Blockchain By Night Review

 

As part of the 4th annual Blockchain for Finance Conference this year, on Monday 7th October, Deloitte and the Institute of Banking held a nighttime event in the Teelings Distillery in Dublin 8 called Blockchain by Night.

The event, other than having some lovely whiskey cocktails using Teeling’s own tipple, served as the launch event of a collaborative project between Deloitte, Bank of Ireland, AIB, Ulster Bank and The Institute of Banking called Edq. This is the first industry education platform based on blockchain, which completed it’s pilot phase and is due to go into production in Summer 2020. The platform is also aligned with the Future of Jobs initiative, and is aimed at being Europe’s first financial services industry education and credentials verification platform that uses blockchain, and won Deloitte’s Financial Services Innovation Award.

Introducing the night were Cillian Leonowicz, Co-Lead of Deloitte’s EMEA Blockchain Lab, Mary O’Dea, Chief Executive of the Institute of Banking, Professor Barbara Dooley, Dean of Graduate Studies and Deputy Registrar of UCD.

Introducing the evening, Professor Dooley said that UCD aim to be at the front of new support initiatives for the financial services industry, and see that the that the application of blockchain technology to help provide details of qualifications to prospective employers and employees in admitting and verifying qualifications. Initially it will be deployed in the College of Business to share credentials.

Following the introduction, Valarie Daunt, Human Capital Lead & Partner in Deloitte did a talk looking at the future of work in the fintech industry.

The main topic of the night was on the Edq platform, which was moderated by Kevin Gallen, Deputy Chief Executive at the Institute of Banking. Starting to explain how Edq came about, Stephen Moran, Head of R&D at Bank of Ireland said that the idea came as a result of an innovation meeting, on the back of a 2015 decision to focus on innovation. Specifically it came out of a HR sprint, and they had already partnered with Deloitte around risk and regulatory reporting. As the platform developed, as with other areas such as cheque clearing and the now defunct Laser scheme, there is a history of collaboration between banks around infrastructure, so they partnered with the Institute of Banking, AIB and Ulster Bank.

The platform particularly focuses on employees and employers in the financial services industry and uses blockchain to assist with quickly verifying credentials, identity and qualifications, as well as CPD credits management.

Carol Mullen, HR Change Manager at AIB then discussed some of the issues faced by HR managers when hiring. When someone is being onboarded, their currently is a lot of time spent by HR to prove who they are and if their credentials are valid and up-to-date. The new platform will save a lot of time in giving a real-time dashboard which will show a recruiter the qualifications of the applicant (who can choose to share their credentials) as well as with their existing staff to see who is compliant with QFA exams, CPD credits etc.

Following this, David Dalton, Financial Services Lead in Deloitte’s EMEA Blockchain Lab continued, saying that while there is lots of talk of disruption, the reality is it’s more of a transformation, and collaboration helps this. There are challenges faced by traditional financial services companies who are being challenged by fintech startups bringing an excellent customer experience. He mentioned as an example that Revolut which has 3 million customers, only has 630 employees. These are driving a need to transform legacy core platforms.

He then went on to say that they worked with ABN Amro to create a digital wealth platform. Normally if this was done internally it would take 3-4 years, but in this case they collaborated with a dozen fintech companies and did this from concept to production in 18 months.

Referring back to Edq, he said that they had to bring some people out of retirement because they were the only people who knew how some things worked within the process.

Learning from Poc was bringing the businesses with them to get buy in. Had to bring people out of retirement because they were the on people who knew how some thing worked.

The final part of the evening was an explanation of how the current recruitment process works by Derek Lawson of the Institute of Banking, followed by a demo of both the user and company dashboards by Erica Piol of Deloitte. The platform enables a user to register their profile and link their Institute of Banking records to it, and it will show them how far they are progressing with their exams and qualifications. They can also share the credentials with a current or prospective employer.

The company dashboard enables a holistic view of an organisation, showing all of the staff who are up to date, all of the staff who are in the process of doing their exams, and also where people are with their CPD credits. This enables a HR manager to see who they need to intervene with to complete exams and get into compliance with regulations.

The evening then wrapped up. We’ll be attending part of the conference so stay tuned for more information over the next few days.