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EMBRACING DIGITAL IN THE BANKING SECTOR


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EMBRACING DIGITAL IN THE BANKING SECTOR

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WRITTEN BY

SEAN GALEA-PACE PRODUCED BY

JAMES PEPPER

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BRD - GROUPE SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE

Florin Boldescu, Chief Digital Officer, and Eric Ruiz, Chief Information Officer at BRD, discuss the importance of operating with an Agile approach and leveraging technology at their company

A

s one of the leading banks in Romania, BRD - Groupe Société Générale is in the midst of a significant digital transforma-

tion. Technology is considered the lifeblood of the 04

company and is central to operations. BRD is the Romanian affiliate of Groupe Société Générale and operates under its wider umbrella. “It’s a flexible relationship,” explains Florin Boldescu, Chief Digital Officer at the firm. “There’s many banks from different countries all working together and it provides a great opportunity to discuss new ideas and learn from each other. It’s an open banking environment where all banks can work together towards a common goal.” BRD’s digital transformation ambitions are focused on several key areas, such as: evolving towards digital ready architecture (decoupling, API, services), embracing Agility to deliver faster, be better aligned with business teams, leverage a DevOps approach (automation, software factory, cloud) and provide a flexible workplace to employees.


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BRD - GROUPE SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE

“We were one of the first banks to launch a mobile banking app over a decade ago. It’s great to look back on and we’re proud that we have brought our contribution” Florin Boldescu, Chief Digital Officer, BRD

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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘BRD. THE FUTURE IS YOU’ 07 Both Boldescu and Eric Ruiz, Chief Information Officer at BRD, believes in the importance of embracing change

you make decisions. This led to the creation of the Digital Hub.” BRD’s Digital Hub has been devel-

amidst a major shift in culture. “We

oped to allow for better interaction

were one of the first banks to launch

with customers and is a key part of its

a mobile banking app over a decade

strategy to cover several channels

ago. It’s great to look back on and

and better meet individual customer

we’re proud that we have brought our

demands. “Over the past year, the

contribution,” says Boldescu. “The entire

market has shifted in a unique way,”

banking industry is an open and highly

explains Boldescu. “Although change

dynamic environment and in order to

is great, we can’t afford to leave people

meet these challenges, it requires a

behind. We have to ensure we migrate

change in culture. Sometimes you need

the older generation smoothly and

to overhaul the business in order to

make the transition as easy as possible.”

change your perception and the way

With the Romanian market experiencing w w w. b rd . ro


BRD - GROUPE SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE

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“We value innovation and want to provide its value to our customers”

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Eric Ruiz, Chief Information Officer, BRD

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17 over

YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Let’s talk Digital

Smart Fintech Customer Digital Experience Identity Access Management Service Oriented Architecture

www.itsmartsystems.eu letstalk@itsmartsystems.eu


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high levels of growth over the past few years, BRD has established a more seamless, omnichannel approach in a bid to improve its user experience. “We still have customers that like to come into a branch to do their banking but in Romania, digital is becoming increasingly prominent,” says Ruiz. “There’s

Year founded

$25mn+ Revenue in euros (2017)

substantial competition and some of our competitors might have great ideas so we can’t stand still.” Due to the acceleration of digitalisation in the banking

6,800

industry, Ruiz adds Agile software development (Agile) has become a key

Number of employees

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E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Florin Boldescu Boldescu has over 20 years’ experience in the telecom and banking industries, in areas including: customer service, product management, business management and digital transformation. He is passionate about people using technology, innovation, enterprise transformation and software delivery models. Recently, he has focused on digital strategy and transformation; currently he oversees the execution of a digital agenda, retail and corporate, with the support of a Digital Hub. The most important product built here is an omnichannel platform, which is going to manage the access to the bank’s services for more than two million customers. w w w. b rd . ro


BRD - GROUPE SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE

component of BRD’s transformation.

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In a bid to drive operations, BRD

“In order to implement Agile, we first had

has established several strategic

to determine exactly what it is and what

partnerships such as IT Smart Systems

we wanted it to achieve. To accom-

and Backbase. “Our partner, IT Smart

plish this, establishing a step-by-step

Systems (ITSS), has made an impor-

approach was essential,” explains Ruiz.

tant contribution to our digital

“Agile is a new way of working and we’ve

transformation journey and continues

trained our people and paired them with

to show a strong commitment to meet

an Agile coach. It’s a great way to make

our common objectives inside the

processes more efficient and drive real

omnichannel and OpenBanking &

value for our business.”

PSD2 programmes,” explains Ruiz.

E X ECU T I VE P RO FI LE

Eric Ruiz Eric has managed IT at BRD Romania for more than two years, with the ambition of transforming the way IT provides value to the business in its digitalisation and automation objectives. Previously, Eric was dep CIO and global CTO for Russia SG entities, supporting 15.000 employees over 11 time zones. Prior to that, he was CIO and business process improvement manager for the Russian consumer finance subsidiary of SG, enabling it to become number one in car loans in Russia. He also held the position of COO of SG Ukrainian subsidiary, and was responsible for IT/back-office, and the acceptance and administration departments. He was also global middleware manager in New York investment bank subsidiary of SG.


“ITSS already helped BRD to digitalise its corporate trade finance business and also set up the PSD2 APIs.” “With proven senior expertise on Backbase Digital Banking, Forgerock Digital Identity and digital transformation in general, IT Smart Systems’ team of professionals work with us in the Hub to help create that omnichannel hyper-personalised yet secure user experience for our customers and employees,” adds Boldescu. “We will continue to strengthen our partnership with IT Smart Systems as a trusted and valuable partner for BRD.” The banking world is showing no signs of slowing down. Due to the significant level of technology at financial institutions, companies now more than ever, are seeking to digitalise their offerings and streamline services for their customers. However, although the acceleration of digital is primarily considered a good thing, it also brings with it the issue of cybercrime. To combat this, Ruiz places considerable value on his firm’s cybersecurity approach. “Every solution we put on w w w. b rd . ro


BRD - GROUPE SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE

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“Over the past year, the market has shifted in a unique way” Florin Boldescu, Chief Digital Officer, BRD

the market is controlled by a security team and each has its own security file. It undergoes a penetration test, and if there’s any issues that flag up, we address it,” he explains. “We also conduct a regular vulnerability scanning, internally and externally to ensure our security is where it needs to be.” With the future in mind, both men harbour clear objectives for the next few years. “Our idea for the future is digital and especially mobile-first. We value innovation and want to provide its value to our customers,” summarises Ruiz. “Our ambition is to completely digitalise the customer experience — that’s the plan.”

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1-7 Ion Mihalache Boulevard Bucharest 011171 Romania T +4 021 302 6161 www.brd.ro

Profile for Business Chief Europe

BRD February 2020  

BRD February 2020