INCAT FaaS AI as a trading platform for one of Saudi Arabia's first digital banks

Our client is one of the leading Arab banks which, in order to fully digitize its services, creates one of the first digital cloud banks in Saudi Arabia. The implementation of the FaaS AI fintech service allows the launch of a commercial offer for future digital bank customers. In this project, INCAT acts as a technology partner and supplier of the main transaction system and project teams as part of the IT outsourcing service.

What is INCAT FaaS AI?

INCAT FaaS AI is a trading platform that acts as a sandbox for beginner fintechs, challenger banks and digital banks. The platform in the form of a service enables efficient implementation of all processes necessary to launch financial services. The implementation does not require the client’s environment, because the platform enables the installation of a full range of cloud services.

You can read more on INCAT https://incat.com.pl/faas-ai/

What were the client’s needs?

Until now, strict financial laws in Saudi Arabia did not allow the creation of digital financial services, installed in the cloud. Only recently, the new legislation provides space for full digitization of banking. The client, in order to be able to offer his solution on the commercial market and become a pioneer in the field of modern financial services, needed a transactional solution that would allow for a very fast implementation process, significantly shortened compared to standard implementations of this type. The use of INCAT FaaS AI functionality seemed to be the optimal solution in this approach, addressing the client’s requirements: the need for efficient implementation of a commercial product, compliance with restrictive formal requirements set by local regulators, the need to market verification of a new business model on the Saudi Arabian financial market and cost optimization related to the use of system resources.

The client did not have a specialized technical team that would be able to carry out such a technologically advanced implementation, which is why we, as a technical partner, also had the obligation to provide independent and competent IT teams that would take up this challenge.

The role of INCAT FaaS AI

In this project, INCAT’s FaaS AI components, installed in the public cloud, cover customer and account processing, as well as card transaction and payment processing. For the FaaS AI implementation itself, we used our skilled implementation and development team.

The biggest challenge

The biggest challenge while working on the project proved to be the limitations of the local financial system, which imposes high requirements for compliance with internal legislation and restricts the ability to provide key services from outside Saudi Arabia. INCAT as a system provider, processing clients’ financial data, has to meet a number of conditions, resulting from the regulation of Saudi Arabia’s financial law. In addition, our approach was important: technological flexibility (cloud agnostic), flexibility of Incat’s business models, and the ability to adapt to remote and pandemic project implementation system.

Functionalities that we implemented in the project

  • Data processing of customers and their accounts
  • Managing financial processes and products
  • Processing of money transfers and card payments
  • Installation of the solution in the public cloud

Effects

Thanks to the efficient implementation of INCAT FaaS AI components, the client is preparing for the commercial MVP implementation of its solution, which is planned for Q3 2021.


The new version of BOS is available now!

After many months of hard work, we can finally boast: BOS 1.9 is now available to our customers. While developing the new version of our system, we focused on updating key functionalities and creating solutions valuable from a business perspective. See what we have achieved!

New user-friendly interface

While working on version 1.9, we focused on developing the BOS interface in terms of UX and UI. Our goal was to create a user-friendly space where settings can be quickly and intuitively parameterized and configured to meet the individual requirements of a financial institution. We also managed to develop the possibility of full visual customization of the system, in accordance with the branding and color scheme of the client who uses BOS. This makes it possible to visually unify the client’s external interface with the back-office, the role of which is performed by BOS.

Processes and functionality development

Event manager enables efficient and seamless process modeling and event management of the entire system from the level of a single interface. In version 1.9, we applied the event manager functionalities to the process of handling transactions, as a result giving customers the possibility of flexible handling of complex processes and creating advanced choreography of complicated events in the system. We have also developed processes of advanced transaction tagging, allowing to efficiently identify, filter and order transactions according to the adopted parameters. In version 1.9, we introduced expanded support for online and recurring commission tables, as well as a subscription plan mechanism. We have also optimized the process of funds management when handling payment orders.

New comprehensive microservices

Anti-fraud module

We extended the system with advanced anti-fraud and KYC modules, increasing the control of transactions and significantly reducing the risk of fraud. Anti-fraud tools are based on mechanisms of Machine Learning and AI, which allows for advanced and automatic analysis of user behavior, and as a result, identification and control of unwanted actions.

CRS

Customer Relation Sets is a microservice that gives our customers the ability to connect users into structured groups, with different levels of access to accounts and assets. Each customer can create their own access patterns and user groups, such as family, company, class, for example. Each group can be given different settings regarding members, fees, or linking multiple accounts together. In version 1.9 we have extended the CRS module with a number of possibilities: levels of access to company accounts, various types of groups, roles in a group and multi-level relationships between account users.

Cashback

Cashback is a completely universal tool for creating loyalty programs, allowing you to offer system users discounts in the form of a refund of part of the purchase amount. In the BOS 1.9 version we extend the scope of loyalty programs with card transactions and purchases in online stores.


12 best fintech podcasts - best sources of fintech industry knowledge

We’ve made a subjective list of the 12 best podcasts in the fintech world. In selected podcasts, specialists and experts share their knowledge and opinion on topics related to the FinTech industry. It is a mine of information and inspiration for people who want to start their adventure with the world of finance and banking, but also for those who want to be up-to-date with the dynamics and novelties of the FinTech world.

Around the coin – Fintech Podcast

 

 

 

 

Around The Coin is an award-winning podcast discussing current trends in the FinTech and financial industries. Podcast hosts Faisal Khan, Mike Townsend and Brian Roemmele discuss what’s new in the world of payments and financial technology in their weekly podcast.

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Bank on IT by John Syracusa

Each week, program host John Siracusa talks to FinTech leaders and entrepreneurs, uncovering the inspiring stories behind each of them. New podcast episodes are broadcast every Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Link

Breaking Banks

Brett King, author of Breaking Banks, is a character well known in fintech’s lobby – author of several books, fintech commentator and a great podcaster. He invites famous guests from the FinTech world to his podcast – startup founders, innovators and financiers, with whom he comments on the most important events in the financial industry.

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Fintech Insider by 11:FS

Fintech Insider, by the team from 11: FS, is a bi-weekly podcast devoted to fintechs, banking, technology and financial services. Charismatic hosts: David Brear, Simon Taylor, Jason Bates, Sarah Kocianski and Ross Gallagher, along with guests, comment on the latest news, achievements and trends in the financial industry.

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For Fintech’s sake

Fintech’s Sake is a broad look at the world of FinTechs. Host Zach Anderson Pettet discusses the events of the borderline between finance and technology from the perspective of founders, investors and regulators.

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Fintech Impact

The Fintech Impact podcast is an exploration of the FinTech world in which the author, Jason Pereira interviews entrepreneurs about their history, what they do and how they impact consumers, operators, legislation and the industry as a whole.

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What the Fintech by Fintech Futures

Podcast by Fintech Futures editor Alex Hamilton. In biweekly episodes, Alex discusses popular topics in the financial industry, and his guests share useful insights and often strong opinions about the fintech world.

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Fintech Beat Podcast

Fintech Beat is a podcast with a mix of finance, technology, politics and law. Each episode tells about the latest trends, changes and new regulations in the field of financial technology. The podcast host is Chris Brummer, a Georgetown law professor and a world-renowned financial technology expert.

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Fintech Newcast

Fintech Newscast is a loose and humorous panel of the latest FinTech news, commented on by finance and technology specialists. The lecturers look at all aspects of the development of the FinTech industry, with particular emphasis on the topics of payments, capital markets, blockchain and loans.

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Voice of Fintech

Voice of FinTech is a podcast of Rudolf Falat, a corporate finance specialist with extensive experience in financial services. Rudolf is a FinTech and technology enthusiast, startup mentor, advisor, business angel and executive education trainer. The weekly podcast follows the formula of interviews with Fintech developers and key players in the global financial ecosystem.

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Fintech Focus

Andy Goldstein and Laura Sewell of technology company CSI discuss the latest FinTech and RegTech topics with bank executives, industry experts and opinion leaders.

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Naked by the Future Farm

Vladia and Nektarios from The Future Farm in “naked” conversations with company founders, investors and other players in the financial world about the challenges faced by entrepreneurs building a business in the financial industry, as well as about the difficulties and personal stories that inspire everyone who finds themselves at the beginning of this uneasy fintech path.

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10 must-see movies and series about banking and finance if you work in this industry

Who said you can’t combine work and play? You can! For example, relaxing while watching a movie or TV series about topics related to your work. If you’re in the banking or fintech industry, the following titles should definitely be on your “to watch” list:

Wolf from Wall Street

We couldn’t open our list with a movie other than this one. The Wolf of Wall Street was hard not to hear without even having a chance to watch it. The 2013 biographical film about the life of a stockbroker – Jordan Belfort – is a crazy story of big money, the road to the top and risky balancing on the verge of legality.

The director, Martin Scorsese, tells the true story of one of Wall Street’s most controversial heroes. Jordan Belfort was a golden child of the financial world who achieved a stunning financial success thanks to the sale of bogus stocks on the American stock exchange. Quick and tremendous success brought him fortune, power and a sense of impunity, which consequently led Belfort to a spectacular fall. The Wolf of Wall Street is a must see for anyone who wants to see the American dream in the tough financial world.

Trailer:

Billions

A series about the district attorney’s fight with the boss of a hedge fund, dealing with not entirely legal financial practices. Billions is a great story about a clash of two strong personalities, tremendous cunning and an even greater ego. The background to this clash is the world of hedge funds, big money, complicated relationships and impressive manipulations.

Trailer:

Wall Street

Even though Wall Street is a 1987 movie, it is still an excellent movie to watch. It is a story about a young and ambitious stockbroker who falls under the wing of a ruthless and calculating financier, Gordon Gekko. The fascination with the rich financial shark makes the hero ready to push the boundaries of morality and do everything to achieve success comparable to that of his mentor.

Trailer:

The Big Short

A star cast, a true story and an original script – this is a recipe for success that the creators of The Big Short used. The film tells about the causes of the financial crisis of 2007-2008, caused by the bursting of the so-called credit bubble. The story is known as the “Economy for Newbies”, because it explains the meanders and intricacies of the global financial market in a simple and interesting way. Well-drawn characters, pictures that you cannot take your eyes off of and original dialogues are the greatest strength of this film.

Trailer:

Chasing Madoff

A movie presenting the story of Bernard Madoff, an American stock market investor, owner of one of the largest financial companies on Wall Street in New York, who was arrested on December 11, 2008 and sentenced to 150 years in prison six months later, for extorting $ 65 billion from clients of investment funds linked to his business. Madoff tempted investors with huge profits that were not really there.

Bernard Madoff, recognized as the creator of the largest financial pyramid in history, died in early 2021.

Trailer:

Inside Job

Another story of the world crisis of 2018, this time through the eyes of documentary filmmakers. The Oscar-winning film is a film material documenting the shocking truth behind the scenes of the economic crisis in 2008. Through extensive in-depth research and interviews with major financial market players, politicians and journalists, the film shows the development of speculative financial operations and the financial industry behind them.

Trailer:

Bad Banks

Bad Banks is a German series created in cooperation with HBO, presenting the fierce rivalry of the banking and financial segment, which, six months after the Great Depression, faces the challenge of tightening regulations in the financial industry. The story is told from the perspective of the main character, an ambitious employee who starts working in a prestigious position in one of Frankfurt’s banks and has to face the dark side of the financial world.

Trailer:

Margin Call

 

A story about the first 24 hours of the financial crisis on Wall Street and the backstage of events that changed the world. The great role of Kevin Spacey, as an analyst working for a powerful investment company based on the famous Wall Street. The action of the film takes place over 24 hours and focuses on the actions taken by key employees of a large investment bank in the face of financial collapse.

Trailer:

Inside the Federal Reserve

Another document you can watch on Youtube. The film reveals the backstage of the world’s largest “bank” – the US Federal Reserve Bank. Each of his sneezes has an immediate impact on the condition of other financial institutions, which is fascinating in itself. The film shows just how powerful the US dollar is and how America’s largest financial institution impacts the rest of the world.

Full document:

Too Big to Fail

HBO’s fact-based production drama tells the story of the causes of the 2008 economic crisis and the background behind the introduction of the Paulson Plan, the US financial rescue program. The video shows in detail the actions taken by the team of the US Treasury Secretary to rescue failing investment banks. The film focuses on the changing strategies of Paulson’s team and on negotiations with the CEOs of the largest US banks.

Trailer:

 


The short story of fintech

Fintechs, treated as modern financial entities, seem to be a relatively new invention in the banking world, although the foundations for this area of ​​business were established in…the 19th century. Before you, the history of fintech: from the creation of the first transatlantic link to innovative financial startups, without which today’s financial landscape would not be complete.

19TH CENTURY – THE BEGINNING

We know that dating the beginnings of the fintech industry to the nineteenth century may seem “a bit” strange daring, but indeed the year 1866 laid the foundations for the development of this branch of the economy. It was this year that the first transatlantic link was successfully laid, providing the basic infrastructure for the period of intense financial globalization that will take place soon – right at the beginning of the 20th century.

THE FIRST HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY

1918 is not only the end of military operations under the First World War, but also the time of intensive development of technologies, especially telecommunications. And so, at the beginning of the interwar period, the first ever electronic money transfer system called Fedwire was created. Its operation reflects the spirit of the time – Fedwire was based on the strength of the telegraph signal and Morse code.

In 1920, the first flashes of the philosophy on which today’s fintechs are based appear – John Maynard Keynes published his book “Economic consequences of power”, the main thesis of which concerns the development of finance, based on a combination of achievements of contemporary technology with the requirements of the financial market.

According to experts on the subject, the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century are called the “Fintech 1.0” period.

THE SECOND HALF AND THE END OF THE 20TH CENTURY

The switch from analog to digital enabled the creation of the first Barclays ATM in history in 1967. This is the moment that symbolically marks the beginning of modern financial technologies. The digitization of the financial industry is developing at an impressive pace at that time. In the early 1970s, Nasdaq, the first electronic stock exchange, and SWIFT, a communication protocol used by financial institutions to make large amounts of cross-border payments, are created in the United States. The digitization of finance has increased due to the advancement of digital communication and transaction technology. Nasdaq and SWIFT mark the beginning of the financial markets and the communication protocols used today.

The 1990s, due to the intensive development of computers and the Internet, brought us online banking – from that moment both companies and individual clients can manage their finances from the computer screen. Internal processes and communication with clients are partially fully digitized and there is a clear shift in the way people interact with financial institutions.

Soon, the term “Fintech” appears for the first time in a wider circulation. In 1993, Citicorp established the Financial Services Technology Consortium, abbreviated as the Fintech project. This initiative is aimed at the cooperation of small, technologically advanced IT companies with banking institutions that want to develop the area of ​​financial innovation.

A milestone in the development of electronic payments is the establishment of PayPal in 1998 – one of the first financial organizations whose mission and scope of services is very similar to the shape of today’s modern fintechs.

The achievements of financial technology at the end of the 20th century close the era of Fintech 2.0.

21ST CENTURY

The long-awaited 21st century begins one of the biggest financial crises in the world – 2008 marked the collapse of the global economic system, which resulted in a sharp decline in the level of confidence in banks. The crisis paradoxically created space for the development of modern, non-bank financial services. A year later, in 2009, Bitcoin was created – the world’s first cryptocurrency, which paved the way for other cryptocurrency and distributed ledger enthusiasts.

The area of ​​2010 is the contractual date of entry into the Fintech 3.0 era, in which we are today. The growing popularity of smartphones and mobile and mobile access to the web and financial services make the first startups from the financial industry appear on the market, driving the wave of new products and services. Even established banks are beginning to innovate in the spirit of start-ups, and it was this departure from the established banking position of the Fintech 2.0 era that defined Fintech 3.0. There are more and more financial entities on the market, such as neo-banks, challengers or digital banks, which combine the advantages of stable banking with a modern approach to creating financial technologies.

TODAY

Today, the rapid development of fintechs and modern financial institutions is no surprise to anyone. Innovative products and services offered to customers are actually the expected standard, and traditional banks are increasingly looking for a way to become part of this change. Although experts are outdoing each other in forecasting the upcoming financial and technological revolution, it is worth noting that it is already happening – for a long time now, fintechs have been redefining the financial market, changing the status quo and revolutionizing the assumptions of classic banking. It is a long and endless process – because what is innovative today will soon be history.

 


8 key functionalities we developed in 2020

The year 2020, although difficult due to the pandemic, has been extremely busy for us. For many months, we have been developing our BOS trading system, adding new functionalities and improving existing ones. Here is a brief summary of what we developed last year:

Event Manager

This functionality allows for efficient and trouble-free process modeling and event management of the entire system from the level of one, clear interface. The Event Manager is also of great help in the context of introducing changes as well as new financial products and services.

These kinds of tools provide total business flexibility. Especially now, when the competition in the financial market is significantly increasing, a system that allows for a flexible and quick introduction of changes to the existing and new customer service processes and their activities is one of the most important parts of the transaction architecture.

Multi-institutional cloud environment

This is an interesting solution for entities that want to offer their services within more than one institution. We have created an environment in which the customer can place any number of independent, functionally separated brands and institutions, while not losing control over management.

Comprehensive General Ledger

The synthesis and aggregation of accounting data from transactions carried out to the General Ledger are one of the critical areas of the transaction system. The multi-level and complexity of operations that must be reflected in the General Ledger register is, on the one hand, a complicated task, and on the other – a must, because it is a legislative requirement that cannot be circumvented.

Integration with the General Ledger as part of the BOS system means:

  • full automation of processes related to data aggregation in the General Ledger;
  • the ability to create a dedicated chart of accounts, define basic reporting attributes and complete freedom in creating links between operations on accounts and accounting accounts;
  • advanced parameterization of all elements and processes, possible from the system user interface.

Parameters dump / load – possibilities of new environment cloning

Cloning of environments or verification of the business parameterization of the system is possible thanks to new dump and load mechanisms. Parameterization in the financial system is a series of registers, often closely related to each other. From the chart of accounts, through product segments, to transaction codes and interest rules. Process functionalities depend on a combination of these parameters. Currently, it is possible to export the system parameterization in its entirety or for individual areas. A business administrator with access to this feature can do so in an instant with a few clicks.

Transaction tagging

BOS allows you to label transactions and processes in any way you like. Automatic parameterization of tagging is possible from the level of the user interface, which significantly facilitates the search, ordering and filtering of posted transactions.

CIS – Customer Information System

The customer information management system is a separate BOS microservice that aggregates basic customer information from all institutions within the BOS infrastructure. The Customer Information System, which is an inherent part of the system, significantly extends the scope of information, allows to minimize the number of errors in the customer data held, and at the same time enables quick verification of user history.

Cashbacks

Our system customers can take part in partner programs that enable them to realize commercial rebates in the form of the so-called cashback. What does it mean? Refund of a part of the purchase amount to the customer’s card after making the purchase with it. For this purpose, a separate microservice was launched, supporting both business partners, promotional offers, and the entire transaction path. The vast majority of transactions are carried out completely automatically, but the module also provides a path for manual pairing of offers and transactions. The use of our cashback module gives new value to the market. Trading bonuses are paid to clients immediately, not after a few days like with other systems. In this way, Fintechs using this module attract new customers by offering a card that realizes the benefit in an order of magnitude shorter than the competition.

CRS – System Relationship Management

CRS is another BOS microservice that allows you to create multi-stage access to accounts, both for individual and business customers. CRS is also a system of relations regarding account balances and limits. The advanced and modern structure enables intuitive management of all access parameters in such a way that they reflect the hierarchy within the user’s internal organization.