bankingciooutlook

Icefire: Providing a Smarter Banking Environment

CIO VendorVilve Vene, CEO, Rivo Uibo, Head of Business and Jan Lakspere, CTO
With over 16 years of banking domain knowledge and financial services expertise, Icefire is aiding banks and financial institutions transform from legacy systems into sophisticated banking environment. The company extensively majors in building modern banking and financial systems. The history of Icefire's key team goes back to the early 90’s when they worked as part of a small team of business people and bankers building from scratch the extremely successful bank of the new era in the Baltics. Today, Icefire still believes that small team of right people along with vision and courage to do things differently are decisive for bringing about the transformation. Vilve Vene, CEO of Icefire believes, “If we build new technologies on top of the streamlined lean processes, we can jump to the next level; with this approach we have helped transform banks and large financial institutions.”

Most of the banking and financial institutions are looking for ways to introduce new products and services in a shorter timeframe than ever before. As trying to meet their business needs, they often go for time-consuming implementation of large platforms, ending up complicating their processes overall. Icefire helps them out by offering feature-rich yet simple systems. The company’s Banking-as-a-Service platform, modular.bank offers various functionalities and modules, helping businesses transform and grow with the technology aiding at the back-end. Jan Lakspere, CTO of Icefire, explains that one of the basics of the modular.bank is that it is based on microservices architecture and offers a variety of services over a number of different APIs. This allows for easy and simple integration with existing systems, providing customers the freedom of flexibility to implement only the part of the functionality they need and preventing vendor lock-in.

With modular.bank on the one hand, Icefire handles services as a part of their daily operations on the other.
The company extends consultation services based on development, transformation and chain management to business areas of retail and corporate banking. “We cover various aspects of everyday banking; from core banking, lending, payment systems and cards to fully digital business customer KYC. Through that we're enabling our clients to both move rapidly on with their business ideas as well as optimize internal processes,” explains Rivo Uibo, Head of Business, Icefire. A great example is Icefire’s client Bigbank that specializes in consumer loans and term deposits. The bank realized that the legacy systems they are running on are significantly hindering their business potential. They made a bold decision to change all the systems in all countries they operate. Icefire collaborated with Bigbank to build a microservices based highly scalable, modern banking system including full lending cycle, deposits, CRM, SEPA payments, financial accounting, and reporting. This enables the bank to expand its business volumes by creating possibilities for new products. Currently, Bigbank has fully migrated to a new system in Finland and Sweden with the ability to launch new countries in counted months. The initial project in Finland was completed within 16 months, and Banking Tech Awards nominated the collaborative project of Icefire and Bigbank for the best banking tech overhaul project.


If we build new technologies on top of the streamlined lean processes, we can jump to the next level; with this approach we have helped transform banks and large financial institutions

The team at Icefire is constantly evaluating the trends in the society and plans to accommodate banking and financial services into invisible banking, new economies, platform ecosystem, and more. Icefire is futuristic about the blockchain technology. “We are building a DLT-based platform, which acts as a business communication network allowing to avoid double financing of the assets and support change of ownership of the assets between these financiers,” opines Vilve. For Icefire, the only constant is change. “We adjust and align ourselves with the new geographies, customers, projects, and technologies, providing our clients a competitive advantage in the global market,” concludes Rivo.