14 Jul

Bank of Baroda to launch e-commerce platform for banking, farm-products

Bank of Baroda to launch e-commerce platform for banking, farm-products

Bank of Baroda plans to launch an online marketplace to its customers offering banking services and farm-related products.

The state-owned lender has invited bids seeking a partner to supply ‘digital commerce platform’ to provide assistance to merchants on catalog management, purchase management fulfilment, pricing, promotion and other similar services.

Bank of Baroda said it is keen to strategise and enhance online digital capabilities with a focus on creating a marketplace to fulfil services relating to different segments of customers’ daily needs and lifestyle needs.

"The bank is seeking a partner to supply digital commerce platform and provide support for its implementation for multiple use cases as decided by the bank," the bank said in a request for proposal. The bank said it will offer various kinds of banking services and farm-related products on its e-commerce platform.

The online platform partner will be required to provide assistance to merchants on catalog management, purchase management fulfilment, pricing, promotion and other similar services.

14 Jul

HSBC creates private banking portal with Finantix

HSBC creates private banking portal with Finantix

Finantix, a supplier of software for wealth management, insurance and private banking industries globally, has been selected by HSBC Private Banking as it launches a new global client wealth management portal for its clients.

The firm’s solution, Finantix Components, has been deployed to support the new portal, which aims to be a simplified, seamless and globally standardized platform.

Alessandro Tonchia, co-founder of Finantix, says: “HSBC Private Banking built the portal incorporating Finantix Components APIs and, in doing so, are creating a consistent, modern omni-device experience, easy and secure self-service access to accounts, portfolio information and analytics.”

Finantix worked with HSBC Private Banking to provide business logic, insights, user journey standards and interfaces with its core banking platform.

The solution has been rolled out in the UK and is being extended to other markets where HSBC Private Banking operates.

11 Jul

Deutsche Bank to spend €13bn on tech amid massive job cuts

Deutsche Bank to spend €13bn on tech amid massive job cuts

Deutsche Bank has announced swingeing job cuts as part of a radical overhaul of its operations that will also see it spend €13bn on new technology over the next four years.

On Sunday, the bank’s chief executive Christian Sewing revealed that it will be shedding 18,000 jobs, equivalent to one fifth of its global workforce, in its latest attempt to restart the bank.

The plan will see Deutsche effectively exit most of its investment banking activity to focus on corporate and private banking and asset management instead. The end of equity trading and a siginificant scaling back of its fixed income operations will affect staff in New York, London and Asia-Pacific where a number of teams were let go on Monday morning.

In addition the bank is also looking to spin off more than €70bn worth of badly performing loans into a separate ‘bad bank’ as it looks to reverse its ailing fortunes and tarnised reputation after a series of heavy regulatory fines over recent years.

Despite the job cuts, Deutsche is looking to increase its IT budget, In a letter to employees, Sewing wrote that the bank would be investing €13 billion in technology by 2022 as part of an effort to increase both innovation and efficiency.

He said that the bank intends to strengthen its private and corporate banking offerings "by offering innovative digital solutions and outstanding advice" adding that the bank’s rebuilding will "only be successful if we fundamentally reshape our infrastructure" and "become more innovative and efficient whilst simultaneously strengthening our controls".

10 Jul

HSBC launches next generation virtual accounts for corporate and institutional clients

HSBC launches next generation virtual accounts for corporate and institutional clients
10th July
HSBC announced the launch of Next Generation Virtual Accounts to help wholesale clients increase their cash management efficiency by consolidating bank accounts and centralising transactions.

As an innovative multi-currency solution, available in more than 20 currencies, Next Generation Virtual Accounts build on the reconciliation benefits of traditional virtual accounts by enabling treasurers to centralise payments and receivables across multiple and single entity structures.

Clients can consolidate hundreds of bank accounts into a handful, or as few as one account for each currency that they use. Transactions flow through the underlying physical accounts, with the virtual accounts acting as ledger records. This saves treasury teams the operational cost of managing cash across multiple accounts and reduces the need for complex cash sweeps and pools.

HSBC’s solution provides even greater efficiency and flexibility as clients can simply go online to manage their own virtual account structures, tailored to their business needs. For example, smaller companies operating as a single entity may wish to assign virtual accounts by product line. Larger firms running an in-house bank may want to group virtual accounts by entity.

Thomas Halpin, Global Head of Payment Product, Global Liquidity and Cash Management, HSBC said: “Next Generation Virtual Accounts are a powerful tool for treasurers who want to simplify their cash management. Our solution allows treasurers to create an account structure that works for them. It is innovative, intuitive and it has been well-received by clients around the world.”

01 Jul

ACI Worldwide launches instant payment service via Mastercard Send, Visa Direct

ACI Worldwide launches instant payment service via Mastercard Send, Visa Direct
Source: Mobile Payments Today

ACI Worldwide announced the launch of a service called ACI Disbursement Services, which allows businesses to send payments directly to customer debit cards, according to a press release.

The Naples, Florida-based payments company said the new service, which is part of its Up Bill Payment business, allows businesses, such as banks, insurance companies and other organizations to make real-time payments through Visa Direct and Mastercard Send.

"It currently takes several days to send out disbursements to consumers, which is unacceptable in a world where consumer expectations for instant and digital payments are high," Sanjay Gupta, executive vice president, ACI Worldwide, said in the release. "This is especially true with the Gen Z population, whose biggest challenge is the speed with which they receive money."

ACI cited research from Aite Group that shows 65% of consumers say it’s important for them to receive instant payments from companies or government agencies.

01 Jul

LGT Vestra selects CREALOGIX for new wealth management mobile app

LGT Vestra selects CREALOGIX for new wealth management mobile app
Source: IBS Intelligence

UK-based wealth management firm LGT Vestra is developing new mobile capabilities to enhance the digital experience for their high-net-worth clients. Their wealth management mobile app and client portal is being implemented with products created by Swiss Fintech CREALOGIX. LGT Vestra offers a range of investment management and wealth planning services and manages over £12.7bn in assets.

Ben Snee, CEO of LGT Vestra, said: “We are determined to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations and ensure they enjoy being clients of the firm. We are continuously looking for ways to enhance and improve our service. Developing new digital and mobile capabilities with CREALOGIX will increase accessibility and efficiencies which will benefit our client experience.”

The firm is adding new mobile functionality to enhance digital services for their high-net-worth clients. The app will enable LGT Vestra clients to easily access their account and portfolio information providing an efficient and secure digital experience which will enhance client engagement.

David Joyce, Senior Vice President of CREALOGIX UK, said: “A well-designed digital wealth management platform increases engagement, trust, and loyalty among private clients while leveraging the capabilities the firm’s investment and advisory expertise. We’re delighted that our software will support and continue developing LGT Vestra’s unique strengths with their current customers and future generations.”

30 Jun

Boeing’s 737 Max Software Outsourced to $9-an-Hour Engineers

Boeing’s 737 Max Software Outsourced to $9-an-Hour Engineers

By Peter Robison
June 29, 2019, 3:46 AM GMT+7

  • Planemaker and suppliers used lower-paid temporary workers
  • Engineers feared the practice meant code wasn’t done right

The cockpit of a grounded 737 Max 8 aircraft.

The cockpit of a grounded 737 Max 8 aircraft.Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg






In this article






It remains the mystery at the heart of Boeing Co.’s 737 Max crisis: how a company renowned for meticulous design made seemingly basic software mistakes leading to a pair of deadly crashes. Longtime Boeing engineers say the effort was complicated by a push to outsource work to lower-paid contractors.

The Max software — plagued by issues that could keep the planes grounded months longer after U.S. regulators this week revealed a new flaw — was developed at a time Boeing was laying off experienced engineers and pressing suppliers to cut costs.

Increasingly, the iconic American planemaker and its subcontractors have relied on temporary workers making as little as $9 an hour to develop and test software, often from countries lacking a deep background in aerospace — notably India.

First Flight Of The Boeing Co. Max 737 Jet

Boeing 737 Max prepares for take off during testing in 2016.

Photographer: Mike Kane/Bloomberg

Related: Pilots Flagged Software Problems on Boeing Jets Besides Max

In offices across from Seattle’s Boeing Field, recent college graduates employed by the Indian software developer HCL Technologies Ltd. occupied several rows of desks, said Mark Rabin, a former Boeing software engineer who worked in a flight-test group that supported the Max.

The coders from HCL were typically designing to specifications set by Boeing. Still, “it was controversial because it was far less efficient than Boeing engineers just writing the code,” Rabin said. Frequently, he recalled, “it took many rounds going back and forth because the code was not done correctly.”

Boeing’s cultivation of Indian companies appeared to pay other dividends. In recent years, it has won several orders for Indian military and commercial aircraft, such as a $22 billion one in January 2017 to supply SpiceJet Ltd. That order included 100 737-Max 8 jets and represented Boeing’s largest order ever from an Indian airline, a coup in a country dominated by Airbus.

Based on resumes posted on social media, HCL engineers helped develop and test the Max’s flight-display software, while employees from another Indian company, Cyient Ltd., handled software for flight-test equipment.

Costly Delay

In one post, an HCL employee summarized his duties with a reference to the now-infamous model, which started flight tests in January 2016: “Provided quick workaround to resolve production issue which resulted in not delaying flight test of 737-Max (delay in each flight test will cost very big amount for Boeing).”

Boeing said the company did not rely on engineers from HCL and Cyient for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, which has been linked to the Lion Air crash last October and the Ethiopian Airlines disaster in March. The Chicago-based planemaker also said it didn’t rely on either firm for another software issue disclosed after the crashes: a cockpit warning light that wasn’t working for most buyers.

“Boeing has many decades of experience working with supplier/partners around the world,” a company spokesman said. “Our primary focus is on always ensuring that our products and services are safe, of the highest quality and comply with all applicable regulations.”

In a statement, HCL said it “has a strong and long-standing business relationship with The Boeing Company, and we take pride in the work we do for all our customers. However, HCL does not comment on specific work we do for our customers. HCL is not associated with any ongoing issues with 737 Max.”

Recent simulator tests by the Federal Aviation Administration suggest the software issues on Boeing’s best-selling model run deeper. The company’s shares fell this week after the regulator found a further problem with a computer chip that experienced a lag in emergency response when it was overwhelmed with data.

Engineers who worked on the Max, which Boeing began developing eight years ago to match a rival Airbus SE plane, have complained of pressure from managers to limit changes that might introduce extra time or cost.

“Boeing was doing all kinds of things, everything you can imagine, to reduce cost, including moving work from Puget Sound, because we’d become very expensive here,” said Rick Ludtke, a former Boeing flight controls engineer laid off in 2017. “All that’s very understandable if you think of it from a business perspective. Slowly over time it appears that’s eroded the ability for Puget Sound designers to design.”

Rabin, the former software engineer, recalled one manager saying at an all-hands meeting that Boeing didn’t need senior engineers because its products were mature. “I was shocked that in a room full of a couple hundred mostly senior engineers we were being told that we weren’t needed,” said Rabin, who was laid off in 2015.

Boeing 737 Max Timeline

Boeing could take three more months to fix the latest software glitch on the 737 Max, its best-selling model.

(Source: TicToc)

The typical jetliner has millions of parts — and millions of lines of code — and Boeing has long turned over large portions of the work to suppliers who follow its detailed design blueprints.

Starting with the 787 Dreamliner, launched in 2004, it sought to increase profits by instead providing high-level specifications and then asking suppliers to design more parts themselves. The thinking was “they’re the experts, you see, and they will take care of all of this stuff for us,” said Frank McCormick, a former Boeing flight-controls software engineer who later worked as a consultant to regulators and manufacturers. “This was just nonsense.”

Sales are another reason to send the work overseas. In exchange for an $11 billion order in 2005 from Air India, Boeing promised to invest $1.7 billion in Indian companies. That was a boon for HCL and other software developers from India, such as Cyient, whose engineers were widely used in computer-services industries but not yet prominent in aerospace.

Rockwell Collins, which makes cockpit electronics, had been among the first aerospace companies to source significant work in India in 2000, when HCL began testing software there for the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based company. By 2010, HCL employed more than 400 people at design, development and verification centers for Rockwell Collins in Chennai and Bangalore.

That same year, Boeing opened what it called a “center of excellence” with HCL in Chennai, saying the companies would partner “to create software critical for flight test.” In 2011, Boeing named Cyient, then known as Infotech, to a list of its “suppliers of the year” for design, stress analysis and software engineering on the 787 and the 747-8 at another center in Hyderabad.

The Boeing rival also relies in part on offshore engineers. In addition to supporting sales, the planemakers say global design teams add efficiency as they work around the clock. But outsourcing has long been a sore point for some Boeing engineers, who, in addition to fearing job losses say it has led to communications issues and mistakes.

Moscow Mistakes

Boeing has also expanded a design center in Moscow. At a meeting with a chief 787 engineer in 2008, one staffer complained about sending drawings back to a team in Russia 18 times before they understood that the smoke detectors needed to be connected to the electrical system, said Cynthia Cole, a former Boeing engineer who headed the engineers’ union from 2006 to 2010.

“Engineering started becoming a commodity,” said Vance Hilderman, who co-founded a company called TekSci that supplied aerospace contract engineers and began losing work to overseas competitors in the early 2000s.

U.S.-based avionics companies in particular moved aggressively, shifting more than 30% of their software engineering offshore versus 10% for European-based firms in recent years, said Hilderman, an avionics safety consultant with three decades of experience whose recent clients include most of the major Boeing suppliers.

With a strong dollar, a big part of the attraction was price. Engineers in India made around $5 an hour; it’s now $9 or $10, compared with $35 to $40 for those in the U.S. on an H1B visa, he said. But he’d tell clients the cheaper hourly wage equated to more like $80 because of the need for supervision, and he said his firm won back some business to fix mistakes.

HCL, once known as Hindustan Computers, was founded in 1976 by billionaire Shiv Nadar and now has more than $8.6 billion in annual sales. With 18,000 employees in the U.S. and 15,000 in Europe, HCL is a global company and has deep expertise in computing, said Sukamal Banerjee, a vice president. It has won business from Boeing on that basis, not on price, he said: “We came from a strong R&D background.”

Still, for the 787, HCL gave Boeing a remarkable price – free, according to Sam Swaro, an associate vice president who pitched HCL’s services at a San Diego conference sponsored by Avionics International magazine in June. He said the company took no up-front payments on the 787 and only started collecting payments based on sales years later, an “innovative business model” he offered to extend to others in the industry.

The 787 entered service three years late and billions of dollars over budget in 2011, in part because of confusion introduced by the outsourcing strategy. Under Dennis Muilenburg, a longtime Boeing engineer who became chief executive in 2015, the company has said that it planned to bring more work back in-house for its newest planes.

Engineer Backwater

The Max became Boeing’s top seller soon after it was offered in 2011. But for ambitious engineers, it was something of a “backwater,” said Peter Lemme, who designed the 767’s automated flight controls and is now a consultant. The Max was an update of a 50-year-old design, and the changes needed to be limited enough that Boeing could produce the new planes like cookie cutters, with few changes for either the assembly line or airlines. “As an engineer that’s not the greatest job,” he said.

Rockwell Collins, now a unit of United Technologies Corp., won the Max contract for cockpit displays, and it has relied in part on HCL engineers in India, Iowa and the Seattle area. A United Technologies spokeswoman didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Boeing 737 Max

Boeing 737 Max airplanes at the company’s manufacturing facility in Renton, Washington.

Photographer: David Ryder/Bloomberg

Contract engineers from Cyient helped test flight test equipment. Charles LoveJoy, a former flight-test instrumentation design engineer at the company, said engineers in the U.S. would review drawings done overnight in India every morning at 7:30 a.m. “We did have our challenges with the India team,” he said. “They met the requirements, per se, but you could do it better.”

Multiple investigations – including a Justice Department criminal probe – are trying to unravel how and when critical decisions were made about the Max’s software. During the crashes of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines planes that killed 346 people, investigators suspect, the MCAS system pushed the planes into uncontrollable dives because of bad data from a single sensor.

That design violated basic principles of redundancy for generations of Boeing engineers, and the company apparently never tested to see how the software would respond, Lemme said. “It was a stunning fail,” he said. “A lot of people should have thought of this problem – not one person – and asked about it.”

Boeing also has disclosed that it learned soon after Max deliveries began in 2017 that a warning light that might have alerted crews to the issue with the sensor wasn’t installed correctly in the flight-display software. A Boeing statement in May, explaining why the company didn’t inform regulators at the time, said engineers had determined it wasn’t a safety issue.

“Senior company leadership,” the statement added, “was not involved in the review.”

24 Jun

JP Morgan’s secretive UK digital bank plans revealed

JP Morgan’s secretive UK digital bank plans revealed
Source: Bankingtech

JP Morgan is reportedly set to launch a new online retail banking project in the UK, according to TechCrunch. The bank’s secretive project comes just weeks after it closed its millennial retail offering Finn in the US.

The US bank has been reaching out to developers to build a product which could challenge Goldman Sachs’ Marcus and the competitive UK challenger bank scene, dominated by brands like Monzo.

Several incumbent banks are known to be developing new digital-first products in a bid to keep the new wave of challenger banks at bay and now it appears that the latest to make that move is JP Morgan.

According to sources, the investment bank has begun recruiting for a secretive skunkworks project within London’s booming fintech industry. Very few details are known about what exactly JP Morgan plans to build, although TechCrunch reports that the bank is busy hiring high level developers with full-stack and cloud-based development skills for the new project, along with other personnel.

One source told TechCrunch that interested candidates are being asked to sign an none-disclosure agreements (NDA) and that the project is still in its formative stages. They say the plan is to essentially build a start-up within a corporation that will be run independently and entirely separately from JP Morgan’s existing technology and businesses.


20 Jun

UOB Malaysia launches transformation programme to help Malaysian companies

UOB Malaysia launches transformation programme to help Malaysian companies

United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (UOB Malaysia) launched a business transformation programme, the “Jom[1] Transform Programme”, to help businesses in Malaysia adopt technology to drive productivity and growth. The Jom Transform Programme is run by The FinLab, an innovation accelerator under United Overseas Bank Limited. The FinLab first launched its business transformation programme in Singapore in 2018.

During the three-month Jom Transform Programme, participating businesses will attend a series of workshops conducted by industry experts[2] to gain the necessary skills and know-how in specific areas of digital transformation such as business process re-engineering and digital marketing. They will also be matched with specially-chosen technology partners to pilot relevant solutions and to receive guidance to assess the effectiveness of these solutions.

Mr Wong Kim Choong, Chief Executive Officer, UOB Malaysia, said the Jom Transform Programme reaffirms the Bank’s commitment to help Malaysian businesses digitalise their businesses for continued growth.

“The FinLab’s Jom Transform Programme will help businesses digitally transform their operations, and in turn support the national agenda on business innovation. Through the adoption of technology, Malaysian businesses will be able to manage their operations more efficiently, to improve productivity and to upskill their employees to ensure that their business remains relevant in the digital economy. To help these businesses grow further, we will also support them in their expansion both at home and across the region through UOB’s established and integrated network.”

11 Jun

[Banking] New Indian challenger Payzello

New Indian challenger Payzello launches

Payzello is a new challenger bank in India, focusing on the retail market that offers a wide variety of products, with a specific focus on personal finance management.

In its list of offerings, the firm includes a single card for both debit and credit, app-based loans, money transfer and request, end to end expense management, Bharat QR, three minutes’ account opening, among others – and all this with zero paperwork.

A chatbot is included in the app, called Ello. It was made for conversations regarding users’ finances and provides suggestions.

Currently, Payzello is not a bank, although it has partnered with multiple banks to provide users with financial solutions. However, Payzello does have ambitions to apply for a banking licence. Its banking partners are Laxmi Vilas Bank and Yes Bank.

Payzello applies an ‘extremely flat hierarchy’ throughout the decision making, as it believes in empowering its people.

The firm is based in Hyderabad, Telangana. The company’s CTO is Udit Prasad Mishra, who had previously founded Instafund Internet, a fintech; and a developer at Zeta Interactive – according to its LinkedIn profile. Payzello is available both in Android and iOS

Call Now Button