Our live five for 2018

It’s that time of year again. I’ve had a chat with my colleagues at Consult Hyperion, gone back over my notes from the year’s events, taken a look at our most interesting projects around the world and brought together our “live five” for 2018. Now, as in previous years, I don’t expect you to pay any attention to our prognostications without first reviewing our previous attempts, otherwise you won’t have any basis for taking us seriously! So let’s begin by looking back over the last year and then we’ll take a shot at the new one!

Goodbye 2017

This was the “live five” of technology-driven changes in the secure transactions field that we thought would have a real business impact over the previous year. In the spirit of openness and honesty and disclosure that we are famed for, let’s see how those predictions fared.

  1. RegTech. I think we did pretty well with this prediction. Interest in regtech has grown throughout the year and the ability of regtech to make real differences in major markets is established.
  2. Digital Identity. As we noted, one of the key regtechs, if not the key regtech, is digital identity. It did shoot up the agenda over the year and some interesting initiatives opened up.
  3. PSD2 (still). No commentary is needed!.
  4. Paying on the Go. We thought that a key use of open APIs will be payments, and very likely mobile payments. MasterCard’s purchase of VocaLink would tend to support this view!
  5. Invisible POS.  The shift from “check out to check in” paradigms is underway but it is fair to observe that we did not see the number of launches we were expecting as many of the projects remain in beta and will be holding to wait for the arrival of PSD2 (and CMA remedies in the UK).

Not bad. In fact, pretty good. So now let’s take a look at where we think the action will be in the coming year in our corner of the transactions treehouse. My guess is that you’ll agree with four out of the five – if not… let us know!

Hello 2018

From the perspective of our home base in the UK, the really big trend is easy to predict and wholly uncontroversial, since open banking is going to transform our industry. Thinking around this opens up a couple of adjacent areas as well. So…

  1. Open Banking. In the UK, the regulators’ determination to bring real competition to the financial services world means that we are about to see major disruption in the space. Last year I called this before a “crossing of the streams” (in an hommage to Ghostbusters!) because there are three different initiatives coming together.The first stream is the PSD2 provisions for access to payment accounts. As you may recall, these include a set of proposals that are due to come into force in 2018. A group of those proposals are what we in the business call “XS2A”, the proposals which force banks to open up to permit the initiation of credit transfer (“push payments”) and account information queries. Even at a pure compliance level these PSD2 regulations pose significant questions for the structure of the existing payments industry. While PSD2 does not mandate APIs (I think – it’s all gotten a bit complicated but as far as I know the screen-scrapers have fought a decent rearguard action) an open banking API is the obvious way to implement the PSD2 provisions.

    The second stream is Her Majesty’s Treasury’s push for more competition in retail banking. This led to the creation of the Open Banking Working Group (OBWG), which published its report in 2016.  It set out was a four part framework, comprising:

    • A data model (so that everyone knows what “account”, “amount”, “account holder” etc means);
    • An API standard.
    • A security standard.
    • A governance model.

    The third stream is the CMA report that triggered the remedies mentioned above. This envisages APIs to improve competition in retail banking by focusing on the use of APIs to obtain access to personal data that can be shared with third-parties to obtain better, more cost-effective services.

    These streams are coming together to create an environment of what is now called Open Banking. And it’s a big deal. And it begins in January 2018 when the nine biggest banks open up their APIs and the UK becomes a fascinating and exciting laboratory for new services. Who will take advantage of this new environment? Well, in our opinion, it’s not the fintechs. And we are not the only ones who think this.

    Much has been made of the rise of fintech [but] according to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), traditional banks are more vulnerable to competition from another source: tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

    From Tech firms like Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB), and Google (GOOGL) are the biggest competitive threats to the banking industry — Quartz

    As we have pointed out for some time, it is not all obvious that what we refer to as the “challenger” banks in the UK (i.e., the new banks who have obtained licences in recent years) are really challengers at all. The era of the “challenger banks” is coming to an end as the internet giants compete to be the front end to the customers transactional financial services.

  2. Conversational Transactions. One class of application that will exploit API integration with banking and payment systems is chat, whether through standard messaging applications or “chatbot” interfaces. This is hardly a wild prediction, but we think that the early steps (e.g., Facebook Messenger’s recent UK payments launch) indicate a major shift in 2018. Right now, when my sons at University ask me for money on WhatsApp, I have to switch to Barclays Pingit to send the money. Not for much longer. And it is important to understand the roadmap here, because the link between conversational commerce and voice commerce is straightforward. It’s all small step from typing “Send £20 for the ticket” to saying “Send £20 for the ticket”.
  3. The Internet of Cars. Anyone who visited Mobile World Congress or CES or, I’m sure, many other events throughout the year, couldn’t have failed to notice the amount of work going on in the “internet of things” (we all understand just how important that will be) and how much of the IoT focus is on the automobile sector. You can see why this is: cars are expensive, so they can stand the cost of adding smart technology that can deliver new functionality. However, as Consult Hyperion have always said, doors are easy but locks are hard. It’s easy to connect the myriad systems in the modern car to the world, but it’s really hard to secure them. This is a great opportunity for organisations with skills in encryption, authentication, key management, operational security and so on to help the automobile industry,It’s one thing when your bank account gets hacked (because the bank has to give you your money back) but when the hackers are crashing cars for fun it’s another thing altogether. If we want our cars to engage in transactions then we have to be sure that the security infrastructure for those transactions is absolutely solid.
  4. Artificial Intelligence. Well, when it comes to money, and indeed absolutely everything else, there is no doubt that AI will be the most disruptive technology of our generation. We may be a long way from Terminators and HAL 9000, but the massive AI investments pouring into financial services around the world mean that the technology is going to our business, and soon. If you examine where banks are spending their AI budgets right now, machine learning is the main focus. An Infosys poll earlier in the year showed that two-thirds of banks were already spending in this area and this is no surprise. Banks have large quantities of data that in the past they have found difficult to extract wisdom from and they have large transactional flows that they find it difficult to manage in the context of increasing regulatory burdens. Machine learning systems excel at finding patterns and exceptions in such data, provided that they can be fed the voracious quantities of raw material, so the main use of the machine learning systems is currently fraud detection and prevention. This throws up an interesting strategic challenge for banks in the new Open Banking world, because there is a threat to risk management, information analysis and sales/marketing processes in the new environment where they may not get to see the data held by third-party providers but those providers have access to bank accounts.
  5. Tokens/ICOs.  Well, those first four predictions are mainstream. But it’s fun to pick something out of left field (as our American cousins would say) by looking where technology might mean very different kinds of assets being used in transactions. We might well see a new kind of money emerge in the coming year.  Not Bitcoin, but “tokens” (the basis of Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs). When the current craziness is past and tokens become a regulated but wholly new kind of digital asset, a cross between corporate paper and a loyalty scheme, they will present an opportunity to remake markets in a new and better way. One might imagine a new version of London Alternative Investment Market (AIM) where start-ups launch but instead of issuing equity they create claims on their future in the form of tokens. The trading of these tokens is indistinguishable from the trading of electronic cash (because they are bearer instruments with no clearing or settlement) but there will be an additional transparency in corporate affairs because aspects of the transactions are public.  The transparency obtained from using modern cryptography (e.g. homomorphic encryption and zero-knowledge proofs) in interesting way iss, as an aside, one of the reasons why we tend to think of the blockchain as a regtech, not a fintech.

All in all, the coming year will see much more disruption than might be apparent at first because the shift to open banking, starting in the UK, is what will drive the reshaping of the sector while at the same time the advance of AI into the transaction space (transactions of all types, from buying a train ticket to selling corporate bonds) begins to reshape the way we do business.

Our live five for 2017

It’s that time of year again. No matter how much I complain that silly lists of what will be big in the New Year are trivial and superficial and not really representative of a more detailed analysis of key trends… I still feel I have to annoy my colleagues at Consult Hyperion into giving me a few ideas so that I can surf the end of year blog wave.

Goodbye 2016

Here we go then. As for the last few years, I’ve put together a “live five” of technology-driven changes in the secure transactions field that will have a real business impact over the coming year. But first, in the spirit of openness and honesty and disclosure that we are known for, I think it’s not right to bother you with this kind of thing without first assessing how we did last time so that you can judge whether to pay any attention to this year’s list or not! So let’s see how our live five for 2016 did:

  1. Amazonisation. We got this one right. The focus on APIs increased through the year and not only for the interfaces to 3rd parties but also as a mechanism for restructuring internal processes and operations.

    the more far thinking will be re-engineering their businesses to develop a whole bunch of APIs outside of PSD2 and will be working out the business models behind opening them out to developers and businesses.

    From Open Banking APIs: Threat and Opportunity | Consult Hyperion

    It’s been really interesting see how the bank (in particular) attitudes to the priority and scope of API strategies has evolved over the year.

  2. Mobile ID and Authentication. Again, largely correct. The European Directive on Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) means that banks and other financial services organisations have had to up their game and make significant investments in improving their authentication methods. For most, this has meant moving to solutions that somehow involve the mobile phone. The impact of the NIST report on 2FA (which said that one-time password sent by text message can no longer be considered a secure authentication method) has yet to be felt, but the shift to more sophisticated and comprehensive mobile identity solutions is underway.

    The NIST guideline goes on to talk about using push notifications to applications on smart phones, which is how we think it should be done.

    From SMS authentication isn’t security. And that’s official | Consult Hyperion

    Of course,  this means doing proper risk analysis on the mobile applications to make sure that they have the appropriate levels of security built in, but at Consult Hyperion we’re rather good at doing that, so it’s a sensible way to proceed.

  3. EMV Next Generation. Big for us, but I wouldn’t say it’s touched the mainstream yet. EMV is getting long in the tooth and needs to be refreshed.

    We celebrate St. Valentine’s Day on 14th February every year to commemorate the introduction of chip and UK In the UK on 14th February 2006. I am a payments romantic, so this is very special day.

    From Ten more years! Ten more years! | Consult Hyperion

    The work that we have been involved in, helping clients to assess and shape their strategies towards the future of EMV, continues.

  4. The Push for Push. When I wrote this I couldn’t have imagined just how right I would be. MasterCard spent a billion dollars on VocaLink.

    mark my words it was one of the most significant events in the evolution of the UK payments industry since Reg Varney got a tenner out of that first ATM in Enfield half a century ago.

    From MasterCard and VocaLink is a big deal | Consult Hyperion

    Enough said.

  5. Transparency. Mixed, I would say. I had expected shared ledgers to proceed further in the exploration of new markets and new kinds of markets but actually most of the work that we have been involved with (I mean paid professional services, not academic research) has continued to look at the ways in which this interesting new class of technology could be used to emulate, essentially, existing centralised systems. But I think our analysis, as set out in this paper, stands.

    The paper that Richard Brown of R3, my colleague Salome Parulava and I put together what seems like an age ago (a year is a long time in fintech) has finally been published!

    From A legacy of transparency | Consult Hyperion

    However, in one or two of the projects, the focus did begin to shift to new ways of doing things and we remain of the opinion that more transparent markets will come.

On the whole, not too bad I think. A good enough score, I hope, to make our thoughts about 2017 worth at least a glance.

EMV POS Upgrade

As you know, I’m all about new technology at the point of sale or service, so I’m going to choose five areas where new technology will make a significant difference to retail financial services – not only payments – over the coming year.

Hello 2017

On to the predictions for the coming year. I’m playing the same game as always here. I don’t want to give away any of the really cool stuff that our teams are working on for clients in business, NGO and government sectors right now, but I do want to make predictions that I already sort-of know will come true because we are already working with the technologies so that I can look clever! I’m sure you all understand how this works. Anyway, here goes…

  1. RegTech. A number of the new technology projects that we have been involved with recently have come to a similar conclusion, which is that the use of new technology to reduce the cost of transactions is a struggle, but the use of the new technology to reduce the cost of regulating the transactions has a much better business case.

    2017 will see the emergence of the next generation of innovation in fintech that addresses risk management and regulation for the bank. We expect that regulatory technology, also known as regtech, will emerge as a separate area of innovation…

    From 2017 predictions | Business Analytics 3.0

    For many of our clients, the costs of regulation are both high and out of control. If the blockchain or cloud or big data or biometrics or whatever can do anything to address the spiralling costs of compliance, they will have significantly more impact on the transaction space than if they could deliver a marginal reduction in transaction costs.

  2. Digital Identity. One of the key regtechs, if not the key regtech, is digital identity. It has finally risen to the top of the agenda and this year it will finally change the way business works. I notice that Karen Webster has come to a similar conclusion in her piece about the major trends for next year.

    More than just authenticating a consumer for a particular transaction, creating a secure digital identity will mean capturing a variety of attributes about that consumer that then can be selectively presented as needed.

    From 8 Big Shifts In FI, Retail, Payments | PYMNTS.com

    Indeed.  What’s more, implicit in this prioritisation, is the start of the identity wars as various constituencies struggle to deliver the mass-market identity solutions that we need. In some areas, it may be the government that does this, in other areas it may be the banks. But in some areas, it may be the big five: Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft or Apple. Either way, there are big implications for our clients long-term strategies.

  3. PSD2 (still). One of the immediate  needs for digital identity infrastructure is to help with the delivery of PSD2 in Europe. Along with the Secure Customer Authentication directive mentioned above, a practical identity infrastructure is an urgent requirement if the industry is going to make open banking and API access work cost effectively .

    European banks and payments companies will spend much of 2017 preparing for the second phase of the EU’s Directive on Payment Services (PSD2).

    From Predictions 2017: What financial services executives can expect | ZDNet

    Right now this is all a bit of a mess because the “standards” that the industry is waiting for our being delayed and it seems to me that the timescales will be further extended in the New Year. However, she is still possible for banks to develop their strategies around the demands of PSD2 even if the details of the specific standards are not yet known.

    Specifications.

  4. Paying on the Go. A key use of open APIs will be payments, and very likely mobile payments. Mobile payments are coming front and centre as a means to authorise access to payment accounts. Not for tap-and-go NFC but for the next generation of retail, transit, utility and other payments across all channels. As everyone has been saying, payments are vanishing inside the mobile phone and whether it is ordering your Starbucks via a voice interface or jumping out of an Uber or shopping at an increasing number of websites, the transaction will complete because of the identification and authentication (I tend to label these “recognition” for short) functionality of the mobile. Since the mobile delivers both convenience and security it seems to me unstoppable in this regard.

    Retailers across the board will adopt mobile payment solutions.

    From Retail Trends and Predictions 2017 | 12 Retail trends and predictions to watch for

    It is natural for retailers to want to manage the shopping experience in order to deliver the best possible service to their customers. As the bumper sticker says, they want to go from check-out to check-in.  One of the implications of this shift for our clients is that they will be delivering services to mobile app developers rather than end customers! Testing these mobile apps to make sure that they have the security necessary for the mass market needs specialist skills that Consult Hyperion has and that customers can rely on.

  5. Invisible POS.  In many of the markets where we provide professional services and indeed software to the transactions value network, the day when non-cash transactions will no longer be dominated by cards is now within the strategic planning horizon.

    No checkout lines. No registers. No self-checkout. No cash, credit or debit.

    From How To ‘Shoplift’ Legally With Amazon

    I’m not expecting the Amazon Go science fiction model to dominate world retailing any day soon, but the combination of mobile apps, instant payments and alternative payment solutions will combine to see volume shift away from the card dip, swipe or tap. Card payments (by card, by token etc) will continue to grow but as more and more of them vanish inside apps, so the nature of the card industry and the shape of the value networks will shift. And if you this is rose-tinted techno-determinist hype from engineers, have a look at what someone whose business this is think about it: 

    Amer Sajed, the chief executive of Barclaycard, says it will spell the steady demise of the physical plastic credit card, which his company introduced to the UK 50 years ago. “People will be able to seamlessly shop going between the web, an app or in store,” he says.

    From The invisible credit card of the future – BBC News

    When customers check in and then check out without plastic in their hands, the point of sale will undergo fundamental change. The competition between payment methods will be subject to new dynamics that are not yet visible or understood. Trying to introduce a new payment scheme to Tesco’s stores is one thing, but introducing a new payment scheme inside the Tesco app (with no changes to the stores, POS or any other infrastructure) is quite another. Our knowledge of both new payment methods and new POS environment help clients to make to informed decisions about their future retail environments.

What does this mean for our clients for the coming year? Given that by and large we work for the incumbents who currently dominate their markets, whether banks or card issuers or acquirers or retailers or government agencies, it’s all about linking these key trends together at a strategic level in order to be able to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the new technologies at the tactical level, working with new players where necessary, to stay on top.

My feeling is that these strategic trends will interact to cause some pretty interesting changes in our markets across the coming year, driven above all by the absolute necessity to restore sanity to the cost-benefit calculations around compliance. It will be regulatory pressures, not technology drivers, that shape most decisions in the next few months but we understand how to make effective use of new technology in responding to those pressures so that’s all good. Here’s to another great year in the world of secure electronic transactions!

Our live five for 2016

Well, however superficial they might be, there’s no doubting the popularity of the end of year roundup and predictions for the coming year. We don’t argue with the box office down at CHYP End, so here we go with our now-traditional “live five” transaction technology trends for 2016. But, first of all, I think we need to take a look at how we did with our live five for 2015 before you can decide whether to pay any attention at all to this live five! Let’s see how we did!

  1. In-App Payments. This was a good shout. The discussions around payments becoming invisible and vanishing into apps are now common currency and the trend toward retailers wanting to shift payments inside their app so that they can deliver the best service to customers was well established before Walmart Pay came on the scene.

    Target is reportedly developing a mobile wallet that customers can use to pay for goods with their smartphones, according to three unnamed sources who spoke to Reuters… also confirmed that Kohl’s plans to release a payment service called Kohl’s Pay in the fall of 2016 that would be part of the retailer’s existing app.

    [From Target thinks it has enough customer trust to get into the mobile wallet game – Quartz]

    It seems natural to me that retailers will take advantage of mobile technology to get closer to customers and there are plenty of opportunities to provide services into their apps. Just recently, McKinsey called in-app “the new battleground” for shopping (McKinsey on Payments, October 2015) and noted that what they called “repetitive interaction” (what we call “relationship” in the Consult Hyperion “3Rs” model) is way to generate more value for customers.

  2. The Three Party Party. I think we scored a bullseye here, with ChasePay the surprise announcement of Money2020. We knew nothing about the ChasePay plans when we predicted big moves away from the traditional four-party model in retail payments, we based the prediction on work that had been underway for some other clients, particularly in the field of mobile options for domestic schemes.

    Gordon Smith, CEO of Consumer & Community Banking at JPMC Chase Cards, introduced Chase Pay as a mobile payments solution that provides a “true omnichannel” payments experience – in-store, in-app and online purchases – and built the case for why he believes Chase Pay will be a formidable force in payments… Chase Pay will not support NFC.

    [From Chase Pay Mobile Wallet Launches — With MCX As A Partner]

    In a world of mobile phones there just isn’t the same pressure for global solutions as there has been in the past and if you look around the world you can see a clear resurgence in bank-centric three-party schemes: Russia, Turkey, India and so on.

  3. Privacy as a Proposition. This didn’t develop as we’d expected, despite the increased pressure because of massive, continuous and damaging data breaches throughout the year. I’m not entirely sure why (e.g.) banks didn’t develop more privacy-centric propositions — a good example being tokens for adult services — but I suppose they have decided that there are other more strategically important parts of the identity business to focus on.
  4. Blockchain. Wow, Another bullseye. It was definitely the year of the replicated distributed shared ledger formerly known as the blockchain, although I must agree with this commentator on the Innotribe conference that it is not wholly clear to many people exactly why:

    In front of a large group of finance professionals, “blockchain experts” and audience alike agreed that blockchains were the wave of the future – despite a complete lack of consensus on what a blockchain is. Or even why one is needed.

    [From Why Big Banks Got Blockchains Wrong in 2015 – CoinDesk]

    We are a small company, and statistically insignificant in the great sea of IT spending. But the nature of our work makes us a useful weathervane for clients and I can tell you that we have had way more blockchain-specific consulting work this year than even a reckless hypemerchant like me would have predicted (and not only in financial services). Luckily for us, being early into this space allowed us time to develop a more general approach to thinking about shared ledgers from a business perspective that has worked well in helping our customers to evolve their positions.

  5. ID for the Internet of Things. I think we can claim that there is widespread recognition of the problem now and a first few steps towards a solution with the major chip platforms working to bring secure hardware (e.g., Intel’s Enhanced Privacy ID) to devices. Given some of the work that Consult Hyperion has been doing for clients in this area, I think I might go so far as to say that I finished the year more optimistic about the possibilities here although I still think we have a long, long way to go to make the thingternet as safe and productive space.

Having looked back, then, and established that our live five does indeed have some value for organisations looking to establish their strategic priorities, I’ve had a look at the projects that Consult Hyperion has been working on around the world and identified what I think are five key transaction technology trends for our clients in the coming year.

Deep Purple

Now, of course, I’m playing a game here. I don’t want to give away any of the really cool stuff that our teams are working on for clients in business, NGO and government sectors right now, but I do want to make predictions that I already sort-of know will come true because we are already working with the technologies so that I can look clever! So, with that in mind, here’s the new live five that you can expect to see organisations focus on in the coming year:

  1. Amazonisation. Now that everyone is agreed that APIs are the right away to deliver services into the marketplace, some organisations are going further and structuring themselves around APIs, helping not only external customers but internal functions to benefit from a more flexible and functional mechanism for co-operating. Now, in 2016 it will be PSD2 that will undoubtedly spur many of our clients to develop strategies for either providing or consuming bank APIs.

    Successful internet giants, like Salesforce, Amazon, Google, Twitter, and Facebook, have been active to offer APIs to third parties. Salesforce has earned more than half of its revenue through APIs, not from its own user interface. Twitter, Netflix, and Google handle billions of transactions through APIs daily. And we can say Amazon has been a pioneer with open APIs – the online retail giant already had an Amazon Store API back in the early 2000’s.

    [From APIs – the core of a new economy, really? : DisruptiveViews]

    It is really interesting to try and think what this kind of restructuring around APIs will be mean for financial services organisations, and I’m looking forward to working with our teams to find ideas for transforming their businesses.

  2. Mobile ID and Authentication. The focus for solving “identity problems” is shifting to the mobile device. Whether it is in payments, ticketing, inclusion or in straight identity applications, the mobile phone will be the mass market solution to the problems of recognition, relationships and reputation (those “3Rs” again). We have said repeatedly that a model based on strong authentication against a local revocable token held in tamper-resistant memory deliver the right platform. The announcement of Google’s scheme for replacing passwords with mobile phones is sure to be followed by a similar announcement of an “Apple Smart ID” or something similar, the mobile operator’s Mobile ID Connect service is being deployed and I’m sure that other schemes will be launched.
  3. EMV Next Generation. You might be thinking that it’s all quiet on the EMV front now that the US roll-out is under way, but some of our clients have started to develop their strategies and tactics around the EMV Next Generation specifications and I expect to see momentum grow throughout the year. There are, as far as I can see, three strands to strategy for them to consider: first is that we are reaching the limits of the cryptography currently employed and must look at replacing it long before it becomes a vulnerability in the marketplace, second is that there is pressure for value-added merchant propositions (e.g., coupons, loyalty and so on) within the standard and the third is that “legacy” EMV (which still hasn’t been fully rolled out in the US) will be with us for another fifteen years or so. For each organisation, looking at the drivers and blocks around each of these is central to its retail payment strategy.
  4. The Push for Push. In the UK, the faster payment service (FPS), is well established, has been fantastically successful and has enabled things on top of it already, like Pingit and Paym and so on, and there’s more to come. That is also happening in other countries have started to go down that route. The one great exception was always the US because the Federal Reserve has no regulatory mandate to make the banks there implement an instant payment system, and so we all thought it would be some time before instant payments appeared in the US. Actually, however, in the last couple of months there has been raft of announcements coming out of the US: The Clearing House (TCH) is working with VocaLink, Dwolla are experimenting with APIs, NACHA is moving to same day and so on. Even in the US instant payments will feature heavily across the next year and as they spread they will shift industry focus to push payments. As Tom Noyes said earlier this month,

    As I’ve stated before, no engineer would design a payment system to operate the way we do today (see Push Payments).

    [From Changing Economics of Payments – Noyes Payments Blog]

    I agree. There are good reasons for thinking that pull payments are a hack to get around the dumb payment networks of the past and, personally, I see push dominating in the long run.

  5. Transparency as the “win-win-win. Given the considerable confusion about what shared ledgers are, how they work and what the impact of different architectural choices on business models is, you might be forgiven for thinking that the technology will stall. But we think that there has been a focus on the wrong drivers. Blockchains are only one form of shared ledger and they aren’t automatically cheaper or even more efficient than (for example) databases. Shared ledgers do, however, have a couple of interesting characteristics that will reshape some markets. One of them is transparency and, in the short term, this can be the core of a win-win-win involving customers, institutions and regulators.

I’m naturally very curious what you all think about these choices so please do not be shy in the comments below! Along with our other consultants, I’ll be speaking on these themes at a number of events across the coming year and really look forward to discussing them with you.


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