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Are banks more likely to suffer software glitches in 2013?

A recent article in the BBC branded the financial industry as the “accident prone money men”, after disastrous glitches last year which saw NatWest’s and PayPal’s duplicate charges.  As a result, the banking sector has placed itself in the spot light as having among the poorest outcomes vs investment in technology.

Since the credit crunch hit the pockets of innocent businesses and consumers in 2008, those in the industry that were to blame for its arrival were also faced with less budget than they had before. That said, the industry is still the wealthiest of all, and a lack of investment in technology could primarily be due to the anxiety of future failures, not an absence of money.

That in itself is consequently disastrous. With better technology, both retail and financial banks are able to innovate. The likes of NatWest and Barclays can provide better customer service, through the use of mobile apps and more in-store self-service machines, and investment banking are able to foresee opportunities and intercept dangers.

However, if money really is stretching IT decision makers of large banks, then they need to look passed the obvious larger providers for help. More innovative technologies can be far more reliable and often offer better customer service. They are usually specialists and can give expertise that can affect the overall operations of a business.

The financial sector cannot survive without technology, but it’s clear that the technologies they are currently using are at best not solving, or at worst causing problems - a far cry from the stated goal of providing solutions. Therefore it is essential to evaluate their current providers. Are they helpful to work with? Do they solve problems effectively in a reasonable timeframe? Do they offer technology that increases the intelligence of operations?

Investment shouldn’t just mean throwing bags of money at a well-known IT company and expecting great results. Investment is time – and no matter how precious, it has to be spent. If the banking sector does its bit to work with other companies and think outside of the box, it will indefinitely be time well spent.


Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 February, 2013, 11:35Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

If you take payments and money transmission this impacts more than half the major Programmes for many banks. Yet requirements often miss the customer proposition phase and become a specification for regulatory compliant systems to interface into the other existing systems. 

Smaller consultancy suppliers can often occupy the space between business and IT better than the largest consultancies, who tend to recruit more from the graduate pool rather than the Banking industry to keep their costs down.

Sadly these cost savings are not always reflected in value for money or certainty of execution for the banks' IT departments.

IT Budgets once held centrally are being devolved to the business areas to manage. This may help fuel the expansion of specialist consultancies who understand the delivery process and the customers requirements better.



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