Just as we thought it was safe to put our tiny pencils away, another election is upon us – and this one’s about far more than red versus blue. Facing a wave of new regulation and major economic uncertainty, who’s the best bet for Britain’s business community?
Whatever the outcome, businesses across the ecosystem will be bracing themselves for change. Brexit is coming – and alongside GDPR, PSD2 and others – bringing with it a serious regulatory headache. If you thought the acronyms were complicated, navigating the new compliance measures will be worse.
But it doesn’t have to be. As regulation continues to rise, technology can take on the burden. RegTech, or regulation technology, automates compliance processes. It enables businesses to meet growing regulatory requirements without incurring huge manual overheads. It keeps them safe from the risk of fraud so they can scale to meet customer demand securely. As we transition into a digital economy, RegTech is becoming a necessity.
Though the need for it exists, the infrastructure doesn’t. There’s a lack of support networks to help introduce incumbents to innovators in the UK, and it’s costing our businesses time and money. More importantly, it’s stopping them from delivering a competitive product to consumers. For London to maintain its status as a global leader, that needs to change. RegTech removes the barriers to growth caused by regulatory restriction. Given the chance – and the right government – it could act as a catalyst for greater digital innovation.
Who’ll give it that chance remains the big question. We’re lucky in the UK that regulated businesses are encouraged to experiment with new tech by the open-minded FCA. They provide a forum for collaboration between businesses, but the conversation has been slow to convert into action and there’s still a lag in uptake of new solutions. That will continue without a government that actively promotes innovation. RegTech, and other technologies like it, have enormous transformative potential. For that potential to be realised, we need a Government that will help us build a cohesive, collaborative framework that works for a digital world.
Investment in innovation and a globally competitive business market are big promises – and they’re being made by almost all the major parties. Now, it’s up to the electorate to decide who they trust to keep the UK at the heart of the global economy.
There’s a lot of power in those tiny pencils.