International banking expansion: the four trends

African banking Oracle  keso FlickrAfrican banks looking to expand internationally will require core banking platforms that are "multi-everything", according to Oracle's Chris Curtis. (Image source: keso/Flickr)The global banking industry has been undergoing fundamental changes that have been creating expansion opportunities for new players in international markets, according to a recent report titled International Banking Platforms: The New Imperatives

In addition, economic growth in emerging economies – including many markets across sub-Saharan Africa – is enhancing business prospects for banks that have the ability to reach beyond their traditional borders.

Chris Curtis, VP for Oracle Financial Services Global Business Unit, cautions that along with opportunities come additional challenges. To succeed internationally, banks will require core banking platforms that are "multi-everything" – multi-entity, multi-currency, multi-lingual and multi-cultural – and which are able to comply with multiple local regulations and regulatory authorities, adhere to established payment frameworks, track exposure centrally, and deliver products that are differentiated yet consistent across markets.

In the report, Curtis says, "The ability of banks to identify a technology platform that is modern in design and construction, and which will serve them over the long haul, with little customisation and maintenance, is critical to their success.”

"We believe flexibility, scalability, and reduced vendor dependency are the hallmarks of such a platform," he adds.

An example of such a platform is Oracle FLEXCUBE for International Operations, a pre-integrated combination of financial-services applications and technologies that is built on open standards.

Four keys to international success

Curtis describes four types of operating models leading global banking today: international branch networks, super-regional banks, international wholesale banks and global transaction banks.

"Banks tend to adopt one or the other model," Curtis says. "Some banks move progressively from one model to the next as a strategy for growth." He also notes the specific technology requirements for each of these models, offering advice about what institutions should look for in a core banking solution that accommodates international markets. Key characteristics include:

• Processing engines flexible enough to manage and analyse data for regional or country-specific reporting
• Modular architectures that enable banks to easily scale deployments based on their size or market focus
• Architectures that provide for integrated systems that give bank customers a consistent experience across channels
• Tools for designing and launching standardised products with a local flavour


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International Operations - A New World Order: Reshaping International Banking Operations (external site)

Oracle FLEXCUBE for international operations (external site)

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