2020 in review: Top core banking stories

Sometimes it can feel like the smallest hiccup can set back a core banking deal or implementation by months.

Banks have had to deal with remote implementations in 2020

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that a year of cuts, digital investments, and shake-ups will have had an effect on the number and size of core banking deals we saw this year.

Despite this there have been several vendors keen to show that things are business as usual. They have talked up their abilities to complete implementations completely remotely.

Here are some of the more eyebrow-raising core banking stories from this year (in no particular order).

US banks debut cloud-based Finastra Phoenix platform

In July, two US-based banks became the first to deploy Finastra’s Fusion Phoenix core banking solution in the cloud.

Florida-based Commerce National Bank & Trust and Washington-based Commencement Bank are accessing the Finastra platform via a Microsoft Azure public cloud.

Jack Henry gets three-in-one deal for SilverLake with New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp

Three banks under the New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp (NHMB) umbrella migrated to the SilverLake platform from Jack Henry & Associates.

Meredith Village Savings Bank, Merrimack County Savings Bank, and Savings Bank of Walpole make up the $2 billion-asset NHMB, and all three picked Jack Henry as their new provider.

The three banks have separate charters, but share policies and procedures to “optimise efficiencies and support”.

FirstBank picks Finxact to replace 35-year-old core banking system

FirstBank, a Colorado-based bank for businesses and consumers, selected Finxact to help it launch a series of new digital products using the Finxact Core platform.

The bank will develop and launch multiple products on the cloud based Finxact Core with the ultimate goal of full conversion from its 35 year-old in-house core system.

Christian Winward, CIO at FirstBank, says that it looked at most of the major core banking providers in the market.

Founded in 1936, FirstBank operates 115 branches across Colorado, Arizona, and California, and holds around $19 billion in assets.

Community Bank Bangladesh goes live on Infosys Finacle in 48 days

Community Bank Bangladesh went live on Infosys Finacle, following an implementation period of just 48 days.

The bank is part of a new cohort of banks in Bangladesh. Founded in 2019, it is wholly owned by the Bangladesh Police Welfare Trust, which applied for a licence to launch a bank in October 2018.

According to Infosys, the bank is now enabled for “massive scalability at minimal cost” and can “onboard new customers and open accounts within 15 minutes”.

Community Bank has reported in March more than 200,000 new accounts.

Bank of the Philippine Islands deploys Avaloq Banking Suite as SaaS

Swiss banking technology firm, Avaloq, deployed its flagship core banking system at Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis.

BPI is the fourth-largest bank in the country by assets, making this extended deal a marquee one for Avaloq.

The bank is the vendor’s first client in the Philippines, where it operates two offices and one of its three research centres.

Oracle wins deals with Mashreq Bank and Desjardins

Fintech Futures sources reported that Oracle FS won a pair of new deals with existing clients Mashreq Bank in the UAE and Desjardins in Canada.

Both deals, which involved revamped implementations of Oracles’ systems, are worth several million dollars in licensing and implementation.

Oracle competed “fiercely” with Finastra and incumbent provider Intellect Design Arena for the Mashreq contract, according to sources close to the project.

It also beat out Temenos in the final stages of selection for Desjardins.

Agricultural bank Oxbury picks Naqoda for core banking

Oxbury Bank, a challenger bank for British farmers, became the first cloud-based core banking customer for compatriot supplier, Naqoda.

It wanted to avoid expenses at scale and choose a platform that supported its unique product offering.

Naqoda is the brainchild of former Callataÿ & Wouters employee, Erik Bogaerts, and originally provided systems for reporting withheld tax.

Oxbury nabbed a licence from UK regulators in February and plans a release before the end of the year.

Fronted joins Yobota’s first cohort of core banking clients

Fronted, a new start-up aimed at helping renters, is among the first cohort of firms on the Yabota client list.

Yobota powers also Chetwood Financial’s deposit-taking solutions and its 2018-launched LiveLend platform. It considers Chetwood its first official core banking client.

Chetwood has since launched two more offerings on the Yobota platform: SmartSave and BetterBorrow.

Egypt’s AAIB finally goes live with Temenos after five years

Arab African International Bank (AAIB), an Egyptian bank with more than $11.5 billion in assets, deployed Temenos Transact in November, five years after it signed the deal.

AAIB signed the deal with both Temenos and IBM back in 2015. Temenos Transact – or T24 as it was known when the deal was signed – is an end-to-end automated core banking offering.

Mohammed Fawzy, the bank’s IT deputy manager, headed up the implementation.

He says in a LinkedIn post announcing the project’s completion: “Great work and efforts for five years, but you did your best for this great moment.”

Bank of Ireland planning UK tech revamp

Bank of Ireland, one of the country’s traditional “Big Four” banks, is understood to be looking to replace a host of legacy systems in its UK operations.

FinTech Futures understands that the bank is evaluating the market and looking for a partner to help it revamp several back-office systems.

Bank of Ireland’s technology infrastructure is showing its age.

It runs Accenture’s Alnova, Sopra Banking Software’s MSS suite (for savings and mortgages), and DRP Consulting’s loan origination system.

It also deploys iConnect, supplied by HML, for loan servicing and administration. For treasury management, there is the TMS system from Wall Street Systems (formerly IT2).

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