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INTELLECT JOINS BIAN TO HELP REVOLUTIONISE THE API-DRIVEN CONTEXTUAL BANKING TECHNOLOGY FRAMEWORK

Extends Commitment to Open Banking and API-based Contextual Banking Standards through BIAN Membership

 

Intellect Design Arena Ltd, a global leader in Financial Technology across Banking and Insurance, today announced its membership of global banking standards organisations, Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN), the non-profit organisation that promotes and provides a common framework for the banking industry.

 

BIAN is a collaborative not-for-profit ecosystem formed of leading banks, technology providers, consultants and academics from all over the world. The organisation helps professionals across the financial services sector to lower the cost of banking, increase their speed to innovation in the industry, and boosts the banks’ activities by revisiting and navigating around their existing resources.

 

Intellect has reimagined banking across the breadth and depth of technology and offers the world’s first future-ready multiproduct FinTech platform, built on the principles of Design Thinking, which is the key differentiator amongst its peers in the FinTech industry. Over the years, Intellect has invested strategically and built meticulously to achieve a unique, future-proof tech stack which are contextual, microservices-based, API-first and cloud-ready, powered by AI and ML. Supported by a revolutionary integration technology iTurmeric, the first-of-its kind enterprise integration, cloud- native platform based on API first architecture, enables banks to progressively modernise while ensuring business continuity without the risk of rip and replacement.

 

The banking and financial services is perhaps the only segment that is most impacted by multi-dimensional changes of – regulation, product innovation, changes in economic and market conditions, multitude of technologies, data privacy requirements and serving multiple generations of end customers. With regulatory and competitive pressures stressing the revenues and incomes, banks and financial institutions are constantly looking for innovation to drive revenues and income.

 

This realisation has opened the door for the emergence of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which can bring together the power of customer insight, revenue streams and FinTech innovations, while also improving customer experience. Open APIs will enable banking organisations to gather actionable data from various internal and external sources, including buying habits, financial goals, risk tolerance and even social interactions to provide contextual solutions.

 

“Intellect is pleased be a member of BIAN and it is an important milestone in Intellect’s efforts towards standardisation” said Arun Jain, Chairman and Managing Director of Intellect Design Arena Limited. “With digital considered a ‘given’ in this race, banks are looking beyond to provide their customers the ultimate experience by always being a step ahead of their expectations. The future of the sector is open banking and APIs,  which help banks to pursue new distribution channels, while also finding new ways to improve the customer’s contextual banking experience. Intellect offers future-ready multi-product FinTech platform, which are built on API-first, microservices-based architecture, cloud-native platforms, powered by AI and ML. By contributing our expertise in building open banking and API- based banking architecture, Intellect will join with the other BIAN members in defining a standard framework for the next generation of contextual banking solutions.”

 

Hans Tesselaar, Executive Director of Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN)said, “It is an exciting time to be part of the global financial services ecosystem, as we look to make the transition from open banking to open finance. This will completely revolutionise the way the consumer interacts with their finances and bring a multitude of benefits to the sector. We already know that our members will benefit immensely from Intellect’s experience in the open banking space, as we look to navigate the industry of tomorrow. We’re proud to welcome Intellect to our growing organisation and working with them both now and in the future”

 

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FUNDS’ RUSH TO THE CLOUD MUST NOT BE A BOX TICKING EXERCISE

By Ed Gouldstone, Global Head of R&D for Asset Management at Linedata

 

The fund management industry has held up remarkably well against the strains of Covid-19 – from a dramatic spike in market volatility to the sudden shift to remote working. However, the quantum leap in digitalisation spurred on by the pandemic has underscored the disparities between fund houses’ journeys to cloud – some are quite far along, while others are quickly having to play catch-up.

However, the need to rapidly advance digitalisation efforts must not result in cloud migration becoming a box ticking exercise. Some managers may be tempted by the convenience of a ‘lift and shift’ approach. That is, simply building their cloud infrastructure as if it was their existing data centre without optimising it for cloud. This is by far the quickest option but, if rushed, it doesn’t necessarily bring the cost-saving and flexibility benefits that managers are looking for. Cloud provides for advanced levels of security that go beyond traditional deployed models, but only when the necessary tools are put in place. Fund managers therefore need to put in the required thinking beforehand, to ensure the optimisation and any necessary re-engineering of tools whilst accelerating shift to the cloud.

 

The risks of rushing cloud adoption

Elasticity is one particular area where cost savings come from in the cloud, because cloud is designed to scale up and down as and when you need it. When migrating infrastructure to the cloud, fund managers must ensure that the all applications are optimised in a way that enables horizontal scalability, as many legacy applications are built around a fixed number of servers. This could impede the potential to quickly scale up operations in rapidly changing markets, inhibiting fund managers’ growth ambitions and ability to compete.

Ed Gouldstone

Another risk of rushing the transition to cloud, is that a lift and shift approach can actually increase costs when computing and storage practises are not rationalised. Migrating existing infrastructure as it is also means migrating all existing inefficiencies along with it, such as zombie servers, duplicated workloads, and outdated records. By not doing the due diligence to ensure excess computing capacity is left behind, companies could seriously diminish the cost savings they would have otherwise enjoyed.

Building resilience into operations is of paramount importance for fund managers who are planning to migrate to the cloud. Although infrastructure is more secure with cloud, the greater accessibility it allows means that points of entry on the client side can be weak spots if not properly protected. This must not become overlooked in a rushed cloud migration. Unlike with private data centres and VPN access where hardware offers protection, extra layers of authentication need to be added to endpoints to ensure the security of the system, while enabling access from any device. This is even more necessary in our highly regulated industry, where fund managers are dealing with large client funds and processing vast quantities of real-time financial data.

 

Realising the opportunities provided by cloud

When handled correctly, a successful migration to cloud offers fund managers a great opportunity to drive digital transformation, scale their businesses and upgrade the technology they rely on. Perhaps the biggest driver for cloud adoption, the pay as you go, on-demand scalability offered by cloud providers, enables rapid growth and reduces costs. Previously, in order to scale up, businesses would have to install new hardware and pay for its maintenance, as well as acquire the physical space that new servers take up. This process is much slower and more expensive than the quickly scalable, pay-as-you-go cloud, but expert guidance is crucial to avoid the aforementioned risk of transferring excess computing power, and ensuring applications are scalable so that potential cost savings are realised.

Another major driver to migrate infrastructure to the cloud is the data analytics capabilities available. The cloud’s ability to support data lakes that can store structured and unstructured data at any scale and operate real-time analytics, provides unique opportunities to create new insights and therefore greater value. The data lakes enable better use of the artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies that are reaching maturity and are increasingly mission critical. This is crucial in a market where margins are getting smaller and traditional investment models are being challenged. Analytics can create value throughout all operations, from the front office through to the back office, whether it is sentiment analysis of client engagement, or reducing operating costs through process automation.

In terms of security, while moving to public cloud does imply some inherent loss of in-house control compared to historic ‘installed’ technology models, the bottom line is that cloud providers offer robust levels of security unmatched by in-house technology installations. But it is still critical that firms have the requisite knowledge about cloud deployment and cybersecurity, or partner with a technology service provider that does, who can protect endpoints with new identity and access measures such as two-factor authentication.

The need to migrate to cloud infrastructure has become more pressing at a time when fund managers are increasingly introducing flexible working for the long-term. While implementing a cloud first business strategy is now considered crucial for longevity, it must not be rushed at the risk of costly mistakes and the perpetuation of outdated operating models that limit adaptability. A rapid, productive cloud migration is still possible, but firms need to ensure they have well-considered plans and strong partnerships with experts in place to ensure success.

 

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MORE THAN HALF OF EUROPEAN SMES CONFIDENT IN 2021 BUSINESS RECOVERY

  • Finland most confident in Europe followed by France, UK and Germany – Spain, doesn’t show the same optimism
  • Hope for the new year comes mainly from the agriculture (60%), real estate (58%), business services (55%), and food & drink (55%) industries

 

Despite continued uncertainty, 57% of SMEs across seven European markets feel positive about the future and think that economies will recover to pre-Covid levels within the next two years, according to a research conducted by CapitalBox, leading online pan-European SME funding platform.

A further 18% are still confident about a recovery, but believe it will take at least two years. However, when it comes to their own businesses’ recovery as opposed to the wider economies, over half of SMEs (51%) feel that their business will in fact recover this year, in 2021.

SMEs in Finland are the most confident in their own business recovery in 2021 (57%), compared to:

  • 50% in France
  • 50% in the UK
  • 48% in Germany
  • SMEs in Spain, with 27%, are the least confident in their own recovery

Optimism for the new year mainly comes from the agriculture (60%), real estate (58%), business services (55%), and food & drink (55%) industries. As hospitality looks towards a new normal in the new year, 52% are confident of their business recovery this year. The least optimistic industries for the new year are healthcare (28%) and wholesale, retail and franchising (31%).

Most of this optimism is reflected in how trusting SMEs are in their respective governments’ support. 53% of SMEs stated that they are certain their governments will continue to provide the right support going into 2021. The most confident in their government support are those most optimistic SMEs, in Finland (58%), France (51%), and the UK (55%). On the other hand, the least confident are SMEs in Spain, with 35% of respondents not feeling like their government will provide the right support moving forward.

 

Scott Donnelly, CEO of CapitalBox commented: “The pandemic continues to have a big impact on businesses and economic recoveries around the globe, and there is certainly a bumpy road ahead to get there. SMEs in Europe, however, are confident that this new year will bring positive changes, and that their businesses will return to growth. As the backbone of many economies, it is great to see SMEs being optimistic about the future and the ‘new normal’, putting effort into getting back on track.” 

“As small and medium businesses look toward a road of recovery, it is critical that the right financing is available to them to help guide them. From government support to alternative lending, they need to feel confident in their recovery in 2021. At CapitalBox, we will always strive to help those financially underserved SMEs.”

 

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