Asiakastieto Unlocks Open Banking Innovation with Red Hat

Asiakastieto Group, a Helsinki-based Fintech company, is using Red Hat solutions to build its new account information service, Account Insight, on an open banking platform. The firm is using Red Hat OpenShift for faster time to market and Red Hat Integration to centrally manage data sharing with business customers to deliver the most relevant, timely offerings to end consumers.

Asiakastieto provides data innovations to support the banking, e-commerce, financial services and retail sectors with risk management, finance, administration, decision making, sales and marketing services. With the introduction of the European Union revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), Asiakastieto identified an opportunity with its customers to analyze data from bank accounts to better understand the liquidity and cash flow of loan applicants, enabling more accurate credit assessments to be generated. Its vision was to help reduce loan repayment defaults and personal debt.

"We need to be early movers in our industry, since our customers rely on us to help them develop new solutions, get ahead of regulatory requirements, and take advantage of evolving commercial opportunities—in a compliant way," said Reetta Sinelampi, Development director, Asiakastieto. "Open source gives us more speed and scope to innovate, and Red Hat provides us with greater security and valued support. Red Hat OpenShift is a comprehensive cloud platform that has enabled us to bring Account Insight to life and focus on the business challenge, rather than the infrastructure."

To keep down costs for its customers, Asiakastieto looked for scalable technology with advanced automation capabilities and high availability and chose Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform, as its foundation for containerized applications. To run modern, cloud-native applications with freedom of choice in technology, Asiakastieto implemented an open microservices architecture with the help of tools and frameworks from Red Hat Runtimes. Red Hat 3scale API Management provided Asiakastieto with a centralized, more secure interface to connect banks and credit grantors and to enable test and launch of changes via configuration, removing the need to build and redeploy code, which was disruptive to business. 

Asiakastieto developed Account Insight in the spirit of open collaboration, hosting service design workshops with pilot customers and sharing its test environment with them to improve the application. The Asiakastieto team worked closely with Red Hat to adopt a best practice implementation of Red Hat open source technologies for the new solution to accelerate time-to-value for the business. This includes the introduction of Quarkus, which has enabled faster application development and developer productivity on Red Hat OpenShift thanks to significant reduction in resource utilization: Asiakastieto tests show that memory footprint was reduced by more than 90%, throughput was improved by 25%, and CPU consumption was reduced by about 70%.

With Account Insight, Asiakastieto has reduced the time needed for its production deployment cycles by 95%. Today, it typically deploys software into production in less than an hour, compared to an average of one day or more previously. Before, the company set aside two mornings a week for this part of the development process, whereas now it has more freedom to deploy into production at any time during office hours. 

Asiakastieto intends to expand its use of Red Hat OpenShift to power future innovation for credit assessment and other new services using big data analytics for business customers and consumers, and to scale geographically to cover more of the EU.

"Open banking presents a space for creativity as well as a way to drive business efficiencies, and Asiakastieto has taken the initiative to identify how combining open data sets can unlock new benefits for businesses and society," Tim Hooley, EMEA FSI chief technologist, Red Hat. "Making use of Red Hat’s container platform and integration technologies, Asiakastieto has been able to take its innovative idea from concept to application quickly and effectively."

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