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FEBRUARY 2019

THE LAUNCH ISSUE!

Insurance fuelled by technology

Transforming risk management

CMT PRACTICE LEADERS ALEXANDER CHAO AND THOMAS QUIGLEY TALK DIGITAL DISRUPTION

Nationwide A Fortune 100 trailblazer

Technology transformation built on trust

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WELCOME

W

elcome to the launch edition of

and Thomas Quigley explain how the

FinTech Magazine!

risks involved in digital transformation can be successfully navigated.

As the finance industry continues to be disrupted by the advent of block-

Meanwhile, we sat down with software

chain and cryptocurrencies, cashless

solution provider Finastra’s Senior

payments and open banking, this new

Director, Smita Gupta, a powerful

brand aims to bring you the latest

woman in fintech who is responsible

insights from top-tier CTOs, CIOs

for the firm’s marketing across

and more.

the APAC region. Gupta discussed Finastra’s newly-launched open

We explore the digital transformation journeys of leading global businesses and find out how the experts

banking readiness index and how inancial institutions can best prepare for the future.

are navigating this exciting new financial landscape.

Be sure to check out our company reports on Santander, Generali,

Our cover star this month is global

Nationwide, Adyen and more, as well

insurance leader Marsh, which has

as our top 10 this month examining

just released its latest CMT (commu-

which fintech startups are the ones

nications, media and technology)

to watch in 2019.

study, outlining what the adoption of disruptive technologies like AI and

Enjoy the issue!

IoT will means for the industry. CMT

Olivia Minnock.

Practice Leaders Alexander Chao

Olivia.Minnock@bizclikmedia.com

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05


CONTENTS

12

NAVI GATI NG THE RISKS OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION WITH MARSH

30

40 : s t e g g u N

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION FOR AN OPEN BANKING FUTURE FEBRUARY 2019

merging security ande convenienc through blockchain


50

62

SUPPORTING THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OF FINANCE

70 84 TOP 10

GLOBAL EVENTS

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CONTENTS

118 Santander

88 AXA Singapore

104

138

Generali

Adyen

FEBRUARY 2019


154

188

Moneta

Truliant

170

200

Nationwide

Wipro Americas

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Covering every angle in the digital age The Business Chief platforms offer insight on the trends influencing C and V-level executives, telling the stories that matter

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12

G V NA I A

THE RIS DIGITAL TRAN WITH M

FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

T A I NG

SKS OF NSFORMATION MARSH WRIT TEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN PRODUCED BY

A LE X PAGE

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13


MARSH

14

AS THE FIRM UNVEILS ITS LATEST CMT RISK STUDY, WE SPEAK TO MARSH’S CMT PRACTICE LEADERS TO LEARN ABOUT THE RISKS BEHIND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND HOW THESE CAN BE MANAGED

L

ast year, the speed of innova-

success, this transformation doesn’t

tion kept up its blistering pace

come without its risks.

– and we can expect nothing

This is where Marsh offers a helping

less in 2019. This rings true in particular

hand with its latest CMT Risk Study.

for the communications, media and

Surveying 200 of its CMT clients

technology (CMT) sector, where the

globally, the insurance heavyweight

adoption of technologies from artificial

has identified some of the risks which

intelligence (AI) to the Internet of Things

are hindering CMT companies in their

(IoT) is quickly becoming the norm.

transformation journeys. Alexander

Yet, whilst technology is increasingly

Chao, Asia Communications, Media

heralded as the key to business

& Technology Practice Leader, believes

FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

15

that one of the biggest hurdles revolves

to the back of the pack, making R&D

around R&D and financing. “The recent

mission critical. “They need to invest

market downturn, as well as the trade

heavily in R&D in order to find the most

war between the US and China, poses

advanced technology that will help

a great risk,” he observes. “Many

them survive in the CMT industry,” Chao

manufacturers, especially in Asia, have

adds. “If they make a wrong investment,

slowed down their capital expenditure

it will potentially cost a fortune and

because they don’t have a clear picture

generate a series of problems for the

of what the future holds.” Because the

CMT company.” Other issues like patent

sector is so innovation-driven, CMT

infringement or security could also

companies must keep up or risk dropping

hamper investment. w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com


MARSH

“T hey need to invest heavily in R&D in order to find the most advanced technology to help them survive in the CMT industry” 16

— Alexander Chao, Asia Communications, Media & Technology Practice Leader

The worries don’t end there: looking

hand, because CMT companies are

at the results for the 2019 CMT Risk

technology providers, they have liability

Survey, Thomas Quigley, US Comm-

if their technology fails to perform.

unications, Media & Technology

Whether it fails to ensure security or

Practice Leader, points out that the

simply doesn’t work as designed, it’s

top three risks identified by Marsh’s

a top liability risk.” Even if it is designed

clients are: data security and privacy;

well and is secure, there are still many

technology errors and omissions; and

ways technology can disappoint.

IT resiliency. “This shows why it’s so

“Maybe there’s an electronic interruption,

important to do a study specifically

maybe my backups didn’t work – there

for CMT companies,” he explains.

are several ways that technology can

“If you look across all industries, most

fail to work as intended,” notes Quigley.

respondents only talk about cyberattacks and data privacy. On the other FEBRUARY 2019

While some technology failures may seem minor, the ramifications of an


ASIA

increase in the types of errors can be devastating. As technology becomes ubiquitous, Quigley says that “the severity of technology failures gets greater and greater every day”. Whether the technology is being used to protect personal records or to improve the efficiency of manufacturing operations, a failure of any kind can stop a business in its tracks. “If the fintech which supports my trading platform goes down for 30 minutes, that could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses,” he says. “The more we depend upon technology, the larger the loss could be.” E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Alexander Chao joined Marsh Taiwan in 1998, and has almost 30 years of comprehensive experience in general insurance. Over the past 21 years, he has been servicing large clients in the high tech sector, offering advice in insurance program design, technical review, strategic risk review, and market relationship management. In 2016, Chao was appointed as the Regional Communications, Media and Technology Practice Leader for Asia, leveraging his deep expertise to spearhead business development initiatives throughout the region. Prior to joining Marsh, Chao started his career with MSIG Taiwan as the Head of Property Underwriting.

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MARSH

As the lines between the digital and physical become blurred, the consequences of technology failure are no longer just monetary: they could also be fatal. “We can also see bodily injury and property damage from technology failure,” highlights Quigley, citing autonomous vehicles as a relevant example. In previous years, if there was a car incident it was usually the driver’s fault but nowadays, this is quickly changing. “In autonomous vehicles, there are thousands of chips and millions of lines of code. As 18

autonomous mobility becomes more

“A s autonomous mobility becomes more popular and as technology becomes commonplace in cars, it’s likely that liability will lie with the manufacturer” — Thomas Quigley, US Communications, Media & Technology Practice Leader

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Thomas Quigley leads Marsh’s Communications, Media, and Technology (CMT) Practice in the United States. He ensures Marsh delivers to its clients a deep understanding of the forces driving opportunity and disruption for CMT companies, and the innovative solutions required to address their rapidly evolving risk profiles. Quigley provides seniorlevel oversight and client service direction to our team of 600+ CMT colleagues. Quigley’s focus includes a broad range of sectors and emerging ecosystems including communications, broadcasting, publishing, digital media, social media, information services, hosting, software, IT services, financial technologies, mobile payments, sharing economy, autonomous mobility, personal electronics, hardware, and electronic components. FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

19

popular and as technology becomes

edged sword is IoT. Communications

commonplace in cars, it’s likely that

giant Ericsson forecasts that there will

liability will lie with the manufacturer.”

be around 29bn connected devices by

As a result, survey respondents reported

2022, of which 18mn will be IoT-driven.

that they are increasingly being asked

From industrial IoT to connected cars

to take on more liability if an accident

and wearable technology, the

happens and can be traced back to their

possibilities for this innovation are

product or component.

endless – but so are the risks. Industrial

In last year’s edition of the CMT Risk

IoT is creating impressive efficiencies

Study, two-thirds of respondents said

in manufacturing operations but with

they believed that emerging tech-

unlimited connections, comes unlimited

nologies will increase risk complexity

ways to fail. “The biggest challenge, in

in the next three to five years. One

my opinion, is that IoT is unbounded:

disruptive technology set to be a double-

it’s limitless in terms of the number of w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com


MARSH

20

“If you look across all industries, most respondents only talk about cyber-attacks and data privacy. On the other hand, because CMT companies are technology providers, they have liability if their technology fails to perform” — Thomas Quigley, US Communications, Media & Technology Practice Leader FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

21

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MARSH

things that can be connected,” Quigley explains. “With lots of devices comes greater vulnerabilities because many of the firms exploring IoT aren’t truly focusing on the security.” This is where risk enters the frame: as more devices are connected, it creates more and more opportunity for one of the devices to fail, causing the system to go down. “For IoT to work you also need a stable and secure connection under the 5G environment,” adds Chao. “CMT companies need to invest a lot in R&D in order to keep up.” Some of the risks involved with IoT we may not even

22

be aware of yet. “I think we have to be

FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

ready for surprises,” says Quigley

should be treated with risk insurance

candidly. “We haven’t experienced all

and risk transfer afterwards or

the different loss events that could

whether they should be treated with

happen yet.”

risk assessment and risk prevention

With these risks and uncertainties

at the beginning, a large majority of

taken into account, it isn’t all doom and

our clients agree that for over 75%

gloom. In a consumer-centric market,

of the risks the focus should be on

IoT has the opportunity to generate

upfront assessment and prevention,”

a unique customer experience and, with

highlights Quigley.

the right risk management strategy,

Chao echoes this, highlighting how

firms can sidestep the common pitfalls.

any problem which occurs could

Marsh, and indeed its survey

tarnish a firm’s brand integrity. “Once

respondents, believe that the secret to

a harmful cyber event happens, it can

tackling cybersecurity could lie in

destroy the company’s entire operation

both acting pre-emptively as well as

if they don’t have a contingency plan

reactively. “When asked whether risks

in place,” he says. “Risk assessment

CLICK TO WATCH : MARSH PIONEERS EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com

23


MARSH

24

FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

“Risk assessment and prevention analysis need to happen as frequently as possible. You need to recognise where the next risks are going to be. You don’t want to slow R&D down; you want to enable innovation by making sure you can do as much as you can to address risks before they happen” — Alexander Chao, Asia Communications, Media & Technology Practice Leader

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25


MARSH

26

“It’s about making sure that your IT is resilient and that broad industry events like the WannaCry attack don’t disrupt your operations. It’s also about protecting your intellectual property and protecting customer data” — Thomas Quigley, US Communications, Media & Technology Practice Leader FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

and prevention analysis need to happen as frequently as possible. You need to recognise where the next risks are going to be. You don’t want to slow R&D down; you want to enable innovation by making sure you can do as much as you can to address risks before they happen.” To tackle this, the pair believe that CMT companies should take a lesson from traditional firms and understand how the end customer is impacted when technology fails. Traditional, non-technology orientated firms could take a leaf out of their book too, recognising that, when it comes to cybersecurity, they shouldn’t just focus on data privacy but also need to talk about IT resiliency and other aspects of digital transformation. “Cybersecurity is such a broad term,” admits Quigley. “It’s about making sure that your IT is resilient and that broad industry events like the WannaCry attack don’t disrupt your operations. It’s also about protecting your intellectual property and protecting customer data.” Cybersecurity investment is a “never-ending story”, adds Chao, as hackers will always migrate and evolve. Risk management may seem a daunting task but Marsh believes it doesn’t have to be. To tackle this challenge, Quigley says that the industry w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com

27


MARSH

needs to “take risk data from multiple sources and use that to inform and quantify new risks”. On top of this, companies should go back to basics. “We find that just by getting people in a room with a clean whiteboard you can talk about new products and potential loss scenarios – it’s critical to the process,” he says. Marsh can help firms navigate this tricky terrain. As the world’s largest insurance broker and one of the largest brokers specifically 28

for CMT companies, it has a wealth of experience and insights that it can share with its clients. “We work

$6bn

Approximate revenue

1871

Year founded

30,000 Approximate number of employees

with thousands of other companies and industries across the globe,” highlights Quigley. “With all client confidentiality maintained, we can

As well as having the analytical

take learnings and insights from those

strength to aid risk management,

companies and apply those to CMT

Chao believes that Marsh’s talented

companies. We can help them think

team also gives the global broker an

about what the loss impact could be

edge. “For risk consulting, we have

if their technology fails to perform.

qualified risk engineers,” he says. “The

Thanks to this experience, we have

majority of our engineers come from

innumerable data points which we

the industry and so they have the know-

can use not only to brainstorm but to

how to craft the business contingency

model, quantify and develop solutions

plan for the client.” With annual revenues

for a whole set of emerging risks.”

of over US$6bn and more than 30,000

FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

29

colleagues worldwide, it seems many

understanding technology is critical,

have put their faith in Marsh to help

understanding digital solutions is

them navigate the realm of risk

critical and understanding risk

management. Combining leading

assessment and quantification is

expertise, experience and innovative

critical. We’ve aggressively built up

solutions, Quigley and Chao believe

this capability over the past few

that, for any firm, putting trust in Marsh

years to meet our clients’ demands.”

is a safe bet. “As a broker, our history is defined by helping clients secure the insurance solutions they need,” reflects Quigley. “But we also recognise that w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com


LEADERSHIP

30

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION FOR AN OPEN BANKING FUTURE Smita Gupta, Senior Director, Regional Marketing, APAC at Finastra, discusses the future of open banking in Asia and across the globe WRITTEN BY

FEBRUARY 2019

OLIVIA MINNOCK


31

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LEADERSHIP

32

S

mita Gupta has long been fas-

how it impacts business decisions,

cinated with how digital trans-

with software”.

formation enables people’s

“What excited me was the opportu-

lives for the better. This is especially

nity to get into an industry that is really

clear today in the finance sector with

accelerating and looking at how we

advancements like artificial intelli-

can transform the entire value chain

gence (AI) and the cloud, and the

of banking,” she adds. This is encap-

much-anticipated shift to open bank-

sulated in her role as Senior Director,

ing. Gupta has been in technology

Regional Marketing, APAC, for financial

for 18 years, with a particular focus

services software provider Finastra.

on fintech, which she finds to be “a

Gupta is responsible for growing the

very interesting way to combine my

business in the APAC region.

economics background, where you analyse the behaviour of people and FEBRUARY 2019

Since its formation through the combination of Misys and D+H in


10,000

Approximate number of employees

130

Number of countries that Finastra works in

9,000

Approximate number of clients globally

2017, Finastra has grown to a company reporting US$1.9bn annual revenue,

towards our platform vision,” says Gupta. Now, the business is positioned to not

and employs over 10,000 people to

only play a key role in the digital transfor-

serve 9,000 customers. Currently,

mation of the finance sector, but also

90 of the world’s top 100 banks use

the open banking landscape and the

Finastra’s software solutions which

move towards collaboration as a means

span retail, corporate banking, trade

of sparking innovation. “Finastra truly

finance and more. Each day, around

believes the future of finance is open, and

10% of trade finance runs on Finastra

we can bring various people together in

software and it enables 175m+ retail

the ecosystem to collaborate together

accounts. “With the Fourth Industrial

using our platform, FusionFabric.cloud,”

Revolution, we have evolved from

Gupta explains. FusionFabric.cloud

a software company to a solutions

is Finastra’s Platform-as-a-Service

company, and now we are moving

solution which enables financial w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com

33


LEADERSHIP

“We have a bold ambition to be through an ecosystem of partners. “With the platform approach, we are the number one looking to connect fintechs, developopen platform for ers and more to our 9,000+ customers innovation in the with our platform. No one is doing that world of financial in the market across the broad sectors we cover. We have a bold ambition to services” services companies to be more

innovative by fostering collaboration

be the number one open platform for

innovation in the world of financial services,” she adds. The kind of collaboration Finastra enables will be vital in an open banking 34

environment. “We clearly see in the future an ecosystem where we are enabling financial institutions to serve their customers in a more open and collaborative way using open APIs,” comments Gupta. “We are also seeing that the adoption of third-party software is growing rapidly. This is where Finastra steps in to help banks unlock their potential and navigate through the challenges of regulation, digitalisation, and the open banking frameworks that have been put in place across various markets globally.” The landscape of open banking, which will involve collaboration and data sharing between fintechs, banks, FEBRUARY 2019

— Smita Gupta, Senior Director, Regional Marketing, APAC, Finastra


CLICK TO WATCH : OPEN FOR INNOVATION, COLLABORATION AND BANKING WITH UNLIMITED POTENTIAL 35

software and third-party providers,

banks are in the ‘advanced’ stages

is vast and somewhat concerning for

of a data-based transformation. The

businesses and consumers alike, and

remaining majority will need to step

in order to gauge this new territory,

up to compete against the fintechs in

Finastra launched the Open Banking

this new ecosystem, but many exhibit

Readiness Index in APAC. The survey

concerns about customer data privacy

measured banks against their adoption

(71%) and compliance (53%).

of APIs, third-party ecosystems, state

These concerns are not unfounded,

of data-based transformation, data

as the data sharing involved in open

monetisation and state of innovation.

banking is unfamiliar territory for the

While 70% of banks agree open banking

finance sector and as such poses

will increase their customer reach, only

cultural and technological challenges.

23% have invested in an API manage-

“Traditionally, banks have not been very

ment platform, and just 25% of APAC

open to sharing this data,” says Gupta. w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com


LEADERSHIP

“Businesses in data, but for customers who must be Asia,notably able to trust this is done safely. “It is in the financial extremely important for banks to service area,are establish a very standardised framework on how data is accessed, and now leading the what level of data is accessed and world in terms of consumed in the way fintechs consume it.” Gupta adds that it’s imporinvention and tant to work with the right third-party even adoption providers so that any data shared remains secure and compliant, for the of new business benefit of business and consumer. models” For example, Finastra’s FusionFabric. Concerns over security are not just a key factor for the banks sharing

36

cloud is underpinned by Microsoft Azure, as is a selection of its global payments and retail banking products. “Microsoft has strong compliance in the industry – they spend millions of dollars making sure the infrastructure is stable and secure,” Gupta outlines. “There are multiple regulatory, as well as privacy and security rules that providers such as Microsoft adhere to. Yes, data security standards are a concern, but this can be addressed when you work with reliable, trustworthy third-party providers.” Gupta is confident that concerns involved in open banking are slowly FEBRUARY 2019

— Smita Gupta, Senior Director, Regional Marketing, APAC, Finastra


being tempered with banks beginning to see fintechs “as a friend, not an enemy”. The Open Banking Readiness Index found that 84% of banks in APAC consider collaboration with external partners extremely critical for succession adopting open banking strategies. “90% of innovation is coming in from the outside,” says Gupta. “Hence, it is becoming critical for innovation to be seen as a joint initiative when it comes to the financial service industry. Banks and fintechs are collaborating in a variety of ways through accelerators and incubators.” For the future of banking, Gupta outlines four key trends: a focus on the consumer lifecycle; use of AI and machine learning to increase personalisation; digital transformation and continuous innovation; and open banking platforms and data. “According to Accenture, businesses that are successfully applying AI could increase profitability by an average of 38% by 2035,” says Gupta. “This means that from a business or end-customer perspective, the more banks look at applying AI and machine learning for deeper analytics, it creates an exponentially faster and more personalised w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com

37


LEADERSHIP

“Banks and fintechs are collaborating in a variety of ways through accelerators and incubators” — Smita Gupta, Senior Director, Regional Marketing, APAC, Finastra

38

customer experience, by getting them

perspective, as AI gathers more pace

better insights.”

in terms of augmenting the human

To this end, more and more banks are

workforce in the industry, you will see

deploying chatbots for elements like

customers receive 24/7 assistance;

retail banking and investment advisory

there’s going to be instant gratification

and Finastra aims to be at the forefront

and convenience in a faster, more

of this AI revolution. “We are deeply

intuitive way.” Keeping the customer

engaged in advancing the use of AI in

experience at the forefront, Finastra

financial services,” Gupta emphasises.

regularly organises customer advisory

“Our Detect solution uses AI to catch

boards and Chief Product and

‘fat finger’ trades before they are pro-

Technology Officer Eli Rosner often

cessed in the capital markets space.

meets with clients to gain an under-

From the retail banking and payments

standing of their experience, as well as

FEBRUARY 2019


39

attending forums such as Money20/20.

happening here, and to ride the wave

“When we say 90% of innovation will

of open banking in the region,” says

come from the outside, we truly believe

Gupta. “In many respects, businesses

that and this is why we are out there

in Asia, notably in the financial service

talking to customers and the industry

area, are now leading the world in

and building ecosystems.”

terms of invention or even adoption of

As far as the adoption of new technologies in banking, APAC is cer-

new business models in order to meet the changing needs of the customer.”

tainly the place to be and Finastra will not stop growing in that region any time soon. “We will continue to invest in APAC, to support the digital transformation of financial institutions that’s w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com


BLOCKCHAIN

40

FEBRUARY 2019


: s t e Nugg

g n i g r e m d n a y t i secur e c n e i n conve h g u o r h t n i a h c block

r e d n u o f n i Blockcha s n i a l p x e n o ns h o J r i a t s a Al of e r u t u f e h w hy t s t n e m y a p s s e l h s a c e r u c se ive t p u r s i d e h lies with t technology… W R IT TE N B Y

CK O L IV IA M IN N O

w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com

41


BLOCKCHAIN

H

aving bank details lost or stolen is something many of us have experienced, but as technol-

ogy continues to disrupt the finance industry

the lengthy process of resolving the problem

seems increasingly archaic. This was certainly the case for Alastair Johnson, founder and CEO of blockchain startup Nuggets, upon losing his own card details. When he eventually received his replacement card, he had to re-enter new informa-

tion on dozens of websites and was struck by the 42

lack of both convenience and security at a time when data breaches were making the headlines. “You wouldn’t write down your mother’s maiden name, email address and national insurance (NI) number on a post-it note and leave it in every cash till on the high street – but in a digital sense we do that all over the place,” he comments. The experience prompted Johnson to found Nuggets, which promises to help customers “take back control” of their data in 2016. The ecommerce payment and ID platform allows users to store their payment details on blockchain technology to achieve a single sign-on method which means personal data doesn’t need to be shared with multiple organisations. “You can transact securely and verify your identity without somebody having access to that data and being able to take over FEBRUARY 2019


43

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BLOCKCHAIN

“You can’t compete against WeChat Pay and AliPay but you can add value to them” — Alastair Johnson, Founder and CEO, Nuggets

44

FEBRUARY 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘NUGGETS – TAKE BACK CONTROL OF YOUR DATA’ 45

your information. If a business doesn’t

Johnson cites two reasons for the

log the personal data in their central-

failings we see in the headlines. “There

ised silos in the first place, it can’t be

are people who don’t understand tech

breached,” Johnson explains.

and are being victimised for that and

With breaches at large tech compa-

there’s the other side where people do

nies cited as a ‘tipping point’, a recent

understand it and they’re trying to do

study by Gartner has found for the

best practices but those options where

first time that privacy is becoming

you have to log in with a username and

more of a priority over convenience for

password still exist.”

consumers – in 2009, it was reported

A key challenge for any tech company

that consumers remained unwilling to

then, no matter which platform is being

sacrifice convenience to keep their

provided, is to ensure convenience while

data secure. As organisations battle to

also assuring customers that keeping

develop their cybersecurity offerings,

their data secure is top priority – but for w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com


BLOCKCHAIN

Johnson’s single sign-on vision this presents more of an opportunity. “It actually gets more convenient with all the security, because you’re not passing around usernames and passwords: you’re verifying ID across a network. So, it’s a lot more secure and convenient – you get the best of both worlds.”

STAYING SECURE IN A CASHLESS SOCIETY In an increasingly cashless landscape, Johnson explains how a single sign-on 46

system using blockchain will enable various societies to complete the

“If a business doesn’t log the personal data in their centralised silos in the first place, it can’t be breached” — Alastair Johnson, Founder and CEO, Nuggets

transition away from cash and even card. “Now we have the technology to leapfrog plastic with a funded digital

ID to that payment app, so it allows

identity which can then be associated

access to my payment but I don’t need

with a digital watch or fitness band. It’s

a plastic card that the numbers can be

crazy that we’re still relying on this bit

copied off?’”

of plastic with a chip to come through

Tying in with the development of

in the post a week after it’s been

open banking which will involve closer

cloned,” Johnson argues, adding that

collaboration and data sharing,

cashless has yet to go far enough.

Johnson feels that the future of ID

“Even though you have Apple Pay and

technology should be agnostic. “In the

Android Pay, we’re still adding a plastic

past, you’ve seen a lot of wallet apps

card of information to make that work

from different schemes, but wouldn’t

as a secure payment source. At Nuggets,

it make sense that they all tied back

were saying ‘why don’t I add my digital

to the same APIs and services? When

FEBRUARY 2019


47

mobile phones first came out, you

Pay, serving over one million merchants

could only ring other people on the

across Asia. This partnership will mean

same network – this only lasted about

Alipay and WeChat Pay users can use

six months. In the early days, everyone

a digital ID to make payments as

comes out with their version but at the

opposed to attaching these to a bank

end of the day, the agnostic approach

card. “You can’t compete against

is going to be a winner.”

WeChat Pay and AliPay but you can

In China, fast becoming the home of

add value to them,” says Johnson.

cashless payments, Nuggets has

“Currently you’re going back to plastic

entered into a partnership with mobile

to enable them – you’re basically

payment technology, service and

rerouting to the old system. The potential

solution provider QFPay, which is used

is that you have your login and maybe

by epayment giants Alipay and WeChat

your profile data within your own realm w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com


BLOCKCHAIN

but it can be used for those products and services.” In Asia and further afield, Johnson is keen to highlight the potential of ID technology for business, particularly for SMEs. “It enables small businesses, people at food festivals or taxi drivers to transact without that chunky terminal. The potential for the smaller is immediately accessible… and this can also benefit larger businesses as well.”

A BLOCKCHAIN BASED FUTURE 48

“It’s a lot more secure and convenient — you get the best of both worlds” — Alastair Johnson, Founder and CEO, Nuggets

For Johnson, blockchain technology was a clear choice in implementing a more secure and convenient platform. “We spent time looking at other solutions to get to the same point – the key one being zero knowledge storage. Existing systems that do zero knowledge storage are quite clunky, and often they’ve got root level access to providers and such like. With blockchain, only the user has the key to their information,” he explains. “We have zero knowledge, we have the decentralised network, and we have encryption to an extremely high level – so blockchain ticked many boxes.” In addition, blockchain allows a kind of credit history to be set up due FEBRUARY 2019

Alastair Johnson talking about personal data storage @Retail Risk 2018


to the log it takes of every activity. “If you go and do 100 different payments to different places it demonstrates proof that you are a good actor on the network to the next person – you don’t have to be risk assessed.” For any blockchain founder – and Johnson isn’t just ‘any’ founder, having been shortlisted for ‘Blockchain Founder of the Year’ at the 2018 BMW i UK Tech Founder Awards – it is often necessary to play the part of evangelist for this

Seema Khinda Johnson, Co-Founder and COO, Nuggets

fairly new technology which is often mistrusted or misunderstood, but even in the past six months Johnson says the potential is finally being recognised. “It’s not just an intriguing tech conversation now – we’re starting to see real use cases coming out for blockchain and being applied. 2018 has brought the understanding of how consumers can react closely with the blockchain. In years to come, people won’t know or care if they’re on the blockchain; it’ll be fixed into life,” he anticipates.

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D I G I TA L T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

50

SUPPORTING THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OF FINANCE Ashok Suppiah discusses the rapid digital transformation currently impacting banks across the globe, and how his tech startup supports and manages this change WRITTEN BY

FEBRUARY 2019

OLIVIA MINNOCK


51

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D I G I TA L T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

I

f there are complex problems, we like to solve them with simple solutions.” This has long been a passion for Ashok Suppiah,

CEO and co-founder of tech startup Mitra Innovation, which aims to assist businesses of all shapes and sizes with their digital transformation journeys – with finance being a key area of disruption today. Suppiah previously worked for the now NASDAQ-listed Medusa Corporation, which he joined alongside the CEO when it was

a ‘basement operation’. At the time, 52

Suppiah and Medusa helped clients progress from Unix to Microsoft Windows, bringing in 100 customers over five years, and even raising $40mn in venture capital after the dot-com bubble burst. Following this, Suppiah worked for several more startups with varying levels of success, which allowed him to pursue his passion for innovation – and Mitra which he joined two years ago has been no exception. “At startups, I was able to bring in simplicity which a lot of large corporates aren’t able to action due to various issues,” he explains. “I’m more about innovation – how can we simplify complex problems for all the customers, users and employees? If you have to click 10 times to do FEBRUARY 2019


53

a task, and that can be made into two clicks – that’s what drives us.” Mitra is all about solving complex problems with simple solutions, and this has led to a business that is growing at a rate of 200% year on year. “It’s a great place to be,” says Suppiah. “We’re reinvesting and really growing a lot of our partnerships. We are a customerfirst organisation. We like to work with customers, think for them and help them with their digital journey.” For example, MONETA Money Bank is a Czech Republic-based financial w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com


D I G I TA L T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

institution undergoing a vast digital transformation project. “They went into the market, they selected the WSO2 platform to build their integration capability, and they chose us because we are not only a premier certified partner of WSO2, but we also have the digital capability to deliver a highly scalable platform. We have the ability to accelerate. One of their key criteria was to help them get to market faster,” Suppiah explains, adding that while this would have taken MONETA a year or more, it happened within five months

54

thanks to Mitra’s support and experience. The WSO2 platform replaced MONETA’s entire legacy platform and as such has enabled MONETA to operate more simply and efficiently, thereby improving the experience for the end users and customers – highlighting the reason Suppiah founded Mitra in the first place. “Millennials and the new, younger generation are going to prefer digital banking as opposed to branch banking,” Suppiah observes. “That means a decline in the number of branches, but an increase in their use or adoption, if banks can become digitally savvy. FEBRUARY 2019


“If there are complex problems, we like to solve them with simple solutions” — Ashok Suppiah, CEO, Mitra Innovation

55

We see that across various organisa-

We can already see Barclays, Lloyds,

tions in the UK and Europe. We’re also

Santander and Royal Bank of

in Kenya, Southeast Asia and Australia

Scotland (RBS) are well ahead in this

which has adopted open banking.”

field. If you are a user of one of those

If banks fail to digitally transform the

banks, you can look up your bank

customer experience they offer

balance from other banks through the

efficiently, Suppiah warns that modern

app itself – so the open API system is

fintech organisations are primed to take

really coming together.”

over the market. “In the finance sector,

A major challenge in the digital

the primary driver is open banking and

transformation of finance involves

use of open APIs. With that, there’s a

integrating many facets of business,

possibility to involve third parties. The

such as loan origination, card

second driver is: what can banks offer

services and insurance, before the

beyond the norms of basic offerings?

entire business can be transformed. w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com


D I G I TA L T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

56

Customers may use a plethora of

technologies within many banks provide

different online systems and apps for

a further challenge to this integrated,

the same bank. “You need to integrate

digital future. “How do you still maintain

the business before you can integrate

it, but enable other digital capabilities

the capabilities to the customers, and

on top of it?” Suppiah asks, adding

before you can make it secure,” says

that this is where Mitra’s integration

Suppiah. “That’s the biggest challenge.”

platform comes in.

Indeed, customers are expecting

In addition, compliance and security

a smoother experience and will soon

will always be key issues in the world

reject having to go through a number

of finance, and open banking involving

of different channels. Legacy

data sharing and collaboration brings

FEBRUARY 2019


57

this even further into the limelight.

increases the need to be highly secure.

Leading UK banks like Santander are

Through open banking, you are exposing

implementing open banking and indeed

data to third parties. You are transmit-

MONETA launched its open banking

ting information about the customer to

environment last year. “There are a lot

third parties. That opens up another

of banks in Poland, Romania and

level of security. Making that secure and

Bulgaria that still need to catch up,”

compliant is the biggest headache I’m

Suppiah adds. “So that’s a big problem

hearing from CIOs.”

for them because once they open their

The third issue Suppiah points to is

services and data to third parties, how

customer experience. “If they don’t get

do they make it secure? Open banking

the customer experience right, they w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com


D I G I TA L T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

could lose customers,” he says simply. “I think there’s a fear, at least in tier two and three banks, of seeing their customers move to fintechs in the next decade.” In order to meet customer expectations, it comes back to developing an increasingly smooth digital experience as mentioned above. “Traditionally, mobile banking apps only did two things: you could check your balance and pay somebody. Now, you can see your mortgage balance, your card, you can set up direct debits… 58

customers are demanding those kinds of functionalities, both on the consumer side and the corporate side.” This can be just as important for business clients as it can for customers on the retail side. “Sometimes we have to make an urgent payment and can’t be waiting at a branch or even opening up a laptop,” says Suppiah. “This is common for SMEs all over the world – and SMEs are the largest market globally. Demand is increasing for better convenience, secure, reliable service, and the ability to do crossborder business more easily.” Serving SMEs, as well as the local branches of large corporations, FEBRUARY 2019

“Demand is increasing for better convenience, secure, reliable service, and the ability to do cross-border business more easily” — Ashok Suppiah, CEO, Mitra Innovation


requires Mitra to intelligently localise its service while also maintaining its global brand and quality. “We have to adapt to a number of differences, the number one being cultural,” Suppiah explains. “In the UK and Europe for example, there are strict vendor evaluation processes with multiple layers, while in eastern Africa of the Middle East, CIOs are more accessible – they make direct decisions; it’s more of a trust-based model.” Suppiah also cites language as a barrier, with Mitra often utilising local consultants, as well as legality, consumer models and currency fluctuation. “There are a lot of challenges, but therein lie opportunities for us,” he adds. Each relationship Mitra enters into around the world, such as the one with Moneta, is built to last. “For us, every engagement is an interesting engagement,” says Suppiah. “We learn from it.” As well as learning and collaborating, Suppiah is keen to highlight the ongoing support Mitra provides its clients as the software landscape changes. “We used to buy the application, install it, run it, and if there was a problem, we’d call for support. Traditionally, application w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com

59


D I G I TA L T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

60

“If you have to click 10 times to do a task and that can be made into two clicks — that’s what drives us” — Ashok Suppiah, CEO, Mitra Innovation

FEBRUARY 2019


developers focused on building the application and doing the ‘go live’. Now, if you look at cloud-enabled applications like Google Mail or Office365; you use it every day and there’s support to build it. The philosophy behind Mitra is we want to be an end-to-end service provider; we want to help the customer with their strategy, their design, their architecture, and the actual implementation of the product. We help them to go live and then we provide ongoing managed services support.” Going forward, Mitra will not only be a loyal partner and supportive technology vendor for its clients, but the organisation will also take advantage of an increasing demand for digital transformation in the finance and telecommunications space, says Suppiah, especially among large corporations and mid-tier banks in eastern Africa, as well as Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. “We’re planning to invest in those markets next year,” he adds.

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

62

DIGITAL DISRUPTION OF FINTECH THROUGH

AI

Kate Rosenshine, Cloud Solution Architect Manager of Data and AI at Microsoft, discusses the impact AI promises for the financial services industry and how firms can build trust in the technology K ATE ROSENSHINE MARCUS LAWRENCE

WRITTEN BY EDITED BY

FEBRUARY 2019


63

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

A

mongst the wealth of emergent disruptive technologies set to revolutionise financial services,

artificial intelligence (AI) offers perhaps

the most diverse range of opportunities to the sector. Kate Rosenshine, Cloud Solution Architect Manager of Data and AI at Microsoft, spoke with FinTech Magazine about the impact AI will have on the financial industry and how best to establish trust in the technology among consumers. 64

How do you see AI transforming the financial industry in the next two years? Artificial intelligence is becoming an ever more important part of our lives. AI is already integrated into many aspects of our everyday applications, as many of us are already familiar with AI-infused search engines, digital personal assistants and recommendation systems. Whether it is powering a new generation of self-driving cars, guarding us against fraud or helping doctors better diagnose health conditions, AI’s transformational abilities will continue to be felt throughout our society in increasingly ubiquitous and innovative ways. FEBRUARY 2019

“AI and its transformational abilities are unprecedented and so organisations of all sizes must adapt to being more open” — Kate Rosenshine, Cloud Solution Architect Manager of Data and AI, Microsoft


Within Financial Services, 61% of the industry is already either currently using AI or plan to adopt AI applications within the next 12 months. Over the next few years we will see more of these organisations embarking on their AI journeys, creating subsequent change in the industry that will be felt like never before. The sector is already leading the charge in the use of AI technologies such as machine learning in fraud detection, virtual assistants for enhanced customer interactions and Big Data analytics for improved decision making and risk management. These technologies are empowering the industry and improving both customer and employee experiences alike through product innovation, with evidently much more to come. AI and cloud-enabled systems, which break the barrier to easily access huge amounts of computational power, already empower financial institutions to leverage a continuously growing amount of data from a wide variety of sources. AI algorithms, which have vastly improved in their accuracy and speed, can be applied to this data for a wide range of applications, from forecasting future events and behaviours more effectively to enabling actionable insights. These AI-powered tools can help firms to conduct ‘what-if’ analyses (which are critical in terms of forecasting the w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com

65


ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

effects of potential changes in business strategies) with increased accuracy, better manage risk and adherence to compliance and regulatory requirements in an increasingly complex landscape, and empower customers to make smarter, data-driven decisions. Leveraging the benefits and power of AI is a necessary choice for organisations in the financial industry, as our research finds that organisations already on the AI journey are outperforming others by up to 5% on factors 66

like productivity, performance and business outcomes. This is a huge positive impact for any organisation’s

“Within financial services, 61% of the industry is already either currently using AI or plan to adopt AI applications within the next 12 months” — Kate Rosenshine, Cloud Solution Architect Manager of Data and AI, Microsoft

bottom line, especially in the financial industry in what is quickly becoming one of the world’s most complex and competitive landscapes. Over the next two years customers,

to bring truly innovative experiences to their customers and employees.

will continue to have more choices and

and evolve, especially as AI will become

How do you believe that smaller financial companies should build trust of AI with their customers – is this harder to do than for a major bank with a loyal existing customer base?

more embedded in our core systems.

As more and more critical AI systems

It will be only those that continuously

come into our lives, organisations of all

and fully embrace AI that will be able

shapes and sizes will have an increas-

will become increasingly attuned to their power over their financial decisions. It will be crucial for organisations to start harnessing the power of AI to innovate

FEBRUARY 2019


67

ing amount of responsibility towards

First, it is important for financial

our society. Some of these organisations

organisations to establish a clear set

have already started to face pressures

of ethical guidelines and frameworks

with regards to data privacy and security,

around the use of AI to instil confidence

leading to an increasing lack of consum-

and build trust. A recent House of Lords

er trust and reputational crises. There-

report titled ‘AI in the UK: ready, willing

fore, when organisations, large or small

and able?’ highlights the need for “ethics

seek to embrace AI they must take an

to take centre stage in AI’s development

ethical first approach and recognise

and use”, and our research shows that

their great responsibility. So how do

those who begin their AI journey by

they do this?

creating core ethical values are 28% w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com


ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

“Our research finds that organisations already on the AI journey are outperforming others by up to 5% on factors like productivity, performance and business outcomes” — Kate Rosenshine, Cloud Solution Architect Manager of Data and AI, Microsoft

68

more likely to seek to improve the world

consequences and malicious misuse

and make life better in the UK.

of these technologies.

Building public trust in AI will be an

More than ever, companies need to

important factor in allowing both organ-

make a conscious effort to help people

isations and consumers to benefit . With

understand AI through public education.

this, financial organisations must create

AI will need to be accessible to every-

new systems and control measures to

one, and the public will also need to be

ensure they are transparent as to where

educated to ensure that we are focusing

and how they are using AI to make

on solving the right problems and not

decisions, as well as prevent unintended

inadvertently creating biases in our

FEBRUARY 2019


69

systems. While major banks may have

approach to AI is essential to building

larger existing customer bases, AI and

trust. According to our research, those

its transformational abilities are unprec-

organisations that start their AI journey

edented and so organisations of all sizes

with an ethical and transparent first

must adapt to being more open. Only

approach can outperform those that

then will they gain people’s trust and

don’t by up to 9% - an opportunity that

only then will the use of AI really flourish

no organisation can afford to miss.

and transform the financial industry. From the impact of workers to data protection and security, taking an ethical w w w.f i nte c hma ga z i n e. com


T O P 10

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FEBRUARY 2019


TOP 10 71

In September, analyst firm Envision Intelligence predicted growth in the global fintech market to be as high as 74% by 2025. FinTech Magazine takes a look at the top 10 fintech startups set to disrupt the industry this year, according to CB Insights WRITTEN BY

HARRY MENEAR

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T O P 10

72

10 Plaid Technologies Based in San Francisco, Plaid Technologies was founded in 2013 with the goal of “democratising financial services through technology.” The company’s offerings are centred around a toolkit that protects interactions and data exchanges between customers, banks and third-party applications. Currently the startup has thousands of customers that use its API suite to create applications. Officially valued at US$2.65bn, Plaid achieved unicorn status in December, making it the youngest unicorn in the top 10.

https://plaid.com/company

FEBRUARY 2019


73

09 Circle “Crypto powered. People centric.” Bringing the power of the digital ledger to the customer base at large is at the centre of Bostonbased fintech startup Circle’s mission. Founded in 2013 by Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville, Circle offers four products: Circle Invest, which simplifies investing in cryptocurrencies for the average user; Circle Pay, a peer-to-peer payment platform; Circle Trade, a cryptocurrency trading platform that processes $2bn worth of crypto payments per month; and Poloneix, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Circle obtained unicorn status in May 2018, and is currently valued at $3bn.

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08 Credit Karma Also based in San Francisco, Credit Karma offers its customers free credit scores, credit monitoring services and insights, as well as free tax return assistance. The company was founded in 2007 by Kenneth Lin, Ryan Graciano and Nichole Mustard, with the goal of bringing “transparency and simplicity to the credit industry.� It attained unicorn status in September 2009, making it the oldest unicorn on the top 10 list, and is currently valued at $3.5bn. Credit Karma is primarily funded by Felicis Ventures, SV Angel and Founders Fund.

www.creditkarma.com FEBRUARY 2019


75

07 Nubank The only South American fintech startup in the top 10, Nubank is headquartered in San Paolo, Brazil and functions as a tech-driven alternative to traditional financial service providers. Founded in 2013, Nubank’s primary product offering is a zero-interest credit card, as well as a digital bank account and, as of December, a debit function on its card. The company is currently aiming to reach 120mn customers in 2019, particularly in demographics without access to banking services and credit cards. Nubank achieved unicorn status in March 2018 and is currently valued at $4bn.

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T O P 10

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06 SoFi Founded in 2011, SoFi (Social Finance) is headquartered in San Francisco and provides student loan refinancing, mortgages and personal loans. Due to its online-only structure, SoFi can offer loans at lower cost. In January 2018, Twitter COO Anthony Noto became the CEO of SoFi. The company achieved unicorn status in February 2015 and is currently valued at $4.5bn.

www.sofi.com

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05 Robinhood Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, Robinhood Markets Inc was co-founded by Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt in 2013. The company’s app allows users to easily buy, sell and trade stocks in publicly traded companies and exchange-traded funds on US stock exchanges without paying commission. Zerocommission trading, twinned with the accessibility of its platform interface, has seen the company grow to serve over 2mn users. Robinhood attained unicorn status in April, 2017 and is currently valued at $5.6bn.

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T O P 10

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04 Coinbase Reportedly exceeding $1bn in revenue in 2017, Coinbase has been hailed as the “most user-friendly onramp to the cryptocurrency world� by Forbes. The company operates a digital wallet service that allows user to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin with over 10mn other users worldwide. Coinbase was founded in 2012 by Fred Ehrsam and current CEO Brian Armstrong. The company is based in San Francisco, achieved unicorn status in August, 2017 and is currently valued at $8bn.

www.coinbase.com

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03 One97 India’s only entry to the fintech startup top 10, One97 Communications is headquartered in Noida and operates e-commerce payment system and digital wallet, Paytm. The Paytm brand also operates its own e-commerce retail platform, Paytm Mall, which sells electronics, groceries, fashion goods and motor vehicles, in the vein of Amazon’s online store. One97 achieved unicorn status in May 2015 and is valued at $10bn.

https://paytm.com

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T O P 10

02 Stripe Headquartered in San Francisco, Stripe has established itself as a leader in providing digital infrastructure for online payments. The company’s platform processes billions of dollars across hundreds of thousands of businesses, according to Forbes. “Whether 80

you’re creating a subscription service, an on-demand marketplace, an e-commerce store, or a crowdfunding platform, Stripe’s meticulously designed APIs and unmatched functionality help you create the best possible product for your users.” Founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison in 2010, Stripe’s valuation doubled in late 2018, up to $20bn from its valuation of $9.2bn in September of the same year.

https://stripe.com

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T O P 10

01 Lufax Based in Shanghai, Lufax (also known as Lu.com) operates an online peer-to-peer lending service, in addition to its online finance marketplace, which focuses on providing lending services to small-tomedium enterprises and individuals. Founded in 2011, Lufax is currently the 82

second-largest p2p lender in China. The company is primarily funded by Ping An Insurance and the Bank of China. Achieving unicorn status in 2014, it is the second oldest company and unicorn on the top 10. Lufax is currently valued at $38bn, slightly less than the company was aiming for in its December valuation, but more than double the estimated valuation when the company began its last round of funding in June 2018.

www.lu.com

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EVENTS & A S S O C I AT I O N S

The biggest industry events and conferences EDITED BY OLIVIA MINNOCK from around the world

11–13 MARCH 2019

MoneyLIVE Spring

84

19–20 MARCH 2019

[ MADRID, SPAIN ]

Deep Learning in Finance Summit

Held at the Meliá Avenida América

[ LONDON, UK ]

hotel in Madrid, this event consists of

Held at St Paul’s in London, the Deep

two conferences bringing together

Learning in Finance Summit is set to

over 150 companies and 350 attend-

host 30 speakers and 200 attendees for

ees from 40 countries around the

discussions around data mining, finan-

world. With one conference covering

cial forecasting, stock market prediction,

cards and payments and another cov-

blockchain and more. Pitched at data

ering retail banking, there is something

scientists, financial regulators, CTOs

for everyone in the financial technol-

and data engineers, the event promises

ogy space. Topics up for discussion

over 12 hours’ worth of networking

this year include open APIs, customer

opportunities. Confirmed speakers for

engagement, FinTech, IoT, tokenisa-

the event include Angel Serrano, Head

tion and security. Attendees can hear

of Data Science at Santander UK;

from various expert speakers over the

Neal Lathina, Senior Data Scientist at

course of the event, including Ignacio

Monzo; Jessica Lennard, Director of

Juliá Vilar, Global Head of Retail at

External Affairs, Data Science Lab at

ING, and Christian Schäfer, Global

Visa; and AJ Hashim, Head of Innova-

Head of Payments at Deutsche Bank.

tion & Emerging Tech at Barclays.

Click to visit website

www.re-work.co

FEBRUARY 2019


10–11 APRIL 2019

Dublin Tech Summit 03–04 APRIL 2019

[ DUBLIN, IRELAND ]

IP Expo Manchester

Dublin Tech Summit is one of the larg-

[ MANCHESTER, UK ]

est technology conferences in Europe,

Cybersecurity is a vital issue for fin-

promising a plethora of influential tech

tech leaders especially, and this event

leaders. 2019’s cohort include Werner

is the UK’s biggest IT and cybersecu-

Vogels, CTO of Amazon.com, Douglas

rity event outside of London. 2019 will

Terrier, CTO of NASA, and Mihai Alisie,

mark the fifth iteration of the event

co-founder of Ethereum. Attending

which is made up of professionals in

companies and partners at the Tech

cloud, infrastructure and cybersecu-

Summit include Airbnb, Amazon, Micro-

rity. This year, it hopes to include more

soft, Google, SAP and Facebook. The

topics surrounding data analytics, AI,

event takes place at the Convention

software development, IoT and Block-

Centre in Dublin’s Docklands area, just

chain. With sponsors including Cisco

20 minutes from the city’s international

and Sophos, speakers at the event

airport. This event explores technology

will range from Dr Nicola Millard,

transformation and the impact of digital

Head of Customer Insights & Futures

disruption across many industries and

at BT, to Chris Testa-O’Neill, Data

as such offers valuable perspective for

Scientist at Microsoft.

the fintech leader.

Click to visit website

dublintechsummit.com

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EVENTS & A S S O C I AT I O N S

21–22 MAY 2019

ICT Spring Europe

86

03–05 JUNE 2019

[ LUXEMBOURG ]

Money 20/20 Europe

This year, ICT Spring Europe promises

[ AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS ]

to focus on three key topics: digitalisa-

Boasting over 6,000 attendees and

tion, space and of course fintech. As

2,000 companies from around 82 dif-

such, attendees can expect to hear

ferent countries, over the course of the

about AI, insurtech, venture capital, IoT,

three-day event more than 490 speak-

telecommunications and satellites, and

ers are set to deliver around 80 hours

even human migration to space. The

of insightful content. Money 20/20 dubs

two-day conference is made up of over

itself as “where the payments, fintech

5,000 key decision makers across vari-

and financial services industries come

ous business sectors. ICT Spring is held

together to connect and build the future

at the European Convention Centre,

of money.” Attendees are promised origi-

just minutes from Luxembourg airport,

nal content on both a regional and global

and the event programme is packed

scale, breaking news announcements,

with seminars, presentations, entertain-

product launches, networking opportuni-

ment and networking opportunities.

ties and access to exciting startups and

In 2018, notable speakers were Xavier

innovators. 2018’s Europe event featured

Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg;

prominent speakers including Ralph

Susan Coleman, a Managing Director

Hamers, CEO of ING Group; Andy

at PwC; and John Thornhill, Innovation

Maguire, Group COO of HSBC; and

Editor at the Financial Times.

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple.

www.ictspring.com

Click to visit website

FEBRUARY 2019


OCTOBER 2019

Finovate Asia 19–20 JUNE 2019

[ VENUE TBC ]

Blockchain Expo Europe

Following on from the success of 2018’s

[ AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS ]

event in Hong Kong as part of the city-

Blockchain Expo is a series of confer-

state’s Fintech Week, advance tickets

ences which take place in Europe and

are already on sale for 2019 which

North America. A total of four co-located

promises 600+ attendees, 20+ firms

events throughout the year welcome

offering demonstrations and 80+ expert

over 36,000 attendees, over 1000

speakers for a mix of speeches and

speakers and over 1000 exhibitors. The

panels. Finovate Asia advertises the

Europe Expo takes place at RAI Amster-

opportunity for attendees to “meet the

dam with 10,000 guests expected.

fintechs, platform players, financial

Notable speakers on the agenda come

institutions, regulators and investors

from Maersk, Gucci, Volkswagen, Shell

who are redefining the future of finan-

and IBM as the conference looks at the

cial services.” Notable speakers in 2018

many uses of this disruptive technology.

attended from Danske Bank, AXA Lab,

Topics to be discussed over the two-day

Accenture, Bank of America and Alipay.

event include cryptofinance, blockchain

Click to visit website

for enterprise, cybersecurity and supply chain management.

www.blockchain-expo.com

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88

AXA Singapore: a customer centric digital transformation WRIT TEN BY

CATHERINE S TURM AN PRODUCED BY

A LE X PAGE


ASIA

89

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AXA SINGAPORE

We spoke with AXA Singapore’s Chief Operating Officer, Eric Lelyon about developing customer centric products and services for its digitally savvy consumers

T

he Singaporean market is witnessing significant demand for life and health insurance products. Gaining double digit

growth across all product types, the life insurance market paid out more than S$5bn to policyholders and beneficiaries in 2017, with health insurance premiums also totalling S$374mn for YTD Q42017. 90

Singaporeans are now living to over 80 years of age, where longer lifespans, rising healthcare costs and an increased demand for new digital tools have placed increased pressures on existing insurance incumbents As part of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s efforts to attract foreign investment to further ignite its economy, insurtech startups have brought new business models to the table, as well as new digital technologies, such as chatbots and mobile apps, helping insurance giants to step up to the challenge and remain competitive. Transforming its service delivery across an entire gamut of insurance services, from Life & Savings, to Health and Property & Casualty, AXA Group has invested in overhauling its outdated processes and adopting a new digital approach in order to cater towards this growing demand. FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

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AXA SINGAPORE

“We are very proud of our digital transformation projects, where we have up to 90% adoption rate on our sales” — Eric Lelyon, Chief Operating Officer 92

“Every one of our competitors is

well as its IT and transformation

utilising self-service tools. At AXA

projects, Lelyon has also sought to

Singapore, we deal with all lines of

protect customer data as part of his

business,” explains Eric Lelyon, Chief

role as Data Privacy Officer. As the

Operating Officer, AXA Singapore.

customer’s need for personalised,

“We have competitors within life

digital services continue to grow at

insurance and general insurance, such

scale, it will remain imperative for AXA

as motor, travel, home and health, but

to adopt customer-centric engage-

all of them are trying to sell directly to

ment strategies to win and retain the

the consumer or tying up with partners

trust of its customers, and embed a

to create a digital ecosystem.”

blended approach in delivering person-

Responsible for insurance policy, AXA’s local customer call centre, as FEBRUARY 2019

alised products and services at a corporate and individual level.


ASIA

CLICK TO WATCH : AXA IN REAL LIFE REPORT 93

“In Singapore, our life insurance

choices and convenience for custom-

segment has been auto-equipped

ers. We are equipping our sales force

with Digital technologies across sales,

with innovative digital tools to engage

services and marketing. We are very

and close a case with customers in

proud of our digital transformation

minutes,� he says.

projects, where we have up to 90%

In order to reduce paperwork and

adoption rate on our sales tool. Our

enable faster policy issuance turna-

agents are selling most of our prod-

round, the business has therefore

ucts online, which will bring significant

worked to overhaul its backend

advantages. The next step for us will

capabilities and upgraded its outdated

be an offline version, which we will be

systems to provide not only cost-effi-

launching shortly, enabling agents to

ciency, but to minimise human error

sell faster, better and offer more

and deliver exceptional support to w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


121 System

An award-winning Point-of-Sale platform used by leading insurers to complete their end-to-end sales and service journeys

Financial Needs Analysis

Product Recommendation & Quotation

Product Comparison

Application & Submission

Underwriting

Policy Issuance

Sell insurance anytime, anywhere with/without internet

Speedy policy issuance

Simple and intuitive user experience & interface

Paperless Straight Through Processing (STP)

Fast insurance product configuration & launch

Ensure regulatory compliance

End-to-end sales processes

Cross platform iOS/ Android/Web

sales@eabsystems.com +852 2576 6000 www.eabsystems.com


ASIA

95

its digital savvy customers. “There was a lot of transformation

customers. By taking an in-depth look at its distribution models, it has overhauled

in the backend because we didn’t need

a number of its processes, leveraging

anyone to do the processing anymore,

new technologies along the way.

but we did need to factor in regulatory

“With our life insurance, our agents

checks. However, we are now looking

make up more than two thirds of the

to change our back-end system as

business. We also sell insurance to the

well, for a system more flexible and

post offices, for example, as well as

cheaper to implement a new product,”

financial advisors (FA). We are also

states Lelyon.

exploring the increased value of APIs

Reducing its dependence on legacy

through an Insurance as a Service

systems and bringing a complete

proposition. We can do much more

omnichannel experience to the table,

on the General Insurance side, selling

AXA has sought to fully empower its

direct to the customer through the w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


AXA SINGAPORE

96

FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

AXA GROUP

€98.5bn Approximate revenue

1985 Year founded 160,000 The approximate number of AXA employees

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97


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ASIA

“With our life insurance, our agents make up more than two thirds of the business. We also sell insurance to the post offices, for example, as well as financial advisors (FA)” — Eric Lelyon, Chief Operating Officer

99

phone or through digital means, but the

ties of consumer data. Investing in

intermediary must always remain. We

the development of a new security

are investing in checking-up on the cus-

protocols to safeguard all data under

tomer, ascertaining their needs before

its portfolio, AXA has partnered with

moving to a business process,” he says.

KPMG, undertaking a number of

Investing in new technologies and

assessments to ensure its effective-

business processes, the growing

ness, as well as implemented cloud

number of cyber-attacks is an area of

technology to further secure all

focus which has remained firmly on top

customer-related information.

of the agenda for AXA. High-profile

However, such change is not without

breaches have led to increased fears

its challenges. Transforming its organi-

on an international scale, particularly

sational structure and processes has

for businesses which hold vast quanti-

no doubt led to a cultural seachange w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


AXA SINGAPORE

A X A S ING A P OR E

100

Gaining double digit growth across all product types, the life insurance market in Singapore paid out more than S$5bn to policyholders and beneficiaries in 2017

AXA has sought to fully empower its customers. By taking an indepth look at its distribution models, it has overhauled its processes, leveraging new technologies along the way.

Singaporeans are now living to over 80 years of age, where longer lifespans, rising healthcare costs and an increased demand for new digital tools have placed increased pressures on traditional insurance companies

Two years ago, we rolled out an ambitious initiative locally for our front to back office transformation. We chose EAB Systems, HK as our lead system implementation partner and moved to the cloud for increased agility

AXA Group has invested in overhauling its outdated processes and adopting a new digital approach in order to cater towards this growing demand

We are utilising technologies from Kofax, Couchbase and Red Hat, choosing local software to complement our cloud-based solution

In order to reduce paperwork and enable faster claims turnaround, the business has worked to overhaul its backend capabilities to provide not only cost-efficiency, but to deliver exceptional support to its digital savvy customers

FEBRUARY 2019

We have onboarded about 1200 agents across different channels and launched all of AXA’s key products (21 in number) within an astounding one year time frame. We are now rolling this out across FA channel and this is the 1st time that AXA is opening STP solution for this group of distributors.


ASIA

101

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AXA SINGAPORE

102

at AXA, where the move towards digital

areas where we have the new operat-

integration has created a ripple effect

ing model and the old operating model

across its operations.

working next together, it is not efficient

“We are using this fantastic new tool to allow straight-forward process where there is a lot of change at the

with regards to cost efficiency,” explains Lelyon. “I am working with two hands – one

organisation and the people who are

is to be definitive to the lives of our

working for us. At the same time that

customers and to go faster to enable

we are launching this new tool we need

a positive customer experience. The

to decommission the legacy. We are

second is to do with cost control, where

eradicating all the old tools one by one

I am looking at this further. The work

which will make us more agile. None-

will show it really has been the teams

theless, because we’ve got so many

of people in our company that are

FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

“With an emphasis on innovation, AXA will continually make insurance personal and simple at every touch point, utilising omnichannel data and solutions to better address the current and future needs of its customers” — Eric Lelyon, Chief Operating Officer

103

really understanding this and where

more services to the customer, particu-

we are moving to.”

larly on the health side where we are

With an emphasis on innovation,

exploring a growing interest in health

AXA will continually make insurance

and wellness solutions. We are really

personal and simple at every touch

excited about transforming our IT

point, utilising omnichannel data and

ecosystem, build stronger relation-

solutions to better address the current

ships with our customers where we

and future needs of its customers,

can take care of them.”

moving from a payer to a partner. “What AXA is trying to move to is more servicing. We want to become a partner of the customer, rather than a payer,” notes Lelyon. “We want to offer w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


Generali: 104

A customer-centric insurance provider fuelled by digital disruption WRIT TEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN PRODUCED BY

A LE X PAGE

FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

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GENERALI

Generali has made a name for itself as one of largest global insurance providers. Now, it’s taking on one of its biggest digital transformations yet to sustain its customer-centric reputation

106

W

orldwide, it seems the insurance sector is on the cusp of momentous change and nowhere can this be seen better than at

Assicurazioni Generali. Offering everything from corporate insurance to life and health insurance, Generali has quickly become a household name, often cited as being Europe’s third-largest insurer, the leading insurer in Italy and the second largest in Germany. Now, it’s earning its stripes for another key facet of the business: the further innovation and digital transformation process, as stated in the new Group Strategy. At its Global Corporate & Commercial division, a specialised unit within the company, Generali provides services such as property and casualty insurance to complex multinationals and large domestic commercial entities alike. Hayden Seach, Head of Global Corporate & Commercial Asia, is convinced that this digital transformation is not only FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

107

helping the company better manage its portfolio and relationships, but it’s also helping it deliver more informed risk management to its clients. Historically, insurance has been associated with a product or contract between a customer and their insurance company covering risk. In stark contrast, Generali believes it offers services beyond this, going the extra mile to deliver a service-orientated experience for its customers. “We focus on providing service-led propositions,” Seach explains, “therefore we position w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


GENERALI

“At Generali, our focus is on being agile, flexible and adaptable so we can meet the needs of our clients” Hayden Seach, Head of Generali Global Corporate & Commercial Asia

108

FEBRUARY 2019

ourselves as a company that responds to customers’ needs as a partner, rather than selling them an insurance policy or product.” Technology has undoubtedly been a key part of this strategy, and so Generali has devised a careful digital transformation plan to ensure its customers get the top-class service they deserve every time. “At Generali, our focus is on being agile,


ASIA

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘THE EMERGING RISK – GENERALI GROUP’ 109 flexible and adaptable so we can meet

a global level. Generali is also using

the needs of our clients in a timely

a customer relationship management

manner,” adds Seach.

(CRM) tool from Microsoft Dynamics

At GC&C, digital tools involve data

which allows it to manage and maintain

consolidation, business enablement,

customer relationships, track engage-

customer service and business

ments and sales, and deliver actionable

management. When it came to data,

data. Because Generali also provides

Seach says that the company “recog-

loss prevention and risk engineering

nised it had an enormous amount of

services to its customers, it has also

data available to it” as a multinational

utilised Maximo by IBM to make the

insurer but that it wasn’t effectively

related reports, actions and results

“leveraging this to its full potential”.

electronically available.

To promote data consolidation and

But data consolidation is only the

portfolio analytics, the business rolled

start. With its digitally-savvy mindset,

out a Corporate Data Warehouse at

Generali also plans to enable the w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


Trusted Digital Advisor We help insurers connect the dots across the globe and region – becoming customer-led, operationally smart Connected Enterprises

Anticipate tomorrow. Deliver today. kpmg.com/cn

Š 2019 KPMG Advisory (Hong Kong) Limited, a Hong Kong limited liability company and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. Printed in Hong Kong.


ASIA

business further with a home-grown

Underwriting Workbench which

system called Gen-e-risk, short for

supports the full underwriting process,

Generali eRisk system. “Providing

from request for quotation to the

multinational insurance solutions is

binding stage. In turn, Seach says this

a very complex process,” observes

will allow the firm to “deliver technical

Seach. “This system enables us

pricing, risk assessment and portfolio

to provide multinational insurance

management as well as offer geoloca-

solutions to large and complex

tion and tracking information”.

customers, across multiple territories,

Today, insurance businesses face

compliantly.” As part of its digital

a new hurdle: how to become more

transformation journey, Generali has

customer-centric. However, this seems

developed a new system called

to be a challenge which Generali is 111

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Hayden Seach Hayden currently holds the position of Head of Asia; for Generali Global Corporate and Commercial. He is also a member of the Board of Future Generali (India) Insurance Company Limited. Hayden has worked in the Insurance Industry for 25 years, holding various global and country leadership positions. Other board memberships he has held include: Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (Oman) SAOC, June 2010 — March 2011, Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (Middle East) Limited EC (alt), February 2009 — March 2011, and Glencairn Group (South Africa), August 2005 — December 2007.

w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


GENERALI

112

tackling with ease. “We take the data-

and premiums status. Additionally, the

driven insights that we have from the

business is launching an Electronic

Corporate Data Warehouse and we

Policy Insurance service. Aligned with

present it back to the customer, allowing

its green strategy, this roll-out also

them to view the performance of their

aims to “promote better policy

business,” notes Seach. “This enables

documentation management for the

them to create better risk management

customer”, according to Seach.

of their own business.” “We are also just about to launch

The fourth component of Generali’s digital transformation journey lies in

a Client & Broker web portal,” he adds,

business management. By consolidat-

highlighting how the service will offer

ing its data, Seach says it helped to

a documentary repository and will also

bring “full transparency” to the busi-

provide details on service delivery

ness, allowing it to better manage and

FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

113

“We position ourselves as a company that responds to customers’ needs, rather than selling them an insurance policy or a product” Hayden Seach, Head of Generali Global Corporate & Commercial Asia

track the performance of areas of the business like production, underwriting and finance. “Internally it provided us with a much better portfolio management capability,” he says. “The transparency of our portfolio has really enabled us to focus on profitability and portfolio performance. We’ve got a whole customer view, which has enabled us to deliver better results for our shareholders.” “I think another thing that I’m really proud that we’ve managed to deliver w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


GENERALI

is a more informed risk management to our customers,” he adds. “Our customers are able to get the claims data analytics that we provide.” This has had real-life, tangible impacts for customers, he asserts, citing a major multinational hotel chain as one key beneficiary. “We were able to analyse and present to them incidents which were happening within their hotels around the world. So, for example, one hotel had a slip-and-fall problem at one of their buffet lines. Using data 114

analytics, we were able to isolate the cause of the problem and help them design a risk management control.” In this instance, it meant implementing a service attendant rather than having a self-service model to prevent spillages. Indeed, Generali Global Corporate & Commercial has taken a forwardthinking approach to innovation, tapping into some of the latest technology trends shaking up the market. However, when the pace of innovation progresses at a rate of knots, how does the company keep up? “At GC&C Asia we’ve leveraged partners like KPMG who have been a fantastic supporter to us throughout our FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

journey,” Seach observes. “I think leveraging partnerships have really helped us drive our agenda as fast and effectively as the market requires.” But this isn’t the only challenge facing the company. Seach points out how his division also had to contend with legacy systems, the scale of change and the challenge of implementing this strategy worldwide. “It really requires a strong leadership focus to cascade this approach to the relevant teams within each of our businesses,” he says. It’s this strong guidance which will help the company it navigates a realm of new emerging technologies and strategies. “Leveraging robotics and other

“We’ve leveraged partners like KPMG who have been a fantastic supporter to us throughout our journey” Hayden Seach, Head of Generali Global Corporate & Commercial Asia

emerging technology is the next phase,” notes Seach. “Our value proposition requires a lot of analytics and feedback to our customers and we can’t underestimate the amount of work that goes into that. This technology will reduce the turnaround and customers will be able to receive more live-time data feedback on incidents so they can manage their own risks and exposures more effectively.” In the world of insurance, compliance is paramount and whilst Generali is already using w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m

115


GENERALI

160

Countries completed insurance solutions 116

71,000 Employees

1831

Year founded

FEBRUARY 2019


ASIA

tools like its CRM system and constant reviews to safeguard this, Seach highlights how the company is also exploring the use of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) for the future. Change is underfoot at Generali: the company is investigating the use of trailblazing new technologies and is working hard to nurture the right culture necessary for change but ultimately, for Seach and his team, the most important thing is to remain laser-focused on its service-led customer experience. “Our service beyond policy approach is something that we’re really proud of within Global Corporate & Commercial,” Seach reflects. “Looking forward, if we can continue to be the best deliverer of corporate insurance to our customer that would be something that I would be delighted with.” In order to do this, technology is set to be a vital part of Generali’s future strategy, but when the end-goal is customer-centricity, it’s by no means a silver bullet. Seach affirms that whilst technology is a “clear enabler” which can help make the company more customer-centric, it won’t ever “replace the face-to-face environments that we’ve prided ourselves on here at Generali”.

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FINTECH

119

Technology transformation to remain a trusted partner WRIT TEN BY

OLIVIA MINNOCK PRODUCED BY

JA MES PEPPER

w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


S A N TA N D E R

Banking behemoth Santander is undergoing a significant digital transformation in an evolving industry –– Andy Pearson and David Hayes explain how this improves the lives of customers and communities 120

P

art of the global Santander Group, Santander UK has become a mainstay of British banking, and is

a familiar sight on the UK high street with over 1,000 branches and 50 corporate business centres across the nation. Now, the finance giant is undergoing a significant digital transformation in order to improve the lives of its customers and their communities. Keen to explain this transformation and what it means to the bank were David Hayes, Chief Data Officer and Head of Data Services; and Andy Pearson, Managing Director of Santander UK Technology and Head of Digital Services. We caught up with the pair at Santander UK’s Milton Keynes office. Known throughout the UK as a ‘new town’ built almost from scratch just 50 years ago, Milton Keynes has a reputation for cuttingFEBRUARY 2019


FINTECH

edge modernity and so the location, as well as the office itself which has been revamped with colourful open spaces and well-lit breakout areas to promote collaboration between staff, truly reflects Santander’s personality as a decades-old institution which is still tech-driven and keenly keeps up with a changing sector and the rapid development of customer demands.

AN EVOLVING INDUSTRY Technology is disrupting every industry, and banking is no exception – but with organisations like Santander forming such an integral part of everyday life, present at key moments and within communities, this throws up unique challenges and opportunities in the sector. Hayes comments on the recent transformation of the industry: “Data has become prominent for many reasons. Here in banking, there’s a whole world of data at our fingertips that can help us improve the lives of our customers.” The entire industry is adapting to new technology, and indeed Hayes is an active participant in national organisation DataIQ Leaders as well as FIMA, an annual European conference on financial information management. Hayes also recently spoke to the Bank of England about how Santander leverages Big Data among other disruptive technologies. w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m

121


Transforming businesses to lead in the digital data economy New data solution gives faster answers.

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Some companies operate in highly regulated environments. For example, banking companies need to report on their deposit funds to the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme) to ensure their customers are covered in case of bankruptcy.

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everis was faced with a complex task: to create a unified and aggregated view of customers and products across multiple OpCos & large product portfolio scenarios. Many banking institutions do not have access to a golden customer or product record, and therefore joining disparate data sets is laborious and slow. In addition to this challenge is the regulator’s demanding SLA and required level of guaranteed accuracy for this unified view.

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In answer to the challenge, everis developed a new advanced Data Platform that provides a toolset and methodology to develop and deploy new data use cases. This toolset utilises the latest data & analytics technologies, which provide rapid and powerful results. We underpinned deployment automation with an integrated platform support service, ensuring reliable and faster delivery and operation of the new data asset. This new platform has been the backbone of multiple successful data transformation and regulatory reporting projects providing efficiency and scalability.

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VISIT OUR WEBSITE


FINTECH

“Customers are used to using Instagram and Facebook –– they’re used to instantaneous responses, so we need to be able to provide that. Our goal is to give a seamless, transparent journey to our customers” — Andy Pearson, Managing Director, Santander UK Technology

fundamental to banking and fundamental to what we do here. Our aspiration is to be the best open digital bank so we need to stay abreast of the latest developments and adapt to new ways of working, and be responsive to what the market and the customer needs.” Pearson cites two key elements of technology transformation: “One is how we interact with our customers – and the changes in the way we’re building applications for mobile… we’re looking to digitise the way we interact with our customers.” However, the second element comes from within: “We also need the right data at the back end, and to explore that data to make

“They’re on a very similar journey to us,

sure those interactions are as mean-

and were keen to discuss some cultural

ingful and insightful for our customers

and principle things Santander is doing

as they can be.

that they can learn from. As a whole, the

“Data is fundamental to both of these

banking industry is really taking these

things, and as we move forward increas-

technologies on,” he adds.

ing our understanding of data through AI and machine learning is key,” he

A TECHNOLOGY FOCUSED INSTITUTION

adds. “Customers are used to using

Santander is taking these industry

Instagram and Facebook – they’re

changes in its stride, all the while

used to instantaneous responses, so

focusing on the most important

we need to be able to provide that. Our

aspect: customer experience. As

goal is to give a seamless, transparent

Pearson explains: “Technology is

journey to our customers.” w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m

125


S A N TA N D E R

ALL ABOUT THE DATA Gathering as much data as possible can help to improve this customer journey – but only if the right tools are in place to make use of it. “Data gives us the ability to analyse and understand how our customers interact with us, so we can design processes more effectively,” Pearson explains. Within Santander too, it’s the data that makes the difference. “Big data has been absolutely transformational to us as an organisation. We partner with Cloudera to run our big data platform here in Santander UK. I was able 126

to understand through this collaboration that we don’t need to have silos of data going E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Andy Pearson is the Managing Director of Santander UK Technology Engineering and Head of Digital Services. After a successful career in consultancy, he joined Santander in 2006 and held senior roles in IT during Santander’s integration of other UK banks. In 2015 he took the lead of the engineering and delivery division which he brought into the digital era. Now, Pearson is driving the transformation of Santander UK into an agile organisation bringing the business, operations and technology teams together under a domain-driven and service-driven model.

FEBRUARY 2019


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127

forward – and if you get rid of silos, you

A TRUSTED MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY

can truly transform the way people

“Communities are really important to

across the organisation behave.”

us in Santander,” Hayes emphases.

Santander’s use of data reflects its

“Santander has targets to make sure

commitment to its customers, as well as

everyone takes part in community work,

how integral a part the bank plays in

be that abroad or locally.” Indeed,

people’s everyday lives and in wider

recently a group from the Milton Keynes

communities. “The human element is

office returned from building classrooms

really key, particularly if you’re making

in Cambodia, whilst raising money for

difficult financial decisions,” says Hayes.

charities closer to home, Age UK and

“If you’re going to take out a mortgage

Barnardo’s, and last year Hayes himself

which is going to shape your life and your

spent some time helping a local food

spending for the next 25 years, you need

bank. “The motivation you get from

to trust and know that you can rely on us.”

making a real difference in your local w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


FINTECH

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘TRUST IN BANKING AT SANTANDER UK WITH CDO DAVID HAYES AND MD ANDY PEARSON’ 129 area is great, and is very healthy for an

in different parts of the organisation.”

organisation like Santander,” he adds.

This commitment to communities

In addition, Santander as a global

reflects the trust which Pearson is keen

organisation is busy strengthening its

to emphasise as integral to Santander.

commitment to the UK with a revamp

“Trust is a really strong foundation – secu-

of its Milton Keynes site and a brand-

rity is important because our customers

new £75mn office in Bootle, Liverpool,

have entrusted us with their information.

which is set to house 2,500 staff. “These

Security is fundamental for any bank,”

are historic sites for Alliance and

he explains. “We have a design principle

Leicester and Abbey National. The UK

of building security from the bottom up,

bank is one of the biggest elements

and going forward the banking industry

of the Santander group and we’re very

has the opportunity to build on that trust.

committed to our UK base,” Hayes

There are new value propositions we can

explains. “We’ve got 14mn active

explore here, and indeed for the wider

customers here and over 20,000 staff

banking industry, to provide identity w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


S A N TA N D E R

management for the wider market. “Customers are trusting us with their data. We need to verify identities for a whole variety of regions – so there are opportunities for a bank as that trusted partner within the wider industry, and that’s something we need to look at going forward.” This strong culture of trust, community and collaboration runs through every aspect of the business, not least the relationship Santander maintains with its vendors and partners, all of which have equally stringent principles on security and much more. 130 “When we work with a third party, we try to make sure we work in partnership with them,” he emphasises. “We spend a fair bit of time making sure they have the right fit for us, both culturally and architecturally.” “Part of our methodology is to see, experiment, improve concepts, test and learn before we take a leap into particular technologies,” says Pearson. “Experimentation and building that collaborative relationship is important in understanding we’re working with the right partners moving forward.” Alongside Cloudera, a leading platform for Big Data and data science which enables Santander to become data driven, the bank works with a variety of carefully selected partners that have been critical for its ongoing digital transformation. FEBRUARY 2019


FINTECH

This includes Microstrategy, which provides an enterprise wide platform for Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics; NuoDB, a cloud database for digital applications that can run on premise; Pivotal, a technology development company that provides platforms and tools enabling organisations to develop digital experiences; and Everis, a consultancy providing business and technology solutions for mission critical challenges.

THE RIGHT CULTURE Throughout the significant technology transformation Santander continues to undergo within a changing industry, its E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

David Hayes is Santander UK Chief Data Officer and Head of Data Services. He is a recognised leader in the data industry with a long career in different areas of Santander UK. He has been driving the cultural change about data in Santander UK since he was appointed as CDO in 2014. Hayes is passionate about what data can do to create value for customers and communities and thus is transforming data into a commonplace asset that everyone in Santander can use to help customers, always with the utmost awareness to governance, privacy and security.

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131


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FINTECH

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘ANDY PEARSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF SANTANDER UK TALKS TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORMATION’ 133 people remain key, and managing the significant culture changes transforma-

brought together to drive change.” Ensuring that these skills are in place

tion brings is vital. “It’s easy to underes-

across the organisation, Santander is

timate the amount of impact that cultural

also committed to diversity, such as

change has on the ability to make

ensuring a mix of men and women in the

technology change,” Hayes reflects.

tech-led organisation. “Gender diversity

“We run change management pro-

is very important to us,” says Pearson.

grammes and provide training, but of

“We were a founding signatory of the

course we have some way to go. We’re

HMRC Women in Finance Charter. We

on a journey. One thing we have to do

know that in the industry about 17-20%

is to articulate data as a profession;

of roles in technology are filled by women.

understand and appreciate the different

We’re fortunate that we have about 30%

elements of that. There are very

of our roles filled by women – however,

different skillsets that come in – soft

we currently only have 19% in senior

skills and technical skills need to be

roles, so our goal is to get that to 25% w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


S A N TA N D E R

Cloud. Containers.

Culture.

Transform your business, not just your IT.


FINTECH

135 by 2022. Role models are very important,” he adds. “We are participating in the Thirty Per Cent Coalition where we have role models, both men and women, to mentor women in our organisation, and women at Santander are being mentored by those from other organisations.”

TECHNOLOGIES OF THE FUTURE In addition to Big Data being fundamental to Santander’s offering and the care it can provide each and every customer and community, the bank will continue to explore other technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


S A N TA N D E R

capabilities and more. “Machine learning

learning. Now we have that core data

is a technology we’re exploring with some

platform, that’s going to allow us to

gusto at Santander,” says Hayes. “So far,

explore these new technologies

it’s been important from an operational

increasingly as we go forward.”

efficiency perspective. It’s going to change the way we work, the way we

community all keep a finger on the pulse

think, the decisions we go through, the

of new developments in the evolving

speed at which we interact with our

industry, with Open Banking set to take

customers and the offering we can give

centre stage. “That changes the game

them – but to embed machine learning

for us,” says Hayes. “Data is an asset

we need to make sure it’s built with great

and this allows competitors to build on

data engineering to sit behind it.”

assets we’ve got – when you then throw

Pearson adds: “Establishing our big 136

Hayes, Pearson and the Santander

in the capability to build AI or run machine

data ecosystem is key to us. We’re still

learning algorithms, the opportunity

early on in our journey of AI and machine

through technology is massive.”

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘DAVID HAYES, HEAD OF DATA AT SANTANDER UK TALKS CHANGE CULTURE MANAGEMENT’

FEBRUARY 2019


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“Here in banking,there’s a whole world of data at our fingertips that can help us improve the lives of our customers” — David Hayes, CDO, Santander

137 Pearson, too, cites Open Banking as one of “a whole series of regulatory activities that are changing the face of

customers are and how to be more relevant in their day-to-day activities.” Overall, Hayes concludes that the

the banking industry”. He adds: “The

centuries-old banking industry will

making available of information about

fundamentally transform with Santander

customers to a whole range of new

at the fore. “I firmly believe that technol-

players is going to fundamentally change

ogy will completely change banking in

the way customers interact with financial

the next 20 years. The challenge for

organisations. There will be new players

the industry will be to embrace those

– and as a bank, we need to respond to

technologies – and the winners will be

that. We need to measure the experienc-

those who can do that in a way which is

es we build, and remain relevant for our

right for the customer.”

customers as we support their goals in life. Opening up banking data gives us opportunities to understand who our w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


ADYEN

138

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Adyen has witnessed exponential growth over the last four years and has recently launched its IPO in Amsterdam. Jussi Lindberg, SVP of Business Development in Northern Europe, tells us more WRITTEN BY

CATHERINE STURMAN

PRODUCED BY

JAMES PEPPER

w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m

139


ADYEN

T

he payment service provider (PSP) market is booming. Mass globalisation has led consumers to demand

access to products and services with the ability to pay across a number of different channels at the click of a button. Tackling the challenges that businesses experience within this space is Adyen. Partnering with a number of popular streaming services, such as Facebook, Spotify, Netflix, and more, its integrated platform enables payments to be undertaken through 140

any channel and processed on a single platform. Such has been the relentlessness of the company’s growth, its processed volume growth has risen from €12bn ($14bn) on an annual basis to a staggering €108bn ($125bn) in 2017. Shares have also surged up to 90% upon the launch of its IPO in Europe. Four years previously, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Northern Europe, Jussi Lindberg, wanted to gain a greater understanding of how Adyen was setting itself apart from other payment providers. “When working at PayPal, Adyen was a partner that had the fastest growth ever when it came to the PSP space. I had to know what the secret sauce was. Why were they giving so much volume to us at PayPal? FEBRUARY 2019

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘‘W SVP OF BUSINES


WHAT IS ADYEN?’ JUSSI LINDBERG, SS DEVELOPMENT EXPLAINS’

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141

After working a bit more closely with Adyen I found the company was really something extraordinary,” he explains. “Adyen was building something more quickly than anybody else, but at the same time helping businesses globally scale in a different manner than anyone had been doing previously.” Shortly after, Lindberg joined the company in 2014.

OUTSTANDING COLLABORATION Working with businesses as a payments partner, Adyen seeks to w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


OMNICHANNEL. REDEFINED. Enable AfterPay and allow your consumers to pay frictionless in any touch point you want. One off transactions, consolidated or subscription based transactions, it’s all up to you. *The image above is a conceptual sketch.


WILL YOUR BRAND BE RUN OVER BY A SELF-DRIVEN CAR? How can a self-driving car affect my brand you might wonder? And it’s a valid question. The answer lies in how everything changes when we move from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat.

No. This level of experience effectively hides all transactions, invisible payments, and to some extent the service providers as well. That can sound pretty scary in a world where the biggest struggle is to not just be seen – but remembered.

Not like the commuting of today – with people going from one place to another with occasional stops in

There is a solution, though. Pay After Delivery, PAD.

between – but in an AI powered vehicle that is perfectly aware of your interests, schedule and needs.

What started as a consumer need driven by skepticism about online purchases, and then evolved to a pre-filled

“That can sound pretty scary in a world where the biggest struggle is to not just be seen – but remembered” Imagine an ordinary day, you leave your home and get into ‘your’ car. You sit down and get into prepping your day at the office, in the car that is fitted to support focused working. Then your car stops by Starbucks and rolls down your window. The staff hand you your freshly made morning coffee, just as you like it. The car rolls away as you finish off the last of your prep as you sip your coffee looking out the window. After work the car picks you up again. As you summarize the day the car quietly stops by the grocery store, and a bag with your home essentials is placed in the trunk. Finally, you are home, work done, shopping done and a nice evening with your family lies ahead.

mobile first conversion driver. Pay After Delivery is now entering its third phase of relevance thanks to its perfect fit for consolidating invisible payments and support for subscription based business models. In addition, it brings with it a new platform for merchants to promote brand awareness and loyalty: the post purchase experience. This gives you as a merchant extraordinary exposure to the consumers’ eye, where others are invisible. Whether it’s the coffee in your car, in a shop or your intelligent washing machine ordering a detergent refill, Pay After Delivery is a payment method that will increase in relevance the more your business addresses the omnichannel challenges. No expiring cards. No 3D Secure validation. No obstacles, and your brand stands out. Can you afford not to employ a PAD service?

Does it sound like science fiction? Really? Remember back in 2006 – before the iPhone was launched – if I had told you that the phone would be the most important platform for shopping…? Today major car companies are partnering up with merchants to provide all of the above and more. Business models are changing. Consolidation and Subscription is the name of the game. So what does this have to do with your brand? Well, did you note any passages saying “and then you leaned out the window to pay”?

Patrik Vikner Head of User Experience – AfterPay


ADYEN

“When working at PayPal, Adyen was a partner that had the fastest growth ever when it came to the PSP space. I had to know what the secret sauce was” — JUSSI LINDBERG, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Northern Europe

144

collaborate with them to plan how they

equates to 120 different vendor

can successfully scale.

relations, technical connections, and

“Businesses want to take the next future step to sell anywhere, at any

also reporting lines. “This is just not feasible as nobody

time, via any channel to anyone

has the bandwidth to take this on,

globally. So, the world is shrinking,”

especially in the payment space,” he

says Lindberg.

adds. “Companies want to be focusing

“We’re also seeing consolidation in

on increasing net promoter scores;

the types of vendors. Beforehand, the

ensuring conversions go up and be

payment space was very fragmented,

more in tune to what they are actually

where you had one gateway or

doing, which is taking care of

payment method per country that you

customers instead of vendor rela-

had to contract. If merchants were

tions. This is where we’re seeing

selling in 40 different countries, that

tremendous growth.

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ADYEN

“Thirdly, we are seeing something

“New regulations are also coming up

contradictory, which is more fragmen-

so the world is still fragmented, making

tation,” he continues.

it important for us to be a partner where

“Whilst the world is getting smaller at one end, local initiatives offering new

we have control and give the best advice to our customers and partners.”

ways to pay are continuing to pop up. Today, I’m based in Sweden and, for

COMPLEX REGULATIONS

instance, have four or five payment

Building a new, state-of-the-art

methods that we have to integrate at

infrastructure, any type of transaction

Adyen instead of our customers having

placed through Adyen’s platform is highly

to do this.

secure, but unusually, is not sent to a third party. Instead, the business sends

146

“After working a bit more closely with Adyen I found the company was really something extraordinary” — JUSSI LINDBERG Senior Vice President of Business Development, Northern Europe

this directly to the required payment method and receives an immediate response back. Through this, Adyen has gained improved authorisation rates against its competitors. “We can also process payments in store on the same, single platform. From a technical standpoint, our solution is quite complex but we’re making it easy on the customer and partner side,”

Adyen have partnered with streaming giants such as Spotify

explains Lindberg. Additionally, with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into force across Europe, Lindberg explains that whilst the company is fully up and running and is set to adhere to the vast changes to traditional regulatory requirements, the business will remain challenged.

FEBRUARY 2019


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C OMPA N Y FA C T S

• Adyen has partnered with a number of popular streaming services, such as Facebook, Spotify and Netflix • Adyen’s integrated platform enables payments to be undertaken through a single platform. • Adyen’s processed volume growth has risen from €12bn ($14bn) on an annual basis to a staggering €108bn ($125bn) in 2017 • Shares have surged up to 90% upon the launch of its IPO in Europe

“We are GDPR ready and will take

• Adyen is backed by Index Ventures and Silicon Valley giant Iconiq Capital • Adyen has recently launched its IPO in the Netherlands • Adyen offers every payment method available in China, such as WeChat Pay and Alipay outside of the country, in order to cater to its specific target audience • Adyen uses data and machine learning in its payment routing, optimising authorisation rates

be PSD2 and GDPR ready, we only

full responsibility on what is put on us

have to do it once per region because

as a company at our end. Then, of

we have a single platform. For them,

course, it is up to any company that we

they have to do it over and over again,

are also partnering with to do their part

which slows our competition down.”

as well,” he says. “We are also Payment Service

Entering new markets Providing popular music juggernaut

Directive 2 (PSD2) ready. If we are

Spotify with a payment processing

talking about payments and what is

platform for its premiums business,

happening in the payment space, there

Adyen has fully supported the firm to

are a lot of acquisitions, which also

scale and enter new markets. With

house multiple platforms to send

a number of different payment details,

payment data through.

varying music catalogues and rights

“Whilst it’s trickier for competition to

dependent on each country in which it w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m

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serves, Adyen has strived to ensure that premium users can only tap into the catalogues relating to the country where the card (and user) resides. The business also caters to companies which have complex regulations to deal with. China, for instance, is a particular focus and houses a unique payments market. With this in mind, Adyen offers several Chinese payment methods, such as WeChat Pay and Alipay outside of the country, in order to cater to this specific target audience. 148

“No business without a local or offer Chinese payment methods. Adyen and other payment vendors cannot sell or target Chinese companies. On the other hand, we can help Chinese companies that want to sell outside of China, such as in the US, with this payment method,” says Lindberg.

SUPPORTING COMPANIES TO SCALE Whilst more and more companies are wanting to be on top of their payment data, Adyen’s platform will provide a better payment experience. Its technology has also worked to support retailers such as Daniel Wellington as well as ride-hailing FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

while in store. A Unified Commerce approach allows retailers to reshape the purchase experience, making it frictionless. Adyen also aims to simplify and improve the payments experience on the merchant side. Adyen MarketPay, a solution for large marketplaces, simplifies the flow of payments, providing split payouts, easier report-

Jussi Lindberg, Senior Vice President of Business Development at ADYEN on Market Pay

ing, driving a complete frictionless experience for both vendors and end-customers. “There is complexity with not only accepting a payment, but sometimes

company Uber. Most importantly, delivering simplifi-

splitting a payment between multiple sellers. With more than one vendor,

cation for its customers, particularly

transactions need to be split evenly,

within the physical point of sale (POS)

and sometimes sellers also have

space means that Adyen has a unique

different commission plans,” explains

Unified Commerce offering. By having

Lindberg.

e-commerce and in-store payments

“Before, transactions had to be

processed through one platform,

initiated not only once, but twice to

companies are able to create better,

make sure that this transactional

more personalised customer journeys

split was happening. Today, we can

such as click-and-collect, where

completely automate this with our

customers can order something online

MarketPay API solution.”

and pick it up in store, or endless aisles,

Such solutions are therefore in

where in-store tablets let shoppers

significant demand for big consumer-

order items that are out of stock online

driven companies such as Etsy or w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m

149


ADYEN

150

“We’re seeing consolidation in the types of vendors. Beforehand, the payment space was very fragmented, where you had one gateway or payment method per country that you had to contract. If merchants were selling in 40 different countries, that equates to 120 different vendor relations, technical connections, but also reporting lines” — JUSSI LINDBERG Senior Vice President of Business Development, Northern Europe

eBay, where payment systems are becoming increasingly complex. Whilst there might be multiple sellers in one transaction trying to sell an item purchased by a consumer, upon completion, merchants then submit the relevant consumer details. “This is unique to Adyen and that’s what’s really driving the market solution and appealing to merchants,” Lindberg says. “There’s no exclusivity, so we can replicate these solutions to other vendors.” Furthermore, to bolster its efforts to reduce potential risks, Adyen uses data and machine learning in its payment routing, optimising authorisation rates. “It’s not only a machine learning tool, it’s also how we interpret the different types of risks that we are associating with different types of transactions,” adds Lindberg. “With just one state-of-the-art platform, we can check transactions once, and then once it gets back from the payment team we also check it again. This supports enterprise merchants who want to be gathering more data and be cross-linking transactions that occur.

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

“They can then detect patterns of

partnering with our customers more

cross-linking different multiple

closely we’re getting more insights. It’s

email accounts and different cards,”

about analysing all payment methods,

he continues.

not gathering them. We can have better

“If they’ve been associated with card

risk tools and better risk analysis per

washing, for example, in seconds we

country and per business vertical where

can see thousands of transactions with

they are selling.”

a stolen card number. We can efficiently

Partnering with some of the largest

block this, but if we can also show this

retailers and enterprise clients globally,

in a graphical way, this is something

Adyen has grown alongside its

deeply appreciated.”

customers, becoming a key factor to

Nonetheless, he adds that checking what could be a real transaction against

their success. “We have great technology and

ones which are fraudulent, remains

we’re very fun to work with. From the

a challenge.

start, we set out ambitious goals to

“It’s a tricky threshold, but as we’re

solve global businesses’ needs to

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Jussi Lindberg is the SVP of Business Development Northern Europe at Adyen, the payments platform behind many of the world’s leading companies such as Uber, Netf lix, Spotify and eBay. Jussi was previously responsible for partnerships and financial products at PayPal and Ebay, with over 15 years of experience of partnering with hundreds of companies to achieve growth and digital performance. Jussi holds a Master of Science in Business Administration and Economist from UMA.

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ADYEN

simplify any type of sales channel, wherever they might be present. We have gained extensive payment knowledge from different regions in every office where we’re represented today and have local experts in these areas,” concludes Lindberg. “We can provide so many payment methods in just one integration but the work is still not done. The world is not covered. There’s no need that is 100% fully met. So, I think our journey is still just beginning. Looking 152

at the physical point of sales space, there’s still so much to do and so many store initiatives that we are fortunate enough to be building out together with our customers. It’s going to be really fun to see what the future brings.”

FEBRUARY 2019

— JUSSI LINDBERG Senior Vice President of Business Development, Northern Europe


EUROPE

2006

Year founded

668

Approximate number of employees

153

Adyen’s Senior Vice President of Business Development on TRENDS in the Payment World

w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


154

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155

MONETA MONEY BANK: DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION FOR THE NEW BANKING CUSTOMER WRIT TEN BY

DA LE BENTON PRODUCED BY

JA MES PEPPER

w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


M O N E TA M O N E Y B A N K

Through a fast-pacing digital transformation, MONETA Money Bank embraces technology for the customers of tomorrow

T

echnology continues

how technology is truly disrupt-

to define and redefine

ing the way the financial industry

the modern world and

works with and exceeds its

industry sectors have to invest to not only keep up with the 156

customer expectations. “The very role of the CIO is

rapidly evolving marketplace,

changing dramatically,” he says.

but to stay ahead of the curve.

“It’s moved away from focusing

This is certainly the driving force

on cost-effective solutions and

behind an ambitious company-

executing historical processes to

wide digital transformation of the

become far more aligned and

Czech Republic-based MONETA

integral to the business.

Money Bank. Spearheading this

“It’s about understanding, end

digital transformation in terms of

to end, what customers’ needs

information technologies is

are and executing that more

Vladimir Klein, Chief Informa-

collaboratively with the business.

tion Officer (CIO).

The traditional borders between

Having worked for a number of technology-based service delivery

black box IT and business do not exist anymore.”

organisations throughout an

No transformational journey,

extensive career, Klein has vast

especially one defined by technol-

experience and understanding of

ogy, can ever truly end. It has to

FEBRUARY 2019


EUROPE

157


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EUROPE

continuously evolve with the along-

ture and adopting an agile way of

side technologies and customers.

working simultaneously, Klein feels this

MONETA has set a target for 40% of

has proven key in maintaining opera-

its all core products to be distributed

tional clarity.

online or digitally through a number of

“You have to have more of an entrepreneurial way of thinking and

channels by 2020. A transformation of this size and

have an agile mindset towards develop-

scope is not without its challenges,

ing software or solutions,” he says.

and for an organisation that has been

“With the proper IT strategy behind us it

operating for two decades the biggest

becomes far easier to understand

challenge is complex architecture.

where to move, how to move and how

“If you don’t have proper architec-

to get people on board for changes. On

ture in place then you cannot develop

our transformation journey we decided

at any real pace,” says Klein. “The

to focus on 5 areas – Agile way of

same with automation: you cannot

working, Cloud, Automation, application

automate without agile architecture

replacements and Data”

and so we decided to develop and

With a digital transformation, one could be forgiven for focusing entirely

digitise in parallel.” In both developing the IT infrastruc-

on the technologies and the solutions

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Vladimir Klein Senior executive with 25 years experiences in Information technology, banking and telecommunications. Vladimir Klein has been working in several countries, in different local or international managerial positions. He executed several transformational changes in his career in the area of M&A, outsourcing, digital and agile, cloud implementations, organizational restructuring, cost cuttings and core applications migration.

159


M O N E TA M O N E Y B A N K

160

“It’s about understanding end to end what customers’ needs are and executing that more collaboratively with the business. The traditional borders between black box IT and business do not exist anymore” — Vladimir Klein, Chief Information Officer

FEBRUARY 2019


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161

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M O N E TA M O N E Y B A N K

driving the digitisation – but a tool is just a tool unless it’s in the hands of the right person. MONETA invests heavily in its development strategy to ensure that its people can help execute and deliver the best possible service to the end customer, whilst ensuring those same people are empowered and buy into this transformational journey. This proves crucial in the changing of cultural mindsets as the company shifts towards an agile, innovative way of working and this is where Klein can not only call on his own experience in the industry but also external partners to understand how to implement change to enable greater efficiency. 162

“We’ve started rolling out agile workshops and brought in external coaches and partners to share knowledge and best practice,” he says. “We have looked at how other companies have done it and we share that with our people in order for everyone to truly understand their role in pushing the company forward.” Klein admits that this in itself is a challenge as this new approach to working, one that will see each person define their own work and their own place in MONETA´s journey, can be met with some resistance and fear. This is where workshops and a strong sense of internal communication play a central role. Klein also empowers staff to make their own decisions. “Naturally for some people it’s very difficult because historically speaking, management will FEBRUARY 2019


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“You have to have more of an entrepreneurial way of thinking and have an agile mindset towards developing software or solutions” — Vladimir Klein, Chief Information Officer

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make the final decision. I say: ‘you decide but try and think like a manager’,” he says. “This is where we combine communications, learning and workshops, and give them external support in order to seamlessly move forward together as a business.” A major part of MONETA’s transformation is moving towards cloud services which will drive a more agile way of working and in turn create a significantly more flexible business. To this end, MONETA is migrating significant amount of its legacy infrastructure over to a data centre. As part of this migration, Klein will oversee the integration of tens of physical


M O N E TA M O N E Y B A N K

applications to a cloud-based platform. As Klein notes, MONETA is a bank

integration platform, we selected Mitra

and not a developer and so the

quite simply because we did not have

company relies on a key strategic

the right level of competence to do it in

technology partner to assist and

house,” says Klein. “They brought us

support the company throughout this

competence and they provided us with

transition. MONETA has called upon

crucial support and implementation

the services of AWS for infrastructure

work. Going back to the complexity of

cloud, for automation products of

this migration, we have over 4500

RedHat and other open source tools

interfaces across all applications

like for example Jenkins or JUnit. As

which had to be integrated.

part of the Integration layer replacement,

164

“In replacing our entire legacy

“In my experience of similar transfor-

MONETA decided to cooperate with

mations at previous companies it’s

Mitra, a party which has many experi-

taken more than one year to make

ences in WSO2 integration platform.

some real headway. With the support of

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Mitra, we’re doing it in few months.” Ultimately, MONETA’s transformation

banking solutions. All of these developments are defined by one clear goal: to

is driven by the customer, and as

enable the most efficient and seamless

technology has evolved over the last

banking experience for customers.

two decades so too has the customer.

“Many customers today just want to

Through the advent of mobile payments,

do everything for themselves through

customers are more demanding than

tablets and mobile phones. They

ever before and for an organisation like

simply do not want to spend time by

MONETA it is crucial to stay ahead of

coming into a branch or contacting a

that demand in order to continue to

call centre. It is crucial that we are able

deliver and exceed expectations.

to handle their requests also fully

To this end, the company devel-

online,” says Klein. “That’s what our

oped an award-winning mobile

mobile app Smart Banka has been

banking application Smart Banka and

able to answer. Through it we can offer

is significantly revamping its online

the customer exactly what they need

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M O N E TA M O N E Y B A N K

anytime and from anywhere, but most importantly they can access it intuitively with no complications. Right now, we are looking to bring our web banking service to that same level.” Klein highlights the agile way of working again as key to being ready for this demand. This transformation has destroyed the historical barriers between IT and the wider business and brought about a more collaborative business, one that is better prepared to match this evolving landscape. The company has implemented daily stand-up meetings and sprints for all agile squads and moved away from a historical focus on long term delivery in order to make incremental steps on smaller things 166

today and therefore be ready for tomorrow. Key to this is instant customers feedback. “Customers can leave feedback in our Smart Banka app which we take directly to the backlog proposals and discussions with our teams and this is then taken into implementation,” says Klein. “The key points from the customer are directly implemented faster than ever before. “We even conduct research through our brokers. We do this by giving them a laptop or a tablet and they themselves give us feedback if they like it or don’t like it so they can sell our product. It’s all about understanding the end-to-end customer experience.” Klein entered MONETA back in December 2017 but even less than 12 months into this journey he can already point FEBRUARY 2019


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€400mn Approximate revenue

1994

Year founded

3000+ Approximate number of employees


M O N E TA M O N E Y B A N K

to significant success, be it through the mobile application, new customer portal or the migration own data centre to the hosted data centre and integration of AWS cloud into bank environment. Organizational changes were successfully executed in April this year to fit better to business value streams and cloud. Looking towards the future, Klein identifies ambitions to advance agile way of working to all IT Development staff and migrate next applications into AWS cloud with possibility to close a second data centre. Next his focus remains very much on legacy application replacements as 168

migration of card system to the partner cloud and migration and implementation of new web banking. “It’s about making our online banking solutions clearer for our customers, as well as opening it up and expanding it to our wider customer portfolio,” he says. “Banking is complex and there are certain elements surrounding interest rates and the different types of customer. What we want to be able to do is remove some of that complexity and make banking with MONETA simpler, easy and clearer for every single one of our customers.”

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“Banking is complex and there are certain elements surrounding interest rates and the different types of customer. What we want to be able to do is remove some of that complexity and make banking with MONETA simpler, easy and clearer for every single one of our customers” — Vladimir Klein, Chief Information Officer

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AGILE, LEAN AND DEVOPS:

170

Learning from Nationwide’s digital disruption WRIT TEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN PRODUCED BY

ANDY TURNER

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USA

171

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N AT I O N W I D E

By tapping into trailblazing new practices and methodologies, Nationwide has put its weight behind a mammoth transformation. We spoke to Guru Vasudeva, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Program and Application Services, to find out more

172

n the American insurance and

lines and financial services, this diversity

financial services markets,

has allowed Nationwide to carve a unique

Nationwide ranks amongst the

path as a one-stop shop for insurance.

best. Today, the Fortune 100 company

Though, as Guru Vasudeva, Senior Vice

stands as the number one company for

President and Chief Information Officer

total small business insurance, the

(CIO) of Program and Application

number one underwriter of farms and

Services, points out, the insurer’s

ranches, as well as the nation’s leading

competitive edge undoubtedly lies in its

pet insurer. But its list of accomplish-

customer-centric ethos. “Nationwide is

ments doesn’t stop there: it’s also the

a mutual company, which means our

8th largest provider of defined contribu-

customers own us,” Vasudeva explains.

tion plans, number 1 in 457 plans, the

“As the organization evolves, we are

8th largest life insurer and much more.

really focused on doing what is good

Spanning personal lines, commercial

for our customers, our employees and

I

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Agile

Lean 173

the communities where we operate.”

DevOps

Digitization is shaking up industries across the globe, and it seems the insurance and financial services sectors are no exception. Recognizing that its business is information-centric and reliant on IT, Nationwide has embarked

Continuous learning

on a root-and-branch digital transformation to ensure it can continue to deliver

turing arm of any financial services and

a world-class customer experience for

insurance company. Our Board and our

years to come. “The products that we

senior leadership recognized this a long

create are all information-based; they’re

time ago and, ever since, we have been

not products that you can touch and feel,”

on a journey to build a globally competi-

observes Vasudeva. “IT is the manufac-

tive IT capability inside Nationwide.” w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


Lean and Agile Partnership Journey with Nationwide TCS' Business 4.0 thought leadership framework, centered on agile methodologies, has helped clients like Nationwide Insurance to retain their leading position in their respective industries. Accelerated adoption of agile at Nationwide under the able leadership of Guru Vasudeva has been a great journey and we are proud of our role in delivering best-in-class thought leadership to Nationwide. Anupam Singhal Senior Vice President and Business Head, BFSI, TCS

The key value t enable state-of comprising dec measures. The for critical trans enabling with g upon the distri significant effic

As Nationwide Insurance Co Nationwide in their strategic Nationwide to scale up agile in-class talent and mature en of the distributed agile prog program delivery.

TCS is proud to have partnered with Nationwide in t work with the right partner. With its focus on the Bu the globe have chosen to partner with TCS to transf


TCS has set an enthusiastic vision of achieving Enterprise Agile by 2020 – a firstof-a-kind in terms of sheer scale and size. TCS’ Agile vision is founded on four pillars: workforce, workplace, service delivery partnership, and internal processes. In line with this vision, TCS has mobilized several small Agile teams for large transformations and delivered valuable outcomes at lightning speed besides helping over 2,000 clients to transition from project-only Agile to portfolio Agile and beyond. In addition, TCS has built the largest agile workforce in the world and created a world class agile coaching program to help bring about a mindset change across organizations. By codifying its experience of working with bluechip clients such as Nationwide Insurance Company, TCS has created a repository of compelling point of view articles on enterprise agile, location-independent agile, and agile contracting models. TCS’ success in helping organizations in their Agile transformation has been enabled by some key elements: § 100% agile workforce § TCSLivingAgile for mindset change § Visual radiators to replicate client agile environment § Collaboration tools to work in virtual co-located environments § Strong network of over 600 agile coaches § Empowered distributed teams – matching the right talent with the right role

that TCS brings to the agile journey of clients involves customizing agile practices and processes to f-the-art location independent agile delivery. This involves establishing a common delivery platform centralized team models, streamlined demand management, lean team structures and fact-based merger of agile practices enhances the certainty quotient needed to deliver time-to-market objectives sformation programs. With the increasing success of the distributed Agile delivery approach, TCS is global clients to transition from traditional time and material model to mature delivery models built ibuted Agile methodology. This has helped transform the way clients do business by delivering ciencies of scale and accelerating timelines to enable quicker time-to-market.

ompany’s strategic partner providing IT services for the past eight years, TCS has partnered with c enterprise agile journey under the leadership of Guru Vasudeva. As part of this journey, TCS helped e delivery by adapting to distributed agile delivery model, leveraging efficient delivery practices, bestngagement models. In this agile transformation journey, The ’One Team’ mindset, which was at the core gram, played a key role in making 16*5 business and IT delivery a reality thus leading to accelerated

this inspiring journey. TCS firmly believes that organizations can be successful in this journey if they usiness 4.0 framework with agile, automation, cloud and artificial intelligence at its core, clients across form into 'future ready' organizations.


N AT I O N W I D E

“A lot of people have just done Lean or Agile, but I think by bringing these four strategies together we’ve done something unique” 176

— Guru Vasudeva, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Program and Application Services, Nationwide

Nationwide has put its weight behind

itself an ambitious goal to transform

this digital disruption since 2009. The

the way in which it develops software

company spends more than US$1.3bn

by blending four trailblazing strategies:

on IT every year, of which around

Agile, Lean, DevOps and continuous

$500mn is allocated to technology-

learning. This is no easy feat, and the

enabled transformation programs.

journey is far from over. But Guru is

It has also invested a huge amount of

certain that it will be a recipe for success.

software development, with around

“A lot of people have just done Lean or

5,000 to 6,000 full-time employees

Agile, but I think by bringing these four

and contractors writing complex

strategies together, we’ve done some-

code on a daily basis. To improve this

thing unique,” he notes. By releasing

mammoth process, Nationwide set

software faster and at a higher quality

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177

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Guru Vasudeva is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Program & Application Services at Nationwide, a $27 bn revenue financial services and insurance company. In this role, Vasudeva manages a shared services organization that provides program and project management, application development, and requirements and testing for the enterprise. He is also responsible for the delivery of large and complex programs, and Lean and Agile transformation of application development and maintenance functions across Nationwide.

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N AT I O N W I D E

for a lower cost, he says this plan hopes to not only help Nationwide achieve its business goals, but it will also reimagine the customer journey.

AN AGILE POWERHOUSE Keeping its finger on the pulse of the latest business strategies, Nationwide began its software development transformation a decade ago. In 2009, the firm centralized its IT function, sharing areas such as its data centers, infrastructure, security platforms and more. In fact, it also realized it could centralize and 178

optimize the methodology and practices used in software development – the same year, Nationwide made its first foray into Agile methodology. Whilst Agile wasn’t new, it was now broadly adopted across all its enterprises for the first time. For Guru, the next step was to see if Agile could work for large transformation programs. “Our experimentation with Agile goes back a long time ago when we had small teams experimenting with this methodology,” Vasudeva recalls. “But we wanted to see if we could scale Agile at an enterprise level. In other words, could we start using it for almost all software development?” “We brought these Agile teams together and asked them if they could harmonize the methodology. That’s because we believed FEBRUARY 2019


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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘PAYING BILLS ONLINE’ 179 that if you had a fine-tuned process then we could create a shared capability in which you could reuse the repeatable processes, methods and tools. It was really hard because people in these fields are very focused on their own version of Agile. But, in the end, it was very successful, and we began to slowly build our Agile development center.”

LEAN PROWESS But Agile was just the first building block in Nationwide’s transformation. Wanting to take this a step further, the insurer and financial services provider decided to scale w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


N AT I O N W I D E

its use of Agile substantially in 2011, so it employed Lean techniques to achieve this. Harking back to the early days of industrialization, Nationwide adopted the idea of a so-called “software development factory” complete with development teams that would finish one step needed to create code. Establishing clearly defined key roles for each development team (such as scrum master, tech lead, requirements lead and test lead) enabled the replication of best practices across the enterprise, as if it 180

were a factory. The insurer also implemented a visual management system, allowing developers to gain information on the shop floor quickly, as well as

$28bn in operating revenue

1926

Year founded

32,000

Approximate number of employees

Gemba Walks – a fundamental Lean management philosophy. “Gemba Walks enables leaders to visit the shop floor

could be used not only for computer

and to see first-hand the issues teams

programming languages like Java

are facing,” notes Vasudeva. “It allows

but could also be applied to Cobol,

information to flow from frontline teams

Packages and ETL code.

to senior management in real time.

This mammoth investment, Vasudeva

Leaders also become more enmeshed

says, was starting to pay off. By 2014,

within the workings of the factory instead

Nationwide’s Agile development teams

of managing it in a spreadsheet or a

had proven better quality and better

dashboard.” Wanting to scale this even

productivity using industry benchmarks,

further, Nationwide also showed that

and it had also created up to 50 develop-

these cutting-edge methodologies

ment teams. However, Agile methodol-

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181

ogy wasn’t entirely widespread, it only

these practices across all our soft-

covered less than 30% of software

ware development – that’s around

development at Nationwide. “We

US$60mn annually.” With this in mind,

conducted a Gartner benchmark that

Nationwide’s decision to scale these

showed that our Agile development line

methods enterprise-wide was an easy

was better than the industry standard

one to make. Today, the firm has

in terms of productivity, however

around 200 software development

Nationwide as a whole was still 7.8%

teams, almost all of which have adopted

worse in unit cost compared to the

this blend of Agile and Lean. Zeroing in

industry. We estimated that we could

on quality, productivity and time to

get close to 12% savings by adopting

market, Nationwide has also streamw w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


N AT I O N W I D E

lined its benchmark metrics, and today it can trace around US$60mn of savings on an annual basis. In its most recent benchmark in 2017, for instance, Nationwide reported 7.8% better unit costs – that’s a 15.6% increase compared to its benchmark from three years earlier.

DEVOPS MASTERY Not wanting to rest on its laurels, Nationwide decided to push its transformation further by tapping into DevOps. Emphasizing a shift in mindset, better 182

collaboration and tighter integration between software development and IT

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“Our customers have also benefited from this transformation by receiving better quality software faster and for a lower cost” — Guru Vasudeva, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Program and Application Services, Nationwide


USA

operations, DevOps hopes to help build, test and release software faster and more reliably. “It builds on top of Lean and Agile, but it combines a significant amount of automation and brings development and infrastructure teams together,” says Vasudeva. “It requires a completely new way of thinking. We conducted a book study on Gene Kim’s DevOps Handbook so that we can really understand this methodology.” Today, the Fortune 100 company is on track to get top quartile productivity across all 200 development lines. By automating and enhancing the software development pipeline, Vasudeva adds that this proves that DevOps is “raising Nationwide’s game to a whole new level”. Yet, this journey is far from over. Keen to impart a culture of continuous learning, Nationwide founded “Teaching Thursdays” whereby the firm sets aside two hours twice per month to allow employees to teach topics in classrooms to their peers. “It’s teaching by peers for peers,” Vasudeva explains. “It’s a grassroots project: We encourage people to attend and encourage people to teach. Some of the topics include how to do test automation, w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m

183


N AT I O N W I D E

184

how to use the newest version of

in making all of this journey possible,”

Angular J or sometimes it might include

Vasudeva adds. In conjunction with this,

a topic like yoga or meditation. We have

Nationwide has developed TechCon,

found this to be an incredible approach.”

its very own conference and a series of

It seems the workforce agrees. On a

code camps. “Around 2,000 of our

cumulative basis more than 10,000

associates attend TechCon, during

people participated in Teaching Thurs-

which more than 200 classes are taught.

days last year. It’s also helped to promote

It’s our own technology conference for

best practices and allowed natural

our own technology people,” he says.

leaders to shine through. “It’s been an

“We also have code camps, whereby

incredible low-cost approach, critical

we pick topics that we want to excel in

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“IT is the manufacturing arm of any financial services and insurance company” — Guru Vasudeva, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Program and Application Services, Nationwide

like machine learning, for instance, and

a leading employer – it has gained

invite a couple of people to study that

recognition as one of the Best Compa-

topic and to teach other members

nies to Work For by Fortune 100.

of the team. It’s helped us create a

Vasudeva is keen to point out that the

clearly defined roadmap of how our

talents of his team have been crucial

employees can go from a novice to

in making this software development

an expert in a topic. It’s helping to

strategy a reality. “It could not have

create a path to craftsmanship.”

been possible without the partnership of my peers in IT leadership,” he says.

CRUCIAL COLLABORATION

So far, Nationwide’s software-develop-

Nationwide has earned its stripes as

ment strategy has been a roaring w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m

185


N AT I O N W I D E

success. “We can prove that we are delivering faster software at a higher quality for reduced costs,” highlights Vasudeva. “This has allowed us to transform our IT function. We’ve also replaced legacy systems with modern packages, and we can provide better mobile capabilities for our consumers and agents. It has really allowed us to enable our business goals. Our customers have also benefited from this transformation by receiving better quality 186

FEBRUARY 2019


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software faster and for a lower cost.” Nationwide has made significant strides to enhance its software development process, but the transformation is far from over. “We still have a long way to go,” notes Vasudeva. “We aren’t finished with DevOps just yet as we plan to extend DevOps practices across all 200 Nationwide software development teams. We are also experimenting with taking and applying Agile into the wider business. Then, last but not least, we’re focusing on Test Engineering and Automation (TEA). We are really making a big push to significantly automate the way we test our software.” Software engineering is undoubtedly in the throes of its own digital transformation. For businesses today, the stakes of getting this right are high, but it seems Nationwide has concocted the perfect recipe for software development transformation.

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Truliant Federal Credit Union

A MEMBER-CENTRIC DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION WRIT TEN BY

ANDRE W WOODS PRODUCED BY

ANDY TURNER 189

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TRULIANT FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

WE SPEAK TO CIO SANDEEP UTHRA ON A MEMBERCENTRIC GOAL OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION THAT IS ACCELERATING OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE AND BUSINESS GROWTH

T

ruliant Federal Credit Union, a 66-yearold financial institution, has a singular and important mission: to improve the lives

of its members. According to Sandeep Uthra, Truliant’s chief information officer, the credit union 190

focuses on helping members make decisions that improve and help manage their financial lives. Unlike for-profit financial institutions, Truliant stays away from pushing products on its members. “We are a different kind of company,” he says. Truliant has 230,000 members and assets in excess of $2.3bn and provides individuals and small businesses with products, services and guidance to reach their ‘life’s goals’, including checking accounts, online and app banking, auto buying, certificates and business/financial advice, and auto and home loans. According to Uthra, Truliant’s USP is its member-centric approach. “First and foremost, we are a not-for-profit organization,” Uthra said. “That’s the biggest difference between us and other banking institutions. But, more so, our goal is to improve each of our FEBRUARY 2019


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TRULIANT FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

Hybrid IT Solutions

Colocation

Cloud

Connectivity

Managed Solutions

Professional Services

41 data center campuses. One dependable network. 888.552.FLEX

JANUARY 2019

Flexential.com


USA

193

“OUR CEO AND PRESIDENT TRULY UNDERSTAND HOW TECHNOLOGY’S GOING TO REALLY HELP TAKE US FORWARD IN MEMBER SERVICE” — Sandeep Uthra CIO, Truliant Federal Credit Union

members’ lives, by working as trusted partner or provider of the right guidance to achieve their financial aims,” Uthra explains. “While traditional banking is more about rates and fees, all of our products and policies are consumer, not market, driven. We put people before profit. We are member-centric. We’re not just here to make money. This helps our members create financial security within their own aspirations. ”

IN THE BEGINNING Uthra joined Truliant in late 2016 as CIO. He was charged with helping shepherd the w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


TRULIANT FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

194 E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Sandeep Uthra Sandeep has over 20 years of experience developing and executing information technology (IT) strategies, including serving in executive roles in the financial services space. A native of New Delhi, India, Mr. Uthra has served in global IT leadership roles in product, consulting and financial corporations in Asia, Africa and the United States. Most notably, Mr. Uthra was Senior Vice President, Business Solutions Technology Executive at Bank of America. He leads Truliant’s Enterprise Service Delivery, Enterprise Architecture, Application Development, Systems Operations, Technology Support Services, Infrastructure Services, Information Security, and Telecommunications teams.

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195 strategic direction for Truliant’s overall

logical solutions to achieve those goals.

technology landscape and to help

We really tailor our offerings as per our

drive its technology transformation.

members’ needs to provide a top-notch

“As a trusted advisor in the company,

member service.” Truliant targets

I needed to get us to a point where

locations where they are needed most

we better understood business and

and still operates a traditional guidance-

members’ needs as per our company’s

based approach. “We’re very big on

objectives.”

face-to-face interactions. We don’t

Uthra’s highly strategic role was to

want to remove the humanity in front of

help develop a roadmap that would

us. We will always keep face-to-face

achieve Truliant’s business plans by

interactions.”

leveraging technology. “As part of the Chief Planning Team, I’ve worked hard

THE HUMAN TOUCH

to understand business needs as well

While human-centric guidance is at the

as those of our members with techno-

heart of Truliant’s approach, it is adopting w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


TRULIANT FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

“I HAVE OTHER COMPANIES LIKE MERIDIANLINK WHO SUPPORT US FROM A LENDING PLATFORM STANDPOINT AND THEN SECURITY PARTNERS SUCH AS FLEXENTIAL WHO PROVIDES HOSTING CAPABILITY” 196

— Sandeep Uthra CIO, Truliant Federal Credit Union

more technologically advanced processes to better prepare for the future of banking. “Members are changing the way they interact with financial institutions,” he explains. “I think we all know that these days people compare our sector with companies like Amazon, right? They want us to be simple and nimble – like shopping on Amazon. This demand is driving us to create a simpler, more nimble and innovative personalization for all members. The consumer experience is king.” “On the other hand, data is at the consumer’s fingertips from many external sources to compare product or services so they are well informed. It is in our best interest to know consumers’ personalized needs in a faster and agile way, to provide them with the best in-class experience. To make all this happen, we have focused on technology architecture, because speed is the new currency in financial institutions. These days, technology architecture must be simple enough to support integrated channels and with an alignment of data to understand or predict members’ needs. “Simplification and Personalization is the game here,” Uthra explains. “Financial institutions should work to simplify their technology landscape and leverage microservices or APIs (application programming

FEBRUARY 2019


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CLICK TO WATCH : USING THE TRU2GO APP 197 interfaces), to support faster and more

index of processes and technology,

nimble integration with cutting-edge

which gave Truliant a direction for

products and services.”

future investment to achieve its goal of simplification and optimization of the

DIGITAL ECOSYSTEMS

members’ journeys/interactions. “Our

When Uthra joined Truliant Federal

vision is to enable consumers of our

Credit Union, he hired an enterprise

technology with a simple, faster and

architect to help build out business

personalized experience. “Our CEO

technology ecosystems to understand

and President truly understand how

dynamics around business units,

technology’s going to really help take

functions, processes and underlying

us forward in the personalized member

technology. He then sat with internal

service.

teams and critical partners to identify

“We know that it’s important to adapt

friction between those ecosystem

and evolve quickly in line with the

constructs. This resulted in a maturity

fast-paced changes in today’s financial w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


TRULIANT FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

services landscape. Our goal is to create an impactful, best-in-class digital journey that is both dynamic and personal, and maintains an authentic human connection,” says Truliant President Todd Hall. The other important factor in Truliant’s technology transformation is partnership with fintechs and product companies for technology transformation. “Our strategic partners support us to achieve our vision. Companies like Fiserv who support our core banking platform perspective. MeridianLink provides lending capabilities and 198

Flexential provides hosting capability. Veristor enables us with virtualized environment, to aid better manageability and performance and security of infrastructure – because it’s not just about spending or investing in infra-

the near future: simpler, faster and

structure, it’s more about how to optimize

personalization. If I’m a member, and

that in terms of performance and security.

I need a home, normally I would reach

Palo Alto Network really helped us to

out to a realtor or a mortgage or lending

safeguard our technology and infra-

company. We reach out to the builder

structure and Secureworks provides

and to many other folks to achieve that

information security capabilities.”

goal for our family. But an ecosystem approach asks: ‘Why can’t we bring all

FUTURE TRENDS

these kinds of players into same

For Uthra, the future of the industry lies

ecosystem and make it happen? So, as

in ecosystem-driven personalization.

a customer or a member, I will just reach

“I see these three things happening in

out to a bank or financial institution like

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34 Number of

office locations

$2.3bn Approximate value of assets

1952

Year founded

Truliant and say, ‘I need a home.’”

really fortunate to feel that I’m part of

Uthra also sees increasing leverage

this high technology team that brings

of APIs for greater integration in sector

those kinds of innovations together.”

technology with many third-party or indirect product companies. I see artificial intelligence and data playing a big role. Data is going to provide integration value because it will predict and say what our customers or members are asking and at what point in time. “I take pride in leading this vision because of our people and culture. I’m w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m

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Wipro: Fostering open innovation in financial services WRIT TEN BY

BEN MOUNCER PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO

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WIPRO

Mahesh Raja, Vice President, Financial Services ­— Americas, Wipro Limited, outlines the technology powerhouse’s plan to develop a futureproof ecosystem for the financial sector

A

dapting long-held business models to the irrepressible forces of change is, right now, the critical challenge facing our most

prestigious financial institutions. Never before has the established order had to contend with such genuine threats to its dominance. While undoubt202

edly a priority for leaders across industries, the next stage of evolution for the financial sector is especially unpredictable as a system, impenetrable for so long, opens up slowly to different methods, ideas and thinking. Technology has been the catalyst for that change. Decision-makers have no choice but to find answers to questions such as ‘how can we use advanced AI and machine learning to predict the future?’, ‘should we move our entire systems to the cloud?’ and ‘what is in place to shield our information from cyberattacks?’. Implementing transformative tools within business structures that have grown over decades is a slow process, however – and this is why start-ups, challengers and fin-tech, free from historical baggage and practices, have been able to steal a march on their once-uncatchable rivals. FEBRUARY 2019


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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘WIPRO-MAHESH RAJA, VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCIAL SERVICES, AMERICAS, WIPRO (INFOGRAPHIC)’ 203 Mahesh Raja, Vice President, Financial Services, Americas, Wipro Limited is leading a small group aiming to bridge the gap between the United States’ most recognized entities and the disruptive outsiders offering alternatives to the status quo. He believes that, through the development of Wipro’s ‘New-Age Financial Services’ ecosystem, the building blocks are in place to forge the industry’s future.

WIPRO’S FOOTPRINT IN FINANCIAL SERVICES Wipro is one of the foremost technology service providers the world over. w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


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A significant influence with fingerprints on just about every industry, it is a global leader in the fields of IT, consultancy and the changing of business processes through the use of advanced and emerging technologies. The company generates approximately $8bn of revenue annually, with 30% of this figure earned in the financial services sector, encompassing not only the banking world but also insurance and capital markets. Wipro’s Americas region – covering the United States, Canada and Latin

“The traditional banks and financial institutions are getting disrupted by new-age platform companies, whether they like it or not” — Mahesh Raja, Vice President, Financial Services, Americas, Wipro Limited 205

America – is its core market for financial services, bringing in a significant portion on its own each year. Specializing in E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Mahesh Raja Mahesh is Wipro Limited’s Banking & FS industry leader supporting top-tier full service banks, large payment/fintech clients across US, Canada and LATAM with P&L responsibility. He also leads Wipro’s Digital, fintech/ New Age ecosystem which includes developing partnerships with leading fintech players, helping clients assess the fintech ecosystem and potential implications to their business, and bringing solutions to clients through alliances and implementation.

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WIPRO

HE W L E T T PA C K A R D E N T E R P R IS E —­ W IP R O S N A P S HO T

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At Wipro, strategic partnerships are one of the core pillars of our business strategy. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Wipro have been working together for 20+ years, delivering the best in class solutions around hybrid IT, data center consolidation, legacy system modernization, and software-defined DC. Wipro’s BoundaryLess DataCenter™ (BLDC) framework, integrated with HPE’s Hybrid IT solutions, offers Cloud services that are responsive to dynamic workloads, drive outcome based financial management and enable agility and scale. These services are integrated and delivered through Wipro ServiceNXT™, our managed services framework. Today, the two companies are capitalizing on their progressive, forward-looking view of technology to help provide new age business solutions across blockchain, edge computing, cognitive and more. Wipro and HPE are creating blockchain solutions for our banking customers. HPE’s Mission Critical Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) enables customers to run distributed ledger blockchain workloads that dem-and 100% fault tolerance at mission critical levels and ensures massive scalability to grow with the business. Wipro is leveraging HPE Aruba’s Software Defined Branch solution to enhance visibility, cloud agility, control and policy enforcement by integrating operations, security and management of wireless, wired and the WAN, all from a single pane of glass. We are helping banks redefine Desktop Virtualization and deliver the new age comprehensive virtual work place through Wipro Virtua-Desk™. The solution enhances application performance and provides f lexibility to the customers in choosing an on-premise or hosted-appliance solution based on HPE’s hyper converged platform.

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digital transformation, customer experience, application engineering

opposite ends of the spectrum. “We started this group within Wipro

and infrastructure and business

after asking ourselves this: what if our

operation services, Wipro’s Americas

existing clients, where we have made

region engages numerous high-profile

a significant chunk of our revenue, don’t

clients, including some of the largest

exist in 10-15 years’ time – what is going

banks in the US.

to happen to them?” he explains. “The

Firmly established within that sphere,

traditional banks and financial institu-

Mahesh’s ‘New-Age Financial Services’

tions are getting disrupted by new-age

initiative represents something more

platform companies, whether they like

adventurous as it looks to encourage

it or not.

collaboration between players at the

“Builders of innovation, both on the w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


WIPRO

“While these start-ups might be small and may not even meet our threshold of being a client today, in a few years they will be the next unicorns” — Mahesh Raja, Vice President, Financial Services, Americas, Wipro Limited

FEBRUARY 2019


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business model side and the operations side, are driven by innovative technologies and some of our incumbent clients need to adapt to these tech-driven changes. “Embracing innovation from the outside – from start-ups and fintech – is essential for them and for companies like us. While these start-ups might be small and may not even meet our threshold of being a client today, in a few years they will be the next unicorns. “That’s the broad genesis of what we thought about when we set up the new ecosystem. Wipro’s part in that is to build a strategic partnership between the established companies and the start-ups. We understand the industry domain; we focus on technology and can enable organizations as small as a fintech to scale up, leveraging our relationship with the larger financial institutions.”

A NEW-AGE ECOSYSTEM The importance of Mahesh’s project to Wipro’s future vision can be reflected in the fact that, two years ago, he was given his remit from the very top. Working under the guidance of the company’s Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director – Abidali Z. Neemuchwala, and with strategic direction from President & Global Head, BFSI – Shaji Farooq, he has built a cluster team made up of key personnel based in Silicon Valley, w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m

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WIPRO

$8bn+ Revenue

1945 Year of incorporation + 175,000 Number of employees 210

New York, Bangalore and London. ‘New-Age Financial Services’ encour-

Wipro is able to provide the balance in momentum between a larger organiza-

ages a two-way street of collaboration

tion’s execution and the impetus of a

between client and start-up, with the

start-up through an agile ‘right model’

end goal of improving operations for

delivery process.

both parties. For the client, welcoming

“A start-up operates at a very high

a start-up’s ideas is a way of accelerat-

velocity but a client organization operates

ing its own innovation, keeping it ahead

not even close to that, so the question

of the competition. For the smaller firm,

is how we bridge that gap,” he says.

a relationship opens doors to resourc-

“Firstly, Wipro comes in. Then we help

es, customers and funding.

these fintechs or start-ups find the

By creating what Mahesh refers to as a ‘360-degree’ partnership eco-system, FEBRUARY 2019

right stakeholders to navigate large organizational complexities.”


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“For example, if they have a unique

into this process, this is actually how we

asset in any business process area,

help you with your time-to-market. If you

how do you take an asset or platform

build it, it will probably take four years. If

to a larger organization? And how do

we can partner in this new-age ecosys-

you identify those stakeholders who’ll

tem, we can actually do it in four months.”

be interested in assimilating that into the larger organizations?” “Thirdly, we assist our clients in their

Embracing outside innovation is now becoming a vital strategic approach for the most successful companies as

transformation journey more holistically.

they seek out external partners for

For example, we don’t just look at one

sourcing ideas, commercialization and

business process – we look at everything

expansion into adjacent businesses and

from an end-to-end perspective and say,

new segments. According to Mahesh,

look, if you’re reimagining your model

‘entire corporate strategies are w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


WIPRO

“We are able to constantly assess and understand the implication and complexities that result from running real world businesses. This helps startups adapt their solutions to these needs” 212

— Mahesh Raja, Vice President, Financial Services, Americas, Wipro Limited

predicated on a networked model’ – but it’s a model that doesn’t come without obstacles.

CHALLENGES WITH COLLABORATION For Mahesh, the most common issue to contend with is what has become referred to as ‘Not Invented Here Syndrome’, or ‘NIHS’. Larger organizations often harbour cultures steeped in NIHS, instinctively reacting negatively to ideas and concepts from an external source. “This syndrome is pretty common in many FEBRUARY 2019


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large enterprises,” he notes. “This is where Wipro comes in and says, ‘Hey, let us help you embrace some of these outside innovations and bring it in house for you to see if it works’.” Secondly, Mahesh believes start-ups are often too narrow in their focus when compared with the broad digital transformation agendas set by the CEOs and other C-level executives of larger organizations. Additionally, he observes that smaller operations tend to lack the deep domain knowledge in areas of compliance and legality while also falling short in the resource to focus on long-term solution viability.

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“These barriers affect the success of the collaboration between established companies and start-ups,” he adds. “Start-ups also find it difficult to navigate the vast corporate structures and processes of the established companies to reach the right audience for the solutions they have. “For lack of a better term, Wipro is trying to be a partner that helps bring these fears into the same ecosystem by trying the ‘balance’ option. We have deep experience in working with complex organizational structures and satisfying the stringent requirement of these functions.” “We also have a lot of domain and functional experience and expertise that has been built w w w. f i n t e c h m a g a z i n e . c o m


WIPRO

over a long period of association with our clients. We are able to constantly assess and understand the implication and complexities that result from running real world businesses. This helps start-ups adapt their solutions to these needs.�

AN OPEN INNOVATION PATHWAY Wipro has evaluated more than 1,200+ new-age businesses as part of the project, but with current manpower it has elected to focus on a handful of 214

promising assets in the fields of business model innovations, cognitive artificial intelligence and machinelearning; technologies that have proven the most disruptive for its major clients. Wipro has partnered with three companies in that specific space (AI/ Cognitive), each of which has developed a unique business model and platform with the potential to transform processes across the sector. Additionally, it is working with challenger banks in North America, Europe and Latin America, on top of a major project with a large bank with operations across two continents. FEBRUARY 2019


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With a dearth of competition in this area, Wipro believes it has a serious opportunity to broaden its horizons and exist at the centre of a new era of open innovation in financial services. “The way we are looking at the newage ecosystem is not that it’s going to make the next $100mn or $500mn for us but that we are starting to work with those companies, which we have never worked with in the past,” concludes Mahesh. “From our perspective, we have to start operating and thinking like these new-age companies because the way we need to service them is very different. They’re really nimble, really agile and very rapid.” “I think it’s a significant differentiator for us as a company and we believe this will be a wedge into the marketplace, especially with some of the propositions we are having with our current customers. It is a real opportunity for Wipro.”

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Profile for Gigabit

FinTech Magazine – February 2019  

FinTech Magazine – February 2019