Enabling banks stay ahead of the technology curve

Enabling banks stay ahead of the technology curve

Fintech & Financial Services

i-exceed’s Apzillon platform and suite helps banks go to market faster and improves operational efficiency through the latest technology-enabled features, from ChatBots to Apple Watch apps.

S. SUNDARARAJAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, I-EXCEED
S. SUNDARARAJAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, I-EXCEED

Banking is one of the industries where information technology adoption has been high but the need to keep pace is also tremendous. Bengaluru-based i-exceed Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (i-exceed), established in 2011 by founders with prior experience of developing a banking product in the past, has created a platform that enterprises can use to build their own apps on their proprietary system.

i-exceed took two years to develop and market Apzillon, the flagship platform that organisations can use to develop their apps and soon after, the company launched its ready-to-use Apzillon Digital Banking Suite in 2015. Since then, its revenue share from this line of business has been 60 per cent to 70 per cent with the remaining coming from the platform.

“Most large organisations and multi-nationals prefer the platform while smaller players opt for the suite,” says S. Sundararajan, executive director, i-exceed, adding that there are exceptions. “Given our feature range, many large organisations also go for our suite,” he adds.

The platform services banks in many areas including mobile and Internet banking, enabling digital initiatives with cross channel support and reaching the un-banked population through the agency banking feature. Additionally, it improves their operational efficiency by over 50 per cent by helping banks go to market faster, thereby reducing the cost of building the entire application.

Spreading out

Since the release of its platform and suite, i-exceed has found clients in India and other markets including UAE and Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, China and Taiwan. I-exceed is soon looking at the European and American markets and has a team working on creating prospective business opportunities in these regions.

“We have a presence in many markets and we work with partners such as Wipro, Mindtree and Hewlett-Packard who are system integrators, domain experts and have technical know-how,” explains Sundararajan. Typically, partners express interest because consumers state a preference for Apzillo. “A good client base helps in signing up partners. It is a connected world, and so, word-of- mouth helps boost sales,” he adds.

When i-exceed partners a company in implementation, it follows a revenue sharing business model. It also provides training to system integrators and partners, who then take charge of the full implementation. In such cases, i-exceed has a business model where it charges for the training, additionally.


Apzillon development platform from i-exceed aims to help banks service customers on mobile and internet banking and go to market faster.


Playing catch up

While the banking industry values technology it does struggle to keep pace with changing trends. One of the bigger challenges for technology partners such as i-exceed is that large organisations have legacy systems. Apps take time to develop and stability and security are concerns that cannot be compromised. Apzillon, however, helps financial institutions and banks go to market faster without compromising on security checks.

In the near future, apps from Apzillon will be usable on all devices including wearables. The company currently offers solutions for Apple Watch and more such offerings will be added. ChatBot – a AI-powered chat feature for mobile – is another feature that the company is working on. “Our R&D team is constantly looking at how we can stay ahead of the curve. We spend about 20 per cent of our revenue on this,” says Sundararajan.

The company’s research team also monitors competition and has tied up with research and analysis organizations to understand trends and take a lead.

Tapping market potential

Currently, i-exceed has 40 enterprise customers, including large banks, MNC banks and several other enterprises including DBS, Syndicate Bank, Ujjivan and Mudra in the microfinance sector, among others. In the case of large organizations, repeat orders from different locations and verticals also strengthen its base. To put things in perspective, the market for financial services in India alone houses 15,000 companies and this is a potential client base for i-exceed.

Apart from banks, the company has started signing up microfinance, NBFCs and small financial banks that have expanded its market opportunities.

At present, i-exceed, which was funded to the tune of US $1 million by angel investors and advisors, is also in the process of seeking funding for its expansion and growth plans.

By the end of this fiscal, Sundararajan expects the client base to double, and three years from now, to be five-fold.


Snapshot

Venture: i-exceed

Founded by: Joseph John (MD & co-founder), S Sundararajan (executive director & co-founder), Kapil Gupta (co-founder)

Year: 2011

Investment: Angels and advisors

Focus: Digital banking suite and development platform


Making banks agile

While banks are fairly well attuned to the benefits of technology and provide services across platforms, technology development has maintained a formidable pace and the finance sector struggles to keep up. This sector needs to offer services in newer technologies while ensuring safety is not compromised. Bengaluru-based i-exceed’s Apzillon development platform and digital suite aims to help banks and other financial institutions achieve this. While the platform allows organisations to create their own apps, the digital suite is a ready to use product that plugs into existing systems. . I-exceed works with system integrators either as partners in implementation or by providing training. The company already has clients across India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East and is looking to enter European and American markets. I-exceed is actively seeking funding for its expansion plans and it hopes to double its clients base by the end of this year and reach five-fold in three years.

Meera Srikant has been working with publishers and publications since 1993, writing and editing articles, features and stories across topics. She also blogs and writes poems, novels and short stories during leisure. Writing for The Smart CEO since 2010, she is also a classical dancer.

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