September 10, 2019 | Written by: Johannes Maurer
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The world of financial services is rapidly changing and evolving –new entrants, changing customers behaviors and massive amounts of new regulations are driving significant changes in banking sector.
As IBM’s Central and Eastern Europe Integration & Development Cloud Sales Leader, Novica Ninic mentioned in his blog, consumers of banking products have never been more online and digital, expecting from their financial institutions, for many a key lifetime partner, online services and the convenience of accessing services from any location at any time.
Online and internet banking in Southeast Europe (SEE) is on the rise and most of the banks in the region have already launched and started promoting their online banking platforms. Clients have a clear choice, and technology is now a point of differentiation and competitive advantage in the market.
Johannes Maurer, GM, IBM SEE – THINK Summit in Belgrade
Total spending on ICT in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) including SEE countries will continue its positive momentum to reach $127.3 billion in 2019, according to the Worldwide Semiannual IT Spending Guide: Industry and Company Size published by International Data Corporation (IDC). Among industry verticals, telecommunications and banking are the leaders in terms of ICT market spending. Banks are investing in digitalization and process automation in response to competition, and are developing functionalities that improve the banking experience, such as digital onboarding, instant lending, and cognitive advice. (1*)
In my view technology will remain a top focus for financial institutions of all sizes in 2019 and beyond. Banking leaders will continue to adopt new technologies ranging from: robotic processing; automated data mining and advanced analytics; using AI to fight financial crimes; modernizing their infrastructures; and delivering highly personalized experiences and services specific to customers’ needs, all in a secure environment.
Today at THINK South East Europe Summit, IBM announced a number of financial services companies in the region who have turned to IBM to help them digitally reinvent and deliver superior customer experiences:
- Bankart, a payment service provider in Slovenia chose IBM to build an open banking platform for PSD2 (Payment Service Directive 2). By doing so, Bankart will offer a unified PSD2 platform to 11 Slovenian banks in order to assure compliance with this EU directive and allow banks to digitize while adopting an open banking approach.
- In Croatia, Zagrebačka banka (ZABA) teamed up with IBM to deploy new services for its corporate clients and retail users. ZABA adopted DevOps practices to automate deployment of core business applications by using IBM UrbanCode Deploy, which enables the companies to build, test, deploy and monitor applications with speed, quality and control. As a result, Zagrebačka banka keeps boosting development, speed and quality of applications, and is able to develop and deploy new services faster to further improve customer experience.
- NLB Group, financial group with registered office in Slovenia and an exclusive strategic objective in SE Europe, has teamed up with IBM to accelerate its data management transformation. NLB will build a data management platform with end to end integration and AI capabilities which will enable the bank’s business and IT users across all departments to make more informed decisions by providing a holistic view of the company’s data including structure and unstructured data from internal and external sources (social media, web pages, etc.). The solution will integrate IBM’s technology and services with bank’s data to deliver modern data management and advanced analytics solution.
- Due to the varying economic and legal considerations in the markets they serve, OTP Group based in Hungary provides global financial services through several subsidiaries in South-East Europe. It’s R&D department is leveraging new state of the art solutions like AI and Blockchain on open source technologies such as IBM OpenPower servers to unleash the full potential of the technology, accelerate time to market in production development and successfully operate a highly effective business in the market.
- In Bulgaria, DSK Bank selected IBM SPSS to accelerate customer service and control risk with rapid, accurate credit risk assessments. SPSS will make the average loan approval process significantly faster, cutting the ‘time to yes’ to just a few minutes. Boris Ederov, Head of Retail Credit Risk Directorate at DSK Bank, comments: “IBM SPSS is playing a key role in the digital transformation of DSK Bank. Consumer loans approval is a vital first step and there is huge potential to embed predictive analytics into other key processes, such as customer retention and product recommendations. By providing a single platform for all our risk scoring and decision-making processes, SPSS gives us a powerful foundation for future growth.” In 2017, DSK Bank chose IBM Cloud to operate its core banking system.
- UniCredit Bulbank from Bulgaria turned to IBM Security in order to improve its experience in the area of data and information protection, user authentication, access management and data privacy. Roberto Furesi, Head of Security Department in Unicredit BulBank comments: “Security is Teamwork across the organization not a “stand alone” function. Everybody is a Security Manager.
- Banca Intesa in Serbia selected IBM API Connect platform to enable innovation by unlocking the potential of internal applications and data. The platform is helping them realise their goals of extending business opportunities to new markets and new revenue streams beyond their traditional business, gaining competitive advantage, and fostering innovation.
- Societe Generale Serbia Bank, has optimized and automated their Know Your Customer processes in order to increase data quality, implement due diligence processes, and shorten the client onboarding timescale. As a result of this process automation project, the bank can now claim that it realizes 5-10 times faster process execution and client onboarding and that their client portfolio is compliant with Societe Generale national and group regulations, as well as meeting Serbian national AML-CFT legislation. These new optimized processes now run on IBM Business Automation Workflow and IBM Integration Bus platforms, which enables simplicity in regulatory change implementation, identification of bottlenecks and reliable reporting.
- Raiffeisen Romania chose IBM Watson Assistant, a service on the IBM Cloud to reinvent their Human Resources department by building an innovative virtual agent within their organization to support their employees in dealing with HR-related topics, and give employees instant access to relevant information. Apart from frequently asked questions, their virtual agent will also integrate in the near future with their internal systems to dynamically provide assistance to employees when it comes to personalized content such as requesting vacation and generating custom employee documents. All the user interactions are in Romanian language and the IBM Watson Assistant content has been trained through the collaboration of Raiffeisen and IBM experts, acting as a single team within a co-creation setup.
Today’s news reflects the changing landscape of the financial services industry and how IBM technology is leading the way. No other company supports a larger portion of the world’s banking infrastructure. We’re running the back office for 90% of the world’s banks today and 19 out of the top 20 Fortune 500 Banks and Financial Institutions use IBM Cloud.
More banks than ever before are turning to IBM for our technology expertise including cloud, AI, security, mainframe, blockchain and now even Quantum to address shifts in their business models driven by changing consumer demands, new forms of competition, and increasing regulatory requirements.
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1* Telecommunications and Banking Drive ICT Spending in Central and Eastern Europe in 2018, According to IDC, 19 Jul 2018 – https://bit.ly/2OdtJIn