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DELOITTE MIDDLE EAST POINT OF VIEW: MITIGATING THE RISKS OF CLOUD SERVICES

The Spring 2019 issue of the Middle East Point of View magazine puts technology in the spotlight, with topics such as machine learning in security of oilfield service businesses, cloud services, and trade sanctions, to workers’ welfare, immigration systems and regional co-working.

In their article on the security of Cloud services, Tamer Charife, Partner and Mohamad El Nems, Manager, Risk Advisory, Deloitte Middle East mention that cloud services can offer many benefits to organizations but that these organizations should have a full understanding on the subject in order to mitigate the risks associated with these services.

“Despite the benefits that adoption of Cloud services can offer (cost effectiveness, reliability or flexibility), organizations need to be aware of the associated risks and work on mitigating, or reducing them to an acceptable level commensurate with the overall risk appetite of the organization,” say the authors.

Adnan Fazli, Director, Energy, Resources and Industrials Leader for Financial Advisory, and Niraj Bachani, Manager, Financial Advisory, Deloitte Middle East, write that Middle East national oil companies (NOCs) have expressed their intention to invest in upstream capacity. Doing business with Middle East NOCs will require suppliers and service providers to demonstrate compliance with the in-country value addition requirements that have been introduced by Aramco (IKTVA), ADNOC (ICV) and Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas (ICV), with Kuwait and other producer nations likely to follow suit.

“The outlook for the energy sector in the Middle East is looking strong which changing dynamics designed to create value for the region. Oilfield service businesses that have successfully weathered the downturn are well placed to capitalize on this positive outlook if they have their fundamentals sorted,” say the authors.

In his article on the risks associated with delegating to third parties, Ethical fallout, Collin Keeney, Director, Financial Advisory, Deloitte Middle East states that understanding what is at stake when an organization works with third parties is important if that company is to avoid serious penalties and sanctions due, not their own, but to a third party’s fault.

In his article on the future of immigration and government interfacing, Automatic for the people, Amir Mayo, Senior Manager, International Tax, Deloitte Middle East, argues that an “automated immigration system will certainly expedite a laborious process” but that in some cases, when an algorithm or automated process alone simple cannot determine the “panoramic context” of a given situation, a human touch is still necessary.

In their article on workers’ welfare, Hisham Zeitouny, Partner and Dina Fakih, Principal, Risk Advisory, Deloitte Middle East, they argue that “welfare measures in an organization are one of the factors for the workers to stay and to work towards its success” and that businesses would do well to see implementing welfare measures as an investment rather than a cost.

In his article Not just (co)working 9 to 5, Oliver Morgan, Director, Financial Advisory, Deloitte Middle East, says that while in the Middle East “flexible office space occupies less than one percent of the region’s office stock”, a shift in key regulations could be the catalyst for major growth of this sector during 2019.

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FINASTRA GLOBAL SURVEY SHOWS APPETITE FOR OPEN BANKING PICKING UP PACE WORLDWIDE

  • 86% of global banks surveyed are looking to use open APIs to enable Open Banking capabilities in the next 12 months
  • Banks believe regulators are stifling innovation: almost half (48%) believe ‘regulation is too tight’ and that there is ‘not enough government or industry support to foster innovation’

Finastra research reveals that 86% of global banks are looking to use open APIs to enable Open Banking capabilities in the next 12 months. In addition, 30% of banks surveyed believe Open Banking is already making a tangible impact in delivering improved overall customer experience. This is against a backdrop where regulation is perceived to be tighter than a year ago and close to half (48%) of those audited believe that regulators are holding back innovation.

The research, which was conducted prior to the Coronavirus outbreak amongst 774 financial institutions and banks across the US, UK, Singapore, France, Germany, Hong Kong and UAE1, shows a maturity of API adoption and calls for the harmonization of regulations between geographies.

Key findings include:

  • Open banking is on the up in 2020 compared to 20192: The percentage of financial institutions looking to leverage open APIs has substantially increased in the US (+23%) and UK (+17%), while Singapore (+1%), France (-1%) and Germany (-4%) are relatively stagnant since our research in 2019.
  • Improvements in the overall customer experience accelerate API adoption: the US (45%), Hong Kong (42%) and France (36%) are leading the way in harvesting this benefit of Open APIs (UAE: 32%; Germany: 20%; Singapore: 20%; UK: 19%). Overall, 41% of global banks say that they are ‘still in the early stages of adoption’, so it’s difficult to measure the impact of Open Banking on their business so far.
  • Regulation is perceived to be tighter than a year ago and industry or government support is required to foster innovation: Almost half of those audited believe that regulations are holding back innovation. 48% state that ‘regulation is too tight’ – 10% more than 2019 – and the same percentage (48%) believe there is ‘not enough government or industry support to foster innovation’, particularly so in Hong Kong (62%), France (50%) and Singapore (49%), compared to 38% in the UK.
  • A call for harmonization: 83% of financial institutions and banks agree that regulations regarding fintech innovation should be harmonized across different geographies.
  • Cost of fintech research and development is of concern in some regions: Cost of R&D in the US, UAE and APAC regions is highlighted, more so than in the UK. (USA: 55%; Hong Kong: 55%; Singapore: 51%; UAE: 46%; France: 43%; Germany: 34%; UK: 33%).

 

Simon Paris, CEO at Finastra said, “It’s encouraging to see Open Banking maturing on a global scale, but it’s still seen by many to be in its teenage years, with scope for creating even greater opportunities. We believe it will be the first step towards Open Finance which will see the next wave of innovation in financial services being created through collaboration on open platforms, like FusionFabric.cloud, using open APIs and open software solutions.

“Currently banks and technology vendors are rightly focused on business continuity and keeping their workforces safe. We’ve also seen many of these firms moving with amazing pace to bring innovative solutions to market, with the help of technology, to support customers in this new environment. As we come through this situation together, we must endeavor to emerge stronger, and it will be interesting to see how Open Banking and collaboration accelerate when this outbreak ends.”

 

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LIBERTY BANK REINFORCES ITS FRAUD STRATEGY TO FURTHER PROTECT ITS CUSTOMERS

Liberty Bank, the third largest bank in the Georgia, has reinforced its fraud strategy to address the rising volume of fraud the industry is currently seeing. The bank has teamed up with long-term partner Compass Plus to launch a new fraud detection and prevention system built on their solutions.

 

Following the completion of the project, which was implemented with technological support from Compass Plus, Liberty Bank can efficiently and effectively monitor and act on suspicious transactions, enabling them to substantially reduce the risk and losses associated with a wide range of fraudulent activities, while protecting their customers.

 

The key drivers for Liberty Bank choosing Compass Plus software were the ability to quickly create their own algorithms to detect and prevent suspicious transactions, the integration of the solution within their existing infrastructure, and the capability to provide services to sponsored banks.

 

“The partnership between Liberty Bank and Compass Plus began in 2005, and the implementation of this project has, once again, demonstrated the flexibility of Compass Plus’ software and its ability to meet the latest industry requirements and trends. With the help of our new fraud detection and prevention system, we are able to combat fraud on a brand new level – not only can we promptly respond to any potential threats, but also prevent suspicious transactions, making our card products convenient and safe for customers,” said Levan Tkhelidze, Deputy Director General  at Liberty Bank.

 

“Our long-term partnership with Liberty Bank is important for us, and for them to choose our software to build their fraud strategy around showcases not only the strength of our relationship, but the reliability and robustness of our solutions. This project has once again confirmed that Compass Plus solutions meet the advanced industry standards and correspond to market conditions, in which the volume of card fraud is constantly growing, and methods used by fraudsters are becoming increasingly complex,” said Dmitry Lenshin, AVP & Regional Business Development Director at Compass Plus

 

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