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MARQETA CONTINUES EUROPEAN GROWTH, SIGNING THREE NEW DIGITAL BANKING CUSTOMERS

Marqeta is supporting the development and launch of three new digital banks across the UK and Europe

 

Marqeta, the global modern card issuing platform, announced today that it has won three new digital banking clients in the UK and Europe, with all expected to go live with Marqeta in 2021. Its European Digital Banking solution has been adopted by Dozens, P.F.C. and Novus to power payments, instantly issue cards and drive innovation.

 

Dozens, which takes people on a journey from spender to saver to investor with a current account, budgeting and saving tools and access to investment products, and P.F.C., a Swedish neobank, are making the switch to Marqeta from incumbent providers. Novus, a sustainable digital bank, plans to launch its programme in 2021.

 

Marqeta’s European Digital Banking Solution helps banks and fintechs to build, test and continuously refine card programmes. The flexible platform enables Marqeta’s customers to innovate at speed, allowing them to develop new features and programmes that integrate with existing systems and software. The platform provides instant virtual card issuing capabilities and offers advanced spend controls to engage users and grow card use. Marqeta’s feature-rich APIs are highly configurable and scalable, allowing banks and fintechs to access actionable, real-time transaction data to drive program improvements.

 

“Dozens’ mission is to help our customers manage, save and grow their money. As our business evolves and we add new services to provide our customers with more choice, it was key for us to partner with a new payment processor that would enable us to become more agile,” Aritra Chakravarty, Founder and CEO of Dozens. “Marqeta is that perfect partner – its API-led approach gives us the control we need to customise our new Visa debit card product, while also helping us to create a new offering for our B2B brand Pi1. So, in addition to Dozens customers enjoying their new cards, Pi1 clients taking our Visa cards with Marqeta processing can now enjoy additional out-of-the box features like merchant reconciliation, metadata from Google Maps and Places APIs, access to our fraud systems and more, making it a cutting-edge combination of card issuing and processing.”

 

“Our ability to offer a highly personalised and transparent personal finance experience has been very well received, allowing us to become one of the fastest growing challengers in Sweden’s competitive fintech market. But in order to build on this, we needed a payment platform that was flexible and scalable, allowing us to seamlessly develop new services that will improve the experience for our users,” said Kevin Albrecht, CEO of P.F.C. (Personal Finance Co.). “We partnered with Marqeta because their platform will allow us to rapidly build and launch new payments features, as well as help support us with our future international expansion plans.”

 

“Marqeta will be a vital partner for us as we get ready to launch next year, helping us to speed up time to market while also empowering us to customise features and scale quickly our impact- and sustainability-driven proposition,” comments Hristian Nedyalkov, Co-Founder and CEO of Novus.

 

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BRICKENDON STRENGTHENS SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM, PROPELLING FURTHER GROWTH IN 2021

Transformational consultancy appoints new Director of Financial Services, Strategy & Business Development alongside a series of senior promotions

 

Brickendon, the transformational consultancy is announcing a new senior hire and a set of senior promotions as the business thrives and looks to generate further growth in 2021 through a focus on employee engagement and advocacy.

The business experienced strong growth in the Banking & Government sectors throughout the second half of 2020, due to an innovative focus across its three key areas of specialism: digital, data and automation with particular attention on DevOps and Agile methodologies. This success has been underpinned by its expertise in delivering complex change projects for highly regulated organisations and a continued expansion into international markets.

Among the announcements, Brickendon has appointed Will McDonald as its new Director of Financial Services, Strategy & Business Development. McDonald been tasked with aligning the expertise of Brickendon’s consulting workforce to client needs, fast tracking Brickendon’s growth in international markets and driving customer advocacy. He brings over 20 years of experience in Enterprise technology, working across Asia, Europe and North America and most recently at Telstra Global, where he led the Financial Services Industry segment for EMEA.

 

McDonald comments “I’m very excited to join Brickendon at such a pivotal time. 2020 has accelerated a lot of change, and all businesses must recalibrate to remain competitive and thrive in this challenging recovery period. The enabling forces of Digitisation, Cloud and Automation are unlocking incredible productivity, yet people and expertise are still critical to success.  At Brickendon our people have incredible talent for identifying and solving complex challenges faced by our clients.  Our customers recognize this, and we have built a loyal following amongst them. My role is to amplify the work that the team has achieved over the years and create platforms for a loud chorus of customer advocacy to be heard”

Brickendon’s continued success also marks the promotion of Bala Ethirajalu to Partner, Global Head of Delivery and Maureen McKinley to Senior Manager as both individuals played a critical part in the helping the business thrive.

Bala has been with Brickendon for over eight years and has been instrumental in building a high performing delivery team, whilst defining Brickendon’s technology strategy and setting a culture of employee empowerment.  Brickendon’s clients and team members have embraced the leadership values, innovation and accountability that Bala has championed and driven across the entire business. Bala has also successfully led the team to win the prestigious TESTA awards in 2013 and 2016 as well as securing seven consecutive finalist nominations.

 

Bala comments “If we create an environment of employee engagement and empowerment, everything else falls into place, we do better and more creative work for our clients, as well, we more easily attract, nurture and retain exceptional talent in the organization. I’m delighted to take up my new senior position at Brickendon, and look forward to all the future successes of our team as the business continues to thrive”

Similarly, Maureen McKinley has been part of the Brickendon team since 2013, and her new senior role will support the wider leadership team and grow the Poland based Brickendon practice. Maureen is a trusted advisor and contributor to her clients and has continued to raise the bar both in the work she conducts for them and as a leader within Brickendon.

 

Christopher Burke, CEO, Brickendon, comments “Brickendon was called upon by our financial services clients as they navigated the turbulent start to 2020. As a business leader and founder, I’m proud of our team and how we rallied around our clients as they faced unprecedented challenges. Our new set of senior promotions and hires signify a big step towards the growth trajectory which we’ve planned out for the year ahead and I’m in no doubt that Will, Maureen and Bala will play pivotal roles in driving this forward.”

 

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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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