FinTech and Finance Innovation 2025: Insights by Pascal Morosini, CEO i-Hub
In our quest to determine what is shaping financial services and FinTech for the report "Finance and FinTech Innovation 2025 – Hybridization Designs the Future of the Finance Industry", we spoke with Pascal Morosini, CEO of i-Hub.
In this conversation, we learned about the importance of co-design, the market potential of RegTech companies and how i-Hub contributes to a lower-friction back-office of banks so these banks can focus on value creation for their customers.
i-Hub is a wholly-owned subsidiary of POST Luxembourg, aiming to make the life of financial institutions easier in their KYC and AML processes. “i-Hub brings something revolutionary into the ecosystem. The idea of i-Hub is not revolutionary, but the product itself and its usability are”, explained Pascal.
RegTech is laying the foundations of a digital economy
“Our state of mind was never to replace the bank, merely to replace a service that they were rendering because the service we are providing is a burden for them. We are specialised in managing KYC files, and we deal with due diligence reviews of our clients. The issue is that with ageing technology within the banks and an increasing number of people, they had to do something, and this something had to come with a new concept”.
Mutualization is very much at the heart of this. The idea of having a centralised KYC utility to mutualise and shared information amongst the participants offers a full range of advantages.
“It decreases the participants’ operating costs, and it promotes greater digitization and sharing amongst those who will contribute directly with their documents, whether they are natural persons or legal entities."
Of course, the mutualisation of functions cannot work without explicit collaboration with banks because they are their primary consumer.”
i-Hub is a key RegTech player in the Luxembourg financial industry. As with many RegTech companies, the pandemic positively influenced their business.
“Using Teams or Webex, or Zoom, is in many cases a more efficient and collaborative way of working”, explained Pascal. “That is a positive aspect of the pandemic. Of course, it also pushed for the electronic signature of documents, both internally and externally, for board meetings, for risk committee meetings and NDA’s. This has a positive impact on our business.”
The demand for electronic signatures, remote onboarding and other digital means are here to stay. Banks see this as a necessary addition to their services, not as a competitive advantage. This explains the 93% of respondents in a survey of ABBL that said they want to mutualize some of the functions related to KYC and AML.
Pascal: “These respondents said that they don’t compete on KYC. As long as the data is aggregated, and no one knows who is the client of who, they found out that they have more to gain when working together.”
Co-design and mutual respect to achieve successful partnerships
FinTech companies are small organisations compared to banks, which is mostly an advantage, but can sometimes pose a challenge in working together. Mutual respect is essential to come to successful deliveries. Banks should acknowledge that the only way to enjoy the benefits of working with innovative, agile organisations is by understanding how they look at the problems they try to tackle.
Likewise, FinTech companies should respect the IT infrastructure and governance of banks in building best of breed solutions for the problems they want to solve for these banks.
i-Hub uses the idea of “co-design” to overcome the challenges mentioned above. Pascal: “With BLG BNP Paribas, we designed the retail banking world’s functionalities, so when we partner today with another retail bank, there is no gap of functionalities because of this co-design that we did with BGL.”
In building a solution with the principle of co-design, both parties in the partnership ensure they commit to a mutual end goal by providing resources in the project and sharing the required expertise.
Mutual respect comes with mature governance, and that is where Pascal sees much value in LHoFT, other incubators and initiatives like the “Powered by EBRC” Program: “Their role is crucial in helping people set up proper governance. A startup cannot just sell the ideas, although it is the main thing they should be doing. But at some stage, when they want to scale up, they need good teams, a mature organisation, and stable governance.”
If you would like to know more, we recommend that you read the white paper “Finance and Fintech Innovation 2025 – Hybridization Designs the Future of the Finance Industry”, which includes insights from Pascal Morosini and many more key stakeholders of the Luxembourg finance industry.
More articles of different contributors to this study can be found here.
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