If there was ever a deal that demonstrated how the symbiotic relationship between technology and banking is maturing it is the one that was announced recently by Sbanken and EVRY.

Sbanken is a Norwegian bank that was formed in 2000 as Skandiabanken. It is a purely digital bank that has no branches but provides a wide range of services, including payment and card solutions, savings products, investment products, and long-term and short-term loans. Like many challenger banks, it faces increasing regulatory controls as it scales, which can act as a severe limiter on both the range of services offered and size.

New regulations such as the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), which will require banks to give authorised third parties access to their account systems so that customers can use other payment service providers, will be a headache for established and challenger banks alike. Therefore, for the challengers like Sbanken to get ahead of their peers and really start to challenge the establishment, they must have core banking systems that are at the same time robust and open. Which is why Sbanken have done this deal with EVRY.

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EVRY are, curiously, not a core banking platform vendor, at least it’s not their primary focus. They are an IT consultancy, providing development and infrastructure services as well as a number of ‘products’ including applications for manufacturing, oil and gas, and, of course, financial services. What their banking platform gives their customers is an open architecture, which has now become a critical requirement with the introduction of PSD2. But open banking goes beyond just ticking the box for the regulators – it will make the difference between winning and retaining new customers and struggling to keep up with customer needs.

Bank customers are now much more demanding, and want consumer-like service from their financial institutions. Whilst the established banks struggle to adapt, most of the challengers are rushing to build capability and services. Banks like Sbanken seem to have found the perfect middle ground, offering a wide range of services whilst remaining innovative and flexible for their customers. Deals like these between forward thinking banks and innovative technology providers are definitely a sign of things to come.

About the author

Andrew Burgess has been the lead architect within several major change projects, including strategic development, IT transformation and outsourcing, in a wide range of industries across four continents. He has developed and implemented sourcing strategies for global organisations, running sourcing programs and helping re-organise IT departments to maximise their value from sourcing. Andrew was recently awarded ‘Automation Champion of the Year’ by the GSA, the industry association and professional body for the global sourcing industry. He is widely considered to be a leading expert in the growing Legal Transformation and Outsourcing market and has recently written ‘The Rise of Legal Services Outsourcing’ in collaboration with the London School of Economics (LSE). Andrew’s latest book, ‘The Executive Guide to Artificial Intelligence‘ has recently been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Andrew is a council member of the Global Sourcing Association and is Head of Consulting at HG Insights.