Kalin Radev is the founder and CEO of Software Group. He has more than 20 years of professional experience in information technology, most of which in the field of improving the access to financial services, in the banking and microfinance sector.
Digital transformation facilitates processes in the financial sector and because of this products and services can become cheaper. The access to funding is significantly facilitated and enables more people to establish their own businesses and earn steady income. New technologies will continue to lead to the emergence of new jobs, with some of the old ones gradually disappearing. We are about to see a tendency for mediation specialists to be replaced sooner or later by platforms that will do their job instead.
Software Group develops technologies for the financial
sector. Innovations allow around 95% of the banking services to be provided
from a distance, which is
More Convenient and Cheaper
Digital banks have already emerged. Banks are in an
ever stronger competition with each other, but are also in a race with other
leading companies and telecoms, which are also starting to provide financial
services. The risk for well-established
players, including banks, to take away a share of the market of other banks is,
in my opinion, much greater than the risk for young fintech companies that
start from scratch to make a rapid technological breakthrough and replace them.
According to statistics, only 0.2% of the start-ups in the financial sector
survive. Another risk is the introduction of telecoms on this market. One of
the potential options for banks to maintain leadership positions is by
acquiring fintech start-ups, so that they can use their know-how.
No one can tell for sure how the financial sector will
look like in 5-10 years. But it is certain that players who have invested and
created flexible and fast adaptive platforms will remain on the market. We
think we know the market well. That is why, at our discretion, we create the
developments and the end products that we offer. Since last year, we have started
our activity on the Bulgarian market as well. This happened after we were
convinced that the financial institutions here had huge needs, which we could
meet with the same solutions.
The trend is for the financial world to offer more and
more utilities and even greater opportunities. Services will be easier and
faster, products will be more flexible. Systems will become more automated.
Banks are entering
A New Stage of Development
Digitalization in this sector has been going on for
more than 20 years now, but many of the bank systems are not integrated and do
not "communicate" with each other. Some of these systems are related
to risk management, which can also be done in a more efficient way.
In 2001, I started
working with the World Council of Credit Unions, which helps microfinance
organizations in many countries. Microfinancing is may be the only method of
supporting the economies of developing countries in a sustainable way, without
leading to misuses that happen when financial aid is granted. It encourages the
good practice in which people with an entrepreneurial spirit who have received
similar funding become financially stable and create a small business. Thus, microfinancing
supports the establishment of a stable economy.
In Africa, we have an interesting project that
provides loans for agricultural purposes. Data is collected and the system is
constantly trying to find dependencies between people's data and the project's
success rate. Farmers who send their children to school are found to be doing
better in business and paying more easily their loans. The artificial
intelligence of the system has brought out this dependency on its own.
has long become an irreversible process of replacing
ineffective activities with more efficient ones. I will give two examples of
how information technology is finding a wider application. IT colleagues
develop software for managing tractors and combines. It offers an opportunity
for optimization that allows you to save about a meter from the overlap when
the machines plough, sow, reap. This saves fuel, human labour, machine
depreciation, and efficiency increases by about 15%. Another company uses
drones that fly over large crop fields and photograph them, and thus humidity,
crop diseases and other processes are being automatically monitored.
There Are Many Concerns
about the introduction of artificial intelligence and
data protection, but the world is changing. Gradually, solutions to the
emerging issues will be found. Technologies will develop no matter if we want
it or not. Processes must be under control, as the dangers are numerous. There
is always someone who starts using technology created for noble purposes not as
Development does not require businesses to constantly
buy the latest systems that come out, if they rely on the right choice, which
will allow these systems to serve for a long time after making the necessary
adjustments. A well-informed choice is very important and it prevents from
sudden changes in the field of information technology.
Software Group is a global technology company established in 2009 with its seat in Sofia. The company's team consists of nearly 400 people. Up to now, the company has implemented more than 450 projects in more than 65 countries. Its main area of activity is the development of innovative software products that facilitate the access to financial services and increase the efficiency of financial institutions. Software Group provides solutions for alternative delivery channels, including agent network management software with offline option for tablets and phones, mobile portfolio, payment system, integration platform, applications that enable employees of financial institutions to reach clients in remote regions.