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.

Beyond just Payments - PSD2’s impact beyond the Payments Industry

PSD2 is being touted as the biggest game changer to ever hit the payments industry in Europe. And not without good reason. PSD2 mandates banks to share customer account data with third parties (ones authorised by the customer), so that they can offer services to the customers while using the bank’s core systems as a backend. It gives the customer more control over her data and more options to choose from various service providers. 

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Leveraging PSD2, The FinTech Edition

FinTechs aim to bring the data, tech and UX (user experience) centric approach of technology firms into the mainstream financial services sector. Banks are no strangers to voluminous data, but technology firms have succeeded by using that data to spot patterns and predict customer behavior in a way that has given them market dominance. By using similar principles and tailoring their product offerings accordingly, FinTech firms have successfully created a sub-niche for themselves in the payments industry.

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Sector Specific Case Studies for eIDAS (Part 1)

With eIDAS, the European Commission has provided a powerful yet flexible toolset for developers, consultants and companies to build tools to cater to their specific needs. Each sector of the economy, right from financial services to retail or logistics, has a unique set of requirements but eventually they all can create helpful solutions using the eIDAS apparatus. In this series, we look at some sector specific case studies on how companies can leverage the new and more powerful tools that have been made available to them.

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eIDAS & Strong Customer Authentication – Securing Europe’s Digital Payments Landscape

September 2019 will usher in a new paradigm in terms of online payment security and trust. September is the month when the requirements for Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) under the Revised Payment Service Directive (PSD2) will go live in the European Economic Area. Most payment processors and service providers are already working on implementing the same as the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) for Strong Customer Authentication were defined and adopted in 2017 itself.

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It’s all about the Trust – The Role of eIDAS in International Trade and Trade Finance

For many banks, Trade Finance is a sizeable contributor to both their Fee and (NII) Net Interest Incomes. From simple products like Letters of Credits and SBLCs, to complex Structured Trade Finance products – banks play a key role in greasing the cogs of the international trade machine. The reason these products exist is two-fold. Firstly, it is about financial leverage in the form of short-term working capital. But more than that – it is about creating trust.

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eIDAS, PSD2 and The Digitization of International Trade

 Imagine a scenario where a small company is importing a million dollars’ worth of goods for local distribution. A signature mismatch in one of the shipping or trade financing documents is raised as an exception and the whole transactions gets delayed. The goods sit at the port incurring demurrage and other charges, the supply chain is disrupted, the distributors don’t have the goods that they have pre-sold, the financing charges continue to ramp up and a profitable trade has now turned into a nightmare!

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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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