LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Online banking solutions provider NYMBUS chose a unique way to introduce themselves to the world at the recent Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas.
They threw a “Goodbye to the ’80s” party, complete with Madonna and Prince impersonators and people dressed like those dancers in the Robert Palmer videos. They even promised to give away the last diskette.
NYMBUS’ CO-CEO Alexander Lopatine said the 1980s were a great time for technology, as they gave us the Sony Walkman, pagers and MS DOS.
But while most of us have put our leg warmers in storage and moved on, one group is having a hard time saying goodbye.
“We think the eighties are over,” Mr. Lopatine said. “But banks still use technology from then, even from the 1970s and 1960s.”
Mr. Lopatine said it is odd that in an age with cloud technology and the Internet that banks are essentially held hostage by their vendors and are dependent on the software packages they provide.
If those banks want to innovate they have to pay to develop an application programming interface and full integration.
Then they have to hire people to make it happen. To properly do all of this, be prepared to spend a half-billion dollars and a decade of your time.
Mr. Lopatine said that the diverse backgrounds of NYMBUS’ leadership team, which includes banking, retail, programming and startups, enabled them to develop a fully scalable, full stack banking platform.
While their software works for banks of any size, Mr. Lopatine said NYMBUS is specifically targeting the 12,500 with $2 billion or less in assets.
“The software is designed to enable smaller banks to compete and integrate with non-banks and to compete with larger financial institutions who have billions to invest, though most of that goes to maintain legacy infrastructure — the monster,” Mr. Lopatine said
Developing a process that is seamless on the front end is hardly a seamless process on the back end, CO-CEO and Chairman Scott Killoh conceded.
“If you don’t take into account building the platform properly and take the time it takes to build it properly, you are always doing bolt-ons.”
An important part of that solution is “true” cloud technology, “true” meaning that many other solutions claim to be cloud based but are anything but, Mr. Killoh said. Many of those are simply offering point solutions, not full-scale cloud technology. This limits the security and functionality of those solutions.
Some are not even cloud technology at all, Mr. Killoh said. They employ a separate database with an online component which talks back to a legacy core with a COBOL mainframe.
“Just because you hosted it and used Citrix, that doesn’t make it cloud technology,” Mr. Killoh explained. “That makes it a hosted, private cloud.”
Mr. Lopatine agreed.
“Just because it isn’t in your basement that doesn’t make it cloud technology.”
NYMBUS provides all of the elements necessary to build the product without changing the stack or having to make constant integrations to the core, Mr. Killoh said. That process began 12 years ago and adapting it to banking was easy relative to building the stack.
Their core processing software allows for complete customization based on each customer’s needs. The dashboard comes with a drag and drop feature allowing users to set priorities while a single sign-on eliminates the need to remember multiple passwords. A search function easily scans those multiple accounts.
A unique page gets generated for each individual client who is rated on either a star or numerical scale based on their importance to the institution. When that person’s activity suggests a cross-sell opportunity, the institution is notified.
NYMBUS’ capability also allows for the collection of information on each individual’s social contacts so those people can be more effectively marketed to.
All of that back end work needs to produce a seamless front end experience, Mr. Lopatine said, because that is what millennials expect.
“With technology we expect the experience to be perfect.”
Mr. Lopatine drew from his retail experience in his explanation.
“The consumerization of enterprise, that is really what this is. How do you make enterprise IT act like a consumer-based product with the same responsiveness?”
“Unless you have everything built right you can’t do it.”
Also hurting banks is an attitude where they see themselves as processing companies and not software companies, Mr. Lopatine added. They keep investing in legacy payment trails when no one knows what those trails will look like in the future. Legacy technology is consolidated and they do not evolve with client needs.
That is a dangerous path, Mr. Lopatine suggests.
“We take a 360-degree view of the client. A relational database is set up so we see everything around the client in the right way.”
That allows the bank to see exactly who the client is, he added.
A NYMBUS solution is also more secure because it employs one set of software and one data set, Mr. Killoh explained. A bank may use 20 different software programs, and breaches are most likely when data is transferred between systems. That is what happened to Target, he said.