The Record - Issue 18: Autumn 2020

134 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om V I EWPO I NT Accelerating change in financial services DEN I S E PAR K E R : F I NA S T RA Open collaboration supported by cloud technology can help redefine finance for good W hen technology and real-life chal- lenges meet, the global community is presented with the opportunity to come together in order to build a better tomorrow. As the global Covid-19 pandemic has brought the future forward and accelerated the drive to digital transformation, now is the optimum time to empower change across the industry, supporting individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises and communities as they navigate through change. Finastra has a bold aim to improve the lives of millions of people, as well as small businesses and communities. But we cannot achieve this alone. We know that collaboration is crucial to success and we’re working closely with our customers and partner ecosystem to create new solutions and initiatives that help to deliver bet- ter outcomes for everyone. This approach to collaboration reflects Finastra’s whole ethos of enabling ‘open finance’. For us it’s about encouraging all ecosystem players, big and small, to contribute and innovate together, mak- ing the world of finance and technology more accessible, more equal. With this in mind, we recently announced a multi-year global strategic agreement with Microsoft to accelerate the transformation of financial services. Together, we aim to provide people, businesses and communities with the solutions and services that fit around their needs and lives. We already support 3,000 banks and financial institutions across payments, lending, treasury and retail banking on Azure. Our part- nership with Microsoft is also helping accelerate our product roadmaps to bring even more of our mission-critical solutions to the cloud for our 8,500 customers. The move to cloud has been particularly cru- cial during lockdown, when bank branches have been closed and employees redeployed to work from the safety of their homes. Cloud is now very much the enabler for continuing connections. Many financial institutions are leveraging our services to do more. IFIC Bank in Bangladesh is helping to bring more people into the banking ecosystem. Using Finastra’s solutions, IFIC Bank is now onboarding more than 10,000 customers every month and delivering the benefits of dig- ital banking to a much wider audience, many of whom didn’t hold a bank account before. Shah Sarwar, managing director and CEO at IFIC Bank, said, “In the next two years, we want to grow our customer base by roughly 20 per cent to around one million people. And we would like to have at least half of these customers using our digital channels. Finastra will play a key part in this strategy, helping us shape the personalised experience we need to reach more customers.” TONIK in the Philippines is another good example. The bank is introducing digital bank- ing to a market ripe for digital disruption. The Philippines has high internet usage and a large unbanked population of around 70 per cent. Using digital technologies and a lower-cost “Supporting businesses is crucial in keeping economies moving”