Can you give us an overview of your role?

As the lead architect for financial services at IBM Global Industry Solutions, I architect and build solutions to address our clients’ business and technology challenges. These solutions implement innovative use cases and incorporate best-of-breed offerings from IBM, business partners, and the marketplace. I also work with banks worldwide in their digital transformation journeys, leveraging industry standards/models and Cloud and AI technology.

What prompted you to participate in BIAN?

Many banks I work with appreciate a comprehensive industry-specific framework for defining a target state to organize business capabilities, identify and prioritize areas for improvement, and derive design artifacts for implementation. For a long time, BIAN has provided such a component business framework. In recent years, BIAN has extended the service domain specification with semantic models to describe the business information governed by the service domain and define service operations as the underlying exchanges between the service domains. These recent extensions pave the way for leveraging BIAN reference models to design and develop applications using microservices architecture, domain-driven design (DDD) approach, and cloud technology.

Being a long-time member with board representation, IBM has actively contributed to BIAN initiatives such as BIAN Coreless, Semantic APIs, and event-driven architecture (EDA). I appreciate the opportunity to work with highly knowledgeable architects from the industry and learn from them.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the banking industry in the next 5 years?

In the next few years, the biggest challenge for the industry is to adapt to the “new normal” marked by trends such as rapid digital adoption, rising customer demands and expectations, and intense competition from FinTechs.

After migrating to digital interactions during the pandemic, customers will likely stay that way. Customers demand more tailored services revolving around their lives with compelling user experiences, requiring seamless integration with data and services from service providers across multiple industries. The industry is responding to this with digital transformation and open banking. New models such as banking-as-a-service and banking platforms are gaining considerable traction.

In FinTechs, decentralized finance (DeFi) applications have seen exponential growth since 2019. Some customers are starting to embrace digital assets (such as cryptocurrencies and tokens) and use DeFi applications to lend, borrow, and trade these assets to increase the return of their investment capitals. So far, the DeFi applications seem to live in a universe parallel to traditional finance with which most of us are familiar. However, the recent guidance from OCC (currency regulator in the US), which allows banks to issue and exchange stablecoins for transferring value using public blockchains, will likely prompt the adoption of DeFi applications among mainstream financial institutions.

To survive and thrive in this changing environment, banks must have a clear strategy in the value chain and the business and technology architecture to respond more quickly to opportunities. The industry must build interoperability to facilitate integration and innovations.

How would you sum up the future of banking in one word?

I have experienced many inventions in banking, such as credit cards, ATMs, internet banking, mobile banking, instant payments, and cryptocurrencies as new forms of money and potentially new monetary systems, in my lifetime. These inventions have changed the way we live and do business. One word to sum up the future of banking – EXCITING!