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IPS in review

As the IPS conference in London drew to a close yesterday one theme was coming through loud and clear: there are plenty of new payments methods emerging into the mainstream, such as mobile, and lots of new ways to interact with customers.

The innovation in the retail banking sector is impressive, but it seems not to be met by an equal level of innovation in the area of settlement. It remains a question as to where the real innovation will come from for new settlement methods. Perhaps next year’s IPS will provide an answer.

Another industry issue vexing delegates was Basel III. This piece of regulation will undoubtedly have a huge impact on the payments sector. It will require banks to hold enough assets to deal with a re-run of the financial crisis, thereby increasing the need to have better liquidity monitoring and management in place. Yet there was a worrying lack of ability amongst those polled at the event as to whether they had the information needed at their fingertips to achieve this. The data is there to ensure banks can deal with Basel III, but it needs to be accessed real-time and be useable to get anywhere near achieving compliance in a cost-effective way. The data needs to be reported to whoever needs it, immediately.
 
It is also important to note that real-time information and data availability can lead to much more than just compliance with regulation. It can also help financial institutions provide better product offerings to customers. With real-time information about customers, financial institutions can offer products and services based on current activity – therefore maximising sales opportunities. They might even get to that elusive position of being able to charge for intraday liquidity.