is gathered, analysed and disseminated, these models can be used to reduce Money Laundering challenges throughout the world.

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The efficacy of an integrated financial system from the regulator perspective

When high-growth Banks have several siloes in application management, there are many business challenges that arise. These challenges can become so severe, that they can cripple growth.

To keep your business growing at the dramatic rates you plan for, it is essential to have your business software applications integrated around a single codebase, database and business process. The advantages of designing your systems in this manner yield tremendous cost savings and improved business productivity.

Bank stands to achieve greater efficiency in financial operations and reporting procedures when using integrated applications. These systems entrench the controls you need to eliminate misuse of financial resources, but also the mitigation measures you employ to protect your business against the occurrence of expected and unexpected risks. The control measures also provide the historical evidence of performance you need to regulate the current and future activities of the business. Auditors and regulators also use this historical evidence to evaluate the progress of your business.

Systems integration also provides greater leverage for centralizing shared services so as to reduce operational costs associated with running multiple operational units for the shared services. It also brings the advantage of centralized reporting. This is made easy because reports needed by regulators can be pulled from one place in the system.

Is the server room dying, swallowed by Cloud?

Simply put, cloud computing is computing based on the internet. Where in the past, people would run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in their building, cloud computing allows people access to the same kinds of applications through the internet.

In short, cloud is fast becoming the new normal. By the end of 2015 it was estimated that 90% of UK businesses will be using at least one cloud service.

By providing near-unlimited hardware and software resources on an off-the-peg, pay-as-you-go basis over the internet, cloud computing drives down costs, enables innovation and creates the flexibility to respond to change. Traditionally banks were reluctant to embrace such technologies, especially on security grounds. There are other challenges too, such as regulation and the potential complexity involved in managing many different suppliers spread all over the world.

But the past year has seen them taking a closer look as they start to fully understand the benefits it can bring and in response to growing use of the cloud by clients. Most companies believe it will play a central role in their future strategies, according to a survey from IBM. They are also demanding greater connectivity with their banks, a process eased by the cloud’s use of standard technologies.

All this momentum is building at a time when banks are under increasing pressure to use their IT budgets more efficiently, while competition from non-bank payments providers is much tougher and the need to serve clients better is becoming more acute. In short the server room will slowly die as cloud will become the new normal because of the convincing benefits.

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