W&F Issue 11 2018

Wealth & Finance International - Issue 11 - 2018 5 As UK banks post their latest results, which show modest growth in the sector, the pressure continues for traditional banks to transform their complex legacy IT systems in order to compete with modern digital rivals. Banks’ Q3 Results Highlight the Growing Need to Unwind Technical Debt Fintech players and challenger banks now account for 20 percent of the banking and payments market in Europe. Challenger banks are outperforming many well-known high-street brands, according to a joint Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) league table which ranks banks according to the quality of their services. Traditional banks are working hard to find new ways to compete but are facing significant amounts of cost pressure to overcome the challenges presented by sprawling and outdated legacy IT systems. Whilst some are trying to move to a more agile operating model in response – including launching their own digital banks – the high costs of doing so and the infrastructural implications make this a very difficult task, according to Nick Hammond, Lead Advisor for Financial Services at World Wide Technology. Hammond comments: “With PSD2 now in effect and working to encour- age greater competition and consum- er choice, the market will most likely see a surge in the number and type of financial service providers. “As a result, we are seeing an unprecedented amount of change from financial institutions who need to safely unwind their technical debt – and this carries a lot of risk as well being very costly to do. Much of this is motivated by the need to compete with new entrants in the market. “Challenger banks don’t have to contend with the complex legacy IT structures of most traditional banks, enabling challengers to better organise their operations around the customers’ needs and provide incre- mental improvements to their systems in a way that other banks cannot.” Hammond concludes: “Currently banks have a major advantage over the latest Fintech players: an established customer base and the customer data that goes along with this. Banks are responding to the competition in a variety of ways, such as venturing into the Fintech space with in-house projects or external partnerships. To minimise the risks associated with complex IT changes, such as what we saw earlier in the year at TSB, firms should look to harness additional expertise and knowledge of these complexities which can help them transform their legacy architectures and ultimately retain their competitive edge.” Investors include Toyota Importer Union Ventures, B&E Equities, and other private investors. Guardian Optical Technologies Announces $2.5 Million of Funding from Strategic Investors Guardian Optical Technologies an- nounced that it received an additional investment of $2.5 million from inves- tors Union Ventures, B&E Equities, and other private investors. The investment is part of a pre-B round that totals $5.6M that will be used to expand the Research & Develop- ment team to serve the companies’ expanding customer base as well as supporting customers’ projects. Guardian Optical Technologies is ded- icated to creating “passenger aware” cars that will be increasingly more important as autonomous vehicles enter the market, making them safer and more convenient. The Guard- ian Optical Technologies’s sensor provides 2D, 3D, and motion analysis in the vehicle to protect drivers and passengers by constantly scanning and tracking the entire interior of the cabin. With just one sensor monitoring the entire interior, it can detect the slightest movement and softest heartbeat in a vehicle, preventing dangerous human errors. “Technology that creates passen- ger-aware vehicles can increase the safety of an automobile exponentially by alerting and warning passengers to take action and alerting the vehicle itself to take action,” said Gil Dotan, CEO of Guardian Optical Technol- ogies. “Our focus here at Guardian is to provide an uncompromisingly robust sensing ability that would also extend far beyond the safety features. Our vision to challenge the borders of human machine interface for better user experience, convenience and mobility services.” Built from the ground up to work with automotive hardware and software, Guardian Optical Technologies’s sensor empowers car manufacturers to build safer cars, and at a lower cost, by eliminating the need to install multiple sensors throughout the car. Patent-pending sensor technology provides real-time, comprehensive information on occupancy status based on three interconnected layers of information: video image recogni- tion (2D), depth mapping (3D), and micro- to macro-motion detection. It is the first technology to detect micro vibrations using low-cost, automo- tive-grade components. The sensor detects the location and physical dimensions of each occupant and can identify the difference between a person and an inanimate object. “We are experiencing one of the larg- est changes in the automotive world, with AI-technology that is powering all aspects of the automobile,” says Saar Lavi, Analyst at Union Investments. “As vehicles get more sophisticated, the safety and experience provided to passengers should be just as advanced. Guardian Optical Tech- nologies provides a unique safety solution that could transform the way passenger interact and are protected by the vehicle itself.” News

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