Apr 22, 2021

HSBC introduces recycled plastic cards for greener banking

HSBC
Banking
Sustainability
Citi
William Girling
2 min
Multinational bank HSBC has announced a new sustainability programme to remove single-use PVC from its operations by 2026
Multinational bank HSBC has announced a new sustainability programme to remove single-use PVC from its operations by 2026...

Instead, HSBC will introduce recycled plastic (rPVC) in the manufacturing process of its debit, credit, and commercial cards.

This simple transition is calculated to save 161 tonnes of CO2 and 73 tonnes of plastic per year. The bank’s long-term vision is to reach net-zero carbon emissions across its supply chain by 2030 or sooner.

Roll-out of the new cards has, in fact, already begun: Malaysia was the first to receive them in January 2021, followed by Sri Lanka in April. Next up will be the UK and then Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Macau, Mexico, Singapore, UAE, and the US by the end of the year.

Transitioning to eco-friendly finance

HSBC’s move is analogous to other examples in the broader sector; an accelerated developmental focus on ‘finance for good’, and particularly eco-friendly finance, is capturing the market.

Other examples can be found in banking (Citi), fintech (Finastra), and payments solutions (Treecard). However, HSBC has made it particularly clear how important it considers finance’s role in creating a more sustainable society.

Research conducted on the bank’s behalf by Mintel found that 77% of those surveyed agreed with this sentiment. Furthermore, 67% exhibited an active interest in sustainably manufactured payment cards, 92% believed banks should be actively engaged with environmental preservation, and 87% expected to be offered eco-friendly cards.

Building a sustainable future

Considering this move to be an important step towards achieving HSBC’s overall vision, Taylan Turan, Group Head of Customers, Products and Strategy, said, “HSBC is committed to achieving net zero by 2050 or sooner; and we’ve pledged to work with our customers in all sectors to reduce emissions. 

“Evolving our payment cards to eliminate single-use plastic cards is part of our aim to be net zero in our operations and supply chain by 2030 or sooner. New sustainable materials, such as rPVC, offer the financial services industry a clear way to accelerate its efforts to build a more sustainable future, and we’re proud to be part of a movement which is gathering momentum across the world.”

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Jun 17, 2021

Zafin: Banking is now in the era of the tech ecosystem

Zafin
Banking
Technology
Digital
3 min
FinTech Magazine holds a Q&A session with John Smith, EVP Ecosystem at Zafin, on the evolution of banking and its future as an aspect of tech ecosystems

The development of tech ecosystems is placing the future of post-COVID banking in jeopardy. At a time when Big Tech can replicate the functions of traditional financial institutions, what can banks do to retain a grip on the market?

John Smith, EVP Ecosystem at Zafin, has a few ideas. A SaaS cloud-native product and pricing platform for financial institutions, Zafin is preparing the next generation of banks to cope with this precise challenge.

Smith is responsible for the strategic and tactical management of the company’s ecosystem, including the creation of new business models to support growth and differentiation. We asked him four questions:  

Q. Have the events of the pandemic caused an irreversible shift in the digitalisation of banks? If so, is COVID the sole cause or are there other factors?

It’s a great question and one that I am asked a lot. Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven a significant shift in the acceleration of digital. In fact, I’ve seen some estimates show there to have been as much as four to six years of digital adoption growth since the initial lockdown started. 

While the pandemic may be the primary reason for this growth, two other drivers include fintech disruption and the high costs of operating a traditional retail bank. Both of these factors have caught the attention of banking executives as they set their minds on accelerating digital transformation with a focus on high return, low risk. 

Q. Some commentators believe banks must learn from Big Tech in order to survive. Do you agree? Please expand. 

I agree completely; we’re living in the era of the ‘ecosystem’. All the seismic shifts we’re seeing in technology, be it aggregation, embedded finance, DeFi or hyper-personalisation are all enabled by the foundation of an ecosystem.  

When financial institutions work with a strategic partner like Zafin, which has made the strategic investments in a best-in-class ecosystem, they’re able to capitalise on opportunities more quickly and safely, and will be better positioned for growth now and at the other side of the pandemic. 

Q. What are currently the obstacles to adopting Open Banking? Is it more likely to 'take off' in some regions rather than others?

I would argue that Open Banking has been in the US for some time and will only continue to grow there. By definition, Open Banking is about the secure sharing of financial information that customers are aware of and have authorised. Under that definition, we’re seeing aspects of this well underway even though its full potential remains to be seen.

Third-Party Providers are a natural outcome of Open Banking, whereby they can create propositions beyond what a bank normally does to enable banking functions such as payments, borrowing, saving and so on. Once again, some of these are already present through industry-led initiatives, whereas regions such as the EU have taken the pathway of regulation such as PSD2.  

The industry-led initiatives we’ve seen in the US have also had the added advantage of guard-rails that regulatory bodies like FFIEC and CFPB provide. There are also other technology-led initiatives such as API definitions that are set out through the FS-ISAC. 

I would argue the future of Open Banking in North America will be through the natural evolution of the guidelines and API definitions that have been published, as well as the natural progression of industry initiatives. 

Q. Are there any other bank tech trends you'd like to discuss? 

Coreless banking. Zafin has been pioneering some of the work around externalising functions out of the legacy core to drive a more ‘fintech nimble’ bank, while not having to deliver a ‘heart and lungs’ core bank replacement.  

 

 

Real life examples of this include moving some of the core functions of a banking system, such as product and pricing to a platform like Zafin. Origination, onboarding, KYC, risk, and compliance are all other examples of externalising banking functions for added agility.

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