24 August 2016

Partnering with Fintech industry to offer modern, efficient banking to corporate clients

The rapid advance of modern technology is having a profound impact on almost every aspect of modern business.

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John O'Connor

Head of Multinationals, HSBC Ireland

From the way work is organised to the creation of entirely new and disruptive business models in the form of Uber and Airbnb we are now in the throes of the greatest period of transformation since the industrial revolution.

The impact on finance and the broader financial services sector is equally if not more profound. From the most basic personal banking app to the most sophisticated automated trading platforms, new financial technologies have been embraced by all segments of the market with alacrity.

As a result, HSBC's clients increasingly expect our banking services to be faster, safer, and more convenient - available to them anytime, anywhere, and on any device of their choosing.

It is not sufficient for us to be a technology follower or even to keep pace with the latest developments, we have to be at the forefront and take a lead. It is what our clients are entitled to expect of us, especially when we are supporting some of the world's largest and Ireland's biggest indigenous technology firms with their own banking.

That is why we are working with some of the fastest moving technology companies in the world and investing in the rapidly growing financial technology sector to enhance our own offering. HSBC's Strategic Venture Capital Team, which brings together technologists, strategists and specialists from our four Global Businesses as well as experts from our IT Function, works within the wider Innovation Team in our Strategy Function to look for financial and enterprise technology companies that can provide us with insights into key industry trends and help us move quickly to adopt new technologies.

Our goal is to develop connections with the latest generation of young and growing companies that are transforming financial services. We constantly build on our understanding of new technologies, services, solutions and business models, and adopt them when relevant. We have selected the four key areas of security; data and artificial intelligence; open banking; and operational efficiency as the focus of our investments. And over the past two years we have made a number of strategic investments within these overall themes.

These include a company which is developing a platform to connect buyers with suppliers and helps them trade more efficiently by improving invoicing, workflow and supplier financing. This in turn will help HSBC to work more closely with our trade finance clients, supporting them in the management of their supply chain while affirming our position as the market leader in global trade finance.

Another investment is in a firm which is leader in what is becoming known as "big data democratisation". This offers companies the tools to make it easy to analyse and make sense of very large data sets. This will help us learn more about our customers and support us in offering them the right products at the right time. Other investments include a new cloud-based treasury management solution and an artificial intelligence tool to support large scale customer relationship management.

It is not sufficient for us to be a technology follower or even to keep pace with the latest developments, we have to be at the forefront and take a lead.

John O'Connor, Head of Multinationals, HSBC Ireland

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