If software developers and system integrators want to be involved in some exciting, fast-moving technologies in the financial institutions market, there are opportunities to take a piece of the action with Financial Information Consulting Services (FICS). This is the message from country manager, Mark Hartley.
According to Hartley, the mission is to be the pervasive and dominant supplier of electronic banking services software, but he knows it won't do it alone.
Hartley told ARN that there are around 15 Australian domestic bank licences. Companies like AMP, Woolworths and Coles-Myer appear to be looking for a share of the traditional banking space, and FICS wants to facilitate the provision of online banking services for as many of them as is possible.
Traditionally, it has sold its products and services to banks directly, and as a niche supplier, focused on the particular problems and solutions of the banking marketplace.
"We are supplying business and consumer banking solutions to three of the largest financial institutions in Australia," Hartley said.
"We are getting a lot of attention from financial institutions, and could have five more customers by the end of this year.
"The resources required for some of the projects we expect to be involved in do not appear overnight, so we are looking to form partnerships with developers and integrators which have the skill sets we can use," he added.
If developers or resellers have products that FICS can leverage off such as tool kits and other categories where it is not going to reinvent the wheel, there are opportunities for partnering. As Hartley put it: "We want to encourage and develop relationships with the product suppliers and integrators in the same marketplace." Globally, FICS has relationships with IBM, Microsoft and Sun and other vendors with specialist financial industry products.
FICS Australia was established last year, has already gone from a staff of five to 25, and according to Hartley is on track to quadruple its revenues in 1998.
Although it is a product company, and most of its revenue is earned from licences, Hartley sees the company's future as being a "prime contractor" that facilitates transactional banking over electronic media via secure networks.
"We understand what the banking industry needs, and we have bankers on our executive board. FICS is in a position to leverage its position to partner with suppliers of systems that facilitate electronic services, and it can open the doors for others," he concluded.
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