Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav Sharma has been working as an independent financial and business consultant and strategist for the past three years. He works with fintech startups, wealth management firms, international banks, consulting companies and multi strategy investment funds. Gaurav assists his clients with financial strategy and investment analysis, drawing on his experience of managing a diverse array of Fortune Global 500 clients from across the globe. He also loves to write about innovations and cyber-security in financial technology and banking. Gaurav has six years of international banking experience (Standard Chartered Bank and Citi). He has covered the entire gamut of banking products with experience in corporate finance, trade finance, derivatives, risk management and so on. Gaurav is a Certified Financial Risk Manager and a CFA Level III candidate. He holds an Engineering Degree in Computer Science and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Kozhikode.

The Gateway to SEPA

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is a collection of 34 countries in Europe with over half a billion customers and 23 million businesses. As far as markets go, this one is one of the biggest and most lucrative for financial services firms of all sizes. European, American and Asian firms are all competing for a slice of the pie and winners are the ones who are willing to innovate.

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European FinTech Innovation and Opportunities

2018 was the year when BigTech companies like Google, Apple and Amazon made deep inroads into traditional banking domains. Additionally, a lot of newer FinTech start-up companies also joined the fray and expanded heavily across Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.  It was also the year when blockchain tech began to be adopted by mainstream companies who realised its potential outside of its previous exclusive use in cryptocurrencies.

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Innovation in Payments – How Lithuania is leading the way

In December 2018, Google received an e-money license from the Central Bank of Lithuania. This will allow Google to process payments and issue e-money throughout the EU. Prior to this, Google Pay had limited authority and used to save customer card details in a digital wallet and use that for payments. Now, they can store and transfer funds directly.

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HSMs in banks - A case for a multi-sourcing strategy for critical tech infrastructure

Supply chain optimization has been one of the primary ways to squeeze a bit more efficiency out of a business process for some time now. Over time, companies have perfected various such strategies like Just in time inventory management and co-locating vendors in the same industrial park as themselves. However, an excessive push towards supply chain and vendor optimization has increased risks as the logical conclusion of such unabated cost optimization is often a single sourcing strategy.

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HSM as a Service – meeting PCI data security standards (Part 1 of 2)

The Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) mandate that all entities transmitting, storing or processing cardholder data must meet certain security criteria to ensure compliance. Noncompliance with these standards can lead to a fine or even a termination of service for the offending organization. These is plenty of information in the public domain on how to ensure compliance. However, for many FinTech start-ups, the real challenge is to ensure compliance while minimizing the cost of compliance.

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PSD2 and HSM-as-a-Service - part 3 - the opportunity for banks

This series on PSD2 and HSM as a Service explores the endless possibilities created by a level playing field in the payments industry in the EU. Part 1 explored how PSD2 and HSM as a Service enable this level playing field while Part 2  looked at just a few of the truly endless possibilities that exist for FinTech firms and other third-party entities that can act as AISPs and PISPs.

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PSD2 and HSM-as-a-Service - part 2: FinTech opportunities

In Part 1  of our series on PSD2 and HSM as a Service, we had a brief look at how these tools can together create a more level playing field in the payment services sector. While PSD2 entitles third party entities access to certain data from banks, HSM as a Service can allow companies to offer industry leading security solutions at a reasonable cost.
In this article, we look at the potential opportunities that this creates for FinTech companies and other Third-Party Partners (TPPs).

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PSD2 and HSM as a Service - part 1: leveling the playing field

Certain events can drastically change an industry forever. The Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) mandates certain changes that has the potential to significantly alter how the payments industry operates in the EU. For commercial banks, the run up to PSD2 has meant hectic activity and restructuring of their technical processes.

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Bucking the trend – how cloud HSM services can help banks team up with fintech challengers

“Disruption” is usually the first thing that comes to mind whenever the relationship between the established financial service behemoths/ banks and new-age FinTech firms is discussed. After all, FinTech firms have already made deep inroads into areas like payment processing, digital wallets and other tech heavy applications. However, banks and FinTech/ BigTech firms don’t really have to be on a head-on collision course.

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