CoCoNet: Driving Financial Institutions toward Digitalization

CIO VendorBjörn Hassing, CEO, Product Development, Marketing & Sales
'Change is the only constant,’ is a proverb that precisely summarizes the consistent need of consumers to lay their hands on the latest technological innovations. As a result, it comes as a no-brainer for solution providers to fall in line with the trends of digitalization, providing their customers with solutions and services that uphold the practices of this age. Even the banking and insurance industries, which largely operate on legacy systems, have finally taken leaps to embrace digitized countermeasures by adopting solutions such as the one offered by CoCoNet.

The company bridges the gap between complex banking environments and customer demands through a portfolio of solutions featured in its unified platform—MULTIVERSA— for e-banking, payment and cash management, and mobile banking applications. “Our products are based on a deep understanding of customers’ needs and market demands. They feature omni-channel solutions that meet the highest security requirements by upholding bank-to-customer relationships,” explains Björn Hassing, CEO - Product Development, Marketing & Sales, CoCoNet. The company’s platform aims to enhance the user experience by offering a ‘one common touchpoint’ for customers and integrating existing legacy systems with digital banking solutions. MULTIVERSA is built on an open architecture with multiple APIs that offer integration capabilities to connect existing business verticals with third-party solutions and services. It provides users with web-based services and mobile applications to access information and banking communication functionalities with a convenient, single sign-on portal.

Harnessing Digitalization to Streamline Banking Operations

One of the distinguishing features of the MULTIVERSA platform is that it supports external modules such as CRM, CMS, core banking systems, and API integrated solutions. Data from multiple sources can be channeled through these systems without any downtime, thereby enabling users to release new features without any disruptions or time delays.

The platform is classified into four distinct categories for third-party integrations, payment and cash management, e-banking banking data management, and mobile banking. The first module, MULTIVERSA FIP allows banks to create individual functionalities for specific target groups by embedding ready-to-go applications into the FIP module. It enables retail banks to augment services in a common touchpoint and assure access to current accounts, payments, card management, securities and deposit management, loans, and financial services. Along similar lines, the MULTIVERSA International Finance Portal (IFP) functions as a full-fledged payment and cash management system. The IFP module provides customers with a domestic and international mobile and e-banking channel, orchestrated through a customizable dashboard. It allows users to filter, sort, and configure financial information by integrating with CRM systems of banks, corporate, and financial institutions. Interlinking these two modules, MULTIVERSA International Banking Server (IBS), oversees all communication channels through a single hub; it centralizes customer communication and merges those channels with banks’ back-end systems, exchange portals, proprietary channels, and offline systems. Additionally, various functionalities made available through these channels are accessible on the MULTIVERSA Mobile Apps, where customers can control their account activities and manage payments. These mobile applications encompass individual solutions such as the Mobile Token App, MUTIVERSA EBICS Apps, and MUTIVERSA MBS, delivering functionalities such as safeguarding private keys for user authentication, tracking transactions, and offering an interface tailored to tablets, respectively.

The MULTIVERSA platform abides by the Payments Services Directive 2 (PSD2) to obtain greater transparency into banking operations through open APIs, enabling Third Party Providers (TPP) such as financial institutions to access the customer data. It empowers banks to necessitate external Payment Initiation Services (PIS) and provision Account Information Services (AIS) on behalf of their users, all the while complying with standard legal regulations. Owing to this advancement, MULTIVERSA establishes secure connections among various systems within a financial institution, in turn, procuring specific data sets of banking operations, managing data connectivity among peer-to-peer systems, and complying with TPP validation, and audit procedures.

We are strongly committed to meet EU data protection requirements applicable to us as a data processor and a solution provider

“PSD2 is only one of many domestic and international legal requirements and standards that we study on a daily basis, in order to provide up-to-date products in our markets. We are part of the working groups of European Banking Authority (EBA) and other directive committees that oversee these proceedings,” explains Joachim Blank, vice president, product and customer manager at CoCoNet.

Nurturing Digitalization among Peers

CoCoNet has partnered with several banking and financial institutions for partnerships ranging from the implementation of cross-border payment portals to designing the centerpiece for customer-bank relationships to providing e-banking systems. One of CoCoNet’s notable collaborations is with a corporate banking organization, KBC. The corporate banking client introduced ‘KBC Reach,’ built on top of CoCoNet’s MULTIVERSA IFP solution that featured web-based applications for users, providing 24/7 access to banking applications. It allowed the bank’s customers to manage business accounts on the go and visualize all transactions through a single interface.

In another association, CoCoNet assisted Berenberg Corporate Portal in designing an e-banking system based on MULTIVERSA IFP, which provisions the review, initiation, and release of payments made on the portal. Through this portal, corporate customers are privileged with managing financial exchange, regardless of their geographical location and time constraints that come in their way. The solution extends to a mobile application, which increases the accessibility of banking operations. A similar collaboration was carried out with Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW), where the bank built a business portal using MULTIVERSA IFP and MULTIVERSA IBS for their customers. The business portal offered solutions crafted to facilitate transactions such as SEPA credit transfers, priority transfers, SEPA direct debits, and global monetary exchanges.

Future-proofing Banking Technology

CoCoNet travels on a perpetual road that empowers decision makers to consistently improve and overhaul its product and service portfolio to deliver maximum value to clients. The company recently upgraded MULTIVERSA IFP, adding numerous features and functionalities to the software module. The organizations that utilize this product had recently gathered in Amsterdam for an event hosted by Dutch Bank ING. Discussing the features and functionalities of the MULTIVERSA IFP, CoCoNet reported that the user groups participating in the event—comprising representatives from the company’s international clientele—found the product extremely ‘user-friendly’ and ‘feature packed’ as it helped bankers interact with their customers effectively. This group meets twice a year to discuss their experiences, suggest improvements to the product, and brainstorm about newer trends that enable them to meet the growing demands of the payments sector.

The company also aligns its suite of solutions and services with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), thereby helping clients steer the technological curve ahead while complying with the standard norms of data regulations simultaneously. “We are strongly committed to meet EU data protection requirements applicable to us as a data processor and a solution provider. We take our obligations towards our customers, partners, and employees very seriously,” said Hassing, in a recent interview. Safeguarding personal data has been one of the primary objectives of the company; this reflects in CoCoNet’s Information Security Management System (ISMS), which is certified with ISO 27001 by TUV Nord. As a part of its initiative to assist clients in complying with GRPR, CoCoNet offers ‘comprehensive clean-up settings’ that uphold a user’s right to forget or delete data if and when access to information sets are withdrawn or when the purpose of the access provided is altered in any manner. This initiative applies to customer self-service where a user’s right to rectify data is provisioned when they obtain incorrect data sets. These advancements offer clients a safe and secure route to harnessing the power of digitalization while also keeping up with security of consumer data.

Quite recently, the company collaborated with Evangelische Bank, where CoCoNet helped in migrating over 700 customers comprising hospitals, charitable organizations, and Kindergartens to new banking systems with improved usability and operational functionalities. The endeavor resulted in securing the monetary exchange channels. Many such associations dictate CoCoNet’s unique value proposition in the financial sector, pushing them to the pole position in the race of assisting financial organization attain true digital transformation.