BCCL upgrades core banking platform with Red Hat and Temenos

“This standardization means better interoperability between our systems and helps us avoid the incompatibility issues we tend to see with proprietary software.” — Pablo Recepter, CIO at BCCL

As industry and regulatory environments in Argentina have evolved, Banco Credicoop Cooperativo Limitado (BCCL) needed to upgrade its core banking platform as part of its digital transformation initiative. To take advantage of this new platform, BCCL, a large cooperative bank that handles 2.65 million customer accounts and up to 4 million transactions a day in 267 branches and 24 service centers across the country, also needed to upgrade its software to create a robust IT foundation for its core banking systems and Temenos software.

Keeping pace with change

According to Pablo Recepter, CIO at BCCL, the project’s goal was to implement the necessary technology to ensure the bank’s transactions could function reliably and efficiently in an increasingly complex industry, as well as meet changing regulatory requirements. Cost containment was another major consideration.   

After evaluating several solutions, BCCL selected open source solutions from Red Hat, a Temenos certified partner. Already, the open source Red Hat platform has met key imperatives of BCCL’s operations so it can offer the kinds of innovative banking services it wants to deliver to its customers, effectively and safely operate in a complex regulatory environment and scale to meet its higher processing requirements.

Continue reading “BCCL upgrades core banking platform with Red Hat and Temenos”

AI in banking: Where artificial intelligence and machine learning may take us

With an aim to separate hype from reality in Day 4 at Sibos, I was on a mission to understand what the existing and near-term applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) were in banking.  With machine learning described as “table stakes” now, Richard Harris (Feedzai) during The Ethical Side of AI panel, suggested that the closest we have to understanding the impact AI will have is by looking at the internet – knowing the internet would change everything but twenty years ago, we didn’t know how – describes the state of AI today.

Risk mitigation appears to be an active area for current AI application. For example, with a worldwide impact of money laundering estimates between 2% to 5% of global GDP (upwards of $2 trillion USD), Heike Riel, IBM (Sensemaker: The interconnectedness of everything and advanced AI) cited a case where they found a reduction in false positives of 95% to 50%, along with a reduction of 27% in manual effort by using AI/ML to help discover the undefined unknowns in the data. Using AI to help triage fraud for human interpretation and action is considered ‘narrow’ AI – the application of AI to one particular task.  

Broadening the scope of AI beyond a single task may be on the horizon. In the future I can see a time when an AI would become a new hire to the bank, employed to derive new, company-wide insights to improve processes, identify efficiencies or ways to improve customer experience.

Continue reading “AI in banking: Where artificial intelligence and machine learning may take us”

Financial firms continue to explore distributed ledger opportunities

An increasing number of industries seem to be dipping their toes into the blockchain arena. According to a recent report from PwC, 84 percent of respondents said their company is involved with blockchain in some capacity, whether that be testing new capabilities in a lab setting, building proofs of concept or running full-scale deployments. The World Bank and the United Nations have introduced blockchain initiatives, as has Red Hat customer, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), following the lead of companies in communications and media, retail, energy and utility, healthcare, and other industries.

Blockchain seems to be everywhere. However, according to the PwC survey, there’s still one industry that’s seen as leading the pack: financial services. That financial services leads the pack makes sense, given the fact that blockchain started out as a way to record currency transactions for Bitcoin, a type of digital currency that operates independently of a central bank. And while the initial leading industry for blockchain application was financial services, it’s clear that the technology has moved well beyond this, and financial services organizations are exploring the use of blockchain in different ways.

Continue reading “Financial firms continue to explore distributed ledger opportunities”

What’s the future of open development platforms? Find out at an upcoming FINOS forum.

Cut support and operations costs. Modernize IT systems to better service customers and associates. Provide more personalized engagement opportunities that are channel-agnostic. These are just a few of the pressing challenges today’s financial services companies face. One way to help overcome these challenges is the adoption of open source technologies and more collaborative models like open banking.

Historically, the financial services industry has been more conservative when it comes to adopting new technologies and participating in more collaborative ecosystems – even if they have the potential to drive innovation and boost productivity. That may be due to the legal, IP, and compliance regulations that dominate the industry. So, for fintech developers to fully move out of their comfort zones and into open banking — defined as a network of financial institutions’ systems that fosters secure data sharing through application programming interfaces (APIs) – they will need secure continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines across the open source community software supply chain. That’s where the Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS) Open Developer Platform (ODP) comes in.

Continue reading “What’s the future of open development platforms? Find out at an upcoming FINOS forum.”

The Many Faces of Risk in Banking

In the regulatory environment of banking, risk has typically been top of mind. It was also top of mind at Sibos, where I followed the sessions on topics such as distributed ledger technology and open banking with great interest. Sibos, held this year in Sydney, Australia, is an annual week-long event billed as a “premier business forum” for the financial community to gather and collaborate around payments, securities, trade, and cash management, among other key issues facing banks and financial entities today.

In the new high volume and low dollar transaction world of electronic payments, the surface area of business risk has expanded. And when your competitor is only a click away, mitigating both reputational and technical risk becomes more and more critical. Let me explain.

Continue reading “The Many Faces of Risk in Banking”

Red Hat Forum in London, showcasing the role of Open Source in Financial Services

We recently hosted Red Hat Forum in London. At the event, discussions with financial services experts centered around the theme of modernizing for better business results.

Jon Hammant, DevOps practice lead for Accenture, showcased Accenture’s Extended Reality technology, giving attendees a look at new ways to generate profound personal insights for better engagement within organizations.

Continue reading “Red Hat Forum in London, showcasing the role of Open Source in Financial Services”

The new game plan for banks in the digital age

Borrowing the opening lines of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, banks are now in the best of times and the worst of times. Advancements in technology have given rise to changing consumer behaviors and enabled non-traditional players to offer banking services. Asian consumers today are 1.6 to 5 times more likely to transact with their banks via online channels as compared to physical branches. These consumers are also showing interest in using banking services offered by tech companies. For instance, Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay are now widely used by consumers in China for payments.

The need for banks to deliver exceptional customer experiences is now more important than ever, as customers are becoming more open to switching financial services providers (even if the provider is not a bank) if they found one that offered them a better experience. However, all hope is not lost. By making the right technological investments and adopting more flexible business models, banks have the opportunity to enhance operational efficiency and accelerate innovation in order to improve customer satisfaction and increase revenue.

Continue reading “The new game plan for banks in the digital age”

Preparing to be open in open banking

If I had to sum up a theme from my second day at Sibos, it would be open banking. Sibos is an annual week-long event that bills itself as a “premier business forum” for the financial community to gather and collaborate around payments, securities, trade, and cash management. At this year’s gathering in Sydney, Australia, a number of sessions have focused on initiatives around open banking and open APIs.

Several of the live polls throughout sessions at Sibos have focused on customer relationships – putting the customer (and partner) at the core, and building initiatives around that to become a more open banking institution.

Continue reading “Preparing to be open in open banking”

The network effect of blockchain

The impact of decentralization to financial services was abundantly clear to me on the first day of Sibos.

Moving almost $2 trillion in securities from a legacy system to distributed ledger technology (DLT), the transition of the Australian Securities Exchange to a blockchain is one of the more public use cases to date. Transitioning banks to DLT, whether that be for treasury services, correspondent bank payments, settlements, securities or other applications, getting the use case right from the beginning is an important first step to successful adoptions.

Continue reading “The network effect of blockchain”

Innovate at Finovate – Fall 2018 Conference Roundup

The Finnovate series of conferences are a showcase for banking and financial technology (fintech) organizations to demonstrate the technologies and services they are pioneering. The week of September 24th, at Finovate Fall 2018 in New York City, 79 Fintechs presented in rapid-fire, real-time seven minute demos (with no slides) focused heavily on enhancing digital user experience, open banking, artificial intelligence (AI) and data.

The fintechs’ offerings on display were far ranging and addressed various user types, customers and markets within the FSI space. There were demos about the application of AI facial recognition at ATM machines, along with integration of your mobile device to enhance security and transaction experience.

Continue reading “Innovate at Finovate – Fall 2018 Conference Roundup”