HSBC Holdings and Royal Bank of Scotland Prepare to Launch New Digital Banking Platforms to Meet Growing Demand from Clients

HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC), a British multinational investment bank and financial services holding company, and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (RBS) are preparing to introduce their digital banking platforms in order to meet client requirements.

HSBC Kinetic, the bank’s new digital banking platform, has been created specifically for small businesses and companies. It is reportedly in its beta stages of development and it has been scheduled for launch during the first half of next year.

Meanwhile, RBS’ independent digital banking platform, Bo, will go live at the end of this month.

Bo will have user budgeting features and options to view and analyze savings and spending. The new platform has been developed for people who have less than $128 in total savings.

HSBC Kinetic will help small businesses work together by connecting them with mobile-operated banking software, which will include current accounts, overdraft facilities, and advanced analytics for spending and cash flow management.

HSBC Kinetic has reportedly been designed by around 150 staff members based in London. It was previously called “Project Iceberg” by the bank’s employees.

Peter McIntyre, HSBC’s head of small business banking in the UK, noted that the bank anticipates that thousands of new users will want to use HSBC Kinetic. HSBC’s management is also considering launching the Kinetic software in other countries.

McIntyre remarked:

“I think this is the best time to [launch HSBC Kinetic], as it will] bring more financial insight to customers at a difficult [economic] time.”

During times of political and economic uncertainty due to Brexit and the US-China trade war, HSBC and other large institutions including the Deutsche Bank DB, Nomura Holdings, Inc NMR aim to reduce operational costs while also improving efficiency.

HSBC shares have dropped 8.3% in 2019, meanwhile, RBS’ have jumped 2.7% this year. The industry, as a whole, has grown 5.3% during the same time period.

RBC Confirms It Has Filed Patent Regarding Possible Crypto Trading Platform

A spokesperson for the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has confirmed that the top 5 Canadian bank has filed patents for crypto trading platform technology. The spokesperson would not confirm plans to launch, however.

“(L)ike many other organizations,” Jean Francois Thibault told The Logic Monday, “(RBC) files patent applications to ensure proprietary ideas and concepts are protected.”

According to The Logic, RBC has enrolled 4 patent applications in the US and Canada regarding a possible platform.

Language from one patent suggests the tech may be designed to streamline use of cryptocurrencies, which can be complicated due to the relatively high levels of computer efficacy and responsibility needed to properly manage ones cryptocurrency “private keys.”

Unlike conventional payment systems, Bitcoin and other crypto transactions cannot be reversed by a sender or interlocutor. Once a person inputs their keys (essentially alphanumeric passwords), they are en route, and mistakes can be costly

Old-school crypto aficionados typically recommend storing cryptographic keys offline in hardware storage devices called “cold wallets.” This recommendation is made because of a very high number of hacks executed against cryptocurrency changes. To date, more than a billion dollars in cryptocurrencies have been stolen by hackers from exchanges.

Businesses hoping to take crypto more mainstream are working to offer secure custody to customers who likely can’t be bothered with the risk or fuss of maintaining a personal cold wallet.

According to The Logic, the latest RBC patents suggest the bank may one day offer crypto trading accounts. Other patents filed by RBC include possible “blockchain” systems for the management of credit scores, vehicle records, consumer points and loans tracking.

Three Canadian crypto exchanges have folded or been investigated in recent months, including:

Royal Bank of Canada Launches New Mobile Banking Experience For Students

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) announced on Wednesday the launch of its new mobile banking experience that is specifically for students. The RBC Mobile Student Edition was notably designed in collaboration with students to enable features that matter most to them.

“The Student Edition hones in on Generation Z (Gen Z), which encompasses all high school and post-secondary age students. According to RBC internal research, only 38 percent of post-secondary and 33 percent of high school students feel that they have their finances under control. With easy access, customizable features, familiar design and quick touch definitions, this new edition within RBC’s existing mobile app is tailored to students’ digital preferences and enables them to learn how to manage their finances.”

While sharing more details about the feature, Sean Amato-Gauci, Executive Vice-President of Cards, Payments, and Banking at RBC, stated:

“Gen Zers are true digital natives, and it was essential that their input lead the development of the Student Edition. We worked closely with a group of young Canadians throughout the entire process – from the initial research phase through to final testing. With their insights on how they engage with content and interact with money, we were able to deliver a mobile banking experience that’s in line with the apps that they know and love.”

Key Features of the RBC Mobile Student Edition including the following:

  • Simplification: Prioritized key features are front and center for easy navigation, such as quick access to accounts, send money features, insights on spending, setting up reoccurring account transfers and a carousel to scroll through accounts.
  • Personalization: The ability to choose nicknames and colors for accounts and upload contact photos allows students to interact with the app in a way that best suits their behavior and, in turn, obtain a “clear” financial overview.
  • Tailored Content: Contextual definitions for financial terms, coupled with money management insights, help make banking easy to understand.

Erica Nielsen, Vice-President of Payments, and Banking at RBC, then commented:

“Our goal is to help students learn about money management and gain confidence. Banking with RBC is more than managing money. We empower young people to confidently take on the challenges they face by supporting them in understanding their financial future.”

RBC then added that clients who are under age 22 and have downloaded or updated to the most recent version of the RBC Mobile app (available on Android and iOS) will have access to the Student Edition.

Royal Bank of Canada Announces Acquisition of Fintech Startup WayPay

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) announced on Wednesday it has acquired WayPay, a cloud-based payments fintech that offers business clients a best-in-class solution for accounts payable automation and payment optimization. RBC reported:

“Many businesses are already planning the transition from paper cheques as manual reconciliation is a time-sensitive process prone to errors.  The acquisition of WayPay will add new capabilities for RBC to bring all payment types together onto one platform, providing clients with a more comprehensive view of their accounts while facilitating the shift from manual, paper-based processes to digital payments.”

Speaking about the acquisition, Greg Grice, Executive Vice-President of Business Financial Services at RBC, stated:

“This acquisition enables us to expand our portfolio of digitally-enabled capabilities and advice for our business clients and further strengthens RBC’s position as a digital leader in the market. By integrating WayPay’s innovative payment solution, we’re able to provide clients with a secure, simple and automated payables and payments solution as part of RBC’s comprehensive suite of business offerings to help them manage and grow their business with greater ease and efficiency.”

Robert Bast, Co-Founder at WayPay, went on to add:

“WayPay was built to allow businesses to automate their payables process regardless of their accounting software and how many, what type, or where in the world they wish to send a payment.  We are helping businesses spend less time approving and reconciling their payables and providing greater visibility so they can focus on building and growing their business. We are thrilled to join the RBC team where we see incredible synergies which will create even more value and ensure many more business owners benefit from the power of automated reconciliation and digital payments.”

Royal Bank of Canada Launches API Developer Portal

On Tuesday, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) announced it has opened its very own API developer platform. According to the bank, the RBC Developers platform will allow eligible external software developers, industry “innovators,” and clients to access select RBC APIs. While sharing more details about the platform, Sumit Oberai, Senior Vice President of Digital Technology at RBC, stated:

“Across other industries we’ve seen the transformational effects of APIs. By providing external developers, industry innovators, and clients with access to select RBC APIs, we have the opportunity to increase connectivity, create new tools and experience for clients, and enable open and innovative collaboration to improve the future of banking.”

RBC noted that APIs allow applications to talk to other applications. They allow third-party applications secured access to select data and capabilities from RBC. Once registered and approved to use the RBC Developers portal, external parties will be able to browse and learn about the APIs offered and build, test and deploy their applications using these APIs.

RBC is initially offering five API packages in the portal, which are credit card catalog API, minimum down payment API, branch locator API, amortization schedule API, safety deposit box inventory API. Each API package delivers the data elements, orchestration and business logic required to deliver the end to end business process.

RBC added that additional API packages will be added in the future.