Fintech specialist Finologee has developed a robust system to automate professional payments and to enhance workflows, enabling Luxembourg’s financial industry and institutional players to optimise their processes, with a direct connection to the SWIFT network. The product’s development is supported by the Luxembourg Government through its research, development, and innovation programme. Crédit Agricole Life Insurance Europe (CALIE), one of Luxembourg’s leading life insurance companies, is the first client/end-user to integrate the new platform.
For many financial industry professionals and other institutional players looking for business process enhancement and automation, the lack of efficient bank connectivity is one of the key challenges. Relying on paper-based payment instructions or authorisations through processes that require manual data entry, transfer or signatures is a growing source of inefficiencies and risk.
With today’s standards of versatile IT setups and architectures, companies are looking for flexible and ready-to-implement products that easily connect to their existing systems. This is a common challenge for a majority of institutional and financial industry players, but also for many corporations, particularly those that prefer not to invest in their own in-house bank connectivity stack.
The need for a complete yet adaptable product on the market
A thorough analysis of market requirements led to the conclusion that most products available in today’s market only partially cover the feature range many companies are looking for, such as worldwide multi-bank account connectivity without boundaries, modern API endpoints for their in-house accounting or ERP system connection and well-designed web interfaces reducing human error and increasing efficiency.
With the growing list of regulatory compliance requirements, businesses are also looking for a product that includes specific features adjustable to their needs, such as risk management and analysis, industry-specific reporting, treasury optimisation and anti-money laundering tools.
Creating a secure and reliable professional payments platform
The digital finance specialist Finologee (www.finologee.com) kicked off the development of its Enterprise Payments (ENPAY) platform last year to meet this market demand. Leveraging its FinTech product design expertise and building up on the high-performance infrastructure it operates, the company has developed a modern and secure professional bank connectivity platform.
The initial product requirements definition was done alongside the requirements of Crédit Agricole Life Insurance Europe (CALIE), one of Luxembourg’s leading life insurance companies. CALIE is also the first client/end-user to integrate Finologee’s Enterprise Payments platform. The long-term goal of the platform is to build a mutualised and neutral professional payments infrastructure in a hosted Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) setup. This design enables financial industry and institutional players to enhance their payment processes without requiring any specific software deployment on their own IT infrastructure and to be flexible for their selection of authentication and signature mechanisms. For payment network and messaging connectivity with banks, Finologee chose to implement direct access to SWIFT, the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services, which connects more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers worldwide. User authentication and manual transaction signature components are provided in partnership with Luxtrust.
When designing the product architecture and roadmap, Finologee relied on its know-how with this type of project stemming from the other digital platforms the company and its founders have been involved in over the last 15 years in Luxembourg: Mpulse, the country’s central SMS payments and routing infrastructure and Digicash, the mobile payment product of the Grand-Duchy’s retail banks. Today, Finologee is a technical provider for operations of both platforms. Additionally, the company also addresses the needs of dozens of banks, insurance companies and other financial industry players as a central gateway for KYC and bank compliance products. It holds a Luxembourg ‘Support PFS’ licence granted by the Minister of Finance in January 2019, and it has been ISO 27001-certified last year.
The Government’s support is a key success factor in multi-stakeholder process optimisation projects
The scope and the impact of the collective digitalisation challenge in professional payments goes far beyond the need of individual players. This is a typical context where the Government can act as a catalyst through its research, development and innovation co-financing schemes and stimulate process and organisational improvements.
After evaluating co-financing options with the help of Luxinnovation – Luxembourg’s innovation support and promotion agency – the Luxembourg Government and Finologee signed a joint funding agreement covering the years 2020-2023, supporting the process and organisational innovation goals of this project which has the potential to make a significant impact in Luxembourg’s bank connectivity infrastructure.
Franz Fayot, the Luxembourg Minister of the Economy, said: “Luxembourg is the perfect breeding ground for digital products addressing the needs of financial industry professionals. The country is well positioned to trigger projects that combine regulatory, communications, financial and technological aspects. The Luxembourg Government’s unique set of research, development and innovation programmes and the encompassing ecosystem provide the right toolset to support digital innovation projects efficiently. Projects led by Fintech companies such as the Finologee ENPAY platform and boosting their relationship with established businesses effectively demonstrate how cooperation cannot only solve current business challenges but also reshape existing technical setups to be ready for tomorrow’s challenges.”
Pierre Gramegna, the Luxembourg Minister of Finance, added: “I salute the Enterprise Payment initiative ENPAY, which is another successful illustration of the potential of cooperation between a traditional player like Credit Agricole Life Insurance Europe and a new FinTech like Finologee. By providing innovative financial solutions that benefit all actors, such collaborations strengthen our ecosystem and thus fully reflect the philosophy and vision that lies behind the LHoFT (Luxembourg House of Financial Technologies).”
Raoul Mulheims, CEO of Finologee, concluded: “We firmly believe that our Enterprise Payments platform can be the missing link many financial service professionals and institutional players are looking for to automate their payment processes and reduce risks. From the start, the project received strong support from partners and stakeholders. We would like to thank them for their contributions and encouragements, as well as our team for its commitment and its expertise. We are eager to quickly build up this new product and we are looking forward to establishing the foundations to a new ecosystem that has the potential to have a genuine positive impact for many businesses in Luxembourg.”
Bank network coverage
Through its SWIFT network connection, the Enterprise Payment product bank account connectivity reach will continuously increase over the next months. Accounts with a first set of banks are already connected, currently covering Indosuez Wealth Management, CACEIS, ING Luxembourg, Spuerkeess and BGL BNP Paribas. Additional banks will be connected over the coming weeks.
Press release by Finologee