They liked this digital banking company so much, they bought it

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Finastra, a provider of core banking software to banks, has acquired another software firm, Malauzai, to step up its digital banking offerings. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Finastra is an amalgam of two bank technology companies that merged last year, Misys and D&H. The London company offers core banking and lending software, among other things, and has 4,500 U.S.-based community bank customers.

Malauzai, in Austin, Tex., has 350 U.S. community bank customers for its digital banking software.

The two companies have been partners since 2015 “when we were having some challenges on our end with meeting the needs of our customers, especially in the digital arena,” said Mike Dionne, Finastra's senior vice president of community markets in the Americas. The two companies now have 130 joint customers.

Malauzai has been fiercely independent from its inception, he acknowledged.

“We recognize that part of what has made Malauzai successful is that independence,” Dionne said. “We’re giving careful planning to how we allow them to maintain that economy and independence as we think about how to integrate Malauzai into the broader Finastra organization.”

The Malauzai brand will continue for some time.

“The monkey" — Malauzai’s brand icon — "has a powerful presence as does our name, so we’re going to leverage that,” said Robb Gaynor, chief product officer of Malauzai, who is staying on with Finastra. “We’re still formulating what that means.”

Malauzai CEO Tom Shen is also staying on in a different role. Finastra has not said how many jobs might be eliminated.

Austin, Malauzai’s headquarters, will become Finastra’s digital center of excellence in the U.S.

“We fully intend to continue to maintain an Austin presence and the legacy Malauzai employees that are predominantly housed there,” Dionne said.

Malauzai’s software will replace Cavion, the digital banking software currently embedded in Finastra’s core software.

Malauzai has marketed itself as open, allowing third parties to integrate with its mobile banking software and connecting to all the major core banking systems.

Now that it will be owned by a core banking provider, Dionne says that interoperability will be maintained.

“If you look at Finastra’s track record, we have a number of solutions we sell predominantly into cores that are not our own,” he said. “We have 3,000 clients that are Finastra LaserPro customers that are not our core customers.” (LaserPro is a commercial lending platform created by D&H.)

“We’ve got a track record of doing that successfully," Dionne said. "We need to be mindful of how other core processors will receive this.”

Half of Malauzai’s revenue comes from non-Finastra customers, Gaynor said.

“We will be protecting those customers,” Gaynor said. “That’s consistent with Finastra and FusionFabric in terms of the way the overall company approaches openness. “ is software Finastra offers third-party vendors to write applications that work with its core banking software.

“Openness and innovation are the guiding principles that will make this marriage work,” Dionne said. “We feel the best way to stay ahead of the innovation curve is by inclusion.”

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