In this special live webinar brought to you by The Fintech Times, Editor-in-Chief Gina Clarke sits down with Andreas Wolf, Chief Commercial Officer at Raisin Bank, Anton Langbroek, General Manager DACH at Mambu and Eric Newcomer, CTO at WSO2 to discuss “digital bank enablers” and their effect on innovation in the industry.
As technology moves to modernise traditional banking services, a range of “digital bank enablers” including technology vendors, fintech firms, SIs and consultancies now find themselves with a seat at the table as banks look for new ways to innovate and compete against an increasingly experience-driven consumer mindset.
This webinar will examine some of the challenges banks face when looking to roll out new tech, from how digital enablers can align with traditional business goals to how these collaborations will contribute to a new banking ecosystem. As the final webinar of the year, our panellists will also take this opportunity to examine emerging trends across digital transformation and what will be unmissable in 2022.
Innovation and integration
The webinar began with Gina asking the panellists to look back over the last 12-18 months to understand where innovation and integration have come from and what the main changes to traditional banking have been.
On this, Andreas said: “Banking has always been a digital business. Of course, there has been manual labour involved, but basically, it’s around risk management, numbers, payments, reporting and so on. I think the very nature of the bank is digital. We’ve come a long way from old IBM regs and systems that have been developed in house to really modern systems. And I think many incumbents are stuck with old IP stacks and are not able to move to other systems.
“But at the end, the pace of the industry, how things are changing, the trends evolving and the new business models emerging will require a real step up in order to not only fulfil today’s needs of customers but also be able to compete tomorrow.”
Eric continued this and advised he has seen a push for digitalisation because of the pandemic.
“We had to quickly digitise any manual process remaining at the branches because no one was able to go,” he said.
“If we look at the overall trend and what we try to support, I would say that the trend is toward more customer-friendly interactions. The industry has been disrupted for a long time by technology trends. Within the banking space, all of the fintechs are taking advantage of the new modern technology on the cloud, which is another major technology innovation over the last few years that has caused companies to have to redo, rethink and re-engineer, providing an improved experience and a better way to deliver their products and services.
“As-a service” offerings
The conversation moved on to examine “as-a-service”, which Gina called “the biggest buzzword at the moment”.
In terms of the more popular “as-a-service” requests they’ve seen, Anton said: “What we see is not only about the technology itself but also on regulation – how to really be able to run on cloud and what do I need as a bank to do it. So it’s still where we need to do a lot of educational work to convince the clients on how to use a composable infrastructure. I think the regulation will move into tech as well now the banks are being forced to do that, so these are the service requests we get.
“We also get requests around ecosystems and how to manage an ecosystem. And, of course, as-a-service also means there is more shared responsibility there in the past between tech providers as well as banks, and they need to learn how to work together in a more complex ecosystem than a bank is used to”
Eric added to this, saying: “I think the Software-as-a-service trend represents an easier way for banks to get many of their functions onto the cloud and get the benefits of the cloud. As we know by now it takes some investment to get the benefits, such as that kind of always-on connectivity, for example when you’re on your phone a lot of apps don’t even work unless you’re connected. There’s also scalability so you’re not crashing websites or apps because the cloud can handle that. And then there’s the agility of rapid change and introducing new capabilities.
“The culture change has been mentioned and that’s probably even more significant than the technology change in terms of companies having to adapt themselves, but on the technology side it can be made much easier and that’s what we’re working on.”
The future trends
Finally, before taking questions from the audience, Gina asked the panel what digital transformation trends they expect to see in the new future.
Eric answered: “I see a lot of movement in the industry towards focusing on the strategic value of APIs. This is core to our software offering as we’re building our next-gen API management to make it easier.
“It’s still too hard to make the shift to the newer technologies and to get the investment in place to get the benefits everyone needs from the new technologies. Because of this, I think we’re going to see a next generation of products on the deployment side making it simple to deploy anywhere, automate and speed up innovation very rapidly.”
Andreas agreed with Eric in terms of “scalability, security and connectivity, be it through cloud API’s and so on” becoming a trend.
“What I strongly believe in is another buzzword sometimes called embedded finance, so financial services offered by non-financial players” he concluded. “I think that banking and financial services will happen somewhere else, but with banks and the way we develop the technology not only as banking-as-a-service provider but will allow easy integration with wherever you want financial services to happen. I think more and more of the banking will go away from banks.