Connect with us

Technology

LEGACY TECH WILL NEVER BE DEAD – IT’S A HYBRID CLOUD WORLD FOREVER

Published

on

– Zahi Yaari, VP EMEA at SnapLogic

 

When it comes to IT infrastructure, especially in the financial sector, conversations around legacy technology systems are frequent, and often coupled with discussion around how it’s holding the company back. In some ways, this is no surprise. Businesses need IT systems that are agile, easy to access, reliable and secure.

But the modern reality is, despite all the drum banging to kill it off, legacy tech isn’t going anywhere. Doing a complete IT infrastructure overhaul is risky business, and something that can be exceptionally complex. As a result, businesses are less likely to rip up and replace their legacy IT than you might think. It’s just too painful, expensive and they often don’t see the point. In many businesses, legacy tech still serves a purpose too, acting as a central home of data within the organisation and helping to maintain compliance.

 

Making legacy tech work

At the end of the day, most companies just want better data and faster answers – they don’t want the technology headaches that come along with achieving it. So, if we’re accepting that legacy tech is sticking around for the foreseeable future then what’s the solution?

Many businesses have moved to introduce a host of cloud services and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. Migrating data and applications to a purpose-built cloud platform can provide a significant degree of security but it can also deliver on a host of other benefits, providing businesses with a scalable data infrastructure solution on an operational expenditure (OPEX) basis. The cloud can also free up the time of IT teams to focus on strategic projects that will further the interests of the business, as opposed to maintaining outdated systems.

Cloud technology has provided companies with a host of new ways to do business – from machine learning patterns that can make startlingly accurate business predictions to the growth of IoT delivering on the promise of a more connected environment. But there’s no need for it to be a case of one or the other. Bringing cloud platforms together with legacy systems provides businesses with the best of both worlds in one hybrid IT system.

However, a big part of making the information residing on legacy tech accessible, and usable for the right people at the right time, comes down to automating the integration process between the legacy systems and modern cloud platforms.

 

Introducing automation

Integration is an obvious choice to help with this, but the traditional manual, time and resource intensive options just aren’t feasible for modern enterprises. Modern, low-code, self-service integration tools that harness the power of AI are the answer. They work to not only improve the flow of data within an organisation but to also transform how business users can leverage data as part of their day-to-day work.

By automating manual integrations and common workflows and processes, data and applications across the enterprise are connected quickly, and complete process flows can be stitched together with confidence and ease. The result: productivity surges and teams across the business can then be freed up to focus on higher-value strategic projects that drive the business forward. It also means everyone across the company works from the same data – always connected, up to date, and accurate. Teams will then never miss an opportunity to engage and delight a customer, exactly when and where needed.

This approach can also help ensure compliance across the whole system, by managing the data on legacy infrastructure to maintain compliance, but still make that information accessible and useable for the right parts of the business at the right time.

 

The hybrid future

With so many capabilities for hybrid cloud, the fear mongering in the IT sector that a business can’t be successful if it still has legacy tech is frankly false.

IT teams today have the ability to build scalable, flexible IT systems that deliver all the business benefits they need. Making it work means investing in new technologies that can deliver a more secure and intuitive experience or are more flexible to accommodate modern working demands.

The key to this lies in ensuring businesses adopt the technology that enables them to deliver better results – bridging the gap between legacy software and newer technology so that there is a defined process in place for the company’s data.

Legacy tech is not and will not be going away. Instead, businesses are figuring out a balance. Welcome to the hybrid cloud world… forever.

 

Finance

WHY THE NORDICS WILL CONTINUE TO LEAD THE WAY IN DIGITAL PAYMENTS

Published

on

By

Kriya Patel, CEO, Transact Payments

 

While the recent introduction of PSD2 — the second iteration of the EU’s Payment Services Directive — has undoubtedly had an effect on the entire continent of Europe, some regions have been in a better place to take advantage of it than others. Largely thanks to a historical willingness to foster and embrace innovation, the Nordic nations were already something of a global leader in the electronic payments space even before PSD2. Now, it looks as if the Nordics is on course to be the first region in the world to fully realise digital transformation in payments.

With a combined population of 21.39 million, the Nordic markets of Sweden, Denmark and Norway have the highest penetration of electronic transactions anywhere in the world. It’s estimated that cash is only used in 3% of transactions in Norway, with this number only slightly higher in Sweden. Given this context, it’s no surprise that there are nearly twice as many payment cards as there are people, at 41.86 million cards. These cards are used for around 7.8 billion transactions annually — worth more than £205 billion — made at just under 600,000 point of sale (POS) locations and online.

You could be forgiven for thinking that given the advanced state of play in the payments market that there would be few opportunities left for incumbents or new entrants to take advantage of. However, for those who are willing to innovate and diversify there could be market share up for grabs. And there are also plenty of things that payments players in other regions can learn from this market. In this article, we will examine what these opportunities and lessons are.

 

Highly developed market

E-commerce accounts for a very large proportion of overall electronic transactions in the Nordics at between 19 and 22%. It’s a segment that is continuing to grow rapidly, even though cards remain the preferred way to pay online and in person.

In fact, cards account for a huge 85% of all in-person transactions in the Nordics, with debit cards used for two-thirds of all purchases in Denmark, for example. In the background, this is enabled by a highly functional consumer-permissioned digital identification system known as BankID that makes Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance for e-commerce much more straightforward for vendors and customers. This scheme, which was first envisioned more than 20 years ago, is one of the key reasons why this region has made such strong advances in digital payments.

Since 2015, all three Nordic markets have embraced digital wallet solutions – Norway’s Vipps, Sweden’s Swish and Denmark’s Bankort. In the case of Denmark, their digital wallet grew from the Bankort debit card solution shared by major Danish banks. Across all three markets, these home-grown wallets have seen strong growth, with Swish reporting the fastest usage growth in the over-45 segment. These domestic wallets are currently looking to grow their functionality, with parking and bill payments being added on top of peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfers and a debit function.

 

Digital wallets to expand functionality

As digital wallets rise and cards continue to be used for a very wide range of purchases, the Nordic markets continue to seek opportunities to reduce cash use for everyday, low-value purchases such as parking and street vendors. This will create room for mPOS (mobile Point Of Sale) and soft POS systems providers, as well multi-function card products. Loyalty is also likely to be another area for growth, with players keen to ensure that they can retain existing customers and attract new ones from their competitors.

One of the most interesting areas in the Nordic region’s payments landscape is how these digital wallet solutions can expand internationally. While digital wallets are growing rapidly in the domestic space, the capacity of these wallets to be used outside the Nordic region is still very limited. Creating international links for Nordic-only solutions will certainly be an area of growth in the coming years, so providers looking to partner with banks or wallet providers should find a receptive audience in these markets.

As with other European markets such as Spain and Germany, we’re also seeing the rise of specialist banks built to meet the needs of smaller companies in the Nordics. Banks such as Norway’s Aprila are expanding rapidly by taking advantage of PSD2’s Open Banking mandate to access SME credit data and deliver innovative payment products and lending solutions. Corporate credit and debit card products will be a major growth area in the near future as SMEs will finally get the attention they deserve.

There’s a great deal that other regions can learn from the Nordics. While the combined population of the three countries adds up to only around one-quarter of Germany, for example, the relatively low population density has proved a fertile ground for digital payments. It will be interesting to see how some of the more innovative services we see in this region can make international links, or how players in other regions try to replicate them.

Continue Reading

Banking

THE GROWTH OF DIGITAL BANKING: WHY COLLABORATING WITH FINTECHS IS CRUCIAL TO ADAPT TO CUSTOMER DEMANDS IN LIGHT OF THE PANDEMIC

Published

on

The growing customer demand for a seamless digital banking experience looks set to transform how the entire banking industry operates. Traditional banks have been left playing catch up with the emergence of new fintech players and challenger banks. The demand for slick digitally finance solutions is led by the digital native generations, the millennials and Gen Z. However, the coronavirus pandemic accelerated the uptake of online shopping and remote working for whole swathes of the population. Even the older generations have been left wondering why accessing banking services online remains so cumbersome.

Consumers’ growing desire to access financial services through digital channels has already led to a surge in various new banking technologies which are reconceptualising the banking industry. Consumers have rapidly moved to adopt payment solutions such as those offered by apps like Revolut.

Manoj Mistry

Retail banks continue to launch platforms in the Banking as a Service (BaaS) space, in an effort to remain competitive. An example of this in the UK is how NeoBank (Starling) used to only offer business to consumer (B2C) retail banking services. However, once it launched its BaaS platform, Starling was able to rapidly diversify to include consumer services.

New technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) continue to evolve, and look set to have an enormous impact on banking over the next three to five years. The type of cryptocurrencies that we have seen to date look set to be far more tightly regulated, given significant governmental concerns about their potential for misuse in cybercrime and money laundering.

In the blockchain space, the transformative development which will accelerate the rise of digital finance is the advent of central bank-backed digital currencies. The US Treasury has described the creation of a digital dollar as a high priority project. China is already trialling its digital Yuan. Meanwhile, the ECB is actively pursuing its plans to launch a digital Euro. The launch of stable, highly secure digital currencies, underpinned by major central banks, looks set to ensure that digital finance will permeate every area of our lives in the not too distant future.

How we use digital finance is also set to change radically. We are used to seeing new technology emerge from Silicon Valley. However, an analysis by KPMG Australia suggests that a new breed of apps which prefigures the future of digital finance has already emerged in the East. The report notes that “super apps” are “already encroaching on traditional financial services territory”.

Super apps are defined as apps which “essentially serve as a single portal to a wide range of virtual products and services. The most sophisticated apps – like WeChat and Alipay in China – bundle together online messaging (similar to WhatsApp), social media (similar to Facebook), marketplaces (like eBay) and services (like Uber). One app, one sign-in, one user experience – for virtually any product or service a customer may want or need.

“Due in large part to their versatility, super apps have quickly become ingrained into users’ daily lives. It is not unusual for a WeChat user in China to set up a date with a friend via instant messaging, make dinner reservations, book movie tickets, order a taxi and pay for every transaction along the way, all using one single app.”

We are already beginning to see trends in this direction in the Western world, with Facebook launching a marketplace and even a dating service within its social network. Facebook also attempted to launch its own digital currency, Libra, but this move stalled when it ran into significant governmental opposition. However, Facebook hasn’t given up, and it is determinedly pursuing the launch of a revamped stablecoin, Diem, which has been redesigned to address regulatory concerns.

A group of Citi analysts recently wrote an interesting research paper, which predicts that “the story of digital money in the 2020s will be the growth of tokenised money”. Noting that both Big Tech and Central Banks “are building new payment formats and rails,” they say that “while stablecoins such as Diem await regulatory approval, they could benefit from the huge network effects of their Big Tech sponsors. In fact, Diem could be an effective tokenised payment format inside the Facebook universe.” The paper predicts that “Stablecoins, such as Diem, could benefit from the huge network effects of their Big Tech sponsors”. With 3.3 billion monthly users, Facebook certainly has remarkable global reach.

The idea of an integrated tech platform which enables people to interact and purchase goods and services – including financial services – is now being pursued by many major players.

Amazon has long been rumoured to be planning to launch its own bank. Yet, research by CB Insights concludes that, “from payments and lending to insurance and checking accounts, Amazon is attacking financial services from every angle without even applying to be a conventional bank.” This is perhaps not surprising. After all, tech companies rarely replicate existing models. They usually find disruptive new ways to achieve the outcomes that consumers want. Even the messaging service, WhatsApp, has recently moved into financial services with the launch of WhatsApp Pay.

As money becomes digitised and tokenised and ever more areas of our lives move online, the distinction between an online marketplace, a social network and a financial services provider will continue to blur. How traditional financial services companies react to these developments remains to be seen. Some may partner with tech companies in creating new services. For example, Visa and Mastercard were involved with Facebook’s Libra stablecoin project. Visa also responded to the popularity of peer to peer payment services such as Revolut by launching Visa Direct, which enables users to make payments directly to another account in 30 minutes. Most major banks now support Apple Pay, which enables users to authorise payment by scanning their face or thumb.

Banks can also collaborate with tech companies in terms of data sharing, in order to better understand what their customers want. A company like Amazon knows what books people like, what music they listen to and what they purchase. By combining such data with wider financial data, remarkably predictive Big Data models could be created. Some banks might increasingly pursue opportunities to monetise data, while others might make privacy their unique selling point.

The banking sector fundamentally deals with money. Yet, the very nature of money is set to change, as it becomes digitised. Banks are no longer merely competing with each other, but they are both competing and collaborating with tech companies and social networks. Looking ahead, the only certainty we have is that we are in for a period of remarkable change.

Continue Reading

Magazine

Trending

News2 days ago

FINTECH COMPANY PAYEN CHOOSES AQILLA FOR ITS LIMITLESS SCALABILITY AND SUPERIOR MULTI-CURRENCY FEATURES

Payen is a fast-growing FinTech company that provides gateway Payment and FX services to online merchants. Having launched in 2010,...

Business2 days ago

THE ACCELERATION TOWARDS A MOBILE FIRST ECONOMY

By Brad Hyett, CEO at phos   Over the last year, we have seen a big shift towards contactless payments....

News2 days ago

NEW RESEARCH REVEALS KEY ROLE OF KYC COMPLIANCE IN DRIVING CUSTOMER LOYALTY, ADVOCACY AND NEW BUSINESS

The impact of financial crime for institutions goes beyond crippling fines   A piece of original research conducted by RegTech...

Business2 days ago

HOW MERCHANTS CAN IMPROVE THE ONLINE PAYMENTS EXPERIENCE

By Alan Irwin, Senior Director of Product at Global Payments UK   The dramatic increase in online shopping over the...

Business2 days ago

JUMP-STARTING PROCUREMENT TRANSFORMATION WITH A CLEAR AND REALISTIC PLAN

by Alex Klein, COO at Efficio Consulting   Following a period of ongoing economic uncertainty, business spend has risen high...

Finance2 days ago

NAVIGATING FINANCIAL SERVICES IN 2021: LOW-CODE TO THE RESCUE

Nick Ford, Chief Technology Evangelist, Mendix   Financial services are the poster child of great digital transformation: today, Britons can...

News2 days ago

PAYSAFECARD AND NEO EXTEND THEIR SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP

paysafecard, a market leader in eCash payment solutions, and NEO, one of the most successful FIFA teams in the world,...

Finance2 days ago

WHY THE NORDICS WILL CONTINUE TO LEAD THE WAY IN DIGITAL PAYMENTS

Kriya Patel, CEO, Transact Payments   While the recent introduction of PSD2 — the second iteration of the EU’s Payment...

Banking2 days ago

COMBINED RISE OF M&A AND CYBER RISK CREATES STORMY SEAS FOR INVESTORS

UK organisations carrying out merger and acquisition (M&A) activities must improve pre-acquisition due diligence of software vulnerabilities By Philippe Thomas,...

News2 days ago

PPRO CLAMPS DOWN ON FINANCIAL CRIME RISKS, PARTNERING WITH AND INVESTING IN AI-DRIVEN TRANSACTION MONITORING STARTUP SENTINELS

PPRO, the leading local payments infrastructure provider, has today announced a strategic partnership and minority investment in Sentinels, Europe’s leading transaction...

Business2 days ago

EMV® IN TRANSIT: WHY AND HOW?

Taoufik Sakhi, Smart Mobility Technical Advisory Director at Fime   Today, contactless cards provide a fast and frictionless payment experience,...

News2 days ago

INSTANDA ENTERS THE MIDDLE EASTERN MARKETPLACE

INSTANDA expands global footprint by working with new client, NewTechMe  First product distributed in the Middle East  Announcement signals INSTANDA’s understanding of NewTechMe’s vision to drive digital transformation in UAE...

News2 days ago

RGU LEADS EUROPEAN INTER-REGIONAL NORTH SEA PARTNERSHIP TO HELP HOMEOWNERS IMPROVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY

NB: Image from left to right includes:   Mike Bauermeister, Kishorn Insulations, Jamal Alabid, RGU, Amar Bennadji, RGU, Richard Laing, RGU,...

News2 days ago

JUMIO APPOINTS JENNIFER N. HARRIS TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Addition of veteran CFO comes amid period of record growth and product expansion at Jumio   Jumio, the leading provider...

News2 days ago

WISE LAUNCHES ASSETS, YOUR WISE ACCOUNT INVESTED IN THE WORLD’S LARGEST COMPANIES

Assets offers current account flexibility, with the potential for investment returns Wise, the global technology company building the best way...

Finance3 days ago

A CHECKLIST FOR RETRENCHMENT READINESS

By Shelley van der Westhuizen, head of financial well-being strategy & applied research at Alexander Forbes   Your health may not...

News3 days ago

EQUIDUCT LAUNCHES TRADING IN EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS FOR RETAIL INVESTORS IN EUROPE

Equiduct will offer 436 ETFs and ETPs for trading through Apex   Equiduct, the pan-European retail exchange, announced today that...

Finance5 days ago

THE IMPORTANCE OF MANAGING DATA RISK IN THE FINANCE FUNCTION 

Written by Steph Charbonneau, Senior Director of Product Strategy, Vera by HelpSystems     CFOs and financial controllers play a pivotal role in how organisations evaluate and manage...

Business5 days ago

THE DEMAND FOR BETTER B2B PAYMENTS

By Brandon Spear, CEO, TreviPay   Business-to-consumer (B2C) payments started adapting to digital processes when consumer shopping habits began shifting...

Finance5 days ago

HOW TO BUY USDT AND AVOID THE HIGH VOLATILITY OF CRYPTO

Understanding and breaking down all the different types of crypto can feel like a huge task—there are so many variations...

Trending