Red Hat – Redefining, prioritising services for BFSI sector

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Red Hat is working closely with customers in India and globally to build open platforms that can enable their business to spin up applications for better service market requirements. It can provide financial institutions an opportunity to redefine and prioritise the value they can bring to their customers, says Hitesh Sahijwaala, Director of Sales at Red Hat India, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

Hitesh Sahijwala
Hitesh Sahijwaala, Director, Sales Red Hat india Pvt. Ltd

Financial institutions in India are undergoing massive changes due to breakthroughs in technology. What roles should a bank portray to remain relevant in future?

 As the world is becoming more connected, it has become more important for organisations across verticals to engage customers in new ways and offer a personalised experience across multiple online and physical touchpoints. As a result, the lines between traditional financial, technology, and ecommerce organisations are blurring. Some organisations are formulating and implementing a digital transformation strategy to gain a competitive advantage. Financial service providers are also using technology to help meet the expectations of today’s tech savvy customer.

Today’s banks should have a strong IT infrastructure that can enable an end-to-end view of their services and timely access to data. Banks should deploy technology-lead innovations to create digital channels which can enable them to provide personalised, more consistent digital experiences to customers across touchpoints. As banking institutions embrace cloud technologies and services, cloud-based solutions are becoming an important consideration for a financial institution hoping to build and sustain a competitive advantage.

With digitalisation, payments industry in-particular is updating itself frequently. Do you think banking and payments have become even more automated?

The digital and mobile first expectation held by many millennials has changed interactions with banks, which has in turn caused banks to re-evaluate how they are reaching customers. FinTech companies can capitalise on consumers’ increasingly digital lifestyles, decreased want for brick and mortar financial institutions and adoption of social networks.

To do this, they should have a platform that can help speed up adoption of each new generation solution; this is where open source solutions focused on simplicity, mobility and agility can shine. This is because open source solutions can play an important role in providing these institutions the ability to help streamline operations, which can allow for quicker go-to-market solutions without heavy investment.

At Red Hat, we work closely with our customers in India and globally to build open platforms that can enable their business to spin up applications for better service market requirements.

Tech-driven innovations are reinventing the BFSI sector, but it is also escalating chances of safety breaches. What is your point of view in this regard?

Cybercrime is a concern across the world and, indeed, the banking and financial services industry has been targeted in cyber-attacks, making it important to strengthen the security ecosystem in India. This is one reason why the Reserve Bank of India and the Government of India encourage banks to design IT infrastructure that can meet its regulatory standards.

Having said that, I believe it should be an integrated effort between private and public sector to create a more secure and safe financial services sector. Open source uses a community powered approach to drive innovation, creating an ecosystem where multiple entities can work together. This can help organisations meet global security standards while also offering greater transparency. Red Hat provides enterprise-grade platforms supporting open standards to help lower risk and friction and help fintech and financial services providers to meet customer expectations for digital services more securely and quickly.

What are some of the innovative measures taken by Red Hat in simplifying consumer experience in terms of the banking sector?

Banks now realise the importance of creating better customer experiences. Open banking is a system that provides a user with a network of financial institutions’ data using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). According to a February 2018 IDC Info brief commissioned by Red Hat, banks view open APIs as a means to modernise their legacy infrastructure. By using APIs, banks can become more agile by adopting a more modular and reusable system design.

Increasing the use of APIs can also have a positive effect on business development as partner collaboration can be executed faster and more effectively. Red Hat’s offerings such as Red Hat 3scale API Management can help to provide better security for, and make it easier to share, distribute, control, and monetise APIs. Through our offerings aimed at supporting API-enabled open banking, Red Hat can provide financial institutions an opportunity to redefine and prioritise the value they can bring to their customers.

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