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An Outsider's Look In

By Kevin Barth 24 Mar 2016

Kevin BarthThree months ago I joined Temenos USA as a product evangelist within the Business Solutions Group. After many years of working in the retail banking industry, this is my first time in the banking and finance software sector. For over 20 years Temenos has been creating software solutions for the banking and finance industries. And, over the past 12 years (prior to joining Temenos) I have been using banking software on the frontlines daily.

One thing that had remained consistent throughout my 12 years of retail bank management is the software that I used every day to open up new bank accounts and originate loans. Throughout three different banks the software always remained the same. It was basic, not terribly user-friendly, completely un-customizable, and always felt outdated. By the end of my retail banking career I had come to the conclusion that this is how the majority of banks and credit unions function on a daily basis. So, walking in to Temenos as the new guy I was confident I would be a subject matter expert on their software immediately… because banking software is what it is… right?

Wrong! I was so wrong… and shocked, enlightened, pleasantly surprised and annoyed (knowing now that this software exists and not one of the banks I worked for ever considered using this software)! Temenos’s Lifecycle Management Suite, specifically the Loan and Account Origination modules are truly light years ahead of anything I used in my previous banking life. Both of these solutions are dynamic and rich in their feature sets. They are both highly customizable by the end user, have a powerful decision rules engine, and integrate seamlessly with many third-party offerings.

What exactly does that all mean to an end user who was stuck using an outdated banking software system for many, many years? Well, the only customization that I ever encountered was directly from the software vendor (which was far and few between) and it was never “customization” since the same updates went out across many bank corporations. As for third party-integration… not in my banking lifetime. If I needed to run a new customer though ChexSystems, OFAC, or QualiFile I was leaving my banking software program, opening a web browser, and going through the various websites to obtain the proper approvals to continue the account opening process. If I needed to pull a credit report for a new loan application, the same process above had to be followed.

To me, the Temenos solutions are, in a word, amazing! Having the ability to have true customization at the bank level to suit the business needs cannot be overlooked. This customization doesn’t have to be completed by the bank’s IT department either! Temenos’ software is easily configurable by the business unit, and the changes can be implemented immediately. Also, having a robust third-party integration with many financial services providers makes the entire account opening process run smoothly for both the account holder and the financial services representative. Being able to run a ChexSystems report and pull a credit report “behind the scenes” within the Temenos software without having to stop the account opening process is a huge win (and to this banker a godsend!) for the financial institution, FSR and account holder. Finally, a fully customizable business rules engine that can control everything from minimum age parameters to generating cross-sell opportunities – it’s kind of mind-blowing for an industry that has adopted the “business as usual” mantra when it comes to the software that financial institutions use on a daily basis. These features just scratch the surface of how powerful this software truly is.

If it sounds like I am very excited about banking and credit union software, well, after what I have been exposed to for over a decade, this technology makes it easy to be a product evangelist! So, fear not banks and credit unions, there is a fantastic software solution available from Temenos that can provide a powerful decision engine, a completely customizable interface, dynamic features and extensive third-party integrations which will truly take your bank or credit union to the next level in sales and service.

These are some exciting times in the banking and finance software sector, and I am thrilled to no longer be an “outsider looking in”.

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