Collaborating across the continents to build a better future for finance

This week BIAN signed its first African technology partner SCI, a pan-African market leader in technology consulting and solutions with over 50 years' experience in servicing the banking and financial sector across the continent. SCI has supplied, installed and managed over 1,500 ATMs at bank branches across all regions of Tanzania and the technology provider was the first in East Africa to provide mobile branch solutions, writes Hans Tesselaar

This week BIAN signed its first African technology partner SCI, a pan-African market leader in technology consulting and solutions with over 50 years’ experience in servicing the banking and financial sector across the continent. SCI has supplied, installed and managed over 1,500 ATMs at bank branches across all regions of Tanzania and the technology provider was the first in East Africa to provide mobile branch solutions, writes Hans Tesselaar

The technology provider has joined BIAN with the aim of addressing the issues that are arising in the African banking landscape, thanks to the increasing interest in technology developments across the continent. For example, to increase productivity and efficiency, more African banks are enabling personal devices to access their networks, which carries an inherent security risk. Moreover, Africa’s financial services sector is also experiencing challenges with compliance to standards such as PCI-DSS and SOX.

The Middle Eastern and Asian financial market are similarly experiencing challenges, thanks to the fast up-take of technologies of late. Following a period of fast expansion and growth, the industry across both continents has now reached a critical point. Going forward, it is important to consolidate and streamline their IT landscape to ensure that future growth can take place in a stable manner, without IT systems growing too unruly in the process. Indian-based IDRBT and the Commercial Bank of Qatar recently joined BIAN, which is now supporting them to do "City Planning" using the BIAN reference models as an agreed starting point. Having expanded fast without basic City Planning, the Asian and Middle-Eastern banking industry needs to work hard to avoid congestion and uncontrolled IT growth.

In contrast, the UK has a sophisticated financial history, but financial institutions are still struggling to adapt to today’s banking technology issues. UK banks have experienced a number of outages of late, as financial services try to deal with the challenges of modern banking on systems that were developed over 20 years ago with some outdated City Planning underneath.

While the specific challenges across each region may vary, BIAN members are discovering that their problems can be addressed by working together to standardise their core IT systems landscape. Whether based in Europe, America, Africa, Asia or the Middle East, through working collaboratively, the global finance industry can cut IT infrastructure complexity and integration costs and focus on what matters: providing a great service to customers.