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Mitigating Systemic Risk and the Role of Central Banks



Mitigating Systemic Risk and the Role of Central Banks 3

Remarks – Tiff Macklem
Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada
Presented to: Conférence de Montréal
Montréal, Quebec
Introduction It’s a pleasure to be here today and to be part of this panel. My assignment is to talk about the role of central banks with respect to systemic risk—in ten minutes. Needless to say, this is a tall order, made all the more challenging by the fact that systemic risk requires looking across the entire financial system and considering the full sweep of policy instruments and how they interact.
But I will do my best to break it down into the essential points and look forward to the panel discussion and questions afterwards.
There are three points that I want to make.Mitigating Systemic Risk and the Role of Central Banks 4
First, we have made considerable progress in reforming the core of the global financial system. Basel III represents a very significant strengthening of the global rules. The reform agenda is now turning to the important issue of shadow banking—or market-based financing, as it is more aptly called—and the appropriate perimeter of supervision and regulation. Completing this reform agenda is critical to strengthening the resilience of the financial system.
Second, central banks have a pivotal role to play in mitigating systemic risk by:

  • identifying system-wide vulnerabilities and using their panoramic view of the financial system to connect the dots;
  • supporting financial stability by providing emergency liquidity assistance to solvent, but illiquid institutions; and
  • protecting the global financial system from the failure of one institution by promoting robust core financial infrastructure and overseeing systemically important clearing and settlement systems, including central counterparties for over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives.

And third, while a better-regulated financial system should make inflation control easier, in the post-crisis world, monetary policy-makers have some new things to think about.
Let me add some colour on each of these points.

G-20 Financial Regulatory Reform
The logical place to start the reform agenda was at the core of the system, and there has been a great deal of progress.
The financial crisis revealed all too starkly that the global banking system was dangerously undercapitalized and over-leveraged, and liquidity buffers were glaringly inadequate. The new global standards in the Basel III Capital Adequacy Accord redress this core vulnerability.
The crisis also taught us that regulating on an institution-by-institution basis is important, but it is not enough. The risk to the financial system is greater than the average risk to individual firms. Managing this risk requires new system-wide tools, and here, too, there has been considerable progress. The counter-cyclical capital buffer included in Basel III is a giant step forward. The Bank of Canada played a leading role in the development of the buffer, which provides for additional capital to be built up during periods of excessive credit growth in anticipation of a future economic downturn.
The reform agenda is now moving beyond the core.
This means taking into account the considerable importance of shadow banking or market-based financing. The credit intermediation activities of banks are closely regulated and supervised, and are backstopped with deposit insurance and central bank liquidity. In contrast, market-based financing is less regulated and does not have access to public liquidity support.
But it is big, and the crisis highlighted the systemic vulnerabilities market-based financing can pose.
For both these reasons the international agenda is now turning to the perimeter of regulation and market-based financing. It will be essential that reforms strike an effective balance between the benefits of market-based financing in terms of competition, diversification and innovation, and the risks related to regulatory arbitrage and systemic vulnerabilities.

The Role of Central Banks
This leads to the role of central banks in mitigating systemic risks. As I said at the outset, a key role for central banks is to use their panoramic view of the financial system to identify system-wide vulnerabilities.
Central banks are well placed to recognize risks and prioritize them within a framework that maps potential weaknesses and traces the chain of cause and effect throughout the system.
But to do this effectively, we need to raise our game. We need a deeper understanding of the links between financial intermediation, money and credit flows, the balance sheets of households and businesses, and the range of available policy instruments. And this understanding needs to be combined with better detection of emerging financial imbalances.
This requires engagement with the private sector and building multidisciplinary teams that bring together economists, financial experts, accountants and lawyers, among others.
And it is not enough to simply draw up long lists of vulnerabilities. Risks need to be assessed and ranked, providing a clear sense of priority.
Since the outset of the crisis, the Bank of Canada has intensified its efforts to take account of credit flows in its policy analysis. Recent research has made important strides in incorporating financial intermediation into macro-economic models. This will allow us to assess new developments in the financial system and how alternative policy interventions will affect financial stability and economic activity.
We have also sharpened our analysis of systemic vulnerabilities in our Financial System Review, where we provide both an assessment and a ranking of the top-tier risks.
In addition to identifying system-wide risk, central banks have a historic role to play in providing liquidity to avert banking panics and crises. This role of lender of last resort is as old as central banking itself.
The central bank acting as lender of last resort does not prevent shocks, but it can neutralize their secondary repercussions. We inject liquidity where the system had generated it before by exchanging less-liquid assets for more-liquid ones.
Our actions to support liquidity in markets are guided by principles:

  • lending to support liquidity should reduce moral hazard;
  • interventions should be graduated, targeted, well-designed and created to prevent further market distortions.

The financial crisis demanded new types of liquidity facilities, including longer terms, broader pools of eligible collateral and a wider range of counterparties. This was necessary in Canada as domestic banks found it more difficult to fund themselves when global credit markets seized up during the financial crisis. The Bank is now assessing the effectiveness of the various extraordinary facilities used in the crisis with a view to strengthening contingency plans in the event of new shocks.
Finally, central banks play an important role in mitigating the harmful knock-on effects of failure through robust oversight of systemically important clearing and settlement systems.
One of the few parts of the global financial system that worked well through the crisis was clearing and settlement systems. They handled enormous volumes against a backdrop of extraordinarily volatile financial conditions and successfully closed out the positions of failed counterparties, reducing harmful spillover effects.
But the crisis also highlighted the systemic importance of over-the-counter derivatives markets and the need to clear standardized OTC derivatives through risk-proofed central counterparties. Globally, the derivatives market is huge. The amount of notional outstanding in OTC derivatives last year was $618 trillion. Here in Canada, the Canadian-dollar-denominated OTC derivatives market was about $9 trillion, of which a little over $6 trillion was in interest rate swaps.
Central counterparties (CCPs) for OTC derivatives will provide greater certainty of payment, mitigating the harmful spillovers resulting from the failure of a counterparty, and reducing contagion in times of stress. But CCPs also have the potential to create new single points of vulnerability. This calls for the careful design of CCPs, as well as robust regulation and supervision. It will also be important to ensure sufficient access to CCPs to avoid limiting competition. This is of particular concern in countries, like Canada, that are not host to a large global CCP.
Two paths to addressing these design issues are being actively considered. The first is to promote fair and open access to global CCPs, combined with shared oversight arrangements, so that strong, large and mid-tier derivatives market participants can have efficient access to central clearing. The second is to build local CCPs that are better aligned to local risks and local market conditions. A number of jurisdictions are committed to building their own onshore CCPs, including, Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Brazil.
Here in Canada we need to give serious consideration to the onshore option. This isn’t to say that we should take the global option off the table. However, there are good reasons to consider onshore CCPs. Going local would give regulatory authorities a high degree of oversight and supervision over systemically important financial market infrastructure. Canadian authorities would also have much more control over the design and implementation of emergency measures, including the provision of emergency liquidity.
The Bank of Canada is co-operating with our peers in the public sector and the Canadian financial sector to determine the best path for the central clearing of OTC derivatives. The Bank of Canada has also supported the development of a domestic CCP for Canadian-dollar repos, which is scheduled to be launched later this year.

Implications for Monetary Policy
I’d like to conclude with a few thoughts on what all this means for monetary policy. The first and most obvious point is that life should be better.
Putting Basel III into effect, combined with expanding the perimeter and reducing contagion, will reduce the frequency and ease the severity of financial crises. Counter-cyclical capital buffers should help to lean against the build-up of excessive credit, moderating the financial accelerator and dampening economic fluctuations. All this should make the implementation of monetary policy easier.
However, there will also be some new things for monetary policy-makers to think about. The very fact that new macroprudential tools are being employed will have an impact on the transmission of monetary policy. Using these tools will change the behaviour of both the economy and the financial sector. Monetary policy-makers will have to understand these effects.
Moreover, new trade-offs may arise. Consider a situation where excess credit growth requires the counter-cyclical capital buffer to be activated at a time when inflation is already well contained. Since the tightening of such a broad-based macroprudential tool could be expected to put downward pressure on inflation, monetary policy can either accommodate this restraint and let inflation return to target over a longer horizon, or it could lower the policy interest rate and risk undermining the effectiveness of the counter-cyclical capital buffer.
Finally, even the best-designed regulatory and supervisory framework will have limitations. And there could be circumstances in which monetary policy should play a complementary role in support of financial stability. This is more likely to occur in situations where an imbalance is broad-based or is being fuelled by a low interest rate environment.
We know that monetary policy has a far-reaching influence on financial markets and on the leverage of financial institutions. This wide-scale impact makes it inappropriate for dealing with sector-specific imbalances, but potentially valuable in addressing imbalances that have spread to multiple sectors of the economy.
Needless to say, clarifying the role that monetary policy should play in supporting financial stability is an important issue to be considered in the renewal of the inflation-targeting framework.

Thank you for your attention. I look forward to the discussion and your questions.
Source: Bank Of Canada

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Time for financial institutions to Take Back Control of market data costs



Time for financial institutions to Take Back Control of market data costs 5

By Yann Bloch, Vice President of Product Management at NeoXam

Brexit may well be just around the corner, but it is market data spending that financial institutions are more interested in taking back control of right now. In fact, other than regulatory equivalence post the transition period, it is hard to think of a more prominent issue right now than the rising cost of market data. According to analysis at the end of last year by Burton Taylor, global spend on market data topped $30 billion in 2019. With costs showing very little sign in coming down, at least in the short to medium term, now has to be the time for market participants to better grasp of not only what their costs could be at the end of the month, but also the precise areas of business consuming the most data.

The problem has been, and still is, seeking out those month-on-month cost anomalies. For example, why is it that fixed income and FX derivatives costs have all of a sudden doubled compared to the previous month? The trouble is it is nigh on impossible to get accurate answers to questions like this because the vast majority of investment firms have no fullproof way of analysing how spending evolves over time. In certain cases, financial instructions can experience a 10%+ increase on their monthly market data vendor bills.

It is not hard to see why – as every small incremental cost mounts up fast. First there are the direct costs for one or more sets of data – which leads to billing getting far more complex. Sure, a market data vendor may be adding lots of different add-on services to help clients save money, but at the same time, they will also be adding on more costs. If this was not enough, there are also the indirect costs around data governance and regulatory compliance. New rules, such as the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB), means that investment banks will have no choice but to consume a lot more data to be able to run models and back testing.

All this begs the question; how exactly can firms gain more control of their market data spending? A good place to start is trying to reduce waste. This involves firms making sure they do not request new sources of data from their vendors that they are not going to use. If data vendors charge for every single piece of data that the client requests, then the client needs to make sure they are going to act on this information. Then there is the recycling of the data. Say an investment fund needed a new piece of data instantly, and also needed that same piece of data at the end of the day. If the fund manager already has the data, they surely, they do not need to request it again? It is all about being smarter about reusing whatever data the fund manager has received previously. After all, different trading desks are all consuming data and requesting information through the data management team, but it is hard for the trader acting on the data to work out how much the data actually costs. This is why being able to allocate these costs to the different trading desks is key.

When all is said and done, the only way financial institutions can harbour any hopes of overcoming this longstanding data cost problem is by deriving more insights to ensure they a squeezing every last drop of value from their market data. Technological advancements mean that firms can now keep right on top of not just their data direct costs, like complex billing, but also the indirect costs around regulation. With so many other cost pressures across the business right now, it is time financial institutions take advantage of new technologies to finally address the issue of rising market data costs that has, frankly, plagued the industry for too long now.

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Cash was our past, contactless is our present, contextual payments are the future



Cash was our past, contactless is our present, contextual payments are the future 6

By Jason Jeffreys, founder of FETCH

$6tn in the next five years, this is how much the world will spend through contactless payments, according to analyst firm Juniper Research. For many of us who have discovered and since relied heavily on contactless payments since its introduction in 2007, either through card, phone, or watch, or those of us who have taken a stroll down a covid-era high-street to see shop windows adorned with “card payment only” signs, this is hardly a surprise. Even the Church of England in 2018 equipped 16,000 religious sites with terminals to allow for contactless donations. So what is behind this rise? And what is next?

The switch from cash to contactless is a transformation of payments that is driven by four key factors: speed, security, accessibility, and hygiene. While businesses and customers alike have felt the immense benefits of the cash to contactless transition, the next iteration goes further by digitally transforming the entire transaction process. It’s that potential which pushed me to launch FETCH – technology that allows customers to order and pay from their phone, anywhere. By exploring the benefits already felt by our contactless present, I hope to show you why I’m excited to be part of the contextual payments future.


Aldi is all about low prices and this is achieved with efficiency – that is why their checkout staff are trained to scan as fast as possible, it’s why their barcodes are huge, and it’s why you can’t keep up. It’s all in the name of efficiency and cost saving, and contactless payments make this possible.

While increasing the rate of transactions has a direct impact on money through the till, there is an increase in the perceived speed which does wonders to get customers back through the door. Shoppers may have spent an hour or more in-store but their direct interactions with the shop and staff were quick and timely and that’s the experience they remember and the impression they build of the brand.

Aldi are not alone in realising this and while it is easy to point to the impact that contactless has had on the retail sector, its revolution has slowly crept into hospitality –  an industry notoriously late at adopting new technologies.

High-street coffee shops rely on getting as many people as possible through the doors and back out again. They want as little disruption to your day as possible but more importantly, they want to process as many payments per hour as possible. Cash transactions are slow in comparison to a single tap, so for the coffee shops, this means fewer transactions per hour and money lost. For businesses in this sector who rely on periodic rushes, measuring performance per hour is a necessity and maximising revenue over these short windows is so important.

For reasons obvious to anyone who has been to a crowded hospitality venue, stood at a crowded bar or waited for waiting staff during a busy dinner rush, the businesses in this space already running on contextual ordering systems like FETCH have all reported a vastly improved staff and customer experience in hospitality venues. While it may be difficult to spot how these benefits can be felt in retail, this reality is not bound to fiction or the distant future – it’s being pioneered already in retail by Amazon.

In a well documented glimpse into the future of shopping, Amazon’s latest Seattle store removes the transaction element completely. Instead, you put your items in your trolley as you go round the shop, and the sensors and cameras accurately and automatically recognise the items, keeping a track and total, before taking payment automatically and digitally through your Amazon account once you walk the trolley back out of the store. Can you imagine standing in a supermarket queue to pay once you’ve experienced the ease, simplicity and effortlessness of that?


Smartphones have got smarter and they have revolutionised the way we get through the day. From how we discover, connect, and socialise, to how we organise, learn, navigate and search for answers – rarely an hour goes by where we aren’t using our phones for something.

As time moved on they only grew to become more capable, responsible for managing more aspects of our lives, and it was only a matter of time before they were capable of handling secure contactless payments. The leap for people to trust their smartphones with just one additional task was tiny.

When you couple this with debit and credit cards being enabled with contactless technology by default, the rise of wearables, and e-commerce growing massively, the results are clear – people are more trusting of online payments, are more familiar with buying in this way, and have more ways of making contactless purchases, than ever before.

In fact, a Mastercard survey in 2016 indicated that Brits carry less than £5 in cash on average, with 14% of people surveyed carrying no cash at all, and 1 in 10 replacing wallets and purses altogether, opting for a simple card in the pocket instead. Figures which have no doubt grown even starker since 2016.

When we take this into consideration with 99% of 16-24 year olds, 98% of 25-34 year olds, and 95% of 35-54 year olds all being smartphone owners, we begin to see the inevitability of contextual payments as the next iteration and how the response to contextual payments will be positive and welcome; something FETCH clients and the vast majority of their customers can all attest to.


Cashless payments means no cash in the till or on-site; no chance of mistakenly accepting fraudulent notes or coins; no trips to the bank to deposit or withdraw cash for the till; the end of time spent counting money every day, and the end of discrepancies which occur from this.

It limits the levels of theft, switches businesses over to an accurate, secure and efficient system, and gives business owners their time back. It makes tax returns, financial planning and forecasting and more all possible, easier and quicker and in short, it makes businesses stronger.

Jason Jeffreys

Jason Jeffreys

Contextual payments go further by offering really insightful data of what happens before and after people decide to part with their money; for example, how long they spend browsing before ordering, what they look at, what they’ve missed, when they order next and more. This means you are informed and can redesign and improve the user journey so it works better for you and your customers, all based on accurate, relevant and timely data.

As contactless payments evolve to contextual ordering, it’s important to choose a system that easily integrates with the wider business and your systems so you can continue to access the benefits of contactless. That’s why from day 1 of building FETCH I put so much emphasis on ensuring it integrates with one of the biggest and most popular POS systems in hospitality.


Initial adoption has long been the biggest barrier to widespread, sustained use of new technologies and going cash-free is no exception.

Given that the coronavirus thrives and passes through human contact and shared surfaces, going cash-free and contactless was a small, easy and obvious change to implement for businesses to become covid-secure and safer for customers and staff.

FETCH and other contextual payment systems are being used to go beyond this, to keep staff and visitors safe by limiting human contact beyond just payments. In our case, we have allowed hospitality customers to continue to browse, place their orders and pay, just as before, but without the need for repeated human contact at every single stage.

Given the health imperative and coercion from governments, local authorities and health bodies to switch to contact-free operations, businesses who may have once been years away from this change are laying down the infrastructure today out of necessity and it will be no surprise if contactless becomes a staple long after the coronavirus has left.

Post-coronavirus, contextual ordering offers businesses the chance to let the technology take care of these minor tasks, giving staff the space to instead dedicate their time, talent and energy towards elevating the overall experience. It’s the health imperative that acts as the gateway to this.

What does this transition mean for businesses? With visible consideration and effort put into hygiene, you are making your customers feel safe and cared for; by making transactions quick and painfree, you are giving your customers time to spend on the experience they came out for in the first place. In the process, you have created the ideal conditions for consumers to spend money and given them the confidence to do so.

I’ll end with the picture UK Finance data has painted through multiple annual payments reports: in 2006, 62% of all payments in the UK were made using cash; three years later it dropped to 58%; in 2016 the proportion had fallen to 40%; and just two years after that, cash formed just 28% of all UK payments. With a pre-covid prediction envisaging that by 2028 fewer than 1 in 10 payments will be made by cash, the widespread, covid-induced encouragement, adoption and enforcement of cashless policies in retail and hospitality has surely brought that many years forward.

Contextual ordering is the next inevitable iteration and if you were one of the few who reaped the benefits of going contactless early, you have the chance to be ahead of the curve once more. A welcome future for a multitude of industries is being set around us today.

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The Rise of Contactless Payments



The Rise of Contactless Payments 7

By Bilal Soylu, CEO of XcooBee

Today, banks involved in the issuances of credit cards, and companies at the nexus of merchant services, are experiencing a rare event in the industry.

For years, digital payment innovators fought a hard battle to adopt contactless systems and create standards. The effort and push came from companies with much of the effort directed at consumers to adopt their methodology. Whether it is Samsung Pay, Google Pay or Apple Pay they all had to overcome similar hurdles – consumers were reluctant to adopt a technology that did not have a sufficient number of merchants; thus, the progress was slow.

The COVID-19 pandemic rewrote the script in a whirlwind. All of a sudden, consumers began to demand contactless payment experiences in every way imaginable. The supply side push has turned into a demand side pull and the adoption rate is spiking.

This left banks, originators and companies involved in the eco-system with an interesting dilemma – fast decisions have to be made as to which digital technology to invest in and do they bind themselves, for multiple years going forward, to a specific infrastructure.

While previously the belief was that this could be explored over a longer period of time, the current reality is that these decisions are forced on institutions “overnight”. In this light, there are many different aspects to contactless payments and originators, and banks need to make smart bets on which type should be supported.

So, let’s look at all the relevant elements of contactless payments to explore a better model for institutional support.

General Drivers of Contactless Acceptance Growths


Physical safety from virus infection by avoiding touching 3rd party equipment or allowing safe distancing from other people and/or equipment is the main driver today. It has been emphasized by many epidemiologists as a basic requirement for conducting business. Consequently, it will be no surprise that safety is the factor that underlies the rapid adoption of a number of contactless payment technologies by once reluctant consumers.

We expect this to be a primary driver well into 2021. Thus, any technology to be rolled out in the short term should enhance safety in some form or contribute in a way to the improvement of safety.


An early benefit highlighted and emphasized by contactless technology providers was the data-security aspect that surrounds the transaction. Rather than exchanging the actual credit card number, for example, a tokenization is performed to create transaction specific tokens that are then used to complete the transaction. Even when intercepted, these tokens cannot be used outside this transaction and, thus, the approach is considered to be more secure.

Although the data-security value was incessantly marketed to consumers, most had, and still have, a limited understanding of the implementation of the technology. Thus, the appeal to the consumer with this benefit was not successful. However, the increased security elements were a clearer benefit for merchants and issuers. Hence, a steady growth of terminals and accepting merchants was the result.

In general, the tokenization approach to security has been chosen for many types of contactless payment systems, this includes NFC based card chips, digital payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay. However, for QR payments the use of tokenization should be verified as there are no current standards that govern its use consistently.


Convenience was the aspect of many contactless payments system that appealed the most to consumers prior to Covid-19. The ability to either very quickly conduct a transaction or very flexibly conduct a transaction drove consumer adoption. For example, being able to load many payment methods onto a mobile device that users carry with them anywhere increased the appeal of use to consumers.

Thus, when evaluating a particular contactless payment technology with a longer-term outlook the convenience aspect should be emphasized. Given the historical basis, consumers are very likely to be attracted by this aspect as the main driver of adoption again. A financial institutions’ post-Covid planning and investment models for contactless technology should consider this to be a major aspect.

Contactless Payment Categories

When we speak of contactless payment systems, we normally refer to any payment technology that can trigger a payment transaction in the physical space with direct consumer presence, but without direct contact with merchant equipment. Thus, we would exclude online and ecommerce transactions for this purpose.

We will focus on the two mainstream contactless technologies, NFC and QR payments, and review them here. Other contactless payment technologies exist but have not reached widespread adoption so we will only provide brief overview of those.

NFC Payments


Near Field Communication (NFC) payments are the earliest form of contactless payments that found acceptance in the markets. Generally, two devices are needed and must be near each other to communicate via radio signals. Both the reader (interrogator) and sender (tag) must be within 4cm (1.5in) for the transaction to be initiated. ExxonMobile’s Speedpass is widely believed to be the first implementation of this touch and go type of pay experience that has come to exemplify NFC based contactless payments.

There are two common sub-categories from that technology today; The single card-based sender (tag) and the mobile-phone-based sender (tag). The mobile phone-based application tends to be more flexible allowing consumers to combine multiple cards into one mobile-wallet that is secured with some form with biometric access.


However, NFC signals are not uniform and different standards are used in the Far East (i.e. Japan) rather than in Europe.

NFC payments found early success in developed western markets where the population already had easy access to banking and bank issued card-based tags. However, in countries where the banking system developed later and card-based payments were not common, NFC payments did not flourish.

Thus, today, the market for NFC is mainly concentrated in Europe, Japan, and US.


The roll out of NFC requires hardware on the merchant and consumer side. The merchant hardware is normally The Rise of Contactless Payments 8leased, and leasing programs have been steady revenue generators for those companies. Whereas, today, the global contactless Point of Sale (POS) terminals market is poised to grow by $5.54 bn during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of 16% during the forecast period, according to research done by Technavio.

However, with the pandemic, the speed of system activation has been a key criterium for selection of the technology. In this context, delivery of hardware, setting up of POS systems and testing connectivity slows down rollouts and potential revenue.

Similarly, requiring consumers to be equipped with supporting hardware may also introduce a friction element, especially in markets where NFC has gained less momentum.

QR Payments


QR codes are like 3D barcodes. The user scans the QR code via a smartphone and the smartphone, then interprets the barcode and a related website or application may complete the payment process. Like NFC, this can be done very quickly without any contact between smartphone (reader) and the item or display using the QR code.

Normally, QR codes are immutable, meaning that once generated they do not change. However, there are now dynamic smart QR codes, like the ones Xcoobee offers, that can overcome this limitation.


QR codes found strong distribution in markets where banking reach was limited in some form through government or market forces. The QR payment process, in many markets, also exemplifies a jump to direct digital payment, bypassing much of the banking system for purchase transactions. Especially when QR payment systems are connected to mobile wallets the provider of the wallet handles all transaction steps in-system, reducing friction and creating an ease to use and adoption. They have found popularity mainly in China, where AliPay and WeChat pay are gaining dominant market shares.

However, with the advent of COVID and the speed advantages in implementation and cost, other non-traditional markets such as EU and US are seeing dramatic increases in use of QR payments as well.


Activation of QR code payments commonly requires merchants to simply print codes, which can be accomplished with less hardware. The integration into bank systems is handled via merchant or bank app and the consumer simply requires a smartphone.

While bank offerings in this segment tend to be limited, given the simplified requirements, QR implementation can be quick for merchants to roll out.

Other Contactless Options

There are other contactless payment technologies that are currently competing for market attention and can be grouped into a biometric group and a technology group. The biometric group includes such options as voice, facial or palm recognition-based payments while the technology group includes options like Bluetooth and Farfield-type technologies.

None of these have gained sufficient market share or have execution or security advantages that would push them ahead without concerted efforts from large market-players. Similarly, there is no consumer advantage that would drive a consumer demand-based distribution for these technologies.


Which one should you choose to support? Each one of these contactless payment methodologies has advantages and disadvantages. NFC can be nominally faster to use for consumers and more lucrative for banks, but QR codes currently reach a wider market since more phones can read them than those that can read NFC tags.

Operational simplicity and speed also favor QR code activation, but if there is already and existing NFC infrastructure this may become a secondary consideration.

Simply speaking, we are living through unprecedented times, consumers are demanding contactless payment and creating a demand side wave in exchange for safety. How each institution answers this call best will depend on circumstances and context.

Overall, it may be advisable to hedge bets and support both methodologies and offer services based on both. Evaluate customer input, and then, adopt and activate the best option for your financial institution.

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By Paul Routledge Country Manager D-Link UK and Ireland As the world continues to adapt in varying degrees to the...

Barclays announces new trade finance platform for corporate clients 23 Barclays announces new trade finance platform for corporate clients 24
Trading1 day ago

Barclays announces new trade finance platform for corporate clients

Barclays Corporate Banking has today announced that it is working with CGI to implement the CGI Trade360 platform. This new...

An unprecedented Black Friday: How can retailers prepare? 25 An unprecedented Black Friday: How can retailers prepare? 26
Business1 day ago

An unprecedented Black Friday: How can retailers prepare?

Retailers must invest heavily in their online presence and fight hard to remain competitive as a second lockdown stirs greater...

What’s the current deal with commodities trading? 27 What’s the current deal with commodities trading? 28
Trading1 day ago

What’s the current deal with commodities trading?

By Sylvain Thieullent, CEO of Horizon Software The London Metal Exchange (LME) trading ring has been the noisy home of...

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