Technology, UAE

Reimagining FinTech

Finastra Universe – the anchor event for the Middle East’s financial services brought together global and regional experts to explore the impact of technology on the industry

An entrepreneur walks into his bank to apply for a loan. The machine learning capabilities within the system would have already predicted that he might be needing additional cash. The system, meanwhile, would have analysed the actual amount the business requires, suggests suitable trade partners from within the customer eco-system who he could partner with or even suggests he close down the business due to a likely failure.

Welcome to the future of banks – where it will take on the role of an advisor and enabler apart from the traditional banking functions.

If banks and financial institutions fail to digitally transform, we might very well see them becoming irrelevant. These are the words of Eli Rosner, Chief Product and Technology Officer of the leading fintech enabler, Finastra.

He was speaking during the recent Finastra Universe, which was held in Dubai to discuss innovation-driven technologies in the banking sector.

Data is the new currency and investing in new technology such as Artificial Intelligence helps interpret the insights and value delivered from data and apply it to enhance customer experience.

“Data, computing power and cloud have become the key drivers of digital innovations within the financial world and is leading the way towards a notion of openness,” says Rosner.

“If banks can leverage the data and the trust, it will be a different game altogether,” he adds.

The anchor event for the Middle East’s financial services brought together global and regional experts to explore the impact of technology on the industry. The event and most of the speakers focused on the need for financial institutions such as banks to have a strategic digital agenda that will distinguish them from the remaining, while simultaneously adding more value to their interactions with customers.

The advancement and high penetration of third-platform technology in the recent decade has drastically altered customer expectations, creating an arena for banks where it either competes or collaborates with new players to construct exceptional customer journeys.

“Fintech has been driving transformation in the retail banking industry across the Middle East and North Africa MENA) region,” he said. The total investment in Fintech companies worldwide in the first half of 2018 hit US$57.9 billion and in the MENA market is estimated at US$2 billion. With a significant amount of capital waiting to be deployed, investment in Fintech is expected to remain strong.

Finastra, meanwhile, is changing the way the modern banking software is built and distributed. Its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution – – is collaborating with developers worldwide to advance innovation. It has even opened up its core systems so that third parties can enable them to develop applications on top.

The development part of the environment called Fusion Creator provides APIs and tools that cover almost all banking activities: retail, corporate, payment, capital markets, investment management and enterprise risk.

The runtime environment is called Fusion Operate, where experts who want to develop a sophisticated model can use the sandboxes to develop and run it against live systems.

“We go through a certification process. We ensure that they comply with security. We then give them an environment to deploy – the run time – so that it can be tested and deployed to a secure environment. Finally it can be published into the app store called Fusion Store,” he says.

FusionFabric had a soft launch last year but will be officially launched in London in May 2019.

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