Financial services companies in South Africa are using hyperscale cloud systems to increase their range of services, lower costs and reach into new markets, says financial services technology firm Synthesis Software Technologies MD Michael Shapiro.
The capabilities of cloud services, including analytical, automation and scalability across regions, are creating parity between financial services companies, with the emphasis shifting to detailed customer service and customer experience, he says.
Financial services firms can innovate by using the many detailed, technical capabilities of cloud systems to rapidly add many new services to their portfolios and to operate more efficiently and effectively. Companies can also run proprietary processes securely on cloud systems without exposing their own intellectual property, he adds.
“We focus on helping companies run their operations in more innovative ways and to shift the focus from technology to client service.
“Cloud provides the ability to add a significant array of capabilities and services rapidly. Synthesis focuses on fostering the co-creation of robust financial services products with our clients and leveraging what is available as part of the industry’s transition to rapid, highly differentiated and digital processes.”
One of the services provided by cloud services multinational Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a system called AWS Device Farm, which can test whether a company’s mobile or tablet applications and service channels will operate effectively and securely on a range of different hardware and software configurations, as well as the feasibility of providing services in different regions.
Synthesis is an advanced consulting partner of AWS – the first one in the Middle East and Africa – and started to use Amazon Web Services for its own purposes about five years ago. Synthesis identified that the benefits and capabilities of these platforms are relevant for its financial services customers, highlights Shapiro.
“Our clients can elevate their own intellectual property and depth and breadth of services rapidly. We advise that small or large financial services companies set up pilot projects to learn about cloud systems, which will inform their strategic approach to the adoption and use of new technologies as part of business development.”
Monitoring and auditing functionalities can provide much greater insight into a company’s ecosystem, and Synthesis can design and implement a full-service platform using the Synthesis consulting team, which have over 55 certifications on the AWS platform.
Meanwhile, these hyperscale cloud systems also impact on financial inclusion and can provide the infrastructure for mass- market financial inclusion initiatives. These can also serve as platforms for the provision of a much greater range of financial services offerings alongside basic banking and transaction services aligned with Synthesis holding company JSE-listed Capital Appreciation’s strategy of financial inclusion, he highlights.
“Financial services can scale and change dramatically by using cloud services, and global research and developing-country examples, such as India, indicate that these models of service provision will grow in future,” concludes Shapiro.