This is the ninth in a series of articles on companies behind online banking. Last week we profiled Envestnet/Yodlee. This article features FIS (Fidelity National Information Services).
FIS: Where Banks Turn For Help
There are rewards for doing the dirty work. Just ask FIS. It touts the fact that it can save financial institutions 20% to 25% in operating expenses from year one by taking on core tasks, such as processing checks, handling electronic payments, and ensuring that ATMs are dispersing money like they are supposed to. For their services, FIS reportedly gets a processing fee, distributed at a set time period. When times are tough for financial institutions, it’s good news for FIS because they are the “fixer” -- they solve problems and reduce overhead. No wonder FIS is a darling of sorts.
FIS is a global leader in financial services technology, that focuses on retail and institutional banking, payments, asset and wealth management, risk and compliance, consulting, and outsourcing solutions. The firm’s reach is far and wide, with more than 20,000 clients in over 130 countries and more than 55,000 employees around the globe. The Fortune 500 company is a leader in payment processing, financial software and banking solutions and provides software, services and outsourcing of the technology that empowers the financial world.
What’s pushing the success of FIS? They are giving banks what they need – help in shifting to digital consumer services, such as check deposits from smartphones, and sorting out the complexities of processing systems created by the multitude of bank mergers.
FIS hasn’t sat quietly on the sidelines in the M&A action. Industry experts called the company’s $5.1 billion purchase of SunGard last year one of its biggest plays. It broadened the firm’s capabilities to include a range of services for folks in wealth management, compliance and risk, as well as capital market operations.
FIS doesn’t shy away from big projects. In 2013, the Indian government launched Bharatiya Mahilia Bank (BMB) with the mission of empowering women economically by bringing financial services and financial education to India’s women. FIS was BMB’s technology partner. It built and deployed the bank’s entire technology platform and launched the bank’s first seven branches simultaneously just 90 days after joining forces with BMB.
This summer FIS announced the completion of its unique, transformational project with Bank Leumi USA. The bank replaced its technology platform with FIS banking and payment solutions, including core processing, branch, digital and mobile banking, compliance, risk and back-office systems. For sure this was quite a big deal for a mid-sized bank.
“Realizing the benefits of transformational change requires vision, innovation and the expert ability to deliver,” said Anthony Jabbour, chief operating officer, Banking & Payments, FIS, in a prepared statement. “While daunting for some, both FIS and Bank Leumi embraced the size and magnitude of this project. We’re proud of this partnership and view it as an excellent example of how we can deliver innovation and value to institutions of all sizes – regardless of how they approach their growth journey.”
Avner Mendelson, president and CEO, Bank Leumi USA said his bank embarked on a journey with FIS nearly three years ago to replace multiple banking applications and upgrade not only the core technology backbone, but also client facing applications, core processes and workflows, all in order to improve our client experience. “FIS’ willingness to expand the horizons of what’s possible with a transformational core banking project was instrumental in the overall success of this partnership,” he said.
The newly implemented FIS core platform provides client onboarding improvements, tighter integration between Bank Leumi’s private and commercial banks, and a new CRM platform to better enable cross and upsell. The upgrade went live in May and the bank sunset its legacy core platform the next day.
Michael Fegan, executive vice president, chief operations and technology officer, Bank Leumi USA, added, “At its core, this transformation project was not just about new technology, but about people and processes. In order to effectively transform our systems, we had to first transform our culture to one that was enabled to adapt to new technology and embrace change. The FIS team understood the specific needs of our bank and worked collaboratively with us to make sure those needs were met.”
With such stories, it’s not surprising that for 2017 the consensus estimate for the firm’s revenue is nearly $10 billion.