The FinTech revolution will take longer to put roots in Italy than the United States and this will be good for those workers who will be replaced by artificial intelligence. On the other hand, the future-to-digital bank, which will use blockchain technology and will work with critpualuts, will also allow a large reduction in business management costs and improved customer services.
In an interview with Wall Street Italia, Germano Arnò, founder and CEO of Em@ney Plc, a financial institution specializing in online money transfers, said in an interview with Wall Street Italia. The entrepreneur is convinced that despite major changes, Europe is not yet ready for a wholly cashless society. At least in the next ten years the cash, with which 80% of the money transactions in Europe this year, will not be completely abolished.
WSI: Tell us about your e-check project and how and why this technology could change the banking world.
Germano Arnò: The idea of the e-cheque arises from the need to reduce the banks’ management and retention procedures and improve the beneficiary’s user experience. If we think that only 186 million cheques per year are issued in Italy, the extent of the electronic check is coming soon.
Em@ney’s e-cheque has seen light in 2015 and the first application for which it was used was mass gambling payment online gambling and therefore complies with EU rules on KYC (Know Your Customer) and anti-money laundering.
The electronic cheque requires the sender (from web or mobile) to indicate the name of the beneficiary, place, date and amount, just like the traditional paper; the sending is done via telematics, typically via e-mail, but not only and can be collected in cash, at the agreed points, or by depositing it on the bank account through homebanking. The total collection method is 7 and as for a circular cheque, the coverage of the electronic cheque is guaranteed by the issuing bank. In Italy we have already issued 1 million e-cheques since the beginning of 2017.
WSI: What are the short-term capabilities of blockchain technology and what opportunities does business provide?
GA: Blockchain technology can have multiple uses depending on the industry in which it is applied. With regard to the financial sector, it allows to lower costs and the complexity of technological infrastructure, speed up data transfer processes and, above all, increase the transparency of the transactions carried out, thus enabling easier compliance with regulations for the financial sector.
WSI: In Italy, FinTech is still far behind, although the realities that are pointing to us are growing: when will this revolution take root, will she take control of the system by losing traditional banking?
GA: Traditional banking is converting to the fintech, what is happening now is a slow fusion between the old and the new way to make a bank. In my opinion, the bank of the future is a bank using blockchain technology, it works with criptovalute, it is fast and dynamic, but it will be subjected to the same dynamics we know now where access to liquidity and rigid regulations govern its activity and trends. This is the bank’s vision that I and my co-workers want to create and for which we are already working on the launch of an Initial Coin Offer (ICO) that will allow a large audience to invest in the bank of the future.
WSI: FinTech: What is the estimate of the loss in terms of human and labor, and what are the benefits in terms of cost savings and bank efficiency improvements?
GA: Certainly the losses in human and work terms will be high, while the fact is already heavily influencing the work landscape, just take JP Morgan, for example, to have a clearer picture of what’s happening. JP Morgan, the largest US bank, is one of the largest employers in the US banking sector with over 240,000 employees serving millions of customers. Some of these employees are attorneys and loan officers who spend a total of 360,000 hours a year performing a series of trivial tasks, such as the interpretation of commercial loan agreements.
Now, the company has managed to reduce the time spent on this job in a few seconds using artificial intelligence. What about those people? Will they really be employed in higher added value activities without affecting the total number of employees? I sincerely doubt it. Obviously, these IA systems have an exorbitant cost, and I do not think they are still “accessible” to Italian banks so the impact of the fint