Markus Siikala, Head of Sales at Samlink. Photo: Pauliina Toivanen
Even though FinTech solutions do not technically differ that much from any other cloud service, utilizing FinTech extensively may result in excessive monitoring. While new EU legislation is lurking just around the block, companies are forced to dig into their piles of data and scan also their outdated business processes thoroughly. When developing new solutions for banking ecosystems, there are no chances for failure.
No more than a decade ago, the management of an IT platform was quite simple: software was self-made, placed into one location and behind a firewall. Now software is bought from various locations, most of which are cloud services that need to be reconciled with the old software. To get the best out of complicated information systems, banks need a solid integration partner.
Banks are facing many new challenges. One example is the new PSD2 legislation by the EU, which will obligate banks to open some of their customer information to third parties – with the customers’ permission of course.
Samlink helps their customers to manage their overall IT processes and provides banking platform as a service for almost one hundred banks. Even though Samlink’s expertise is in the financial sector, the company of 450 professionals sees great opportunities in developing functional electronic solutions and multi-channel services to match the needs of the trade industry and other service companies as well. Samlink´s skills of compliance are not limited solely to the finance industry.
“When a CRM is bought from a certain place, advertising and billing from another and no one even remembering the data gathering dust in the old systems, it can be quite troubling trying to keep up with the legislation and know for sure which party is allowed to use what data and in what scale. We follow the regulations both together with our customers and on behalf of them. We bear the responsibility so that our customers can let out a sigh of relief knowing that everything is up-to-date and taken care of securely, legally and also compliance-wise,” Markku Siikala, Head of Sales at Samlink, discusses.
Sustainable data processing
It´s not only the financial sector that has to be concerned about the EU’s Data Protection regulation. All companies dealing with customer data are obligated to demonstrate that they are compliant.
“Accountability means promoting sustainable data processing and it concerns almost every area of business,” Siikala explains.
“For an IT company the new legislation means more work and of course we are excited about it. There are plenty of new opportunities also for customers. In a way, this is also a redistribution of business,” he adds.
For FinTech startups, Siikala gives a few additional words of advice.
“I´ve been co-founding several FinTech startups and I must say they demand a lot more work than for example game or online services. All financial businesses are obligated to audit themselves precisely and everything is audited by the authorities as well. When founding a startup in the financial sector fail fast is not an option. Everything must go right from the beginning and at once.”
Ecosystems and New Technologies Speed Up Service Development
According to Markku Siikala, Finnish banks are overall well-aware and prepared for the disruption of the financial industry. When enabling change the first step is to readjust the company’s ecosystem to match the requirements of open interfaces and information along with all the security aspects and compliance factors. At Samlink compliance doesn´t concern just security, compliance means that all the business processes are in accordance with the requirements.
“The good news is that technology always bends. Old technology is slower at it but it´s still transformable. Almost all the banks are now working to renew their core banking systems. Finnish banks have not just stayed around to wait and see what happens. They’ve done huge investments in digitalization and started to prepare themselves for the future.”
There are multiple new things helping to digitalize IT systems. Siikala is looking forward towards blockchain’s opportunities as well. Blockchain is a distributed ledger of any kind of event, that once recorded can´t be altered anymore.
“This year we’ll get our first solutions in production that are utilizing blockchain. At first the transactions will be done with contracts rather than money.”
Text: Pauliina Toivanen