The Finstar® Open Banking Ecosystem of Hypothekarbank Lenzburg (HBL) was awarded the Finance IT Innovation Award 2019 together with the NDGIT platform and partners Sonect and neon. The Swiss Competence Center Ecosystems thus honours its high degree of innovation, customer orientation and relevance for the DACH financial market. The award was given in the category “Ecosystems”.
Together, NDGIT, HBL, neon and Sonect have achieved a great deal. They not only launched Switzerland’s first Open Banking platform but also created a prime example of banking as a service.
HBL’s original in-house core banking system “Finstar” is now used by ten other banks and financial service providers. The resulting FinTech ecosystem has grown steadily since its launch and now includes twenty different digital partners whose services enrich the online banking experience of consumers and business customers.
NDGIT as a key figure in the digital transformation of banks
NDGIT, the provider of the first API platform for banking and insurance in Europe, supplies the technological backbone for the HBL platform. This acts as a central interface between the core banking system, Finstar, and the various FinTechs. Its flexible middleware enables partners to connect easily with minimal effort through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that connect to the API platform.
Switzerland’s Open Banking Dream Team
“It’s a great honour to have our expertise in the field of Open Banking recognised. At the same time, it confirms our role as a strong technology partner, paving the way for financial institutions’ networked future. HBL’s ecosystem is a perfect example of how Open Banking can successfully develop new business areas. For HBL it’s improving the user experience of its customers by delivering new services, and also driving opportunities for core banking systems through the provision of Banking-as-a-Service to other banks,” says Oliver Dlugosch, CEO of NDGIT.
As the most digital bank in Switzerland, HBL’s role at the heart of the ecosystem was crucial to the Open Banking project. Having already received a Euro Finance Tech Award with NDGIT in 2017, it was delighted to have its achievement recognised again.
“The new award shows that we are seen as a pioneer in digital networking for the financial industry. At the same time, it creates a new benchmark for our activities and increases the pressure to maintain our status through consistent development. We are happy to accept this challenge,” comments Marianne Wildi, CEO of Hypothekarbank Lenzburg. “With 40 years of experience, Finstar not only understands the business of integrated IT solutions for universal banks but is also able to reinvent itself and stay ahead of the pack.”
Also, part of the Open Banking team is Swiss FinTech start-up Sonect, a provider of virtual ATMs that enable app users to withdraw money at traditional stores without the need for conventional ATMs.
“First of all, as part of the HBL Ecosystem, we are delighted to be able to offer our customers real added value with our services, including a greater density of payout facilities. To be honoured, through the award, is a plus that we did not expect,” adds Rik Krieger, co-founder of Sonect AG.
neon, Switzerland’s first account app, was involved in the project right from the start. As a result of the initiative, it has developed a new product promise for neon users: the smartphone-optimized private account for everyday needs, without basic charges, but with outstanding user experience and Swiss deposit insurance. Simon Youssef, co-founder of neon Switzerland confirms, “Our collaboration with HBL and NDGIT is an excellent example of how innovative partners, working together, can quickly grow and scale-up their business.”