Banks, insurers, and other companies in the financial services sector have invested heavily in innovation through various fintech initiatives for the past few years. Firms have become good at two-day hackathons, four-day proofs of concept, and press releases touting their cutting-edge services. But putting new capabilities in place and generating revenue from them has proven more challenging. Since innovation without monetization was not the point of the exercise, many are now questioning whether they’re getting enough return on that investment.
Oracle believes European financial services companies can realize new revenue streams and higher returns from their fintech investments. All they need is a better ecosystem—one that helps match fintech companies with the firms that could benefit from their technologies. It would include an innovation accelerator and world-class infrastructure, and it would curate fintechs around innovation themes such as trust, open banking, talent, and so on. Plus, it would be based in a central location with a long banking history, a central location like Brussels.
To help create that ideal ecosystem, Oracle recently rolled out its Fintech Innovation Program to Europe in conjunction with Brussels-based B-Hive Europe. This collaborative fintech platform brings together major banks, insurers, and market infrastructure players to work on common innovation challenges. The goal is to build bridges to the startup and scale-up community and also create a market where banks can offer capabilities in a modular way without having to own every individual component that makes up a service offering.
As B-Hive Europe’s first strategic cloud infrastructure collaborator, Oracle brings expertise to help fintech companies achieve higher levels of enterprise readiness. Oracle will be collaborating with B-Hive Europe to both measure the performance of fintechs and to help them improve their performance scores. Through collaboration, testing, mentoring, and a formal certification program, Oracle will be helping fintechs become more secure, scalable, and resilient—and help them prove it to tier-one financial services companies. Fintechs that meet Oracle’s standards will gain mentoring and insider access to the Oracle customer base of financial services industry customers, with Oracle providing referrals and invitations to show-and-tell days and webinars.
Oracle believes monetization will flow when financial services companies become customers of fintechs and fintechs become channels for those financial services firms’ capabilities. As an example, when Barclays used Oracle’s Fintech Innovation Program to publish an open-API catalog for their PrecisionPay services to open its virtual credit card services on the fintech ecosystem, it dramatically expanded its channel. It became an easy default choice for companies building a new service offering with Oracle enterprise software and looking to include virtual credit card services as part of their new service.
In another example, Oracle added open APIs for TAS Group services—including card issuing, network gateway, and card management—to the Oracle cloud-based Digital Innovation Platform. Oracle customers can now easily select the specific TAS Group services they need—accelerating TAS Group’s innovation and expanding the company’s customer base.
Collaboration is key to B-Hive Europe’s success. At a recent panel discussion between representatives from Oracle, B-Hive Europe, and several fintechs, two fintech representatives, Mantica and TAS Group, met and have begun collaborating to build joint solutions on the Oracle Cloud.
When big tech meets fintech in an international banking center like Europe, things start happening. Fintechs and financial services companies alike can build on Oracle’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service cloud offerings to speed delivery of new services while mitigating innovation risk—and monetize joint innovations in a matter of weeks instead of years. In the near future, expect to hear more about new Oracle fintech initiatives in Europe in collaboration with B-Hive Europe.