Established banks have built their businesses over multiple generations. Their reign has mainly been uncontested with strong balance sheets, large customer bases, decades of experience, big data ownership, and brand loyalty. Until now, of course.
These big, incumbent banks yield significant power, but their dominance will truly be tested in the post-COVID-19 world. New players are capturing segments of the value chain in the ever-evolving landscape of fintech.
Big banks can continue to play to their historical strengths, but they’ll need to adopt new mindsets that put innovation before control and agility before caution to stay relevant. That means making space for rapid tech-driven changes that will ultimately satisfy digital-first customers. These customers want instantaneous results, flexibility, and convenience.
One of the key concepts in addressing shifting market demand is the ability to compose banking products and services in new and valuable ways.
Composable banking explained
Like a conductor leading an orchestra, businesses can now determine the direction they want the “music” of their offering to take. With composable banking, services or “instruments” are selected, combined, and customised to create an offering that captivates audiences.
The components are independent and can thus be used and reused, switched out, and replaced with minimal effort. In addition, swapping out components does not compromise the entire system, as is the case with monolithic software. A highly composable system allows combinations that satisfy specific consumer and business objectives.
Composable banking using microservices translates into much shorter development cycles and therefore speed to market. This iterative mindset results in a better user experience and cost-savings as MVP (minimum viable product) checkpoints can guide budget allocation.
What makes a banking system composable?
There are an array of services available within a composable banking environment. The rapid turnover of new technologies needs to be something businesses can tap into at any given time. Composable banking allows organisations to add components, even to monolithic banking systems, enabling scale and growth in record time.
The focus has shifted from core banking back-ends to front-end user interfaces that aim to deliver a high-quality user experience.
Composable banking platforms use cloud-based architecture, and expensive, on-premise implementations are becoming a rarity.
Microservices in containers run independently of each other and communicate via RESTful API.
Flexibility in development
If businesses want to introduce a new service using API integration, they have freedom of choice about how it gets done and by whom.
Scaling from 10 customers to 100 000 customers is seamless and provisioned automatically. Scaling back down should be just as uncomplicated.
Upgrading made easy
Continuous development cycles incrementally upgrade services instead of “big bang” releases. They are deployed in a granular fashion, component by component, and do not require any significant service delivery or disruption from system downtime.
Define your value proposition
Businesses can compose any number of unique experiences for customers by selecting and configuring services. 3rd party additions in the form of Machine Learning and AI can create products and services that deliver real value and help create defensible competitive advantages.