Virtusa’s open innovation platform powers the first Open Banking Sandbox in the Middle East

17 Jan 2019

Virtusa, a global provider of digital strategy, digital engineering, and IT outsourcing services that accelerates business outcomes for its clients, announced today the successful implementation of the Middle East region’s first Open Banking Sandbox with Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the UAE.

The Open Innovation Platform, developed by Virtusa’s innovation hub, is a cloud-based sandbox environment that promotes a culture of collaboration and innovation by connecting financial institutions, FinTechs, corporates, educational institutions and technology startups. It helps financial institutions tap into the opportunities that leverage emerging technologies to solve real business problems. The platform will enable Emirates NBD to accelerate the pace of digitization and innovation by complementing the bank’s internal capabilities with emerging technologies.

“Many banks are struggling to keep pace with dynamic FinTech firms and tech giants that are developing and launching new banking applications at a ‘Silicon Valley’-like speed. At the same time, banks have to deal with the changes brought about by Open Banking and other regulatory changes. Juggling the demands of these forces is extremely difficult and requires banks to enable much greater agility that empowers innovation,” said Senthil Ravindran, executive vice president and global head of xLabs, Virtusa.

The Open Innovation Platform will provide Emirates NBD access to ready proof of concepts and help transform a concept into working prototypes. Additionally, the platform incorporates design thinking, lean start-up, and agile development principles, thus facilitating accelerated innovation with fewer resources.

“Emirates NBD has been happy to partner with Virtusa to debut the first API Sandbox by a UAE Bank. This collaboration has enabled us to offer the right tools for enterprising FinTechs and developers who can now turn their creative ideas into real working prototypes, which we would then test with real customers,” said Evans Munyuki, chief digital officer at Emirates NBD. “We aim to accelerate innovation to continuously bring new and differentiated experiences to our stakeholders.”

“Virtusa is proud to partner with Emirates NBD in the launch of the region’s first Open Innovation Platform. Our engineering skills and in-depth understanding of banking has enabled us to build a platform that brings banks, FinTech firms, and developers together in one place, allowing them to innovate and improve the Digital Banking experience for all customers,” said Vasudev Telikicherla, senior vice president and head of Middle East Business, Virtusa.

Virtusa’s Open Innovation Platform powers the Banking Industry Architecture Network’s (BIAN) digital API exchange to help banks drive faster open banking innovation and also powers the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network’s (AFIN) APIX platform – the world’s first cross-border, open architecture platform for Financial Institutions and FinTechs to collaborate and catalyze digital innovation while driving financial inclusion. APIX was launched by Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi and Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam on November 14, 2018 during the Singapore FinTech Festival.

Source: Virtusa Press Release