“We put in place rigorous governance mechanisms, we agreed with Finastra what the governance mechanism would be like and we then started to execute it,” said Dr Aamir Matin, chief technology and strategy officer, HBL, Pakistan.
That governance mechanism is crucial to any bank-vendor relationship, added Saqib Iqbal, sales manager MEA region, Finastra.
“We put in place a robust governance process, involving monthly meetings with the HBL executives, and we made our team available to make sure that not only the communication between us was very good, but we were regularly following up on things and getting them done,” he said.
“We put in place an on-the-ground, onsite project manager,” he continued. “He was doing day-to-day actions to make sure projects were running on time.
“We also improved the customer support services that we offered HBL with several initiatives to help the bank manage the products as well as they did.”
The two were speaking recently during a video interview with bobsguide, in which the relationship between the firms was discussed at length. HBL is currently upgrading its systems with Finastra across the bank’s ecosystem – including the latest version of Fusion Equation, and across trade products.
“We wanted to make sure the upgrades were successful, on time, and had the least amount of disruption for HBL’s business,” said Iqbal. “We started with some small, quick wins, to put all the mechanisms in place, to make sure that we could achieve all our objectives without any disruption and on time… that all led us to start working on major changes.”
HBL is Pakistan’s largest bank, with more than 1,700 branches and 2,100 ATMs serving more than 14 million clients. Like many in the market over the past few years, the bank has turned increasingly to technology vendors to assist with everyday operations. However, working with an increasing number of organisations can complicate things, so HBL relies on Finastra’s FusionFabric.Cloud, which brings other software providers together through APIs to ensure a seamless integration with banks and financial institutions.
HBL works with more than 150 applications, according to Matin, some built in-house and others from vendors across the world, so “a mechanism to be able to integrate these products” is crucial. FusionFabric.Cloud will provide that stability, according to Iqbal.
“We’ve gone through some major upgrades with HBL and the objective is now to move them to open banking, open platforms on FusionFabric.Cloud, so they can fully leverage the open platform direction that Finastra is going so they can be one of the banks to utilise the latest innovative technologies and be a clear leader not only in Pakistan but across the region.