With Money20/20 running in the USA this week, our inbox is positively overflowing with news of innovations, attempted innovations, and a lot of non-innovations. HSBC, which already gave us the comedy gold of Pepper the robot smacking its forehead into the microphone while being "interviewed" at Money20/20, is forging ahead with a plan to equip its branch bankers with Samsung G3 watches, with the initial rollout taking place at its New York branch. We are fans of Samsung's clever G3 watch, which can appear to be a classic watch one minute, and a digital wonderland the next. (Pepper also makes an appearance in this story, increasingly looking like the most confused robot on Earth.) The story in Business Insider shows bankers standing around moodily in the empty lobby, staring at their watches, or talking to one another through their watches even though they appear to be only a few feet apart. Apparently, the main branch is so big that bankers who wander away from their desks get lost, can't receive messages, or enter a mobile signal dead zone deep inside the building. The solution: the special HSBC-powered smartwatch. The full story and action photos are here on Business Insider. We offer no further comment in case this is a parody.
US bank Capital One paid a $100 million penalty to the US Treasury last week following an assessment by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) that discovered serious problems with the bank's compliance processes. "The deficiencies, cited in the OCC's 2015 order against the bank, included weaknesses in its compliance program and related controls; deficiencies in its risk assessment, remote deposit capture and correspondent banking processes; and failing to file suspicious activity reports," according to a statement from the OCC. "In assessing this civil money penalty, the agency found that the bank failed to achieve timely compliance with the OCC's 2015 order, as required." In a statement, Capital One said the consent order "emanates primarily from prior banking relationships with certain check cashing service providers — a business we made the decision to exit in 2014. Since that time, we have worked diligently with our bank regulators to strengthen our processes and internal controls to ensure we address any concerns regarding our ... compliance processes."
Fortune favours the brave: we often see businesses that take the bracing plunge into the digital world find themselves building solutions that they can then sell on to other players. This also applies at state or government level: in India, the construction of a new real-time financial architecture is drawing attention from regulators and tech businesses around the world as they look to digitalisation agendas in action. The Unified Payments Interface, or UPI, is designed for the mobile age, and now moves to a 2.0 version in a way that allows payments to be made to a mobile number, and to have much of the payments experience, including issuing of invoices or receipts, take place on the platform. "With the launch of UPI, India became one of the only 18 countries worldwide to have a real-time P2P payment system (across different banks) way ahead of the USA and some of the other developed countries. Since its launch in Aug'2016, UPI has seen tremendous growth with 114 Banks live on UPI, approx. 50 million customers and 235 million transactions being processed through it in July'2018." The updated interface, according to Rajiv Anand of Axis Bank, will ease B2C or person-to-merchant payments through mandate transactions, which allows users to file and save details for regular payments.
HSBC and Capital One both earned three stars in the Lafferty Banking 500. The top score is five stars.
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