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How are “plug and play” providers changing banking?

With the rise of digital transformation in the post-pandemic era, customer behaviour has changed rapidly and in large numbers, according to McKinsey’s Global Banking Annual Review 2021 report. Customers are wanting further channels to conduct their financial transactions in addition to visiting bank branches. As a result, financial institutions are forced to focus their customer targeting efforts on channels that are readily available via digital mediums.

Retail banking customers now expect on-demand, fully digitalised experiences, hyper-personalised services, and around-the-clock assistance. Customers need a consistent omnichannel experience with improved support services. To respond to these expectations, banks must change the underlying processes and legacy culture in a personalised manner, opening up their service ecosystems, and driving innovation in order to provide financial services 24/7 via any channel.
The rise of composable banking

As banks have migrated to the cloud, more are beginning to move beyond simply lifting and shifting their old applications onto cloud infrastructure. A growing number are remodeling their software monoliths into an array of microservices. These are self-contained modules of parts of banking business functionalities that can be easily integrated together or, even more importantly, with other applications using open banking API ( application programming interface).

Banking and financial services are rapidly moving towards Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, which allow banks to move their technology stacks from vertically integrated, product-based business models towards open, horizontal models that provide banking as a platform. At the same time, Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) addresses how customers expect everything to be seamlessly integrated, accessible, and do-able from their own device whenever it suits them.

The plug and play feature is the cornerstone of SaaS and could be one of the primary factors that can influence a customer deciding on a SaaS functionality. The model has an attractive trade-off with limited costs for banks, has low risks shouldered by the bank, and it still allows clients to get the digital solutions they want. A fast software implementation can also help improve internal processes and quickly shift the financial perspective.
Evolution to BaaS

Taking advantage of the technological revolution, BaaS has emerged and allowed banks to open their systems and allow fintechs or other third-party providers to carry out transactions without having to develop functionalities from scratch, only a plugin is needed.

Auriga, for example, supports the digital transformation of banks by offering cloud services, like chatbots, that can be used on ATMs,/ASSTs and kiosks to support customers, on the Internet and mobile channels ( e.g. to book an appointment with the help of chatbots and voice assistance ), including helpdesks to enhance customer experience and optimise the work handled by bank operators.

Auriga also allows customers already using their mobile solution to use the various WWS Mobile function plugins, all or in part, such as the touchless and cardless withdrawal, guaranteeing a fluid user experience.
Plug and play – a growing trend

There are a multitude of reasons why SaaS can be of great value to banks including cost efficiency as these solutions do not require high internal IT investments. Lower running costs enable a more variable cost structure, which is very appealing to smaller financial institutions and could help them strengthen their digital capabilities and market position. It also allows for more flexibility. Instead of committing to multiple, costly tools, financial institutions can now pick single services and benefit from continued releases that will constantly improve their online banking platform.

As plug and play solutions enable businesses to bring more products to market faster, this technology allows them to support new implementations without the need to increase their IT staff exponentially, which can arguably now focus on growing their business as opposed to managing the implementation processes.

Likewise, an open banking strategy unlocks new value with data sharing and strategic partnerships. By investing in plug and play capabilities, banks effectively position themselves to leverage an out-of-the box, open solution, and connect with third-party services for a seamless customer experience in banking.