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Kony Digital Banking Solution

For the last decade, Kony has been the industry leader in mobility solutions with a large, global footprint in banking and financial services. This Solution Guide draws on our deep application and services experience with a goal of providing a set of criteria and recommendations that banks and credit unions should keep top of mind as they create or progress against an omni-channel digital strategy. In our latest benchmark study, we noted that mobile banking applications have evolved from 10 basic features to 50 user-influenced features to where our customer set is now - 125+ purpose-built features that encompass both traditional web and mobile-first approaches. Interestingly, when we overlaid the customer experience (CX) against the advances in functionality (form based to contextual gesture-driven), the same rate (4x) of improvement also occurred.


Our vision, and the products behind it, centers on keeping that gearing – meaning that as technology evolves, the outcome or CX must advance at the same rate – through an integrated approach. An example of this, which Kony has implemented globally for our banking customers, is leveraging mobile and AI technologies to automate many of the cumbersome manual and paper based banking processes, which significantly reduces the need for physical people and branch interaction as well as delivers a demonstrable increase in customer and member loyalty.


Why this matters to you


Any vendor in the fintech space must also have a responsive approach to the complex existing and emerging regulations in the industry – this goes beyond reacting to a change via a serice pack or change request and centers on having the agility (from the architecture through integration and UI) to be compliant without negatively impacting the technology roadmap or the user experience and ultimately create a competitive advantage for the institution.


The rise of regulation and government-backed solutions like PSD2 in Europe, UPI in India and NPP in Australia has allowed fintech disruptors like PayPal and Rocket Mortgage to move into the payment, loans, insurance and wealth space - forcing banks to defend their traditional territory and margins.


Kony has been able to accelerate our customers’ PSD2, UPI, NPP and related plans because of the flexibility of our platform – enabling European banks to expose their core payment and customer account services through open banking API’s and helping India and Australia reach new market segments through payment technologies.


As you’ve read in any industry report, the speed of technology, customer expectations and regulation all leads to a compelling need for change - and to survive in the new digital jungle, banks must look at mobilizing, digitizing and integrating all their core customer services with smart analytics and artificial intelligence - this means implementing a single consolidated platform to support:

  • Next generation integrated applications

  • Aggregated account, transaction and payment services supporting Multi-Core/Vendor integrations

  • Business Intelligence functions supported by analytics, machine learning and predictive modelling

  • Secure and open API management

  • Fast and agile development and testing


Limitations of the current generation of apps


While these applications addressed the need at the time, any extensions or replacements of the UI/UX and/or business logic typically requires significant changes to the underlying code, often breaking the original business flows and logic. Apart from being costly to implement, this limits an institution’s ability to effectively upgrade the application. Rolling out new functionality and even small enhancements is slow due to the “brittle” nature of the architecture and lack of automated test tools; frustrating both the banks and customers. From our research, the most common challenges with previous generation applications are:

  • Difficult and costly to extend, enhance and upgrade leading to slow releases - not agile

  • Not integrated with other services - siloed functionality

  • Integrated with a single Core back-end system – inside out design and not open

  • Mediocre and stagnant Customer Experience


All this is changing


Banks and credit unions of all sizes are struggling to compete with the big banks and digital disruptors who are moving fast and pouring money and resources into this new financial world – meaning patching together legacy systems or relying on CX enhancement is not enough to survive. Kony’s Digital Banking Platform enables small to medium banks and credit unions to move away from their siloed applications, infrastructure and paper based processes to an integrated platform that provides: advanced digital technology, aggregation functions, artificial intelligence, multi-core integration capabilities, secure open API management, identity management, 5X development speed, shared marketplace components and much more.


The digital technology now exists to support chat bot automation of common banking processes, biometric facial recognition, automatically OCR scanning of ID documents and document upload – which means that many customer service and physical branch functions can now be digitized and automated while the customer expectation for simple, easy-to-use apps is met.


Kony’s Digital Banking Platform is purpose-built to deliver seamless experiences across the different channels – bridging the physical (branches, ATMs and kiosks) to digital (online banking and mobile apps) with the ideal abstraction layer to help create the new core for next-gen use cases along with visual front-end tooling and continuous testing and integration.


The key benefits of the Kony Digital Banking Platform are:

  • Extendable integrated applications

  • Aggregated services (account, transaction, payment) supporting multi-Vendor integration

  • Business Intelligence functions supported by analytics, machine learning & predictive modelling

  • Secure and open API management

  • 5X development and testing efficiency leading to fast agile and release cadence

  • Centralized and secure data storage

  • Open integration with multiple client and server 3rd party vendors


Creating Outcomes – Kony Use Cases


Chat Bots, AI and predictive modelling:

Integrated Chat (voice-activated) Bot functionality is now an integral part of the Customer Experience, making the processing of common tasks like “What’s my balance?” “Have I been paid?” “Where is the nearest ATM?” and “Transfer cash” simpler and hands-free. Voice activated hardware such as Amazon Echo powered by Alexa and Google Home now support voice activated solutions, including banking.


Advanced analytics and AI is another area that compliments banking, especially in PFM (personal finance management) and payments where purchasing trends, deals, offers, promotions, fraud detection, equity offers, debt management all come into play. If you bring the power of analytics, geolocation, AI, push notifications and chat bots together you can implement powerful scenarios like generating offers based on proximity and trends such as:

  • Walking down the street in the proximity of a Starbucks coffeehouse and a 20% discount offer for your favorite beverage and muffin is pushed to your phone. You accept the offer, place the order, pay from your digital wallet all using a chat bot and then follow the directions to pick up your order. This type of direct marketing scenario can be played out for many situations and pushed even further using integrated applications and digital technologies.

  • A loan advisor bot, can perform predictive modelling analysis using customer analytics and financial trend data as well as the lending market to tailor the best offer. If you then add digital loan origination into the equation, this enables the bank to be far more competitive and reach a far larger market without having to scale the employee and administrative overhead.

New user onboarding and loan origination:

In the past, a bank customer opening a new account was a tedious process - you went down to your local branch with armfuls of supporting documentation and spent hours going through the motions. Business processes and applications were totally separate and siloed, so you had to repeat the same identification and qualifying processes again and again, asking yourself “don’t they already have all this?” Now with the proliferation of mobile devices and the availability of voice activated chat bots, optical scanning of id, biometric security and online verification software, much of this process can be digitized and streamlined using mobile and browser applications, both empowering the customer and reducing the branch administration overheads.


If you extend the digital workflow further, onboarding can also include applications for card, digital wallet, loan and insurance services i.e. integrated services across banking business units. The process can be true omnichannel meaning that you can start the onboarding process with mobile, performing id scanning. and finish it using the online browser based app loading documents and electronically signing.


Other branch workflows can be digitized - loan origination for mortgage, vehicle, personal and commercial loans. Much of the initial information capture can be automated and streamlined, significantly reducing the time taken and the need to go into a branch at all. Even the final face-to-face video verification with an agent and electronic signature of contracts can be done through the mobile and online (browser) apps. If much of the information had already been captured previously in the new user onboarding process, and the customer already has a credit history with the bank, then the loan process can be even simpler.


Account aggregation:

A common use case that we work with is the requirement to manage bank accounts and cards from many different core banking systems - which is only possible with banks that have exposed their customer account data through open API’s. To do this, features need to be added to the mobile app to add/remove accounts and cards from other external banks. You now need to also implement account aggregation functionality and data storage in the middleware that then loops through the accounts associated with the user, collects all the data and then presents a consolidated view back to the app. All this means that mobile and online banking apps can become multi-bank capable instead of single bank focused as described earlier in the older generation of banking apps.


Account processing becomes seamless to the customer and the banks must now find additional services in order to compete and retain their market share, particularly against the new generation of digital banks and currency with as well as the traditional support for new virtual accounts such as a digital wallet and partitioned virtual savings accounts. Consolidated Wallet and payments:


Payments between people is being revolutionized and made considerably simpler. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal, Android Pay and a myriad of payment platforms and digital currencies like Bitcoin are emerging and changing the way bills are paid, money is transferred and point of sale (POS) transactions are made. These technologies make routine retail transactions and money transfers easy.


Rather than compete directly with all of this, the bank’s Retail, Business and Wallet applications need to integrate with these payment options to effectively share and manage accounts/cards and provide easy and seamless payment integrations so that the customer can still use the banking app along with the flexibility and choice of payment vendors.


In this way, the Bank can be more open and flexible - offering central management of accounts and cards and additional value-add services and incentives without being cut out.



Deep Dive - Kony Digital Banking Platform


Application Suite and Architecture

The Kony Digital Banking Solution includes a suite of applications as well as a specific model-driven architecture that enables both the UX/UI and business logic to be extended in such a way that upgrades can be still be supported with minimal impact.

The solution supports consumer B2C and internal enterprise B2E as well as custom and 3rd party vendor applications (utilizing the same architecture, standard UX/UI and logic and integration components through a private Marketplace and Open APIs). Said differently, customers and partners will be able to utilize the Digital Banking Platform for all their applications along with the standard suite of applications that is provided.


The DBP provides a complete open banking data model, aggregation functions for accounts, payments and personal finance management data (PFM), integrated Object Services that support all the primary areas of banking and secure database and binary object storage.


Back-end systems and databases are accessed through standard exposed API’s and services. In this way, Master, Customer and Transactional data may be integrated with a variety of external vendor or local database systems to effectively support multi-bank, aggregated functions and administration services


Kony’s Digital Banking Platform provides powerful tools to support the full lifecycle of application development, testing, deployment and maintenance. On the front-end, our tooling enables low code development and the ability to easily share and utilize common components, including those provided with the Digital Banking Suite, through both public and private Marketplaces.


This front-end is used to both extend the standard suite and develop custom applications. Kony’s middleware layer provides the scalable middleware runtime, integration services, 3rd Party software adaptors, Identity and API management.


As mentioned previously, all the Kony Digital Banking applications are developed using an advanced model-driven architecture that is fully integrated with the front-end and middleware, providing structured consistent definitions and code; maximizing flexibility extensibility reuse and upgrade compatibility.


Additionally, the Kony Digital Banking Platform includes tools to significantly simplify and automate continuous integration (CI), build and automated testing of applications along with device farm testing across multiple devices and form factors as well as publishing to Enterprise and public app stores.


Open Banking model and API’s

An open banking data model is provided that describes all the Banking objects and relationships. These are exposed to applications using a generic business object service layer. Kony’s middleware provides all the API management necessary to securely expose these services to external Customer and 3rd Party Banks and Vendor applications. In this way, other external banking applications can perform functions such as account/payment aggregation and card management.


Secure Data Store and local services

As soon as you start storing transactional or personal data, strict regulation and security controls apply. In the case of the Kony Digital Banking Platform, all associated data to support user administration, new user on-boarding, Account Aggregation, PFM (Personal Finance Management), and Analytics may need to be stored centrally and not via back end Core systems and 3rd party vendors. The Kony Digital Banking platform supports this by providing the base data model, physical database schemas and local services - it is then up to the Bank to implement the database in their secure environment.


Virtual Accounts

Now that control of the Banking Objects is within the Kony Digital Banking Platform layer and not with the backend Core’s, this opens a whole range of extended functionality and flexibility to further empower customers and innovate. One of these use cases is the ability to easily define “Virtual Accounts” which are effectively sub-set views of an existing account, or a consolidated view of many accounts or just simple accounts on their own like a Wallet digital cash account. One of the primary uses of virtual accounts will be in PFM goals, setting saving targets and managing funds.



Kony’s Suite of Next Generation

Digital Banking Applications: These are a set of unified omnichannel banking apps built on the Kony Digital Banking Platform, which address the needs of retail banking, loan origination, business banking, new user onboarding, digital payments and more. The pre-built apps allow banks to accelerate time-to-market, provide exceptional omnichannel experiences for members and customers, while at the same time reducing overall implementation costs and cost of ownership.

  • Retail Banking - Manage accounts, transfer money, find ATMs and branches, deposit checks, and more from any channel

  • Business Banking – Empower business account holders to access engaging business banking services across channels

  • Loans – Simplify and speed-up mortgage origination via frictionless digital experience

  • New User Onboarding - Acquire more customers by streamlining and automating the onboarding experience across channels

  • Digital Wallet - Easy payments to friends or merchants using digital wallet and secure payment technologies

Kony Next Generation Digital Banking Platform – a purpose-built platform to enable banks to deliver seamless and differentiated experiences for their customers across banking services and channels – bridging the physical (branches, ATMs and kiosks) to digital (online banking and mobile apps). Kony’s Digital Banking Platform will enable banks and credit unions to deliver exceptional omnichannel experiences without compromising on agility, security, or flexibility.