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FinTech innovations for banking leaders: The new banking paradox

In the history of human innovation, the pace of technological advancement has exponentially accelerated, producing disruptive and life-changing technologies in increasingly shorter timeframes.


Fabian Koh, Senior Solutions Architects

The increasing pace of technological advancement.

FinTech innovations have created fundamental shifts in the market paradigm. We have entirely new products, services, and challenger banks within the financial industry that established firms must compete with. These traditional financial institutions must adapt or die: the overall FinTech market is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5% each year up to 2030, signaling that the market has no time to wait for archaic organizations to catch up.

In the past decade, we have gone from the concept of Open Banking to the introduction of full-fledged digital-only banks. With Open Banking, customers can share their financial data securely with third-party applications, enabling them to compare loan rates, manage budgets more effectively across different accounts, and even trigger automatic savings transfers based on spending habits. Now, we have fully embraced digital-only banks, also known as online-only or neobanks, that operate entirely online without traditional physical branch networks and implement advanced data analytics to personalize services for customers.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are further proof that FinTech innovations disrupt not only the financial industry but also society as a whole. We’ve gone from cryptocurrency and blockchain being hobbyist technologies promoting decentralized finance (DeFi) to having global exchanges and cryptocurrency-based Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). Crypto and blockchain technology are not just about digital assets; these solutions streamline trade finance processes, increasing transparency and security in supply chains and enabling microloans in underbanked regions. It’s no surprise that the market capitalization for global cryptocurrency topped USD$3 trillion in early 2024.

FinTech: More Than Just Financial Innovations

On the other side of the business, technology has also enabled operational teams to execute exceptionally efficiently and even introduced new ways of working. Conversational AI chatbots transform customer service by offering 24/7 support, answering basic queries instantly, and even guiding users through complex financial products. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) embeds engineers into the business as part of the organic team, identifying opportunities to build efficiencies in every aspect of the business.

Today, the availability of generative AI models and, more importantly, the underlying technology that powers them puts us in a better position to maintain or even increase the rate at which we innovate. The implications are profound, enabling us to solve problems at speeds and scales previously thought impossible.

The time frames in which technology disruption occurs are getting shorter and will continue to do so due to the physical nature of how we build the hardware that supports it. Whilst it is debatable whether this accelerating advancement improves our personal lives, it is clear that this fundamentally changes the way the financial industry operates and is proving challenging for traditional banking organizations to evolve into.

Balancing Progress and Protection: The FinTech Challenge

Adopting cutting-edge technology in the financial industry has always been a delicate balance between reliability and competition. Leaders recognize that new technologies improve customer experiences, open up new revenue channels, and enhance efficiencies.

At the same time, they are also aware of the catastrophic consequences if the implementation of such technologies is not done with the right amount of due diligence. Data leaks, ransomware, and system failures are just some examples that have dominated headlines more often than they should. For fully licensed banks and financial institutions, such consequences include the suspension of business licenses and technology changes, which have a direct impact on shareholder value.

In attempting to address this issue, regulators in multiple jurisdictions have begun to extend their reach beyond business regulations, imposing stringent requirements on how financial institutions use technology. This has led to a need to invest significantly in internal technology compliance teams to act as the interface between regulators and technologists, contributing to the rise of a new market known as RegTech, which looks to help organizations meet their regulatory obligations not just from a technology perspective but now also from a business perspective.

Naturally, most of these organizations tend to take a measured approach to adopting the latest technology, while newer digital natives, such as neobanks, who are ‘born in the cloud,’ embrace them and discover new markets and segments in the FinTech space. This compounds the ever-widening gap in technology adoption within the financial services industry and organizations that fail to keep pace risk obsolescence much sooner than many realize.

Unbeknownst to them, as the new players grow to become systemic entities within their segment, they, too, will begin to converge toward the need to build systems and software that are not just innovative but also resilient and reliable. This has posed a surprisingly unique challenge to organizations as they try to balance revenue generation and protection. Some are frightened and choose the status quo, while others fight it by introducing bureaucracy.

Breaking down barriers: Aligning technology with business goals

The blazing pace of innovation has turned evolution into revolution as new technologies completely change entire industries and how people operate. The introduction of new architectures, abstractions, and integrations between and within systems, plus the constant updates throughout their lifecycle, makes it extremely difficult to ensure the consistency, quality, and security of our technology.

Keeping people and processes up to date with the right skills and context poses a challenge to engineering and compliance teams. Unfamiliarity breeds trepidation, which builds friction. The lack of clarity and direction introduces arbitrary standards and subjective opinions, leading to irrelevant requirements and circular references.

In order to overcome these challenges, we first need to recognize that ambiguity (unfamiliarity) causes fear (trepidation), which then leads to the adoption of a zero-tolerance approach (friction) towards innovation. Practically, this means that, more often than not, teams and organizations default to the most risk-averse configuration (or non-configuration) whenever disagreements arise.

By building a system where requirements are objectively defined with a clear lineage to the driving business factors, we give engineers and compliance teams confidence and transparency in the technology development lifecycle. This method allows stakeholders to adopt a measured and informed response rather than a reflexed reaction whenever new technology introduces new paradigms.

Safeguarding FinTech solutions: Built-in compliance and security

We can take this further by identifying commonalities across jurisdictions, standards, and frameworks and then building technology architectural patterns that are composable and consumable by technology delivery teams.

The composability of these patterns is key, allowing for continued innovation and flexibility to pivot based on business needs. On the other hand, standardization ensures that these patterns are designed with guard rails in mind, allowing organizations to achieve these benefits across the business.


Pattern-based development creates ready-to-use code, with last-mile deployments taking only days instead of weeks/months.


Service quality KPIs are driven by objective and industry-led best practices embedded in patterns.


Built-in and contextualized security embedded into patterns for different phases of the development cycle.

Cost optimization

Ability to embed cost targets into pattern-based resources, providing control and visibility on cloud costs and enabling FinOps


Data-driven, observable, and on-demand compliance posture with clear lineage to business policies.

By removing ambiguity through standard technology patterns, we remove friction and toil. When teams adopt this concept and implement technology with clear and objective non-functional requirements, they can focus their effort on functional business needs, achieve business outcomes, and ultimately provide a positive return on investment in adopting new technologies across the organization.

Why Ollion?

We will continue to see disruptive technology in the financial services industry, which is the fulcrum of the new banking paradox: Will FinTech innovation be your boon or bane? Financial service organizations must continuously adapt and innovate to compete with nimble and dynamic competitors. However, they must also be strategic in doing so to protect sensitive data and comply with stringent regulations.

At Ollion, we believe there is a better way. We believe that humanity’s insatiable appetite for progress means that technological advancement and adoption are inevitable, but we also believe that innovation doesn’t mean friction or fear. By collaborating with a reliable partner like Ollion, you’ll see that innovation and change are the boon that will propel your organization into a future in which you’ll not only survive but thrive.