The Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, the University of St.Gallen (HSG) and the consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY) have launched the research consortium Redesigning Financial Services (RFS). Their objective is to develop, prototype and test new customer-centric financial services, while also exploring the opportunities and risks that such structural changes bring.
“We are building an open, international ecosystem to jointly shape the future of the financial services sector with a deep commitment to understanding customer preferences and customer response to new technologies,” Robert Ruttmann, RFS founder and head of the Competence Center for Sustainability and Financial Services at the HSG, said in a statement.
Companies can also join the initiative, allowing them to get answers to specific research questions and share the cost for developing new business models or for prototyping and testing new products and services. RFS will focus on structural change in eight key areas: credit and lending, payments, blockchain, wealth advice, digital capital markets, RegTech, InsurTech, and innovations for social impact.
The kickoff event took place in Zurich on Thursday. Researchers presented their first publication, which analysed disruptive forces in wealth management.
“The deep structural transformation is accelerated by three main drivers: growing competition from financial technology companies, changing client expectations and strong regulatory pressure,” said EY’s Olaf Toepfer.