Technology news round-up: Financial deals and product launches

Groupe BPCE acquires German digital challenger Fidor; DBS signs up with Amazon cloud; new product launch from Quali.

Groupe BCPE acquires Fidor

Fidor, a German online challenger bank founded in 2009, has been acquired by French banking group BPCE, comprising the Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne networks. The acquisition, industry analysts say, is yet another example of a traditional financial firm co-opting a technologically-savvy challenger to further its own digital transformation.

Groupe BPCE chairman François Pérol said that the acquisition: “Demonstrates our commitment to innovation, to developing a customer-centric approach enabled by digital banking technology, and to be more involved in the digital and mobile banking field.”

Fidor CEO Matthias Kröner said that the merger does not mean that Fidor will be no longer exist. “It will allow Fidor to continue its international expansion and drive the development of innovative digital technology even further.” He added that: “Fidor’s senior team, including myself, will be able to focus on expanding our core business offering and explore more market opportunities all over the world.”

DBS signs deal with Amazon and moves into the cloud

Singapore-based DBS Bank has signed an deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to move development and production of its apps into the cloud. The bank says that it expects to have 50% of its workload executed on online servers by 2018.

The deal represents a transition away from internal data centres, and is a step towards a faster and more scalable approach, says DBS.

DBS Head of Technology and Operations David Gledhill said: “In today’s fast-changing world, companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Netflix are widely acknowledged as leaders in innovation. What sets them apart is their ability to constantly experiment, automatically scale, and rapidly bring new features to market. They are able to do this in part by leveraging the flexibility provided by cloud technology.”

AWS will first be deployed by the bank’s Treasury and Markets department. Resources on the cloud will be deployed to support pricing of financial instruments for risk management, which the bank says requires extensive computing power.

Quali’s CloudShell 7.0 features API for DevOps integration

Israeli software provider Quali has released CloudShell 7.0, a tool that creates sandboxes that replicate infrastructures and environments that can be used in development and testing. The latest release features a new API which allows Cloudhsell 7.0 to integrate with Jenkins and Jira, tools used in DevOps.

The Quali Developer Community, an open source initiative where developers can contribute Shells and plug-ins and discuss ideas, has been enhanced. It now includes include sample code, templates and guidelines for creating new Shells, which are the building blocks for sandboxes.

Joan Wrabetz, CTO of Quali said: “Our new application support also means that customers can automate the creation of a full stack environment from network to applications for all of their DevOps activities.”

Subscription to Quali CloudShell 7.0 Enterprise Edition starts at $30,000 a year.

Dubai Islamic Bank chooses Nasdaq BWise software solution

Nasdaq BWise, a software firm owned by the US exchange, has entered into a deal to provide enterprise governance, risk management and compliance software to the Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB). The BWise technology solution is one integrated platform that spans each of those areas.

According to the bank, the platform allows for more visibility into their risk and control frameworks. Another attractive feature, said Mohamed Abdulla Al Nahdi, Deputy CEO at Dubai Islamic Bank, was its user friendliness and how it integrated disparate functions onto one platform. “In this way the compliance, risk and internal control departments will all have access to the right information from one single source.”

RSJ strikes deal with ACTIV Financial for market data tool

Czech algorithmic trading firm RSJ has selected software market data vendor ACTIV Financial’s X-Ray solution to help test trading strategies in new venues. X-Ray will provide RSJ with market data and analytics which RSJ will use to develop and test their models in markets that they do not yet trade in.

The tool is a collaboration between ACTIV financial, which gathers and analyses the data, and German firm big xyt, which maintains the cloud platform that delivers the data to the client.

Robin Mess, CEO and co-founder of big xyt, said “In the past, funds would have had to purchase data from a data vendor, buy server capacity and then integrate the data into their systems. That would require buying software licenses and allocating man-hours. Now they can log-in to X-Ray and start testing immediately.”  


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