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New incubator programme helps FinTech innovators prove viability of future investment

SAS, the global leader in analytics, today announced the launch of the SAS FinTech Incubator programme. It will give UK FinTech organisations free access to big data technology assets and industry expertise to achieve their innovation goals, and can slash the time to develop solutions by up to 50 per cent.

FinTech is becoming the fastest growing area of innovation in global financial services. Using technologies such as big data analytics and machine learning to solve a broad array of business problems, 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 organisations embark on pilot projects using open-source software for proof-of-concepts to save money. This in turn frequently creates a need to re-architect solutions to support growth, which negatively impacts customer adoption and adds to operational costs.

“While technology is rapidly transforming the financial services industry, many businesses in this sector are focusing on compliance rather than innovation,” said Vincent Kilcoyne, FinTech Innovation Lead at SAS UK & Ireland. “As such, the majority of technology development is happening outside established banks and inside FinTech start-up companies, leading to a growing need to validate the viability of these offerings for maximum success rate.”

The SAS FinTech Incubator solves these challenges across start-up, early stage and established FinTech companies, by providing them 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.

Daryl Bowden, CEO and Founder, Glia Ecosystems, a FinTech start-up for financial intermediaries and investors aiming to revolutionise 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.”

This is key for start-ups, as Kilcoyne commented: “Working with SAS, these organisations have the confidence that their new product development time can be reduced by up to 50 per cent. This improves ROI and customer validation, while reducing ongoing support and operating costs. The SAS FinTech Incubator initiative provides organisations with the ability to achieve early momentum, by mitigating risks across design, development and deployment.

“In addition, 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. We are confident that the Incubator will help FinTechs make the most of today’s advanced technologies and inject impactful innovation back into the financial sector.”

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