Exclusive Interview with Mike Kayamori, CEO at ORO Bank and John Guest, Managing Director of Universal Banking at Finastra: “Enhanced technological integration will be a cornerstone of deepening our collaboration.”

(Left) Mike Kayamori, CEO at ORO Bank, (Right) John Guest, Managing Director of Universal Banking at Finastra

TDB: Why has ORO Bank opted to leverage Finastra’s Software-as-a-Service core banking solution? How is this aligned with the Bank’s broader strategic objectives and status of being a “Full-Reserve Digital Bank”?

Mike Kayamori, CEO at ORO Bank: We looked at many potential partner solutions and Finastra had the best cloud based banking solution, including reliability, scalability, and flexibility.

Using Finastra Essence technology, ORO Bank has been able to tap into a SaaS core banking solution and launch to global markets within six months. With a focus on operating on a full-reserve banking ethos, where customer deposits are fully backed by 100% corresponding reserves, this model avoids the risks associated with a fractional reserve system, aligning with the bank’s commitment to safe and sustainable banking. Finastra’s robust and reliable SaaS platform allows the bank to ensure the secure and efficient handling of these reserves and to focus on customer service while Finastra manages core banking operations.

TDB: How will Finastra’s deep banking functionality augment ORO Bank’s capabilities and ensure operational resiliency?

John Guest, Managing Director of Universal Banking at Finastra: Finastra’s SaaS core banking solution, Essence is designed to address the needs of retail and commercial banks in an increasingly digital world.

First, Finastra’s technology and deep banking functionalities provides ORO Bank with a comprehensive suite of banking solutions that cover a wide range of financial services. Essence acts as the backbone for banks, managing fundamental banking functions such as account management, transactions, customer data, and financial products. By leveraging these tools, ORO Bank can offer a diversified portfolio of services to its global customers, enhancing its competitive edge in the market.

Second, the cloud-based core banking solution enables ORO Bank to benefit from a scalable and flexible infrastructure, reducing complexity and costs associated with maintaining on-premise systems but also ensuring that the bank can quickly adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs. The modular architecture of Finastra’s cloud-first platform allows ORO Bank to easily integrate new capabilities and services as they evolve, ensuring that the bank remains agile and innovative.

Lastly, Finastra’s platform is designed to adhere to global regulatory standards, providing a secure and compliant banking environment. Advanced security measures embedded within Finastra’s solution allow for ORO Bank to focus on its strategic goals, knowing that its core banking operations are safely and securely managed.

TDB: What role does ORO Bank intend to play in the development of Gelephu Mindfulness City SAR and how will the Bank facilitate key stakeholders including global startups and Next-Gen technology companies in contributing to its growth?

Mike Kayamori, CEO at ORO Bank: ORO Bank is the official bank of the Gelephu Mindfulness City SAR, acting as a financial cornerstone that supports and drives the region’s economic and technological growth. Our role is multifaceted, providing the necessary banking services to the people, business, and the entire ecosystem while also focusing on fostering innovation, sustainability, and mindful economic practices in line with Bhutan’s philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH).

Despite being based in Bhutan, the bank is targeting global customers such as startups in emerging tech with the aim of paying global vendors and suppliers with a global customer base. By offering a suite of products – including deposits, savings, foreign exchange, cross-border payments and investments – the bank enables these businesses to access the capital they need to grow and scale their operations in a sustainable manner.

By creating a collaborative ecosystem that brings together innovators, entrepreneurs, and businesses from around the world, the bank serves as a hub for likeminded businesses to thrive and connect in a supportive environment.

As the Mindfulness City emerges as a pivotal bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia, ORO Bank is committed to providing financial services to its vast population of over 2 billion people.

TDB: Going forward, how is ORO Bank and Finastra looking to deepening its strategic collaboration and partnership? What implications does this have for the development of digital ecosystems encompassing TradFi and FutureFi services?

John Guest, Managing Director of Universal Banking at Finastra: Enhanced technological integration will be a cornerstone of deepening our collaboration, and the ongoing use of Finastra’s cloud-based core banking solution, Essence, ensures that ORO Bank remains at the forefront of digital innovation.

We expect the expansion of digital services will be another key area of focus. Traditional financial services will continue to be optimised and digitised for seamless and efficient banking experiences, including improvements in digital payments, cross-border transactions, and investment products. The partnership will particularly benefit global startups and next-gen tech companies by providing robust financial infrastructure and tailored financial products to meet their specific needs. This will help to create a vibrant ecosystem fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, offering tools and support for these businesses to thrive in a competitive global market.

 

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