The future core banking solution – how process centricity will rule the market

Thought Paper

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Universal Banking Solution | Systems Integration | Consulting | Business Process Outsourcing

The future core banking solution – how process centricity will rule the market
The biggest challenge that core banking vendors face today is to keep the core banking solution (solution) synchronized with the current global industry requirements. This is a daunting task. The primary reason being the business of banking is not the same across all geographies. In addition, the solution functionalities have evolved over several years with vendors gaining experience and responding to client demands riding on the waves of technology transformation that has moved across geographical regions. This resulted in solution maturity. The flip side to this being localization of functionalities by region. A solution that is a perfect fit for South East Asia is not an ideal solution for North America. The variation is not in the banking products. It is the underlying processes. This thought paper presents a view point on how a core banking solution that is process centric will have flexibility to be a truly global solution.

It is interesting to map the waves that influenced the product strategy of the new entrants in the core banking arena.

Core banking solution transformation waves
The first wave notably started in Africa and South Asia. The simple manual operations moved into a core banking environment. The value was immediate, real and visible. New functionalities were added to the solution. In the product process trade off, the products were primary. The second wave in South East Asia was a little more complex, nevertheless a success; the result, more functionalities. This wave is significant as the business processes asserted themselves in addition to products. The new players with latest in technology smart, lean and fast conquered all. The Rajas of legacy systems with a monopoly in the market had no immediate answer to compete. The third wave that has just started, is embracing the America and Europe and not a technology wave in full measure. This frontier is more process oriented. That is the challenge the vendors are currently confronted with. that matter Europe. Economy, regulations and customers, profile the business of banking. This troika varies with geography. In India the major local banks have similar business models, the differentiator if any, is not very distinct. The regulators are cautious and regulations strict; the reason, why the recent financial meltdown had little or no impact in India. The customer expectations from a bank in North America are different from Europe or Asia. In this background, the core banking solutions that blossomed in the first and second waves, find themselves very rigid to take on the third wave. This adds a new competition dimension to the core banking vendors, remain rigid play local or be flexible go global. The business imperatives and banking trends require the vendors to tow the second option. This translates to being functionally flexible with strong process orientation.

The business of banking we all know is not the same in Africa as compared with Asia or for

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Thought Paper

Core banking product strategy
The product strategy of a vendor is shaped by the industry trends and the banking research consultants forward looking vision. The three top imperatives driving the industry today are (North America, Asia and so on) and channel service (branch, online, mobility banking); this is more pronounced in North America as a direct consequence of the most recent crisis in the banking industry.

1. Customer centricity 2. Regulatory compliance 3. Risk management. While these are generic terms as we read, the definition and degree vary by geography The focus for vendors is on „how‟ the solution will enable a bank move towards customer centricity, comply with regulations and manage risk in a not too flat a world. To address the „how‟ part the core banking product must be flexible.

The classic core banking
A classic core banking solution is product centric. Attributes such as customer type, account type, currency, interest, fee, minimum balance are attached to a product. This makes it rigid from process perspective. Figure 1 and Table 1 represent the Classic Core banking model.
Table 1: Product Demand Deposit Account Attributes and Values Product Account Attributes Customer Type Account Type Figure 1: Classic Core Banking Model Demand Deposit Account Currency Minimum Balance Interest Account Fee (Annual)
Home Loans

Value Individual Checking US Dollar USD 1000 0% USD 10

Personal Loans

Certificate of Deposits

Demand Deposit Accounts

This model is simple straight forward but not flexible to address the 2 top imperatives driving the banking industry (Customer Centricity and Regulatory Compliance). The attributes and values are tightly coupled.

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The future core banking solution
A truly global core banking solution is process centric. The process centricity will be enabled by a set of scalable repositories (Figure 2). A product will be created by a combination (mix and match) of repository components as illustrated in the table 2. The solidity of a core banking solution will rest on the strength of the repository factory.
Table 2: Repository Definitions with Examples Repository
Business Function

Definition

Example

Constraint

CreateA banking KYC and AML Customertransaction cleared activity that can (Non- Financial) be classified as Financial or Non- Financial

Business Processes

A group of related Business Rules

Open account

The customer must be existing and approved

Figure 2: Future Core Banking Model
Business Rules Process Component Orchestration Set of rules that 1. Open 1. The customer accountdrive a business must be 2. In US dollarfunction existing currency 2. Eligible to 3. Minimum open US deposit dollar amount USD account 1000

Business Process Repository

Business Rules Repository

Process Component Orchestration

Business Functions Repository

The synergistic association of Business Processes to Business Rules to accomplish a Business Function

1. Open account 2. In US dollar currency 3. Minimum deposit amount USD 1000 4. Customer who is an individual

Not Applicable

Advantages
Scalability: Each of the repository components
has the potential to be expanded. New repositories can be added and redundant ones deleted. The process component orchestration will ensure harmonious linkages. a combination of Business Functions, Business Rules and Business Processes. A customer in an online banking or direct banking scenarios can create their own products limited by constraints as a self-service offering. There is no need to come to a branch or make a call to a call center for account opening.

Adaptability:

The repository components can be categorized on the basis of geography specific variables. An implementation in United States of America will have that set of variables unique to North America.

Regulatory

Customer Centricity: Customer analytics for
an on boarded customer will determine the banking products that have the potential to be sold to a customer. A product by definition is

Compliance: Regulatory compliance is a set of Business Rules. The business rules can be added to business function expanding the related Business Process. For example, if a new regulation requires all new checking accounts to be in US dollars only. The business rule will have this constraint built in to comply with the new regulation.

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Conclusion
Technology is not a differentiator any more. Over the last decade the story of technology transformation in implementation of a core banking solution has lost the sheen. The technology transformation is a given benefit. The visible, measurable business transformation benefit is the key deliverable the business and IT leaders need today. To demonstrate this benefit a process centric core banking solution is THE solution.

References
1. “Global Crisis, Recession & Uneven Recovery” Y V Reddy Orient BlackSwan 2. K C Chakrabarty: Beyond Core Banking Solutions (CBS) – fast forward to Banking 2.0! 3. Bank 2.0: How Customer Behavior and Technology Will Change the Future of Financial Services by Brett King 4. Foundations of Banking Risk: An Overview of Banking, Banking Risks, and Risk-Based Banking Regulation – by GARP (Authors Richard Apostolik, Christopher Donohue, Peter Went)

5. Modern Banking by Shelagh Heffernan

Vishwanath Thanalapatti
Lead Product Manager, Infosys

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About Finacle
Finacle from Infosys partners with banks to transform process, product and customer experience, arming them with „accelerated innovation‟ that is key to building tomorrow‟s bank.

For more information, contact Finacleweb@infosys.com

www.infosys.com/finacle

© 2012 Infosys Limited, Bangalore, India, Infosys believes the information in this publication is accurate as of its publication date; such information is subject to change without notice. Infosys acknowledges the proprietary rights of the trademarks and product names of other companies mentioned in this document.

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