How banks and financial institutions can ‘get the edge’ with technology
With these trends, there has also been a spike in e-payment service transactions. For instance, the Philippine Payments Management Inc. (PPMI), a payment system management body, designated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), revealed that they processed about 8.8 million InstaPay fund transfers in April—a 32-percent increase over the previous month. For Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, these unprecedented changes all boil down to the ability of banks and financial service institutions (FSIs) to remove the friction from the customer journey, so they can deliver services that make financial transactions a breeze, whether they be online or offline. "To win on customer experience, banks must leverage powerful digital technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and blockchain, among others. Putting many of these technologies to use in real-time, however, requires the processing of large amounts of data. Banks and FSIs need a robust IT infrastructure that can support their digital initiatives. A holistic approach to power, thermal management, and monitoring technologies are also essential,” said Jason Lim, country manager of Vertiv in the Philippines. Giving Infrastructure the Competitive Edge One way to ensure that banks and FSIs provide faster and better services is by deploying more IT infrastructure or IT network services closer to where their customers are. The traditional idea of data centers situated inside corporate offices or main headquarters is shifting towards a more scattered IT network infrastructure, deployed either in residential areas or where customers gather. This so-called “edge locations” allow businesses to harness technology efficiently by enabling the data to be processed closer to where they are generated and stored, leading to reduced latency and overall smoother customer experience. This approach or strategy is also referred to as “edge computing.” As banking and financial services increase their digital presence, the growth in edge applications leads to a different approach to protecting the IT infrastructure. For instance, traditional designs are now shifting to micro data centers, which are fully integrated and can be easily deployed virtually anywhere. These micro data centers provide compute, storage and access to reduce latency, as well as support 5G and IoT applications. For instance, Vertiv offers its integrated micro data center solutions, such as SmartCabinet, SmartRow Plus, and SmartAisle, which provide an all-in-one solution, combining power, cooling, monitoring, and racks, built for unique expectations and constraints. With their compact and flexible design, they are ideal for deployment at the edge of the network or network closets. Flexibility also enables customers to scale up or down, depending on their requirements. Vertiv micro data centers also tightly couple both the IT and supporting infrastructure facilities into a self-contained prefabricated unit for edge computing applications. Protecting banking systems from cyberattacks Apart from optimizing edge locations, banks must also ensure that they secure their IT infrastructure against cyberattacks. As a sector that is prone to cyber threats, banks and financial institutions are often targeted by hackers and cybercriminals either to steal customers’ personal information or to demand a ransom. Amid the current pandemic, the Bank Marketing Association of the Philippines also said that cyber threats, such as phishing and smishing, are fast evolving and growing, as scammers take advantage of the shift in customer behavior.