Off the back of comprehensive reforms in the retail banking industry, Israel could now have the tools in place to become a significant global player in financial services and technology.
Israel is experiencing major leaps forward in the digital finance space with technology transitions, information sharing process and revamped business models, putting it in a firm place to become not only an Asian leader, but a global leader, according to the Bank of Israel.
Bank of Israel chief information officer, Avner Ziv, said the small Israeli market and centralized financial sector meant the push for change had to come from banks themselves.
“There is no doubt that technology is going to play a transformative role and change the face of the banking industry over the next decade. In this changing environment I believe that central banks should facilitate these changes and make sure that they happen in a way that doesn’t put financial stability at risk,” he said.
“Cyber and [the] Internet era present a real opportunity for Israel to use its resources to become a significant global player in financial services.
Ziv said banks would face major challenges as they moved forward in 2017 and should focus on a “fintechicise” process in order to stay ahead of the innovation race.
“They should make sure that the technologies they adapt will contribute to their streamlined business models, and that this efficiency will be rolled over to the clients in lower prices and higher quality of services,” he said.
“Banks will [also] have to make sure they are ready to defend their business in the cyber frontier.”
Ziv said highly qualified technology professionals and commercial connections across the Western world would see the country rise as a force to be reckoned with in financial services.
“Our commercial and cultural connections to the western world are very strong…combined with a very healthy drive for innovation.”
“The Internet medium can help us provide technology and financial services globally, while overcoming the geographic barriers that come from our location in the Middle East.”