Over the last 25 years, Financial Software & Systems (FSS) has not only automated the cash movement but also emerged as an end-to-end payments technology player, providing banks and financial institutions (FIs) with disruptive payments technologies, says Nagaraj Mylandla, Chairman & Managing Director, FSS, in an interaction with Nirmal Anshu Ranjan of Elets News Network (ENN)
FSS was launched much before many could think of the future of money. How was the idea conceived, and what went into its formation?
I was exposed to payments technology in the late 80s while doing my MBA at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. There I realised the huge potential India had for automating cash withdrawals 24×7 and giving customers access to accounts without human tellers.
The journey of FSS began by providing the banks with BASE 24, the specialised Switching equipment for cards from ACI Worldwide. Starting from there, over the next 25 years, FSS has not only achieved automating the cash movement but also emerged as an end-to-end payments technology player, providing banks and financial institutions with disruptive payments technologies.
We have a team of 2000+ experts serving 100+ customers across the globe today, which include public and private sector banks in India and some of the large banks, FIs, processors and card issuers, who are spread across North America, UK/Europe, Middle-east, Africa and APAC regions. Specifically, in the middle-eastern region, FSS is emerging as a significant player partnering with banks and central banks to provide them with Reconciliation and Settlement and Payment Gateway solutions.
Which are the major business segments or the nature of companies you cater to?
We are a 100 per cent payments technology company and manage the entire lifecycle of payments from origination to transaction fulfilment that includes issuing to acquiring, back office and monitoring solutions, ATMs and POS infrastructure management and digital payments, including mobility and social banking needs.
Apart from Retail payments, where we have a clear leadership in India, we have also created a division for Wholesale Payments. This division has already implemented end-to-end Integrated Payments Hub for one of the large public sector banks in India, and we see a huge potential for Wholesale Payments in the near future.
Our solutions are delivered in Licenced (FSS IP-based Software Products) and Hosted Services (pay per use offering) models, a concept that we pioneered in the 1990s, when Cloud was a hitherto unknown concept globally!
We cater to all major banks, financial institutions, payment processors, merchants, e-commerce providers, aggregators, government and regulatory bodies in India and across the globe.
In this highly crowded payments solution market, why should a business opt for FSS? What do you think is your USP?
FSS is a thought leader and transformation player. Our innovative offerings are a result of our in-depth knowledge of the payments domain, which is built over 25 years of experience of serving our Banking customers and addressing their complex needs.
We marry technology with the payment requirements in a safe and secure environment that helps Banks to provide seamless and superior service to their customers. Today, we are a large player covering the entire gamut of the payment spectrum, with a number of solutions that are offered in Licensed and Hosted Services models, based on our customers’ requirements. Our ability to process large transaction volumes – 700 million reconciliation transactions per month, 400+ million cards issued through our Card Management Suite and the tested infrastructure that can support 5000+ TPS – makes us unique when compared to other players.
Our consistent and high quality delivery is top notch when compared to others and our ability to offer innovative solutions such as “Payments in a Box”, “Business as a Service” and “Payments as a Service” to Banks is a key differentiator when compared to other players in the market.
What innovative offerings the company has for a digital India?
FSS has always been ahead of the payments technology curve and was the first to bring Internet Payment Gateway (2000), Mobile Banking (2006) and Mobile Payments (2008) technologies to the country.
Today, India spends more than Rs.90,000 crore in printing & moving cash. We aim to create payment technologies that will support banks to provide cashless transactions through multiple payment channels that are convenient to their customers. Going forward, Mobile will change the way we transact and pay, and FSS will be an integral part of this revolution.
Innovation is the order of the day and FSS has always been at the forefront of Payments Technology innovations. We have continuously and consistently invested in R&D and our dedicated teams experiment with new technologies to convert them into viable solutions to serve our customers.
Today, we have a number of innovative solutions that helps banks cater to the demands of their customers and we are currently working with banks and regulatory bodies to provide Digital Wallet, Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and Bharat Bill Payment Services (BBPS).
We also have a dedicated Super Merchant Program focused on Merchants that enables our partner banks to quickly integrate and offer value to their customers.
These Boutique Offerings provided on a Licenced and Hosted Services model have made us the preferred partner for banks on the Digital Payments side.
Financial Inclusion is a huge opportunity for payments solution providers. Are you in any way associated with the programme?
FSS is a pioneer in offering Financial Inclusion solutions to the banks and FI’s in the country. Our offerings are designed to enable inclusive banking and financial services to the un-banked and under-banked sectors in the country. Today, more than 75 per cent of e-commerce transaction is cash and going forward, our focus is to convert these cash transactions into cashless payments.
Our comprehensive application suite supports online and offline transaction processing, with biometric authentication on ATM and handheld terminals. Today, we deploy more than 10,000 micro ATMs across rural India, especially our technology solutions support card issuance, hierarchical definition of business correspondents / agents, registration, accounting and management functions.
FSS liaises with the banks’ technology team to interface FSS infrastructure with the bank’s retail network and the core-banking host, for launching the FI services. The solution has been successfully implemented in leading banks in the country.
Apart from Retail payments, we have also created a division for Wholesale Payments… We cater to all major banks, FIs, payment processors, merchants, e-commerce providers, aggregators, government, etc.
We also support banks and FIs with card issuance for Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana through our Debit Card Management System and we touch every aspect of the Jan-Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile (JAM) trinity through our digital offerings.
What are the challenges you face in day-to-day operations? Would you suggest any regulatory changes for smoother operations?
Cyber fraud is a big challenge today, threatening online payments, and many countries are working with payments technology players and other industry players to tackle this issue. We would like our government to initiate a dialogue with all stakeholders and work towards evolving a constructive strategy to address this major challenge. FSS works closely with regulators in the country and as a fintech player, we would like to play a constructive role in government’s plans towards creating a cashless society.