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Harmonising Progress: How audax’s Tech Bridges the Future with Legacy Banking Infrastructure


Harmonising Progress: How audax’s Tech Bridges the Future with Legacy Banking Infrastructure


23 May, 2024

In the fast-evolving landscape of banking technology, the pressure on banks and financial institutions to modernise without disrupting their core operations has never been more intense. The challenge of digital transformation is not just about adopting new technologies but doing so in a way that complements and enhances existing systems.


The Complexity of Change

According to McKinsey[1], over half of digital banking transformations surpass their planned timelines and budgets, or even fail. This shortfall is largely due to underestimating the complexities involved, such as intricate interfaces, data management, and the need for coordination across different initiatives. Leadership might not fully engage all stakeholders or accurately assess the necessary changes to business processes and the depth of integration required with existing IT architectures, making the role of complementary technologies even more vital.


This is where audax comes into play, offering a solution that marries innovation with tradition, ensuring that banks can step into the future with minimal headaches.


The Approach: Dual-mode Evolution

Our tech stack at audax allows banks to adopt a dual-mode evolution, where we progressively construct a new digital core with novel products and channels while optimising the legacy core’s value.


For example, this can enable the bank’s legacy core to continue handling deposits efficiently while introducing a new product engine for loan processing. The result is a harmonious blend of old and new, ensuring that banks can offer enhanced services without the risk of data duplication or system incompatibility.


This also ensures that client details are aligned and consolidated within the core banking system, preventing any duplication of client information by the product engine. Moreover, all relevant reports are designed to integrate seamlessly with the core banking system and other financial and regulatory reporting platforms.


Advantages of our dual-mode evolution include rapid time to market (i.e. 6 – 9 months), reduced complexity and risks, and the ability to reuse proven components, ensuring a seamless transformation to a digital powerhouse.


While the transition can present challenges, such as the potential knowledge gap within legacy teams concerning new technologies, we advocate for comprehensive training programs and phased integration plans that will ease the adoption process.


Our Success Story: Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Chartered Indonesia’s collaboration with Bukalapak to implement Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) is a testament to the success of dual-mode evolution. This approach enabled the audax’s plug-and-play tech stack to sit next to Standard Chartered’s existing banking infrastructure, facilitating the launch of digital banking service BukaTabungan. It boasts rapid, paperless onboarding, achievable in as quick as 2 minutes, and was able to (i) 3X Standard Chartered’s customer base in Indonesia within 6 months (ii) attract 98 percent new to bank customers (expanding into new customer segments) (iii) attain 85 percent application approval rate; of which (iv) 97 percent of account openings are done in real time; (v) implement fast onboarding processes, thus reducing onboarding costs.


audax facilitates this via:

Seamless Integration with Existing Banking Core: audax’s technology is designed to work alongside Standard Chartered’s existing core banking systems, ensuring that both the new and traditional banking operations are unified under the same reporting structure, party master, general ledger (GL) and more. This integration means that all customer and transaction data is consistently and accurately reported, providing a comprehensive view of the bank’s operations.

Unified Data Management: By integrating with the existing banking core, audax enables a seamless deduplication process for existing-to-bank (ETB) customers. This means that customer data from both the new BaaS platform and the existing core banking system is consolidated and managed under a single system of record. This reduces the risk of duplicate records, ensuring that customer information is accurate and up-to-date.

Enhanced Customer Experience: The integration of audax’s tech stack with Standard Chartered’s infrastructure allows for a smoother, more efficient customer onboarding experience. The paperless, rapid onboarding process is fully digital and takes as fast as 2 minutes, reducing the time and effort required for new customers to start using the bank’s services, enhancing customer satisfaction and engagement.

Operational Efficiency: The dual-mode approach helps Standard Chartered maintain high operational efficiency by leveraging the strengths of both traditional and modern banking systems. audax’s technology supports real-time processing and high approval rates, which contribute to lower operational costs and higher approval rates.

Scalability and Flexibility: The plug-and-play nature of audax’s cloud-native tech stack provides Standard Chartered with the flexibility to scale their BaaS offerings quickly and efficiently, with the ability to support millions of customers. As the market evolves, the bank can adapt and expand its services without overhauling its existing infrastructure.


This seamless fusion of innovation and tradition underscores the potential for banks to expand and modernise their services in today’s digital age.


The urgency for banks to transform their legacy systems cannot be overstated. As detailed in the collaborative whitepaper between Deloitte and nCino, “To Buy or To Build”[2], the banking industry is at a pivotal moment. Banks face a critical decision: to build their digital transformation solutions in-house or to buy and implement existing technologies. It continues to highlight the importance of leveraging digital technology for competitive advantage, emphasising the need for financial institutions to embrace change to improve customer experience and operational effectiveness.


At audax, we are a comprehensive digital banking solutions provider empowering banks and financial institutions to scale and modernise at speed. We stand out from other technology providers due to our roots in Standard Chartered nexus, as the underlying full tech stack that enabled Standard Chartered to become the first global bank to provide Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) in Asia. With a promise of rapid deployment, audax distinguishes itself by offering a speed-to-market advantage, launching within 6-9 months.


As the banking industry continues to navigate the complexities of digital transformation, audax stands ready to bridge the gap between legacy systems and the future of banking. By embracing a dual-mode evolution that integrates rather than replaces, banks can achieve a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving digital world.


[1] Why most digital banking transformations fail – and how to flip the odds (McKinsey, 2023)

[2] To Buy or To Build (Deloitte & nCino, 2022)

The future of payments in Singapore: From outages to innovation with BaaS


The future of payments in Singapore: From outages to innovation with BaaS


12 April, 2024

The BaaS model will enhance the payments landscape by reducing technical debt, boosting agility, and scaling without compromising legacy systems.

In today’s world, seamless payment transactions for daily essentials like food, transportation, and housing are expected. Yet, some of the most commonly used payment systems appear disconnected,, clunky, rife with technical issues and fraud – rampant in everyday life. In October 2023 alone, 2.5 million transactions were affected by bank outages in Singapore and 810,000 attempts to log in to digital banking accounts failed.


Despite having advanced technology solutions readily available, notable challenges still exist in the financial industry. With customer wants and needs rapidly evolving with technology, how can traditional financial institutions keep up?


Embedded finance is the norm today and Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) is the antidote to the issues plaguing payments and the broader financial industry. Enabling banks and fintech companies to innovate as they collaborate, which then leads to better and more efficient financial products and services, BaaS simplifies the integration of banking services via the use of APIs, reducing complexity and speeding up the development of new payment solutions. The benefits are both obvious and endless, but we must first understand why it is especially crucial in Singapore’s payments market.


The payment landscape in Singapore can be divided into three categories of key players: banks and financial institutions, payment processors (think Visa or Mastercard, Stripe, Apple Pay, etc.), and fintech firms looking to disrupt the financial services landscape. It features multiple digital payment systems, schemes, and providers that operate independently, leading to complexities for both merchants and end consumers.


PayLah!, PayAnyone, and PayNow have transformed the ability to make purchases, including P2P purchases, without the need for a payment gateway or terminal. Now, everyone with a bank account can be both a merchant and a consumer, reducing the cash transactions seen from yesteryear. User acceptance across these applications is promising.


There is also a huge range of payment providers with their own set of services, fees, and technical requirements that are complex to navigate. Additionally, the existing services can be inefficient, partly due to the significant technical debt accumulated by banks and financial institutions over the years as new features are added and changes are made to accommodate the evolving requirements of users. Technical debt and the lack of resources utilised to play catch up sees legacy systems succumb to outages and inefficiencies.


The BaaS proposition was specifically designed to overcome these challenges. BaaS typically means that banks and financial institutions leverage scalable and modular technology solutions that allow them to expose their services to third party platforms in a seamless manner. On top of that, banks and financial institutions effectively providing BaaS already adhere to industry standards and best practices, especially around security and regulatory requirements that also prevent the introduction of unnecessary complexity or inefficiencies into the system.


BaaS is a one-way ticket to a world where banks work with third party platforms including but not limited to fintechs, to launch new products and services without having to build infrastructure from scratch. This is where innovation happens at speed as we can test new ideas and iterate more rapidly.


On a more practical level, BaaS also enhances security in the financial services industry, as the banks and financial institutions themselves are adopting advanced security measures, compliance with regulatory standards, secure APIs and data protection measures as part of their technology stack.


However, there is still quite a ways to go in terms of the widespread adoption of BaaS as a business model amongst banks and FIs in Singapore. Many banks and financial institutions are yet to fully appreciate the suite of advantages that the business models offers, whilst others are hesitant to do so due to the limitations of their existing solution in catering to the inevitable scale of a BaaS business model.


Addressing these challenges will need a multifaceted approach with regulators, third party ecosystems, payment providers and banks / financial institutions collaborating to create an environment conducive to innovation with ample support for the integration of a easy to deploy and scalable solution with legacy systems.


Singapore’s readiness to be a global leader in fintech is proof of its rapid growth potential. With the government implementing and promoting regulatory sandboxes that allow for fintechs to test products and services in a controlled environment, a revolving door of new fintech solutions to solve even the most complex problems awaits. We’ll also start to see a higher rate of financial inclusion as the use of digital wallets and simplified banking services are more widely adopted.


Overall, the Singapore payments landscape will benefit greatly from an adoption of a BaaS business model by banks and financial institutions – especially in reducing technical debt, significantly increasing agility and offer a solution to scalability without compromising in legacy systems. With the government’s commitment to continuous improvements and fixes, the transformative impact of BaaS on the Singapore payments landscape is poised to be significant, paving the way for a more efficient, secure, and innovative financial ecosystem.



This article was first posted on e27.

Embedded Finance: The Reality Check for Banks


Embedded Finance: The Reality Check for Banks


26 October, 2023

Change. Every sector faces it, but in the financial world, the ace is relentless. As if staying ahead wasn’t challenging enough, the era of digital banking transformation for traditional banks is dawning, and it heralds the age of Embedded Finance. For Chief Technological Officers (CTOs) & Chief Investment Officers (CIOs), this isn’t just another buzzword – it’s a seismic shift with its own set of headaches.

Quote by Kelvin Tan

Kelvin Tan, CEO & Chief Dreamer of audax Financial Technology (previously Managing Director & Global Head of Standard Chartered nexus), hits the nail on the head: “Embedded finance is already giving the more forward-looking banks access to new revenue streams and to previously unbanked customers. People need to understand exactly how big an opportunity it is and get a move on. The first five to scale in this will corner the market.”


But we get it; transitioning isn’t easy. So, let’s break it down.


The Evolution of the Embedded Finance Proposition: Embedded finance was initially about straightforward, transaction-based services. But now? It’s evolved into an opportunity for digital banking transformation for traditional banks. We’re talking about DeFi, Web 3.0, and the benefits of partnering with fintech companies for comprehensive banking solutions. It can be daunting, but the upside is a redefined relationship banking and a closing of historical service gaps.


Embedded Finance Distribution is Verticalising: As the world of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) undergoes change, so must embedded finance. With specialised platforms becoming data goldmines, this could be where a cloud-native banking platform for fintechs and banks shines. Platforms are already predicting lending trends. For traditional banks wondering, “How can Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) help traditional banks offer more innovative financial products?” – the answer lies in embracing this shift or risk obsolescence.


Banks are Getting More Active: Higher interest rates might seem like a good thing, but they’re a double-edged sword. While boosting margins for some, they’re giving fintechs a competitive edge. By being able to have all your digital banking capabilities in a single platform, Kelvin suggests that this is a “land-grab moment.” Fortune is on the side of the bold, no matter the size of the institution. So for banks feeling overwhelmed, we’re here, equipped with white-label digital banking solutions & next-gen tech tools for you.


The Importance of Regulation Cannot be Overlooked: Let’s face it, regulations can be a migraine in the making. From keeping pace with open banking changes to the growing pressure on embedded finance platforms to streamline consumer interactions, it’s a tightrope walk. And with the marriage of technology and regulation (hello, cybersecurity!), the challenges amplify. Here’s a thought: What if regulations were machine-readable? It’s not a distant dream but a necessary evolution.


Embedded finance isn’t the future – it’s the here and now. And while it’s filled with its share of hurdles, it’s also ripe with opportunity. At audax, we’re not just bystanders; we’re in the trenches with you. Let’s navigate this evolving landscape together, empowering you to scale and modernise at speed with our digital banking capabilities, so that you can focus on your business.


If you’re navigating the tumultuous waters of embedded finance now, we’ve got your back. Curious about what audax the only live full stack digital banking platform that has delivered BaaS in Asia, brings to the table? Take a tour here.


Or prefer a genuine chat about the challenges? We’re always up for a conversation, especially if it means helping you out. You can connect with us by filling up the “Get in touch” form & a member of our team will be in touch with you soon.


Before we conclude, a big shout-out to the team at aperture. They’ve done some fantastic legwork in chatting with the brightest minds in the finance world, distilling their wisdom into the indispensable report that we have taken reference from, “Embedded Finance Predictions: insights into a fast-evolving market.” Keen on diving deeper? Download the full report here.