SAS has announced the launch of the SAS FinTech Incubator program which will give UK FinTech organizations free access to its big data technology assets and industry expertise to achieve their innovation goals. The company said the Incubator can slash the time to develop solutions by up to 50 per cent.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) estimates the FinTech sector will be worth £300 billion by 2020. However, investors are increasingly concerned about risk due to development efforts and cost. Many FinTech organizations start their pilot projects using open source software to save money. That can frequently create a need to re-architect solutions as the FinTech company grows.
Vincent Kilcoyne, FinTech innovation lead at SAS UK & Ireland, said that many financial services firms are focused on compliance rather than on innovation. As a result, much on the innovation in finance is happening outside established banks and inside FinTech start-up companies.
The SAS FinTech Incubator will provide FinTech firms with access to data science expertise and rapid prototyping environments for testing innovations without up-front financial outlay. This helps mitigate risks for the entire project. Using SAS components in products and services also allows FinTech solutions to be designed to scale in accordance with rapid growth expectations, eliminating the need to re-architect. This ultimately ensures the solution can satisfy the triple pressure points of clients, investors and regulators. It also expands the SAS customer base at a time when it is facing competition from open source technology such as R or Apache Spark
Daryl Bowden, CEO and Founder, Glia Ecosystems, a FinTech start-up for financial intermediaries and investors aiming to revolutionize the way that financial data and analytics are consumed, said: “I knew of SAS as the market leader in complex analytics but at that time I was planning to undertake all my analytical development work using open source tools – largely for cost reasons. We had a number of very open and constructive investigation meetings that really opened my eyes to a different way of working. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of analytical functionality that was available to Glia Ecosystems almost out of the box. I could immediately see how using SAS would slash my development effort and timescales, enabling me to get to market in a much shorter timeframe.”
Time is key for start-ups, Kilcoyne said. “Working with SAS, these organizations have the confidence that their new product development time can be reduced by up to 50 per cent. The SAS FinTech Incubator initiative provides organizations with the ability to achieve early momentum, by mitigating risks across design, development and deployment. Our zero entry cost model provides access to approximately $5 million worth of software assets that have been proven and supported by SAS. The programme’s revenue share model means that FinTechs can be assured we are engaged as a valued partner with shared goals.”