WHAT OUTWEIGHS THE CONVENIENCE OF CASH

The situation surrounding financial and payment services has undergone dramatic change. In any era as dynamic as ours, a comprehensive conceptual framework that can serve as a guide pointing toward a better future is essential. Toward this end, Celent uses its payments taxonomy and payments value chain frameworks as lenses to examine evolution in the payment sector. [1] Payments innovation is also informed by the changing behavior of payment services users and exists in the context of the payments value chain. Service providers should see this field as a blue ocean—a market space ripe for pioneering new payment initiatives.

The intense competition over the already existing services, which is called legacy systems in Japan, makes the market a red ocean. There is no room for anything new in the interbank payment settlement systems such as the BOJ-NET or the Zengin; ATM as a cornerstone of cash distribution; and credit card network systems as the most noncash methods of payment. We need to think of some “value proposition” which is new and beyond already existing payment methods. Despite consumers in the digital era hoping for something more convenient than cash, the supply side is not aware of this demand. As a matter of fact, the number of online banking accounts is about 60 million. This accounts for only 20% of the number of ATM cards, which is 300 million. The financial services institutions have failed to provide handier and more convenient services than cash.[2] FSI which are thriving in Japan's growing e-payment market are not very traditional ones so far.[3]

Here, Celent wants to advocate a conceptual system as an open innovation platform that would create a platform layer (the formulation of rules under new frameworks) with an innovation layer (creation of new services within the new framework). The expectation is that this conceptual system could fulfill the role of API provider in the era of the API economy. This envisions a situation in which financial institutions use an infrastructure shared with the manufacturing, retail, and logistics industries, using the API to fuse together not only B2B but also B2C information—that is, information about consumer lifestyle and consumption patterns—with financial information to create a blueprint to enable technology to bring relevant financial services into the daily lives of consumers. Historically, the business or commercial information regarding companies and consumers’ lives has been far from integrated; doing so moving forward is aimed at illuminating the flow of related funds and creating a closer and more useful relationship between the two.

In crafting a vision of the financial services of the future, one must ostensibly imagine services that transcend the traditional confines of financial services and are more intimately intertwined with corporations and their activities as well as the lives of consumers. The advent of fintech continues to raise the expectations of financial services customers. Indeed, the key to competition in financial services may lie outside the financial industry, coming from services and businesses that specialize in knowing the customer such as YouTube and Ritz-Carlton, customer behavior prediction such as Google and Amazon, or even referencing how SNS seek to clearly iterate their services and realize simple interactions. In short, meeting these needs and expectations can be seen as a compass that points toward building the financial landscape of the future.

Celent prioritizes the following three points when it envisages “the future of financial services.”

  1. The technology evolution that is taking place through the building of financial market infrastructures: the rise of Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and their latest examples.
  2. Competition and co-creation in building these financial market infrastructures: Classical technology (ACH, SWIFT, etc., which are equivalent to Japanese Banks’ Payment Clearing Network) VS Emerging Information and Value Transfer (Next-generation digital gift card service networks of Gyft[4]  and Chain.com, Ripple’s[5] bi-directional messaging system coupled tightly with distributed ledgers for international banking payments).
  3. Blue Ocean Strategy on payment services: New services based on financial market infrastructures which have resulted from the fusion of old and new techniques; Resultant new digital lifestyle or new digital supply chains. 
  • a) for retail market: inexpensive Peer to Peer (P2P) money transfer services for less frequent and small transfers.
  • b) for corporate market: next-generation transaction banking services where commercial distribution, commodity distribution, and money transfers are all integrated.

These new money transfer services for retail customers will be a total watershed, replacing existing e-money. They will serve as a basis of information transfer and value transfer for digital native generation as well. On the other hand, the next-generation transaction banking services for corporate customers will make it possible to renovate existing supply chains and exercise tighter control over corporate information and value transfer through digitalizing and liberalizing contracts and settlements. Celent sees great potential for significant innovation and a “fund transfer revolution” in these new services.

Figure: Open Innovation Platform

open-innovation-platform

 

This area is explored in depth in the Celent report:

 

「現金」を超える利便性を求めて

金融と決済サービスを巡る情勢は一変した。いつの時代においても、こうした混沌とした時代における羅針盤の構想には、網羅的なフレームワークが不可欠である。セレントは独自の「ペイメントのタクソノミー(分類)」「ペイメントバリューチェーン」と呼ぶフレームワークを用いて考察する[1]が、決済のイノベーションは、決済サービス利用者の行動変化に起因し、その価値連鎖に存在すると考える。この領域で、新時代の決済フロンティアを開拓し、ブルーオーシャンを航海すべきだ。

「日銀ネット」「全銀システム」に代表される銀行間決済インフラ、「現金」流通の要であるATMや、「現金代替手段」であるクレジットカードのネットワーク網は、日本社会のレガシーシステムであり、その領域は既にレッドオーシャンである。構想すべきは、それらが実現していない「利便性」である。デジタル時代の消費者は、「現金」以上の利便性を望んでいないのか?いや、サービス供給者が、その需要に気付いていないだけだ。事実、ATMカードの発行枚数(3億枚)に対して、オンラインバンキングの契約口座数(6千万件)は2割に満たず、金融機関は「現金」以上の利便性を提供していない。[2] また、隆盛する電子マネーの担い手は、今のところ、伝統的な金融機関ではない。[3]

セレントは、「オープンイノベーションプラットフォーム」として、プラットフォームのレイヤ(新たな枠組みでのルールの形成)、イノベーションのレイヤ(新たな枠組み上の新たなサービスの創造)を実現する「構想システム」を提言したい。この「構想システム」には、APIエコノミー時代の「API提供者」としての役割も期待される。金融機関は、製造、小売、流通などの産業界とインフラを共有し、B2Bのみならず、B2C、つまり生活者の生活情報が、APIを通じて金融情報と融合し、いわば、テクノロジーが日常生活の中に、「金融サービス」を「溶かし込む」青写真を想定している。日常生活と企業の商流はこれまでシームレスでなかったが、これからはお金の流れをより身近にし、両者をより密接な関係にしようとしている。

金融の未来図を描くならば、金融が特別で独占的なサービスでなくなり、企業活動や消費生活と融合している図になるだろう。フィンテックの時代、金融サービス利用者の期待は高まり続けている。サービスを競うべき相手は、金融業界の外、ユーチューブやリッツ・カールトンの顧客認知、グーグルやアマゾンの顧客行動予知や優先顧客対応、全てのSNSが展望するサービスの可視化とシンプルなインタラクションかもしれない。その期待に応えることが、金融の未来図の羅針盤となる。

セレントは、「金融サービスの未来図」を構想するうえで、以下の3点が最優先の事柄として重視している。今後もこの重点ポイントでのインサイトを発信してゆく。

  1. 金融インフラを構築する技術の進展: ビットコイン、ブロックチェーン、分散型台帳技術の隆盛と、その先進的なユースケース
  2. 金融インフラの主流を巡るビジネスの攻防: レガシーな技術による金融インフラ(例えば、全銀システムのような各国のACH、SWIFTなど)と、新たに隆盛する、インターネットをフルに活用した情報と価値移動のインフラ(例えば、Gyft[4]とChain.comによる次世代デジタルギフト券サービスネットワーク、Ripple[5]による新たな国際銀行間決済サービスネットワークなど)の競合と共創の関係
  3. 決済サービスのブルーオーシャン: そうした新旧の金融インフラを駆使して提供される新サービスと、それが革新する新たなデジタルライフやサプライチェーン
  • 個人向け:少額低頻度のP2P送金を極めて安価に提供するサービス
  • 法人向け:商流、物流と金流を融合する次世代トランザクションバンキングサービス

個人向けの新決済サービスは、デジタルネイティブ世代の日常生活における新たな情報と価値移動の基盤として、既存の電子マネーを凌駕する破壊力を感じる。法人向けの新決済サービスは、決済指図と契約を電子化、自動化することで、企業活動の情報と価値移動の源泉を握り、既存のサプライチェーンを革新することが期待される。セレントはここに、破壊的なイノベーションと「資金決済革命」の可能性を見出す。

図: オープンイノベーションプラットフォーム

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Blueprints for the Next-Gen Zengin, Part 4

It is here that Celent would like to put forth a conceptual system as an open innovation platform to realize a platform layer (rules formulated under the new framework) and innovation layers (creation of new services within the new framework). The expectation is that the conceptual system could fulfill the role of application programming interface (API) provider in the era of the API economy.

This is a theoretical blueprint envisioning a situation in which financial institutions share an infrastructure with industry—sectors including manufacturing, retail, and logistics. This will transcend B2B (business to business) to include B2C (business to consumer) such that information and data related to the daily lives of consumers will be combined through API with financial institution information, with the goal to bring technology—and through it, financial services—seamlessly into the everyday lives of consumers.

Historically, the flow of commerce and lives of consumers have been far from seamlessly connected. Moving forward, these technology and payment developments can be expected to bridge this gap by bringing the flow of money between the two closer together.

When envisioning the financial services of the future, one must ostensibly imagine services that transcend the traditional confines of financial services and that are more intimately intertwined with corporations and their activities as well as the lives of consumers. The advent of fintech continues to raise the expectations of financial services customers.

Indeed, the key to competition in financial services may lie outside the financial industry, coming from services and businesses that specialize in knowing the customer such as YouTube and Ritz-Carlton, customer behavior prediction such as Google and Amazon, or even referencing how social networking services (SNS) seek to clearly iterate their services and realize simple interactions. In short, meeting these needs and expectations can be seen as a compass that points toward the financial landscape of the future.

 

Figure 4: Open Innovation Platform

Zengin_FIG4  Source: Financial System Council, Celent

 

Just published a new report:

Payments Systems Trends in Japan, Part III: Blueprints for the Next-Generation Zengin System

 

Blueprints for the Next-Gen Zengin, Part 3

The global financial market has changed dramatically since the 6th Generation Zengin System launched in 2011. Digital advancements have been followed by additional across-the-board digital advancements, so much so that customers are no longer even slightly interested in non-electronic financial transactions. The millennial generation, weaned on the Internet and things digital, and refusing to suffer the inconvenience of anything too analog, is fueling this trend. The Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and the Umbrella Revolution protest movement in Hong Kong made all too clear that financial inclusion is no longer a theme limited to emerging economies. Acute and rapid changes in digital and financial literacy are spurring fragmentation in the financial market, and centralized architecture is clearly reaching its limit if not its breaking point.

These dramatic social changes have also completely altered the financial and payment services landscape. In times of confusion and upheaval, a comprehensive conceptual framework that can guide us toward a better future is essential. Toward this end, Celent uses its payments taxonomy and payments value chain frameworks as lenses to examine evolution in the payment sector. Payments innovation is also informed by change in the behavior of payment services users and exists in the context of the payments value chain. Service providers see this field as a blue ocean, a market space ripe for pioneering new payment initiatives.

When viewing the already operational new BOJ-NET and the new Zengin System that will succeed them both from a perspective that sees them as legacy systems, this market space should be seen as red ocean, already home to intense competition. At the same time, despite the maturity and competitiveness in this area, there are challenges that include effectively harnessing the existing robust social infrastructure and continuity related to data, assets, and experience. These issues should be considered in the context of how best to make the legacy system coexist and thrive with the new system.

 

Figure 3: Conceptual Diagram for Financial and IT Network System

Zengin_FIG3  Source: Financial System Council, Celent

 

Just published a new report:

Payments Systems Trends in Japan, Part III: Blueprints for the Next-Generation Zengin System

 

Blueprints for the Next-Gen Zengin, Part 2

The Zengin System is an online data communications system that was launched in 1973. For more than 40 years, both linked entities and transaction volume have increased, and the system has experienced multiple system renewals to accommodate and benefit from advancements in technology. The existing Zengin System, officially known as the 6th Generation Zengin System, began operating in November 2011. In operating the exchange transaction settlement system, the 6th Generation Zengin System plays a crucial role as the central counter party (CCP) and functions as a system platform with an array of key features. The system is a broad-ranging network that covers all of Japan and is defined by consistently advanced levels of security and reliability.

Following the launch of the 6th Generation Zengin System, the BOJ has continued to discuss and search for ways to improve Zengin Net. In December 2014, the JBA and Zengin Net jointly released deliberation results on the Zengin System. The document called for expanded hours of operation, articulated concrete policy, and described the current state of awareness of financial electronic data interchange (EDI) in the financial industry.

Furthermore, in 2015, a working group operating under the Financial Services Agency’s Financial System Council and tasked with improving payment operations compiled the results of two years of discussions in a report entitled “Strategic Initiative for Advancements in Payments and Transaction Banking.” The final version of the document was released in December 2015. The paper contained policy priorities and concrete policy plans regarding the basic direction for the progress in payments, initiatives for the retail sector, the wholesale sector, payment infrastructure reform, and the approach to virtual currency initiatives. In the segment on payment infrastructure, the report put forth five reforms hinging on the Zengin System. It also called for fundamentally enhancing features of the payment infrastructure as well as realizing one common and integrated payment environment that caters seamlessly to both domestic and overseas transactions, and it spelled out a clear deadline for migrating from legacy environments.

 

Figure 2: 6th Generation Zengin System

Zengin_FIG2  Source: BOJ, JBA, Celent

 

Just published a new report:

Payments Systems Trends in Japan, Part III: Blueprints for the Next-Generation Zengin System

 

Blueprints for the Next-Gen Zengin, Part 1

This post series examines initiatives to accelerate the development of Japan’s payment infrastructure through the lens of the Zengin System—the heart of this infrastructure. In addition, this series distills how cutting-edge technology is being applied and imagines the evolution of the financial services landscape as we enter the rapidly evolving, brave new world of fintech, or financial technology.

***

The Zengin System is the network system behind Japan’s payment settlement system, linking domestic financial institutions online and enabling the transfer of money such as remittances between banks, including payroll. Since its launch in 1973, the system has been renewed multiple times and has grown in terms of transaction volume, connections to financial institutions, and accommodating the latest in technological innovation. Put simply, the Zengin System and the Bank of Japan Net system (BOJ-NET) have played instrumental roles in Japan’s financial market infrastructure, made up in part by the interbank payment network and payment and settlement system.

At the heart of Japan’s interbank payment settlement system is the BOJ-NET Funds Transfer System (BOJ-NET). BOJ-NET is used for a broad range of payments including settlement of cash transfers between financial institutions in addition to settlement for transactions of securities such as Japan Government Bonds and derivatives transactions. Settlements for transactions of funds involving current account deposits at the Bank of Japan are processed via BOJ-NET account deposits.

Meanwhile, the Domestic Fund Transfer System provides centralized settlement of funds between participating financial institutions for domestic exchange transactions including payments. The transactions are processed by the Zengin Data Telecommunication System (Zengin System), under the management of the Japanese Banks’ Payment Clearing Network (Zengin Net), which was established by the Japanese Bankers Association (JBA). Net differences in payments among participants are settled via the BOJ-NET FTS. In other words, the Zengin System, in addition to undertaking settlement of funds transfers between financial institutions via BOJ-NET, also serves as the hub system, sending, receiving, sorting, and aggregating fund transfer messages—the backbone of the payment services underpinning the nation’s financial system.

 

Figure 1: Japan’s Payments System

Zengin_FIG1 Source: BOJ, Celent

 

Just published a new report:

Payments Systems Trends in Japan, Part III: Blueprints for the Next-Generation Zengin System