KeyCorp and First Niagara merger — software revamp on the cards ?

April 1st, 2016

Publication: Banking Technology

As US-based KeyCorp prepares to take over its rival First Niagara to create the country’s 13th largest bank, Banking Technology muses what this might mean for the fintech market. A major system selection perhaps, as both banks are currently using dated systems?

KeyCorp and its banking subsidiary, KeyBank, hope to finish acquiring First Niagara by September this year.

It is still awaiting shareholders and regulators approvals, and still needs to address public comments, integration strategies and other issues (including a number of shareholder lawsuits).

On the technology side, KeyBank has been working closely with Oracle FSS, with the roll-out of Oracle Banking Platform (OBP) as the enterprise service layer.

OBP is an “orchestration layer”that sits between the core systems and the digital channels of the bank and delivers “all the piping and all the business logic in one place”, according to Ryan Gorney, head of digital banking technology at KeyBank.

However, at the back-end, the core processing systems are old: FIS’s Systematics and CSC Hogan.

Meanwhile, First Niagara is also a long-standing customer of FIS, but using a different system — Miser.

Similar to KeyBank, First Niagara has been revamping its front-end solutions. The key focus of the digital transformation — including the bank’s “Mobile First”strategy — is on customer experience and product harmonisation. Speaking at a conference last year, Paul Hlivko, head of IT and digital at First Niagara at the time, said the idea was “to move from a complex product set and a simple understanding of our customers to a simple product set and a complex understanding of our customers”.

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