A recent McKinsey report, “Competing in a world of digital ecosystems” (February 2018), calculates that banks that execute a successful ecosystem strategy can expect to improve their return on equity by 3 to 4 per cent by 2025. This bold attempt to quantify the potential gains is interesting, but it only serves to validate the philosophy Avaloq has already been pursuing for the last couple of years.
We have made the development of a comprehensive digital business ecosystem a strategic priority, with the goal of making a wide range of new fintech innovations accessible to our clients as quickly and simply as possible.
We have laid the foundation for the growth of a healthy ecosystem with the launch of the Avaloq Software Exchange, our marketplace of third party solutions, and the Avaloq Developer Portal. More than 1,300 external developers are now using the Developer Portal.
Our offering already includes a range of ready-to-bank third party solutions and more than 90 partner solutions listed in the Avaloq Software Exchange. Our strategy for the future depends on growing the ecosystem around Avaloq in line with the following principles:
- We will provide solutions that connect directly to the Avaloq Banking Suite via our set of open REST APIs (see corresponding roadmap section).
- We will guarantee the highest data quality, data consistency, data accessibility and security standards by utilizing the Avaloq Banking Suite as the aggregated data repository.
- We will ensure that all ecosystem solutions and Avaloq apps blend together into seamless user journeys to create enhanced user experiences.
In the last 12 months, we have identified candidates for proof-of-concept development with existing clients in the areas of fraud detection, conversational user interfaces, business finance management and advisory.
In the immediate future, key areas where we are seeking partners include output, holistic advice, tax-optimized advice, peer-to-peer solutions, risk analysis, self-directed advice and crypto-currency support.
We have recently introduced cloud-based developer sandboxes, enabling any of our partners to access an Avaloq test rig in a matter of minutes in order to integrate and test new solutions with the Avaloq Banking Suite. The open APIs are a prerequisite for the use of these developer sandboxes. We are also assessing a market-leading API management platform, which may help us offer quicker and more efficient integration of fintech services into our clients’ solutions.
The Software Exchange Engagement Platform is our forum aimed at bringing together Software Exchange partners and the financial institutions we serve. Partners have the opportunity to promote their solutions, while our clients can browse the advertized partner solutions and put in requests for capability demonstrations. Clients will also be able to follow the development of particular partner solutions and get regular updates.
The Avaloq Software Exchange catalogue
Bank clients can contact third party solution providers via the Software Exchange Engagement Platform
The Avaloq ecosystem
We are in the process of setting up an ecosystem competence centre to oversee the recruitment (research, identification and due diligence), onboarding and promotion of solutions for the ecosystem. This group is supported by our relationships with a range of partners – including BCG, McKinsey and FinTtech Scotland – that will help us identify the very best candidates to recruit for the Avaloq Software Exchange.
We will continue to run proof-of-concept projects for new fintech capabilities co-funded by Avaloq and our clients, but we are also in the process of setting up a new fund (the Avaloq Ventures Fund) that will support more speculative frontier technologies.
We are keen to work more proactively with our client banks and decide with them which solutions to make available. To do this, we’d like to invite those of you who are currently exploring collaboration opportunities with fintechs to get in touch with us.
If your proposed solution is adopted as an Avaloq ecosystem solution, your costs will be reduced, as there will be no need for custom integration and you will benefit from the fact that there will be a community of banks using the solution. Your point of contact for discussing this is Paul Sanchez