Microsoft launches Cloud for Financial Services
The public preview of the new service will be available on 31 March 2021, featuring specific capabilities for retail banking as well as broader industry services. These will be housed on an integrated platform that includes Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Power Platform.
Transforming finance with technology
Microsoft’s Cloud for Financial Services draws a definitive line in the sand for the industry: the last 12 months have thrown out old operating paradigms and shown the value of agile digital solutions.
Bill Borden, Corporate VP of Worldwide Financial Services, explained the holistic benefits of doing so:
“First and foremost, we meet you where you are with trust, multi-layered security, comprehensive compliance coverage, and scalability across the globe to deliver differentiated customer experiences, improve employee collaboration and productivity, manage risk, and modernise core systems.
“Applying cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI), Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services turns insight into action. Powered by a common data model and tools for professional developers and citizen developers alike, this cloud enables Microsoft’s partners and customers to easily add new value with extensions and additional solutions.”
The added value that the company’s new product can bring is apparently justified by its diversity; Microsoft lists the following as its core capability enhancements:
Companies struggling to survive in the post-COVID world are sure to find Microsoft’s optimised package an important lifeline. Indeed, as we found out in our article ‘’, even leading fintechs and digital natives have experienced a ‘wake up call’.
“Customers have also accelerated their adoption of digital technology, and the pace of this transformation will continue long after COVID-19,” noted Edgardo Savoy, Chief Technology Officer at TransferGo, who also expressed the sentiment that changes taking place now are likely irreversible.
“Can you imagine going back to the same manual processes, like queuing in banks to send money abroad, when the technology exists to do all of that without leaving your home?”
BME and BBF Fintech to stage sustainable finance hackathon
The first hackathon focused on the fintech and insurtech world at an international level, concentrating on sustainable finance, will be hosted in Bilbao.
The ‘Hack & Disrupt!’ event will take place on 25, 26 and 27 June, and is organised by BME and BBF Fintech. The event aims to bring together companies, entrepreneurs and startups to solve global technological challenges as a team.
The event, which is sponsored by BBK, Plaza Financiera Bilbao and SIX's startup accelerator, F10, wants to connect entrepreneurs and businesses to re-imagine finance and insurance through digitalisation. The challenges that participants will be facing are geared towards innovation and sustainable finance.
Due to the pandemic, the event will be held in a hybrid format, combining a face-to-face part, at the BBF Bilbao Berrikuntza Faktoria, and through a technological platform, which will feature different stands, chats and workrooms. The opening and closing ceremonies, as well as various panels related to the entrepreneurial world and the fintech and insurtech ecosystem, will be streamed from the platform.
What will happen at the event?
The opening will reflect on innovation in the securities markets and then afterwards there will be a panel discussion on sustainability. Challenges will be introduced on Friday evening, and the teams will start working on their resolution until Sunday 27th. Saturday 26th features presentations by several experts, including Berta Ares, General Manager of BME Inntech, and Manuel Ardanza, Chairman of the Bilbao stock exchange.
The winners, which will be announced on Sunday, will be eligible for three prizes: a prospection trip to Switzerland, where they will be able to get to know its fintech ecosystem in detail, the possibility of participating in the incubation Programme and in BBF Fintech’s II Open Innovation Programme, the public-private fintech incubator promoted by Bizkaia’s provincial council, Bilbao’s City Hall, the University of Mondragón and Dominion, as well as direct access to the final interview to participate in the F10 incubation and acceleration programme.
Javier Hernani, CEO of BME, believes that BME's presence at this event reaffirms the company's commitment to digitalisation, innovation and the promotion of SMEs and disruptive startups, which adds to other initiatives, such as the Pre-Market Environment. "Today's startups can be tomorrow's stock market blue chips," he stated. “We also reiterate our support for Bilbao as an innovative financial centre, where BME closely follows the entrepreneurial ecosystem”, he added.