2022 Winner – Übank Cloud Migration Powered by Finacle Core Banking & AWS – Retail Banker International Asia Trailblazer Awards

 

 

Übank by VPBank is a new type of fully digital bank in Vietnam. The bank envisioned an efficient operating model leveraging Infosys Finacle’s core banking solution, hosted on AWS cloud infrastructure. The very modern set-up won it a Cloud Migration Advance – Completed Deployment trophy at the RBI APAC Awards 2022.

VPBank, and its digital imprint Übank, is a pioneer bank in Vietnam working with financial technology (fintech) partners to power its operations. Using Infosys Finacle’s core banking solution as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) on Amazon Web Services (AWS), the bank saves on the upfront expense of investing in IT and people and avoids the fear of eventually ending up in IT siloes common with inflexible legacy systems. It is aimed at the underbanked, mobile savvy younger generation.

The bank chose Finacle as a cloud-native, microservices- based digital banking solution suite that would empower them to

  • Be agile in catering to customer requirements
  • Concentrate more on the core business to achieve customer-centricity and operational efficiency
  • Reduce technology spend and restructure the expenses to spread over time.
  • Improve the uptime and ensure expert support availability through a single vendor managing both infrastructure and core banking application.

ÜBank aims to provide banking and financial services to its target segment with a digital platform, minimizing the effort and time required to perform banking procedures. The biggest impact of this initiative was the innovation of an efficient operating model with a highly flexible and adaptable core banking solution. As envisaged in the transformation road map, the bank was able to achieve a robust solution with near-zero IT infrastructure and IT resources and maximized utilization of AWS.

Technology stack

The cloud implementation was done on AWS Singapore with full planning and end-to-end SaaS services from Infosys Finacle. A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) solution provides connectivity for business users, enabling connectivity from anywhere to the Finacle Core front- end using multi-factor authentication (MFA) security.

Dependencies on third party fintech partners were achieved seamlessly via AWS API Gateway, a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at

any scale, and the development of adaptors to handle inbound ‘calls’ for data. VPBank was able to harness the capabilities offered by Infosys Finacle to provide services tailored to customer requirements. The implementation of Finacle has helped to improve offerings and access to more capabilities through the app, leading to seamless customer experience and reduced IT dependence.

The cloud solution was developed by integrating technologies such as:

  • JIRA on the cloud for defect tracking, communication, project artifacts, sprint planning, and tracking enabling high visibility and transparency for all stakeholders
  • AppDynamics and Finacle Assure for automated API utilization and daily performance report generation
  • Enterprise cloud security/cloud infra, functional, and technical architecture for solution review.

Finacle solution components are deployed on VPC on an EC2 Kubernetes cluster. A complete agile implementation was done on AWS.

Leveraging open banking trend

The trend towards ‘Open Banking’, powered by APIs that allow software to communicate with each other, is already evident in the banking industry. It is leading to platforms where customers in large communities, such as an online shopping / loyalty points provider, can easily be offered banking services – or indeed comparative data to help them choose a financial product – simply by tapping a button on their mobile phone app.

Utility switching communities are another recent trend, whose users could benefit from instant connected banking services – to set up a direct debit for instance. Connectivity to these platforms is essential for banks as the ‘Open’ trend, and mobile banking and API usage itself, advance hand-in-hand this decade.

Ensuring the security of such a set-up is vital to protect customers’ privacy and the bank’s money digitally, which is why Übank and Infosys Finacle have taken care to secure how their dependencies and API-led ‘calls’ for data are arranged. In modern banking, protecting your customers privacy and the bank’s money digitally is as important as steel vaults in branches used to be in protecting cash last century.

Implementation

The rollout of the fully digital Übank by VPBank was completed in five months with the support of the bank‘s partners AWS and Infosys Finacle. Infosys Finacle was

in charge of the back-end operational stack and helped Übank navigate the limited internal IT capabilities within the new bank. Übank by VPBank deliberately had no installed IT infrastructure or resources itself, so that it can

concentrate all its efforts on Customer Experience (CX) and the business of banking, not on technology provision. A ‘sandbox’ testing environment was used to ramp up Übank’s services and ensure a smooth launch.

A third-party SaaS suite of mobile banking front-end customer facing tools has easily been bolted on to the back-end infrastructure. Hosting in the cloud also adds scalability for the future in order to meet computing power demands as the number of customers grows. There has been a 25% uplift in Übank‘s customer acquisitions last quarter as the effective CX attracts adherents. Other benefits include:

  • Lower subscription cost due to modularization: As the bank has only acquired the modules it wants to use this has reduced the fee it It can also easily and quickly add modules when and if it wants to enter new sectors or become a universal bank. A complete subscription for a core banking solution is expensive, so being able to specify what functionality you want is a benefit.
  • Enhanced reliability: and constant uptime comes from investing in a new cloud-native solution without glitches, as does improved efficiency, agility, integration capabilities and more.

Reaping transformative benefits

Ü Bank by VPBank has received accolades from its customers for providing a seamless digital banking experience. Besides enhancement in productivity, the bank was able to achieve:

  • 27 percent saving in TCO and 50 percent saving in the time taken to launch new capabilities
  • Over 95 percent server uptime and 100 percent improvement in system scalability
  • 60 percent saving in operational cost
  • 25 percent increase in new customers acquired in the last quarter and 30 percent increase in transaction volumes.

As Finacle is highly configurable, the bank has seen a 65 percent saving in time to launch new products. One of this being a game changing product Usuper. This is a unique product which gives its customers the flexibility of a current account while giving high rate of interest for the amount unutilized. Übank by VPBank is now well set for growth

and the digital future of the 21st century where branch- based banking, cash usage and other traditional ways of operating are slowly falling by the wayside, as the younger generation turn towards their mobile smartphone and insist on 24x7 self-serve data-centric options. The advanced cloud platform at Übank is ready to meet the challenge