Old Mutual goes all-in on Amazon as it looks to launch new bank in South Africa

 ·21 Jun 2023

Financial group Old Mutual has completed what it calls an “all-in” migration to Amazon Web Services (AWS) as it looks to boost its processing capacity for “next-generation” financial services.

The group said that it has now closed its on-premises data centres and migrated its entire information technology (IT) infrastructure – including its banking, insurance, and wealth management systems – to AWS.

“The migration represents a significant step in Old Mutual’s digital transformation. Old Mutual is using AWS’…infrastructure to decrease financial transaction processing time by two-thirds, reduce downtime by 50%, streamline the development of new and more relevant insurance products, and drive innovation across its business with machine learning,” it said.

AWS said that the completion of Old Mutual’s all-in migration represents the “next chapter of their digital transformation” and should help the group increase performance, reduce processing times, streamline operations, simplify customer experiences, and reduce costs.

“AWS will continue to collaborate with Old Mutual as they deliver the next generation of financial products,” it said.

The transition is particularly notable given Old Mutual’s plans to launch a new fully-fledged bank in South Africa.

Old Mutual already offers some transactional banking in the country, but this is done through a third party (Bidvest Bank). The group has now recognised opportunities in having its own banking capacity, especially in the lucrative unsecured lending space.

The group received approval from the South African Reserve Bank’s Prudential Authority in November 2022 to apply for a banking licence, with plans to launch its own bank in 2024.

At the time, the group said it is building transactional capability using the latest technology to enhance servicing and personalisation for its accounts. It specified that it would be leaning heavily into cloud-based technology for the bank – now realised through the AWS migration.

The full migration to AWS involved moving more than 2,000 on-premises servers, 215 applications, 1,786 databases, and more than 500 websites.

“The move will accelerate innovation, at a time of global economic uncertainty, by reducing the time required for new application testing from months to minutes,” the group said, adding that now the migration is complete, it will use AWS capabilities “to better anticipate customer needs and develop the next generation of financial products and experiences”.

The company will leverage AWS ML and generative artificial intelligence (AI) services to generate real-time, personalised financial forecasting and recommendations for customers.

“Examples of benefits include the ability to anticipate changing savings needs as customers approach retirement, recommend insurance products based on changing income levels and life stages, and help entrepreneurs plan for investing their incomes as their businesses grow,” it said.

It said that the migration to AWS should also get rid of things like daily server outages, disconnected financial products, and ballooning on-premises costs.

Read: Old Mutual launching new bank in South Africa in 2024

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