ロボアドバイザー3.0の時代

Robo for blog 2014年12月に発行した弊社レポート「ロボアドバイザーをめぐるディスラプション」では、ロボアドバイザーのもたらす脅威に対し、伝統的なウェルスマネジメント会社がどう取り組んでいるのかを記載しました。 その後今日に至るまで、ロボアドバイザーの世界は大きな変化を遂げました。 ロボアドバイザーの黎明期(「ロボアドバイザー1.0」の時代)は、Charles SchwabやVanguardといった、多様なビジネスを手がけるアセットマネジメント会社の独自ロボアドバイザーの登場とともに終わりを告げ、「ロボアドバイザー2.0」の時代へと入りました。また最近では、より純粋なアセットマネジメント会社であるBlackRockやInvescoの参入も話題となったところです。 こういったアセットマネジメント会社の戦略的意図や将来性について、セレントは独自の分析を行い、先日発刊した最新レポートでその見解を示しました。本レポートでは、富裕層をターゲットとする証券会社など、伝統的な投資サービス提供企業への影響や示唆についても考察をし、さらには「ロボアドバイザー3.0」にも触れました。潤沢な資金を持つIT企業や、イノベーティブな心をもった既存金融機関による、より高機能で、より多くの投資家層に適用可能な「ロボアドバイザー3.0」の誕生に対し、アセットマネジメント会社の参入がどんな影響を及ぼすのかを分析しています。

Celent Analyst and Insight Day

Celent analysts and their insights gathered in Tokyo.

The informative conference presentations were followed by a heated discussion with the thought leaders in the financial industry, on the role of the financial services in the future, which should make a big leap forward both locally and globally.

At the conference, the fifteen hottest topics were covered in the three sessions.

 

Session I
Innovation: Countdown to Now

Firms no longer have the luxury of relying on the past or dismissing the seemingly impossible that is being offered in the present—did we ever really think hoverboards, drones, and driverless cars would be a part of our daily lexicon? But how does a financial institution make the transition to be an innovative enterprise? We’ve taken a close look at what Celent research has discovered to be emerging as best practices in financial services innovation – and examine how incumbents are modifying their traditional business practices to respond to the opportunities and threats presented.

  • Organizing for Innovation
    Mike Fitzgerald, Senior Analyst, Insurance, Celent
    Stephen Greer, Analyst, Banking, Celent
  • Holistic Digital
    Dan Latimore, Senior Vice President, Banking, Celent
  • Extreme Digital
    Craig Beattie, Senior Analyst, Insurance, Celent
  • Convergence in Wealth and Asset Management: Quest for $100 Trillion
    Jay Wolstenholme, Senior Analyst, Securities & Investments, Celent

 

Session II
FinTech: The Fork in the Road

The decisions you make today are vital to your firm’s well being tomorrow. Many of those outlandish ideas being bandied about today contain the seeds of where the industry is heading tomorrow. The challenge is which ones are worthy of your limited time and resources. We’ve examined some of today’s trendiest technologies and discuss which ones we think have staying power and which ones are a futuristic fantasy.

  • Insurance Fintech
    Jamie Macgregor, Senior Vice President, Insurance, Celent
  • The Internet of Things, Telematics, Driverless Cars: First an Opportunity, Then a Threat
    Donald Light, Research Director, Insurance, Celent
  • Practical Uses of Emerging Technology in Retail Banking (from Authentication to Helping Customers Live Better Financial Lives)
    Stephen Greer, Analyst, Banking, Celent
  • AI/Machine Learning in Insurance
    Mike Fitzgerald, Senior Analyst, Insurance, Celent
  • AI/Machine Learning in Securities
    David Easthope, Senior Vice President, Securities & Investments, Celent
  • Robo Advisory
    Will Trout, Senior Advisor, Wealth Management, Celent

 

Session III
The Blockchain: Passing Fad or the Next Big Thing?

It seems everywhere you look, there is another mention of the Blockchain, and it appears to be offering a glimpse into the future. Is it a viable, commercial platform or not. We’ve explored how this cutting edge technology is being utilized across Financial Services. We’ve taken an in-depth look at where it is, where we think it’s going and if it’s worth your time and money. We’ve studied how others are utilizing this futuristic tool and what you need to be thinking and doing in order to ensure you won’t be passed over.

  • The Future of Blockchain and Payments
    Zilvinas Bareisis,
  • Blockchain in Banking
    Patty Hines, Senior Analyst, Banking, Celent
    Jim O'Neill, Senior Analyst, Banking, Celent
  • Blockchain in Insurance
    Jamie Macgregor, Senior Vice President, Insurance, Celent
  • Blockchain and Smart Contracts in Securities
    Brad Bailey, Research Director, Securities & Investments, Celent
  • Distributing Risk with Digital Assets
    David Easthope, Senior Vice President, Securities & Investments, Celent

 

Afterwards we interviewed the thought leaders individually, where we continuously focused on the financial industry in the future.

  • What we should do…
    – Investment and Creation of business opportunities
    – Elimination of mismatch between supply and demand
    – Implementation of new technology in the context of new architecture
  • What we shouldn’t…
    – Reproduction of legacy
    – Competition for market share
    – Monopolization of business and technology

 

To become what we envisage, the financial service industry should share and collaborate with other industries. As long as it remains a monopolistic industry, it won’t be able to catch up with changes rapid development of technology is bringing about.

In this FinTech era, consumers have high expectations for far better services.
It seems that the competitors are not your industry peers but outsiders.
They could be YouTube, Ritz-Carlton, Google or Amazon.com. They all know potential customers’ needs and provide their services based on them. Social network services, which are non-exclusive and user-friendly, also could be another rival.

Whether we can meet the expectations or not will be the key.

Stay tuned for forthcoming Celent reports.

 

IMG_2187

 

セレント アナリスト&インサイト・デー

早春の東京に、セレントのアナリストとインサイトが集結しました。

カンファレンスでのプレゼンテーションに加え、日本の金融業界ソートリーダとの議論では、日本で、アジアで、そしてグローバルに飛躍する金融サービスの未来図を大いに語りました。

カンファレンスでは、3つのセッションを通じて、15本のトピックスについて、最旬なプレゼンテーションを展開しました。

 

セッション1:イノベーションへのカウントダウン

もはや、過去の栄光に安穏とする組織は存続出来ません。ドローンや自動運転車との日常を、誰が予想したでしょうか?全く新しい時代の幕開けを、金融機関がイノベーティブな組織として生まれ変わる機会とするために、セレントは「金融機関のイノベーション」を継続的にリサーチしています。劇的な環境変化をビジネス機会として活用するために、セレントがグローバルなリサーチの中で見出した「イノベーションのベストプラクティス」を披露しました。

 

セッション2:フィンテック 未来への分岐点

今日の決断の確からしさが、明日のビジネスの成功を導きます。しかし、限られた時間の中で情報を取捨選択し、正しい判断を導くことは容易ではありません。業界を飛び交う斬新で奇抜なアイディアの中には、将来の方向性と成功を決定づける「種」が混在しますが、限られた時間とリソースを投入する価値のある種なのかを見極めることが課題です。フィンテックの最新テクノロジーの中から、どの「種」に将来性があり、どの「種」が幻想に終わるのか、セレントのインサイトを発信しました。

 

セッション3:ブロックチェーン 一時のブームか現実か

「ブロックチェーン」という言葉に、業界の未来が投影されているようです。果たして、本当に実用的なプラットフォームなのか、そしてその用途と適用方法は? 金融機関は、この最先端テクノロジーにどのように取り組んでいるか、先駆者たちの取り組みに何を学ぶか? 銀行、保険、決済サービス、キャピタルマーケットにおける、その現状と今後の見通しを分析し、時間と資金を投じる価値がある分野を検証しました。

  • ブロックチェーンと決済の将来像
    ジルビナ・バレイシス  シニア・アナリスト バンキング
  • バンキングにおけるブロックチェーン2.0
    パトリシア・ヘインズ  シニア・アナリスト バンキング
    ジェームス・オニール  シニア・アナリスト  バンキング
  • 保険におけるブロックチェーン:どこにどのような影響を及ぼすか?
    ジェイミー・マクレガー  シニア・バイス・プレジデント  保険
  • 資本市場におけるブロックチェーンとスマートコントラクト
    ブラッド・ベイリー  リサーチ・ディレクター  証券
  • デジタル資産におけるリスク分散:分散型帳簿テクノロジーによるグローバル・システミック・リスクの軽減
    デビッド・イーストホープ  シニア・バイス・プレジデント  証券

 

個別に面談した、日本の業界ソートリーダとの議論では、引き続き、「金融の未来図」を提唱しました。

  • 何をすべきか?
    – 投資と事業機会の活用:イノベーション組織とリーダーシップの確立
    – 需要と供給のミスマッチを発掘:不便を我慢しない「新世代の声」を最大限活用
    – 新テクノロジーは新アーキテクチャの下で:デジタルテクノロジーがネットワーク効果を加速し、APIを司るプラットフォーマーこそが、新たな潮流を生み出す
  • 何をすべきでないか?
    – レガシーモデルの再生産:フィンテック活用とレガシーモダナイゼーションの同時進行、新サービス、新システムに加え、新たなソーシングモデルの考慮が必要
    – 旧市場の争奪戦:コスト競争を回避するためには、競争の軸を変え、新セグメントに向けた新たなバリュープロポジションを創出する
    – 事業とテクノロジーの独占:フィンテックのビジネスモデルは、多くの「共有」で成り立ち、それは市場や顧客のみならず、事業やテクノロジーすら惜しげもなく「共有」

 

未来図は、金融が特別な、独占的なサービスから、企業活動や消費生活と融合し、金融以外の情報や活動との区分が無くなることを前提とすべきと考えます。フィンテックの時代、金融サービス利用者の期待は高揚を続けています。サービスを競うべき相手は、どうやら、金融業界の外に、それは、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ません。その期待に応えることが、未来図における羅針盤となりましょう。

近刊のセレントレポートに、どうぞご期待下さい。

 

IMG_2185

 

クラウド第2幕

大手金融機関グループにおける、包括的なITソーシング契約が発表された。こうした取り組みが続くことで、レガシーなシステム基盤が現代化されるだけでなく、レガシーなビジネスモデルは完全に淘汰されるであろう。

IaaSとPaaSのクラウドシステム基盤と、ハイブリッドに連携するSaaS、ビックデータ・アナリティクスやIoT、AIなどの新サービスが、レガシーの現代化だけでなく、イノベーティブな新ビジネスのインキュベーターとなる。そしてその先には、APIの解放からオープンイノベーションの扉が開く。

汎用的なITゼネコンにとって、恐ろしい時代となった。こうした取り組みは、日本のSIベンダー各社には、大きな警鐘と聞こえるはずだ。一方で、尖鋭的なアプリケーションベンダーは、迅速にその採用を決めた。そして、ローレイテンシーな世界でも、イノベーションへの環境を整えてゆく。

破壊的なテクノロジーは、既に、身近に存在する。イノベーションへの河を渡るためには、その動機と革新を恐れない勇気が必要だ。ITは、もはやイノベーションのバリアではない。明らかにドライバーである。

2016年は、「クラウドファースト」から「イノベーションファースト」へ、クラウドの第2幕が開く。

 

「ロボアドバイザーはアイスクリームのように…フレーバーは多種多様!」

Six ice creams in cones on white background 来週、11日に東京で開かれるセレントイノベーション・フォーラム にスピーカーとして参加することになっており、今からわくわくしています。 それに先立ち、注目度が急上昇するこの分野のキーワードを紹介したいと思います。まず、最も基本的なコンセプトから始めましょう。
  • ロボアドバイザー: この言葉は自動投資アドバイス(Automated Investment Advice)の略語のように使われることがありますが、正確には全くの同義ではありません。「ロボアドバイザー」は人的介入が全くないことを前提としているのに対し、「自動投資アドバイザー Automated Investment Advisor」は完全に自動化されたモデルと人間のアドバイザーを補完して自動化テクノロジーを使うモデルの両方を指します。スタートアップ企業の多くは、「自動投資アドバイザー Automated Investment Advisor」を好んで使っています。こちらの方がよりプロらしい(かつより正確な)響きがあるからでしょう。
ロボアドバイザーには基本的に2つのモデルがあります。
  • B2Cモデル: ロボアドバイザーの第一世代は、個人顧客向けで、ほとんどが人的介入のない、完全自動化モデルでした。しかし、個人顧客の獲得コストが嵩んだことから、人間のアドバイザーをロボで補完するハイブリッド型モデルにその多くが移行しました。
  • B2Bモデル: 2007年頃に登場したロボアドバイザー企業のうち、人的介入のない完全自動化モデルを固持しているのはWealthfront(運用資産残高は30億ドル超)だけです。その他のプレーヤーは、B2Bまたはハイブリッド型モデルに転換することで成長を実現しました。例えば、BettermentはFidelity Investmensと提携し、同社の数千人のアドバイザーをロボテクノロジーでサポートしています。
このように、ロボアドバイザーのビジネスモデルの強さと独自性を決めるのは、提供する商品自体(多くの場合はプレイン・バニラのETF)ではなく、どのように提供するか、デリバリー方法におけるイノベーションであるといえます。ロボアドバイサーの特長は、スムーズで直観的なユーザーエクスペリエンス、そして手数料の安さ(および透明性)にあります。どのロボアドバイザー企業もイノベーションを継続し、米国では退職金の資産運用をサポートするまでに成長してきました。現在はB2Bモデルが最も勢いを強めていますが、今後は、より強力な完全自動化モデルを持つプレーヤーがこの市場に参入してくることは間違いないでしょう。    

Announcing the winners of the 5th Asia Technology Insurance Awards

Celent and Asia Insurance Review hosted the 5th Asia Insurance Technology Awards (AITAs) at AIR’s CIO Technology Summit at Le Meridien Hotel Jakarta on 1 September 2015. The AITAs recognize excellence and innovation in the use of technology within the insurance industry. This year we received over 30 nominations from Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Pakistan; as well as the Asia Pacific divisions of global insurers. There were many impressive submissions, from which our international panel of Celent insurance analysts selected the very best to receive the six awards. The Innovation Award recognizes innovation in business models or in the use of technology. The winner was MetLife Asia. MetLife Asia implemented Advanced Data Analytics to transform big data into customer insights and to deliver a more personalized customer experience – delivering the right products and services, for the right people, at the right time. They are using these insights to inform product and services development, and to deliver sales leads to agents. The company won the award because of the innovative usage of data analytics. The IT Leadership Award honors an individual who has displayed clear vision and leadership in the delivery of technology to the business. The recipient will have been responsible for deriving genuine value from technology and has demonstrated this trait with a specific project or through ongoing leadership. The winner was Girish Nayak, Chief – Customer Service, Operations and Technology at ICICI Lombard General Insurance. ICICI Lombard implemented a business assurance project to address the ever present gap between real business uptime on the ground vs technology uptime. The firm implemented an in-house customer experience center; and deployed an infrastructure as a service model in Microsoft Azure Cloud. These initiatives generate genuine value for the business. The Digital Transformation Award honors an insurer who has made the most progress in implementing digitization initiatives. BOCG Life was the winner. BOCG Life implemented the Electronic Commerce System to provide online needs analysis and policy services. Through a transparent, direct and needs-oriented process, it facilitates prospective customers applying for multiple products they need in one go, and allows customer to adjust the offer according to their budget. The company won the award because of the way it is building trust and developing long-term relationships with customers through digital transformation. The Best Newcomer Award recognizes the best new player in the insurance technology field. The winner was CAMS Insurance Repository Services. CAMS Insurance Repository Services launched the Insurance Repository to provide e- Insurance Accounts to maintain policies as e-policies. This brings new efficiencies and benefits across the stakeholders, including Policy Holders, Insurers, Agents and the Regulator. The company won the award because they demonstrated real, unique value to the ecosystem. The award for Best Insurer: Technology honors the insurer who has made the most progress in embracing technology across the organization. The winner was RAC Insurance. RAC Insurance implemented a series of projects to digitize the business between suppliers, members and RAC Insurance. These projects include Claims Allocation, Motor Repairer Integration, and a B2C platform. The company won the award because of the way technology transformed the organization’s capability by offering an exceptional, one-touch experience for their members through online channels. Finally, the New Business Model Leveraging Mobile Applications Award recognizes the insurer who has developed a new, perhaps disruptive business model involving the innovative use of mobile technology. Max Life Insurance won the award. Max Life Insurance launched mServicing and mApp which enable digital servicing of customers, sales force and operations. The company won the award because of the use of mobile technologies to increase agent activity and engagement, enable speedy issuance of policies, and enhance business quality and operational efficiency. Be on the lookout for the 6th Asia Insurance Technology Awards in 2016. We’ll post another blog when the nomination period opens, sometime around June 2016. You can also find information on Celent’s website: http://www.celent.com/aita.  

Innovation and Legacy Modernization in Japan

As a regional unit, Celent Asia covers all of the industries under Celent’s purview: Banking, Insurance, and Securities & Investments. So it can be a bit of a challenge when we put on a Celent conference in Asia to find topics that resonate across all these verticals. Our recent (and sold out) Insight and Innovation Day in Tokyo hit the target by examining two interrelated themes of vital import to many financial firms today: strategies for innovation, and legacy renewal to support these strategies. The event was anchored by not one but two surveys Celent carried out this spring in Japan. A survey of 1,000+ Japanese consumers initiated by Celent’s CEO Craig Weber suggested that highly digital consumers are the best targets for innovative financial services. The challenge, as this survey revealed (and contrary to popular belief outside Japan), is that digitally savvy consumers are still just a tiny minority in Japan. This implies that financial institutions in Japan must not only innovate, but also educate and lead their customers into the digital financial future. The second survey, organized by Celent Senior Analyst Eiichiro Yanagawa, looked at legacy modernization trends at more than 60 banks, insurers and investment firms in Japan. Core system replacement is in full swing, with a majority of firms either planning or in the midst of their legacy transformation initiatives. Significantly, survey respondents indicated that the primary driver for replacing the core is to improve customer service and satisfaction. Which increasingly will require digital support for the customer experience. In a word, innovation. These surveys were modeled on the Celent reports Targeting Innovation: How Your Customers Might Respond and Tracking the Progress in Core Systems Replacement (Global Life and Global P&C editions). We’ll be publishing our analyses of the Japan surveys shortly. This is what our team does best and, I believe, uniquely: apply our global experience to the markets here in Asia to help firms deliver value.

Pushing beyond apps

It struck me while I was driving this morning: First-gen mobile apps are fine, but virtually everyone is missing high-volume opportunities to engage with their customers. Allow me to back up a step. I was stuck in traffic. Not surprisingly, that gave me some time to ponder my driving experience. I found myself thinking: Why can’t I give my car’s navigation system deep personalizations to help it think the way I do? And how do I get around its singular focus on getting from Point A to Point B? I explored the system while at a red light. It had jammed me onto yet another “Fastest Route,” disguised as a parking lot. My tweaks to the system didn’t seem to help. I decided what I’d really like is a Creativity slider so I could tell my nav how far out there to be in determining my route. Suburban side streets, public transportation, going north to eventually head south, and even well-connected parking lots are all nominally on the table when I’m at the helm. So why can’t I tell my nav to think like me? I’d also like a more personal, periodic verbal update on my likely arrival time, which over the course of my trip this morning went from 38 minutes to almost twice that due to traffic. The time element is important, of course. But maybe my nav system should sense when I’m agitated (a combination of wearables and telematics would be a strong indicator) and do something to keep me from going off the deep end. Jokes? Soothing music? Directions to highly-rated nearby bakeries? Words of serenity? More configurability is required, obviously, or some really clever automated customization. Then an even more radical thought struck. Why couldn’t my nav help me navigate not only my trip but my morning as well? “Mr. Weber, you will be in heavy traffic for the next 20 minutes. Shall I read through your unopened emails for you while you wait?” Or, “Your calendar indicates that you have an appointment before your anticipated arrival time. Shall I email the participants to let them know you’re running late?” Or (perhaps if I’m not that agitated), “While you have a few minutes would you like to check your bank balances, or talk to someone about your auto insurance renewal which is due in 10 days?” What I’m describing here is a level of engagement between me and my mobile devices which is difficult to foster, for both technical and psychological reasons. And it doesn’t work if a nav system is simply a nav system that doesn’t have contextual information about the user. But imagine the benefits if the navigation company, a financial institution, and other consumer-focused firms thought through the consumer experience more holistically. By sensibly injecting themselves into consumers’ daily routines—even when those routines are stressful—companies will have a powerful connection to their customers that will be almost impossible to dislodge. Firms like Google have started down this path, but financial institutions need to push their way into the conversation as well.

ON THE DISMANTLING OF ‘BEDROCK’ REGULATIONS, Part 3

Japan’s financial market is also home to outdated bedrock regulations.

Background:
Currently in Japan there are approximately 270 Shinkin banks (Credit Unions). On average, these average a deposit balance of around 500 billion yen and loans of 300 billion yen, with some large Shinkin banks that exceed regional banks in size.

Joining Forces:
The January 2015 announced merger of Ogaki Shinkin Bank and Seino Shinkin Bank was premised on a proactive business strategy looking five to 10 years in the future and taking into account the shrinking population and economy. The new entity will boast a post-merger total of 700 billion yen in deposits, falling in the realm of mid-tier financial institutions and with a notably high capital adequacy ratio. With Ogaki boasting a capital adequacy ratio of 12% and Seino 15%, this union of banks—which could go it alone—speaks to a strategic move to maintain or enhance regional market share and consolidate forces to achieve greater economy of scale. Both institutions are located in central Japan’s Gifu Prefecture, which is home to a number of robust regional institutions including Juroku Bank (assets of 5.0 trillion yen), Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank (assets of 4.2 trillion yen), Gifu Shinkin Bank (assets of 2.1 trillion yen), and also one of the few areas of Japan that is enjoying staunch competition in retail banking. This merger can also be seen as hinting at things to come.

Outlook:
The dominant take is that strategic partnerships and mergers will proceed apace among institutions of suitable scale and sound management until an appropriate number for the market has been reached. A trend similar to that witnessed in the U.S. credit union industry is expected, in which as the hurdle to survival has risen, especially in urban areas, many credit unions boasting assets in excess of 2 trillion yen are created. It would seem moving forward that in addition to scale, financial soundness, and operational efficiency, that having a strategy that focuses on offering niche services that fill local needs will prove essential.
(Lessons that can be learned from developments in the U.S. credit union industry are addressed in detail in the below Celent report.)

Challenges and Strategy:
From the perspective of efficiency, regional financial institutions will for the most part operate in partnership with other institutions using a shared center system rather than operating such systems themselves. This will solve cost and resource challenges, but at the same time could hamper efforts to offer unique products and services when it comes to taking advantage of IT. In addition, until now there have been other system–related obstacles to partnerships and mergers across regions. Outdated “bedrock” regulations remain. You might say this area of the industry has been protected by virtue of the system. However, the largest impediment would seem to be human resources. We hope to see strategic and proactive initiatives taken by networks of financial institutions and overarching bank entities such as the Shinkin Central Bank.

Partnerships and mergers taken with strategic intent are urgently needed. For example, Shinkin banks, which boast freestanding shop networks, manpower to undertake business activities, and with strong local ties, by joining forces with dedicated online players (in banking, insurance, and securities), with their robust online sales and powerful national mass-marketing capabilities, could quite conceivably realize strategic online-to-offline (O2O) channel development and omnichannel marketing. If they can do this, then they can be expected to devise unique services that set them apart from megabanks and mega-insurers and—in this time of shrinking populations and declining local economies—create novel financial service delivery models. In doing so, key success factors can be expected to boil down to the use of technology and human resources.

 

Catch CU: The Ongoing Evolution of the Credit Union Market

ON THE DISMANTLING OF ‘BEDROCK’ REGULATIONS, Part 2

Stubborn “bedrock” regulations remain in Japan’s financial market.

These are embodied by proposals to expand the operation of Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), which at five hours daily has shorter trading hours than both London and New York, and to make interbank payment transactions real time 24 hours a day year-round.

Last November, TSE announced that it was going to delay introducing longer trading hours for stocks (1). The bourse said that it had explored expanding trading hours with a focus on night trading, but had been unable to get the majority of brokerage houses to sign on. TSE believes that even expanding trading is not necessarily a recipe that can be expected to attract diverse market participants—all of which points to strong fears that Tokyo’s international competitiveness will falter.

Meanwhile, the Japanese Bankers Association (JBA) last December pledged to offer world-leading payment services. These new services are to be expanded to cover what have been non-business hours, such as nights, weekends, and holidays. Toward this end, the organization committed to establish a new year-round, 24-hour platform that will enable funds to be sent between banks in real time (2). At the same time, when reporting on this story, The Nikkei, Japan’s leading business daily , noted only that the JBA had decided to launch a new interbank system that would be active 24 hours days, omitting the information about real-time interbank payments being made possible around the clock year-round because there are banks that are not keen to extend business hours and it is not clear when in fact this will be up and running (3).

Deregulation and technological progress are the two wheels that propel the vehicle of innovation forward. The proliferation of digital technology heightens the possibility of technological innovation catching on. At the same time, deregulation creates opportunities for the application of innovative technology. The dismantling of “bedrock” regulations of massive scale and, beyond that, establishing a growth strategy will not happen minus collaboration on the part of government—that is to say financial regulatory authorities—and entrepreneurs or corporations —namely financial institutions and financial service vendors. Put another way, if these entities can work well together—with motivated businesses with expertise in digital technology and a government-backed growth strategy initiative functioning as two wheels advancing in tandem—then innovation can be expected to accelerate.

Digital technology that can be used to realize innovation is already here. The challenge is to create opportunities to apply it—opportunities that presuppose the dismantling of these bedrock regulations.

 

(1) Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE)

(2) Japanese Bankers Association (JBA)

(3) January 9 edition of Nikkei