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Best Practices Implementing Cutting Edge Tech in FSI

Richard Pain | March 28, 2017
Featuring advice from five of the leading experts in the FSI and technology sector today: DBS, Metlife, Hong Leong Bank and more ...

 

Of course, coming up with innovative products and services is a challenge in itself and is why some FSI organisations are launching their own FinTech incubators. The most recent example of this is Hong Leong Bank (HLB), which launched its mentorship programme for Malaysian technology and fintech startups, called HLB LaunchPad, in March 2017.

Speaking of the programme, HLB's group managing director and chief executive officer Domenic Fuda explained, "While the assessment and nurturing processes are critical, access to the financial infrastructure and knowledge of navigating the monetary aspects of ideating, developing, commercialising and building a business are equally as important .... We also understand that independence is important to allow these startups to flourish. As such, this will be one of the first of such programmes where a grant is provided to technology entrepreneurs to commercialise their innovative technology products or services, helping the business in its initial stages of development."

 

Domenic Fuda

Above: Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Hong Leong Bank Berhad 

 

Neal Cross DBS 

Above: Neal Cross, CIO, DBS Bank

Neal Cross, CIO at DBS Bank elaborates on the challenge and risk of rapid prototyping: "The problem with innovation today is that companies are building innovative products without consulting the customers or end-users. To counter this, organisations should rapidly come up with ideas and innovation, then visualise them in a cheap way-for example, drawing it out on paper-before proposing the new idea or offering to customers for their feedback." He adds: "The single most important thing about innovation is just go out and do something, even if it fails because unless you're failing, you're not being ambitious enough. But do it in a safe place where it's not going to hurt customers, such as in a sandbox."

 

Jeremy Hubbard UBank
Above: Jeremy Hubbard, Digital & Technology, UBank

A key tactic that helps drive this type of rapid prototyping is the adoption of agile and becoming DevOps enabled. One organisation that has done this successfully is Australian online bank, UBank. According to UBank's Head of Digital & Technology, Jeremy Hubbard, after creating cross functional teams and following a ten agile week training programme, development team productivity increased by over 100 per cent. "Originally one developer could accomplish about five days of development effort across a fifteen day period. By the end of the ten weeks, one developer could accomplish about ten days of development effort across this same period." Hubbard adds that one element that made this possible was the introduction of a new requirement for innovative projects: Make it easier to make changes to banking products going forward.

 

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