For all the talk of economic gloom, it’s still an exciting time to work in banking. Like Florence in the Renaissance, the industry is flourishing with astonishing works of creativity.
Let me share a few of my favourite innovations.
There’s great work around passwords. The field of “behavioural analytics” has the goal of replacing passwords altogether and wouldn’t we all just love that. Behaviosec and NuData Security are both pioneers, these systems monitor the behaviour habits of every customer to create a unique fingerprint. By looking at hundreds of factors: such as the angle the phone is held, how the user swipes, pressure, angle, speed, if they use one hand or two, and where they are located, to build a bespoke picture of every user. An imposter will behave differently – triggering an alarm.
Lemonade, a home insurance provider, who has been around for a while now, still stands out in their use of AI to change the way insurance payouts are made. Customers make a claim by recording a short video using the Lemonade app. An AI engine calculates the likelihood of the claim being true. Lemonade paid a claim in three seconds this way and that’s got to be a world record.
Personetics and Cleo are perhaps the ones to watch in the customer spend monitoring space. Presenting information in plain language. Users can ask “How much have I spent on coffee?” or “Will I be overdrawn before payday?” and receive a chatty answer back such as “You’ve spent £28 on coffee this month, and at this rate will struggle to pay rent.”
Cleo by way of example is backed by an all-star cast of investors, including Skype founder Niklas Zennström, Wonga founder Errol Damelin, TransferWise founder Taavet Hinrikus, and most recently Balderton Capital in a Series A round, all drawn by the prospect of giving consumers intelligent insights.
These examples of innovation are a mere taster. In the Open Banking segment alone there are 268 apps registered with European Banking Authorities as of 31 December 2019. The number is growing all the time.
Now let me make a serious point.
We are seeing a mere fraction of the potential innovation. Bankers are bright folk. I hear revolutionary ideas all the time. But time and again brilliant ideas are wasted. They go nowhere.
The reason? The bank’s infrastructure can’t cope.
When banks want to plug in an AI engine, or use their data in a novel way, they are crippled by legacy architecture. It may take six months to a year for engineers to solve the problems.
So the idea gets junked. It’s just infuriating.
There is a solution.
Vault Core is a core banking engine optimised for innovation. Whether the bank is building something internally, or working with a third-party service, Vault Core transforms the entire process.
The first advantage is speed. Vault Core was written from scratch as an elegant, integrated banking platform. Data sits in one place only – no messy duplication or reconciliation. Vault transacts in real-time, eliminating batch processing. It’s an engineer’s dream.
Second, is the Vault Core workflow engine. Workflows lie at the heart of all great ideas, and we’ve ensured Vault offers the most intuitive, flexible, and robust engine in the banking industry. It means product managers can turn an idea into reality in days or weeks.
Third is scale. Vault Core is cloud-based, thus can scale without limit. Want to enrol a million users? Ten millions users? Fine! There is no diminution in speed or stability as numbers grow. As we know, legacy core banking systems creak and groan when asked to handle high volumes. For example, banks limit the range of transaction data viewable by their customers (normally to within a 12 month period at a time). Why? Their systems can’t handle a higher volume. Vault, by contrast, scales as needed.
The result is innovation at warp speed.
This is the age of innovation. A eureka moment is not enough. Bankers are bursting with ideas. What they need is an infrastructure able to turn those dreams into reality.