At about the same time, an year ago, fintech sentiments were all time high in wake of innovations and sheer success driven on smooth socio-economic path without any trace of any pandemic in sight so much so, that expectations were poured in from all global quarters that similar trend would continue to prevail. But, Highest Authority had some other plans and Covid-19 turned the things upside down causing unprecedented situation to be the new norm, posing fresh challenges to overcome.
In words of Mr. Eli Rosner, who occupies the seat of Chief Product and Tech Official at Finastra, “Simply put, the events of 2020 brought the future forward. Our capabilities and software platforms allowed us to act very quickly in March 2020, from accommodating remote working to supporting our customers with their own transition. Finastra delivered working solutions to the market in the matter of days, such as the Paycheck Protection Programme (PPP) in the US”.
Truly, there are beliefs, widely acknowledged that the lockdown scenario compelled us to re-evaluate the worth and essence of digital economy and to look for ways to develop superior product-range and services. As a result, finance enterprises strengthened their grip on technology and thereby revamped their approach towards fundamental aspects of the field. Mr. Saurabh Shankar Singh, co-founder Cashdash, reveals, “to prevail more efficient in quick time and more agile in such testing times which has swept the wind of transition globally, and to manage unique customer needs qualitatively helped our group service”.
Infusing fresh hope and trust, Mr. Firat Koc, Chief Marketing Officer, Challenger Bank Papara said, “Papara managed to reach its end-of-year user and card-holder targets, 3 months earlier than expected. Papara now has 5.5 million users and adds over 300,000 more every month”.
In pursuing the key technologies which persuaded companies to re-structure their digital strategies, an array of tech instances have sprung to light which are pretty manifold too, such as Big Data and Data Analytics, Open Banking and Automation, Micro-services, Cloud. Let’s explore such technologies from real-life perspective of those who sit and run by it.
About Big Data and Data Analytics, Mr. Koc points out, “The introduction of Big Data analytics and machine learning algorithms into our development cycle has improved customer segmentation and fraud detection and prevention. Artificial Intelligence for KYC (know your customers) purposes is another technology that has been used by centralised cryptocurrency markets for some time. However, it has not yet become widespread in the finance sector, yet”.
For Open Banking and Automation, Mr. Simon Cureton, who operates as a CEO of finance market place funding operations, highlights, “Open Banking has offered us an immediate remedy while preserving the level of due diligence required to process the loans responsibly. Automated decision making has also accelerated the lending process to a matter of minutes from application to approval. Currently, Funding Option’s record for “application to approval” is just 2 minutes and 56 seconds”.
In case of Microservices, Mr. Edgardo Savoy who sits at TransferGo in the capacity of Chief Technology officer, reveals, ”At the heart of each operation is the customer experience. Every service or microservice that we design has the customer at its starting point and is anchored to the experience we want to deliver. This not only gives us flexibility but also allows us to develop new services and offerings at speed and in line with clients’ needs”.
Harping upon Cloud, Mr. Eli Rosner came forward, “Finastra has a strategic, multi-year cloud agreement in place with Microsoft to help accelerate the digital transformation of financial services. Cloud is the key enabler in this regard and has helped our ability to deliver remotely too. Cloud technologies are also helping to drive our initiatives to deliver better outcomes for everyone, including the financially excluded, small businesses and entire communities”.
Putting it straight, fintech has endured to prevail more effective and successful despite when tough times prevailed which gave way to harsh restrictions and pressure and this is truly exciting. But then, as experts observe, there happened to be wide fissure between newly set-up businesses and those well-established in the field, in terms of their response to such pandemic-affected mega shift or to state clearly, in terms of their preparedness.
Clearly, the capability split within fintech industry, globally, is pretty obvious and to overcome such common challenges, all mega players will need to join hands to collaborate in the larger interest of enhancing customer experience and sophistication, in the digitized world. Danny Chazonoff, COO at Paysafe Group, is filled with hope about such a supreme coordination, stating, “Businesses have had to revolutionize the consumer experience in order to stay afloat. The latest report in our “Lost in Transaction” research series suggested that 36% of online UK businesses consider Covid-19 to have increased their ability to innovate with around 84% of organizations subsequently altering their operations”.
Arguably, such an insight is wrapped around a million dollar advice and is replete with quintessence, that is profound and far-reaching as the concerned fintech eco-system is likely to bloom into the locomotive of change, ensuring higher revenue and hence resulting greater prosperity.
Mr. Rosner still defends his view that more work needs to be done in finance on the heels of Covid-19 while aligning with tech assiduity did produce encouraging results, directed towards development. As a result of 2020 lockdown, banking relied heavily on cloud which paved way for agility and prepared a breeding ground for speedy innovation and which eventually resulted in easier and sophisticated banking service to prevail.
Mr. Rosner concludes, “Our experience shows that banks which had already adopted cloud were better able to meet the challenges posted by Covid-19. Banks still on their digital transformation journey must continue to steer their operations toward a new operating model, one that delivers highly relevant customer experiences, provides easy access to innovation and reduces the total cost of ownership”.
Groundwork For 2021:
Well readers, the digital strategies and insights put here, by such real warriors of finance and technology to make their way out, could be consumed as “promise fulfilment” as a reaction to what 2020 has cultivated. Tech imposed transformation, under the purview of pandemic, has given rise to unique occupational culture and novel approach to customer service, while user response has been more engaging too, as is obvious by the assertions above.
We can easily proclaim that fintech industry has emerged more dynamic in this year, owing to unpleasant events happened throughout the year.
Mr Savoy said, “Customers have also accelerated their adoption of digital technology, and the pace of this transformation will continue long after the Covid-19. Can you imaging going back to the same manual processes, like queuing in banks to send money abroad, when the technology exists to do all of that without leaving your home”?