The acquisition of a leading digital banking solution provider should help extend Misys' market reach and drive more competition. But Misys will need to demonstrate continued innovation in an increasingly competitive market.
On 10 February 2014, Misys, a provider of core banking and other technologies headquartered in London, announced that it has acquired IND Group, a Budapest-based provider of digital banking technologies, including personal financial management (PFM) tools. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Misys' acquisition of IND represents a largely positive development for both companies' current and prospective customers. It extends Misys' BankFusion core banking platform with advanced PFM functions and planning capabilities. It should also drive heightened competition in the markets for core banking, digital banking and PFM technologies. Niche vendors will likely respond with acquisitions of their own and development of more advanced digital banking and digital personal advisory solutions.
Banks worldwide recognize that they need to deliver PFM capabilities via any digital channel, not just online banking. However, most bank PFM deployments to date have proved disappointing in terms of customer adoption and usage and revenue linkage. PFM functionality tends to be retrospective, basing interactions on past transactions, rather than offering guidance based on context-sensitive information delivered to the device of the customer's choice. Most traditional online and mobile banking solutions also fail to come to terms with the digitalization of banking — the need to support any browser and any mobile technology, as well as delivery to third-party social networks. Advanced technologies from IND and competitors such as Backbase, Crealogix, D3 Banking, Intelligent Environments and Q2 can help move banks beyond these channel-based limitations (for example, enabling customers to combine financial management with planning, advice and transactions) and exploit the capabilities of mobile devices, such as camera-equipped smartphones, and mobile applications, such as Google Cards.
Misys' extended solutions will interest banks that are developing digital banking strategies or looking to upgrade or replace their online or mobile technologies. Misys said that it plans to offer the IND solutions under a new brand, Misys BankFusion Digital Channels solutions, to current and non-Misys customers, and will also offer them pre-integrated with Misys' core banking solutions. The former approach offers open integration and will enable IND solutions to work easily with other core banking products . Misys' greater resources will help expand the market reach of IND's technology beyond its historical European market focus, potentially making Misys a major player in North America and Asia. The acquisition does face challenges, however: Misys must be careful not to stifle the innovation that made IND an acquisition target in the first place.
Bank CIOs planning to replace outdated online or mobile banking technologies:
Place Misys on evaluation shortlists, but demand a clear road map for the ongoing development and integration of IND technologies.
Ensure that any prospective digital banking providers can deliver transactions and services to the customer via any digital channel, as well as via third-party social networks.
Evaluate solutions based on criteria including: transaction and service delivery that is sensitive to customer location and other context; the ability to offer the right customer data at the right time and ease of use. Providers should also demonstrate their ability to keep up with emerging technologies, such as smartwatches and other wearable technologies.
Current IND customers:
Demand a road map of Misys' plans for integration with its corporate structure and support for ongoing innovation, including dedicated resources and investments,.