When Finastra was created by the 2017 merger of the bank technology vendors D+H and Misys, the core banking applications provider was able to redefine itself.
“It had a clean-start moment to rethink what’s the best strategy for core application providers in the 21st century,” said Ron Shevlin, director of research at Cornerstone Advisors.
Since the merger, London-based Finastra decided it wanted to become a platform service provider — being the store that holds products rather than the product provider.
At Money 20/20 Europe this week, Finastra launched its FusionFabric.cloud platform. Finastra already had 60 early fintech adopters testing the platform, and the launch opens it up to its 9,000 bank clients worldwide.
Finastra’s hope is that banks can use the platform to onboard products more quickly. It typically takes weeks or months for a bank to connect to a fintech’s application programming interface. By doing the work of connecting fintechs to Finastra’s APIs, the vendor eliminates one of the most time consuming parts of a bank launching a new product.
The arrangement holds promise for fintechs, particularly younger ones that often struggle to raise the amount of capital needed to get themselves noticed by a financial institution partner.
“Fintechs get stuck in the bank’s procurement,” Natalie Gammon, Finastra's chief cloud officer, said in an interview last week ahead of the product's launch. “They have been struggling to get their foot in the door with banks. We want to enable this platform to be an entire open innovation marketplace for them.”
The platform has three core components: FusionCreator, FusionOperate and FusionStore.
Creator is an environment in which financial applications can be developed quickly without much code or integrated API management tools. Operate is a management system that can deploy and operate applications in a secure cloud infrastructure. Store is the online marketplace where banks can search, try and buy applications.
The fintechs that piloted the platform are counting on the launch to increase their visibility among potential banking clients.
Rachel Batish, the chief revenue officer at Conversation.One, a voice banking and chatbot solution for banks and credit unions, said the launch of the platform gives her firm immediate exposure to banks that it otherwise might have struggled to reach on its own.
“By working with Finastra, we are cutting that part which is usually the longest in our new- customer process,” she said. “Finastra’s clients automatically get connected to the APIs, so they can just go and launch the product after a few hours or a few days.”
Conversation.One currently works with about 10 financial institutions and expects to land more clients as banks sign on to Finastra’s platform.
Gene Vayngrib, the CEO of the know-your-customer blockchain solution Tradle, said he also expects more business to come from the launch of FusionFabric.cloud.
“What we expect from this platform is acceleration of sale and acceleration of deployment,” he said.
Some more established companies, including Accenture and Thomson Reuters, were also among the platform's early adopters. Accenture built a commercial lending solution on FusionFabric.cloud and Thomson Reuters is embedding its instrument reference data into the platform.
To keep the platform growing, however, Finastra will need to keep adding established fintech brands, Shevlin said.
“Even established fintech providers or legacy third-party solutions would want to reduce their cost of sales by reaching 9,000 institutions on a platform,” Shevlin said.
Before the launch Tuesday, Finastra announced that Nadeem Syed would step down as CEO and be succeeded by Deputy CEO Simon Paris.
Syed said in an email that Paris was the driving force behind FusionFabric.cloud and spearheaded the company’s transformation from a solution to a platform organization.