A new survey by the International Securities Association for Institutional Trade Communication (ISITC) has revealed that the current buzz around blockchain is driving a focus on technological investment within the financial sector.
ISITC is an industry trade group focused on standards and efficiencies in securities transaction processing. It boasts hundreds of member companies from across the globe, including major institutions such as BNY Mellon, Citibank, JPMorgan and more.
In its annual survey, which polled 45 member firms from a variety of areas within financial services, the association says it set out to examine perspectives on the industry’s "progress and focus" for 2016. The findings revealed that 62% of firms see investment in technology as a main area of focus for 2016–2017, with an interest in both blockchain and cybersecurity technology cited as driving factors.
Specifically, ISITC says, 55% of firms are monitoring, researching or already developing solutions for blockchain technology. A hefty 74% of firms also mentioned specific plans for investment aimed at improving cybersecurity – a climb from 57% last year.
As evidence of the new interest in FinTech, 62% of firms saids investment in infrastructure is an area of operational focus for 2016, possibly driven by the need to reduce costs – a factor that 80% see as the biggest challenge in the next year.
Blockchain tech has widely been viewed as a way for a number of financial sectors to drive new efficiencies, as well as reduce crimes like fraud given the transparent and immutable nature of the technology.
"New and emerging technologies have taken the financial services industry by storm," said Jeff Zoller, chair of ISITC and vice president at US investment firm T Rowe Price, adding:
"The results of our annual member survey confirm this sentiment, as firms plan increased investment in blockchain and cybersecurity technologies, as a method for combating long-term risk and cost."
The CEO of ISITC Europe, Nigel Solkhon, recently spoke to CoinDesk in interview, saying that he believes that the current interest and investment in blockchain tech among financial firms will reveal its impact in just 12 to 18 months.
The association has also announced that the theme of new technology and innovation disrupting the financial services industry will be the primary topic at the ISITC 22nd Annual Industry Forum and Vendor Show, taking place on 20th-23rd March, at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.
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