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Challenger bank technology arm hires former ABN Amro IT executive as CIO

Bank and banking technology supplier Fidor hires an experienced banking CIO to support its international expansion

German challenger bank Fidor has appointed an interim CIO with experience in the traditional banking sector to support its international expansion.

Former executive vice-president of IT at Dutch bank ABN Amro, Geert Ensing, has been appointed interim CIO, where he will support Fidor in selling its technology to other banks.

Fidor, which was acquired by French retail banking giant BPCE in August 2016, was launched in Germany in 2009 and gained a banking license in the UK in 2015.

Although the company’s banking arm Fidor Bank serves consumers directly, its open banking technology is available for other financial services firms as a business-to-business service.

For example, the German business division of mobile operator Telefonica is using technology from Fidor for its mobile-based bank account, and O2 Banking uses Fidor Bank technology as a rebranded white-label service.

The Fidor Operating System (FOS) open technology platform can be plugged into through application programming interfaces (APIs). As a result of open APIs, its current account customers can access 25 different services and even deal in foreign currencies and precious metals using the same account.

Recent research from Gartner revealed traditional financial services IT suppliers have not responded quickly enough to the demands from banks, and said 25% of banks will go to startup IT suppliers for their online and mobile requirements by the end of 2019.

Read more about Fidor Bank

Fidor said in a statement that the appointment will support the company’s international expansion: “Ensing’s role will not only focus on the bank infrastructure, but also optimising the environment for B2B services, such as Fidor Payments Avenue and Fidor Bank as a Service.”

Ensing has worked with financial institutions in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Middle-East, Finland, Denmark, Italy and UK.

The banking arm of Fidor showcases its technology in the live environment and demonstrates how new banks can use APIs, open banking, community based-banking, mobile app and internet banking software, as well as the cloud to deliver services.

After many years at banks and then consulting banks about IT, Ensing will bring an understanding of how the latest financial technology can be integrated into the banking sector. Speaking at the event on software quality last year, Ensing said digital is about “creating business practices with new and old software”.

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