Based in Shenzhen, Ping An Bank is a joint-stock bank with operations across the Asia-Pacific region. The bank has branches in 10 cities across China, and its majority shareholder is Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China Ltd (Ping An Group), a financial services conglomerate with three core businesses: banking, insurance, and investment. Ping An Group was ranked 328th in Fortune magazine’s Global 500 and first among China’s nonstate-owned enterprises.
Ping An Bank had benefited from rapid growth in China’s financial market. However, due to increases in customers and transactions and the diversification of customer demands, the bank found its legacy systems struggled to support security for local and regional operations, efficient back-office transaction processing, and new product development.
To address these challenges, Ping An Bank implemented Oracle FLEXCUBE Core Banking in 18 months, hailed as a milestone in the Chinese financial services industry. The software enabled the bank to integrate a large number of subsystems to build a core banking platform. As a result, new product development was shortened from months to just a few weeks, enabling Ping An Bank to offer innovative financial products to the market ahead of its competitors.
Ping An Bank is aiming to grow its business through product cross-selling and mergers and acquisitions and by leveraging the resources of its parent company Ping An Group. The bank also requires a core banking platform that meets its strategic needs and those of Ping An Group.
The platform it chose would have to be based on service-oriented architecture to ensure it could be easily integrated with existing banking, insurance, and investment systems, meet the requirements of changing and expanding product and business lines, incorporate new applications following a merger or acquisition, and support rapid growth in the future.
During the six-month evaluation period, the bank reviewed products from Digital China, Fidelity, Oracle, and SAP. The judgment criteria included the capabilities of the vendor, implementation risk, and the product’s development roadmap.
“We chose Oracle FLEXCUBE Core Banking because its architecture makes it the fastest and most flexible tool for new product development,” said Lin Deyun, managing director of Ping An Bank’s new core banking project steering committee.
Oracle Partner Ping An Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd., was employed as the system integrator for the project. Ping An Bank, Ping An Technology, and Oracle worked at the Oracle Asia Research and Development Center in Shenzhen on the design and development of the core banking platform.
The platform was completed in 18 months and was hailed a “go-live miracle” by Ping An Bank, which attributes the achievement to excellent management, strict execution of the project plan according to set timeframes, and open communication between all parties. Another reason for the swift implementation was that Oracle FLEXCUBE Core Banking is precustomized to meet the needs of the Chinese financial services industry as part of Oracle Financial Services’s localization strategy.
Coupled with the solution’s open architecture, system integration cost and time were minimized. In Ping An Bank’s case, additional development was only required to incorporate more specific local needs.
“The advantage of using Oracle FLEXCUBE Core Banking as the foundation of our core banking platform is that it allows us to move our attention from products to customers,” said Ma Zhitao, general manager and chief architect of Ping An Technology. “This will allow us to integrate the Ping An Bank platform into the larger architecture of Ping An Group, to promote cross-selling and integrated financial services.”
Ping An Technology is a subsidiary of Ping An Group and serves as the group’s IT service provider, providing IT planning, development, and operational services. The company led the design, planning, and implementation of the core banking platform for Ping An Bank.
“The Oracle FLEXCUBE Core Banking implementation was a major project for the bank,” said Zhitao. “Ping An Technology guided us through the process, sharing knowledge and giving us great confidence that the integration would be success.”