Belize Bank Reinvents Core Banking to Capture New Growth Opportunities

With Finastra, Belize Bank has found a partner that can support its ambitions 

Jose Cardona – Chief Information Officer, Belize Bank

The Challenge

In Belize, a small country with a population of just under 400,000 people, the banking sector is dominated by a handful of large banks, limiting opportunities for growth. Additionally, the country’s financial services industry was hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis. Today, banks continue to grapple with low interest rates, greater regulatory scrutiny and changed customer expectations. To maintain its market-leading position in the face of these pressures, Belize Bank has been on a mission to transform both the way it manages operations and how it serves customers. Jose Cardona, Chief Information Officer at Belize Bank, elaborates: “For continued growth in a saturated market, we must offer a banking experience unlike any other, and deliver innovative products backed by exceptional service. To achieve this, we need deep insight into each customer’s unique needs, so we can tailor our products and services suitably. “However, our existing core systems did not offer a complete picture of a customers’ engagement with the bank. It was difficult for us to see how customers were interacting with us and if there were additional services that they might be interested in taking up, limiting cross- and up-sell opportunities.” He continues: “What’s more, our core banking system had been in place for more than a decade, and was really starting to show its age. We recognized that moving to a new, modern core system would help us to boost efficiency and renew our focus on the customer experience.”

The Solution

As the foundation for its core banking transformation, Belize Bank selected Fusion Essence. Jose Cardona recalls: “Fusion Essence appealed to us because it was built on latest generation and open technology. Finastra has also infused a significant degree of innovation and industry knowledge into the solution. All of this provides a future-proof platform on which to build our business and reduce the risk of obsolescence.” With a cutting-edge core banking platform in place, Belize Bank will be able to drive more stable, standardized operations, and react faster to new demands. “Fusion Essence provides a visionary solution for a visionary bank,” notes Jose Cardona. “Our transformation required a new platform that would allow us to expand our presence both locally in Belize as well as in the wider region. Fusion Essence provides that platform; it enables us to launch products rapidly into the market.” In addition, Belize Bank will be well-positioned to meet ongoing regulatory requirements. Jose Cardona confirms: “Fusion Essence offers us a very capable platform for reporting and regulatory compliance. A key advantage with Fusion Essence is that the system can be easily configured for different regulatory reporting scenarios. This kind of flexibility is very helpful for maintaining compliance.”

 

Connecting with Customers

Today, Belize Bank benefits from faster, more reliable end-of-day processing, as Jose Cardona states: “We have seen a marked improvement in end-of-day processing, which is now much faster and stable.” Thanks to Finastra solutions, Belize Bank can gain a much more nuanced view of its customers, and plans to use this newfound insight to shape more relevant and compelling banking services. “Previously, extracting data on customers from our core banking system was a complex, time-consuming process,” says Jose Cardona. “That has all changed thanks to Fusion Essence. We can obtain data from the system very quickly and easily; we are using this information to shape a much better understanding of who our customers are and what they want from a bank.” He continues: “The new insight will enable us to grow our share-of-wallet with existing customers, increasing cross and up-selling of additional services and products. In an era of shrinking interest margins, the ability to generate additional revenue streams such as these is highly valuable for Belize Bank.” Equally importantly, Belize Bank will be able to bring these offerings to market rapidly. Jose Cardona comments: “Fusion Essence will help us to generate new services and products quickly and in a straightforward way. For example, we are launching a new mobile banking service, and our enhanced core banking capabilities will play a key role in driving this innovation.”

 

Finastra (2018). Belize Bank Reinvents Core Banking to Capture New Growth Opportunities. Retrieved April 6, 2018 from Finastra. Website: www.finastra.com 

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