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Thomas Lundberg | Crosskey’s CEO

Crosskey: Taking Digital Finance to the Next Level

The FinTech sector has undergone a massive transformation in the last couple years. Taking specifically digital payments into consideration, the need for physically visiting banks for our financial needs is now becoming an increasingly redundant requirement.
Flawless access and utmost convenience are the primary factors that make digital payment platforms our go-to option for all financial tasks. Undoubtedly, security is a pressing concern and companies across the world are competitively pacing towards providing customers with the most secure, easy and rewarding services.
This edition, 2020’s Most Trusted Payments and Card Solutions Providers, emphasizes explicitly on such companies and exhibits them to the world. Pertaining to the same motive, we present to you, Crosskey, a financial services company which provides flexible and modular solutions to help clients select precisely the functionality they need, and to expand and adapt in line with changing demands.
Headquartered in Mariehamn, Finland, Crosskey was originally an in-house IT-department of Ålandsbanken and became a standalone IT-company in 2004. The company has been successful in the Swedish and Finnish market by winning clients and supporting them in their successful journeys.
Crosskey has been an important part of the Finnish S-Bank’s successful journey from a start-up bank in 2006 to one of the top 3-4 banks in Finland today. Also, Crosskey is a pioneer within the Fintech/Open Banking market with the co-operation between Ålandsbanken and Dreams, Trustly and Doconomy as Crosskey has enabled these co-operations.
Today Crosskey has approximately 280 employees, over 3 million end users in the bank systems’ databases and peaks above 1.5 million transactions per hour, daily. The company provides solutions in three different market segments viz., Banking (core banking), Card issuing and Capital Markets (back office).
The company’s solutions are built on a ‘step-by-step’ integration model, making it possible for customers to implement one module at a time with a short time to market. Economic and environmental sustainability is part of everything Crosskey does. Apart from being sustainable all solutions from Crosskey are built to support the Fintech and Open banking strategy of their customers.
In the following interview with Thomas Lundberg, Crosskey’s CEO gives us profuse insights on the FinTech market and its intricacies. Thomas also share his opinions and perspectives on how his company is sustaining its competency in a cut-throat industry segment.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
What is your opinion on the current scenario of digital payments?
Today’s market for digital payments is extremely exciting and the global digital payments market is growing rapidly. Today’s customers expect seamless, secure payments, on top of which the market has changed so that increasingly more non-bank companies are offering digital payments. Imagine what opportunities for us technology providers to offer customized solutions for our customers!
Of course, there is tremendous development in this area and the challenges are to find the gold grains in the range of opportunities. Security is also of paramount importance and it is likely that in the future, the amount of regulation will increase. I think the key to success in this market is to have an ear to the ground and listen to what the customers think they want and then combine it with a lot of knowledge, compliance and visionary thinking.
What are factors that contribute to your company’s success and why?
First and foremost, due to our history being spun out of a bank, our banking expertise (about the market, the market needs, compliance etc.) is bespoken and in a class of its own among IT-companies.
Secondly, we operate close to our customers and our systems are built on a common core, but our offering includes a layer of extensive customer adaptations, which puts us close to the customers once we integrate our solutions.
Thirdly, we operate locally, with offices close to our customers’ markets, which allows us to be ‘inthe market’ together with our customers. One of our core pillars is strong personal relationships and it is a red thread throughout our business. Also, we started our journey in agile working methods already in 2012.
Why should customers choose you as their preferred payment partner? How do you distinguish your offerings from your competitors?
By choosing Crosskey as a supplier you will gain access to a large network of experienced experts, innovative business developers and responsive development teams. One of Crosskey’s core competences is that we control the whole value chain from in-house system development, certified processes along with agile working methods for requirement handling, project management, and release handling all the way to monitoring; both manual and automated are done completely in-house. This guarantees high quality in our development process as well as excellent stability.
The Crosskey Cards Platform is new and modern, built with real-time processing and APIs throughout. Such standardized APIs have also made it possible to integrate Crosskey’s bank system towards many Fintech applications proving that the platform is one of the few systems on the Nordic bank market that already has a proven readiness to deliver on the current and future market demands.
The Crosskey Card solution is handled with continuous delivery, deploying the application, and running many thousands of automated tests continuously every day of the week. Our card system is operating several installations – all with their unique needs. Performance and cost can be scaled dependent on size, solutions running with number of end customers ranging from tens of thousands to millions.
How does Crosskey amend its offerings and criterion according to the rules and regulations of the different countries it serves?
Our market is undergoing a major change right now, our systems are being opened through various technological platforms and many new players in the industry are emerging who want to support the development towards end customers.  Standardization is in this case a very good way to go in creating opportunities for everyone on equal terms.
The financial sector is not all about innovation; the pressure from legislators and the big players on the market has been enormous these last couple of years. One example of this is the PCI requirements that are a must have requirement. Crosskey are proud to be one of the first Card issuing players in the Nordics that are fully PCI-DSS compliant along with direct connections towards both MasterCard and Visa networks. We offer a service that is compliant with the industry requirements.
What can be expected from Crosskey in the coming years?
From a functionality perspective, our system is now developing in a faster than ever speed in order to support our customers’ journeys in digitalization and automation and generally around scaling the business volumes with minimal increase in headcount or other costs.
We have enhanced, improved and modernized our banking platform in the recent years, and we will continue doing that incrementally going forward.
We avoid “big bang” modernization projects, thus we do the enhancements incrementally, protecting our customers from being negatively impacted by risky, time consuming and expensive transformation projects.