In 1967, when ATMs were introduced, it was expected to spell the end of bank branches and bank teller jobs. Instead the number of bank branches and tellers increased, with their roles emphasizing sales and customer service, rather than dispensing money.

In 1994, when on-line banking was introduced, a major loss of jobs was prophesied. And this time jobs did start to be lost – but less than expected, because of resistance to technology from an older demographic and from some industries (such as real estate).

Now, in 2018, several technologies are coming together to have a significant impact on the industry and its employees:

  • On-line digitized payments using mobile phones are reducing the need for cash – and this is being encouraged by governments worldwide because of concerns about illegal payments and money laundering. (Visitors to China have noticed that most business people no longer carry purses or wallets – just their mobile phones.)
  • The internet continues to reduce the need for bank branches, tellers, and stock brokers.
  • AI is being used to automate credit application processing and financial planning.
  • Blockchain has the potential to totally re-structure the finance industry with its ability to by-pass the need for a trusted third party in financial transactions, such as international trade, money transfers, and mortgage processing.
  • And the impact of digital currencies, like bitcoin, has yet to be felt.

This time the writing on the wall needs to be read!





HSBC processed the first blockchain letter of credit using Chinese yuan (International Trade/Blockchain - 2019-09 - Reuters)

HSBC completed the first yuan-denominated blockchain-based letter of credit transaction. HSBC and other banks want to use blockchain technology to streamline the traditionally paper-based and bureaucratic business of financing trade. HSBC used the Voltron trade finance platform, developed by them and 7 other major banks.

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The insurance adjuster is a drone (Drone/Insurance Adjusting - 2019-06 - ZDNet)

Drones have become a key tool in the insurance sector, where damage assessments are frequently performed by drones equipped with machine vision and AI.

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Every rental contract in Malta will be registered on the blockchain (Rental Contracts/Blockchain - 2019-06 - CoinDesk)

Malta will require every rental contract to be registered on the blockchain. This ensures security, prevents record tampering, and ensures only authorized persons can access the records. The distributed ledger prevents there being contracts for which there is no record.

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A blockchain-based real-estate transaction platform can close a traditional real estate deal entirely online (Real Estate/Blockchain - 2019-06 - CoinDesk)

Propy is a real-estate transaction platform that empowers buyers, sellers, their agents, and escrow agents to close a traditional real estate deal entirely online. The purchase offer, payment and deeds are uploaded to an immutable blockchain. Propy completed its first deal in 2017, its first US transaction in Vermont in 2018, and has assisted worldwide in over 60 real estate transfers.

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Tata settles securities between national depositories on a blockchain (Securities/Blockchain - 2019-04 - CoinDesk)

India’s Tata Consultancy Services has completed a blockchain trial of cross-border securities settlement between two central securities depositories. The successful pilot project created a set of equity and fixed income securities for Morocco’s Maroclear depository and the Kuwait Clearing Company. Segregated accounts to hold the securities were also created. The cross-border settlement instructions for these securities were matched and settled instantaneously, with confirmation notifications also arriving in real time.

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French lender Societe Generale issues $112 million bond on Ethereum blockchain (Investments/Blockchain - 2019-04 - CoinDesk)

French financial services giant Societe Generale Group has issued bonds (to itself) worth $112 million in the form of a security token on the public ethereum blockchain: “Many areas of added value are predicted, among which, product scalability and reduced time to market, computer code automation structuring, thus better transparency, faster transferability and settlement. It proposes a new standard for issuances and secondary market bond trading and reduces cost and the number of intermediaries.”

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AI is taking over finance jobs on Wall Street (Finance - 2018-11 - Bloomberg)

A robot that can trade bonds better than a bond trader, and a video about various jobs that are in danger of being replaced by AI.

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WeChat enables a cashless society in China (Finance - 2018-11 - Stansberry Research)

An example of how dinner out with friends can be initiated, planned, implemented and paid for – all using WeChat.

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Trading in oil and wheat using a blockchain will start in 2018 (Finance/Trading - 2018-09 - TechRepublic)

Several major global banks and trading firms are using blockchain to trade commodities like oil and wheat. The platform will be launched by a new venture named komgo SA, and is set to go live late in 2018.

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Overwhelming' response to world's first blockchain bond (Finance - 2018-08 - CNBC)

The world’s first public bond created and managed using only blockchain had support from seven investors, with lead manager the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. It raised $80.48 million for the World Bank.

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IBM uses the blockchain to boost financial services innovation (Finance/Banking - 2018-07 - TechRepublic)

IBM and New York-based cash settlement firm CLS have teamed up with major banks to launch a blockchain-based platform to provide financial services, including KYC processes, sanctions screening, collateral management, derivatives post-trade processing and reconciliation, and market data.

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Banks conduct cross-border trades on IBM-powered blockchain (Finance/International Trade - 2018-07 - CoinDesk)

A series of cross-border financial trades were completed through a jointly developed blockchain platform by a group of European banks (Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Nordea, Rabobank, Santander, Société Générale and UniCredit) over five days between 10 companies.

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Human bankers are losing to robots as Nordea sets a new standard (Finance/Banking - 2018-07 - Bloomberg)

Sweden’s Nordea Bank CEO expects banks to halve its workforce within 10 years, with automation and robots taking over from people in everything from asset management to call centres.

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Digitization of money and finance: Challenges and opportunities (Finance - 2018-05 - American News)

A measured speech by IMF Deputy Managing Director Tao Zhang on the issues facing central banks and regulatory authorities in this era of technological advances in the field of finance. Segments include: How financial services may be transformed by the adoption of financial technology; How crypto-assets’ rise may pose challenges to financial integrity and stability; How central banks and regulators can mitigate potential stability risks without impeding innovation.

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AI could Kill 2.5 million financial jobs - and save US banks $1 trillion (Finance - 2018-05 - Fast Company)

Research firm Autonomous’ new report indicates that AI is on the verge of software gaining competency to perform service work. By 2030, AI implementation could save U.S.-based financial services companies $1 trillion through productivity gains and reduced headcount in banking, insurance, and investment management. 2.5 million jobs are at risk. AI will drive gradual change over the next 7 years, with an accelerated change between 2025 and 2030.

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The Bank of England is testing blockchain to support domestic payments (Finance/Banking - 2018-04 - Digital Treds)

The Bank of England said that it’s currently working on a “proof of concept” to see if its real-time gross settlement service will benefit from blockchain. The bank’s governor, Mark Carney, said that securities settlements need innovation, and blockchain technology – aka distributed ledger tech – could produce “significant” gains regarding platform stability, efficiency, accuracy, and security.

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Spanish bank’s customers using blockchain to transfer money (Finance/Banking - 2018-04 - Quartz)

Santander, a major Spanish bank, has launched an international money transfer service, using California-based Ripple’s distributed ledger technology (but not its XRP cryptocurrency). The service is supposed to be cheaper and faster than existing systems and will provide more certainty about when the money will arrive. It’s currently available for retail customers in Spain, UK, Brazil, and Poland and will roll out in other countries soon. Transfers to Europe can be made on the same day and the bank is targeting instant payments by the summer. The service uses touch and facial identification and connects with Apple Pay.

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How blockchain trade finance is breaking proof-of-concept gridlock (Blockchain/Trade Finance - 2018-04 - Coindesk)

Several trade finance distributes ledger technology platforms currently under development were initiated by banks, and are designed to satisfy clients’ need for a leaner, faster process for securing and financing international trade transactions.

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ANZ and IBM build blockchain solution for insurance (Finance-Insurance/Blockchain - 2018-04 - Coindesk)

ANZ bank has partnered with IBM to build a blockchain solution for transparent, secure transfer of data and premiums between insurance brokers and insurers.

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9 easy steps to a secure, cross-border multi-language home sale (Financial-Real Estate/Blockchain - 2018-03 - Futurism)

February 20, 2018: Through a pilot program between the city of South Burlington, Vermont and a San Francisco-based start-up, Propy, developer of a blockchain platform designed to facilitate real estate transactions, Katherine Purcell became the first person in the U.S. to sell a home using blockchain. Propy allows anyone to buy or sell real estate, anywhere, completely online. Their blockchain records each step in the transaction, from expressing interest in a property to signing agreements to title transfers. There’s an immutable record of every action on a virtually unhackable ledger. Propy will eventually completely replace the city’s software for managing land records.

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