On June 28, 2019, at the China International Software Expo, Yang Bing, director of financial technology products and technology of Ant Golden Garment delivered a keynote speech, sharing how Ant Golden Garment has created the “miracle” of Inclusive Finance in the digital age through the double-wheel drive of business innovation and technological innovation in the past decade.
More than a decade ago, it was hard for anyone to imagine what we now take for granted: just take a cell phone and go out at ease, from shopping to catering, from taxi to accommodation, even finance and loans, all with a few flicks of the screen.
More than a decade ago, it would have been hard to imagine such profound changes in the financial sector: crowded physical networks, lengthy application forms and complex approval processes are gradually becoming obsolete; users in the traditional financial industry, such as small businesses and individuals, are hard to reach because of cost and wind control issues. It has gradually become the target user group of banks.
The more convenient the service, the more powerful the technology is needed.
What has Ant Gold Clothes done to transform the financial industry?
Over the past fifteen years, it has reshaped the payment service through technology, making inclusive financial services accessible to every ordinary Chinese.
Based on the Internet and mobile internet, Ant Golden Clothes has brought unprecedented ease and convenience to users: no need to queue up at the bank, only a few clicks on the mobile phone; no need for cash for consumption, two-dimensional code payment has spread all over China’s streets and lanes; even without credit cards, as long as the flowers open. Payment before repayment; Payment can enable users to achieve financial management through mobile phones, and if a small and micro business owner wants to borrow, it only takes three minutes to fill in the declaration materials online, one second to achieve the loan to the account, the whole process of zero manual intervention.
However, the increasing demand for speediness and convenience from users also brings new challenges to financial institutions. In the face of challenges, only technological innovation and development are the most powerful weapons.
Through smartphones, users can initiate transactions anytime and anywhere, and online traffic is far from the traditional bank counter business. In the similar “double eleven” promotional activities, the peak value of transactions per second can reach hundreds of thousands. In the face of such huge traffic, how to maintain the stability, security and high availability of the trading system and ensure that there is no data loss and deviation is a difficult problem for the “new bank” in the Internet era.
In financial transaction technology, the most critical is the ability of distributed database. With the rapid development of Ant Golden Clothing business, it is not enough to rely on open source distributed system to solve the problem. In 2009, Ant Golden Clothes independently developed Ocean Base, a financial-level distributed relational database, which is specialized in high availability and consistency. Combining with the financial-level distributed middleware developed by Ant itself, the whole system has the scalable payment capacity of millions per second, and successfully withstands the “double eleven” transaction volume. Triple the test every year.
Another key point of financial transactions is wind control, which is related to the lifeline of financial business. Traditional financial institutions use strict auditing to control risks, but in the Internet era, in order to make the user experience Fluent and timely, auditing of consumption, credit, insurance and other transactions must be completed in as short a time as possible.
For financial institutions, this can be described as a mountain of pressure: is the transaction illegal? Is it a false transaction? Is there a conspiracy to cash in? How to judge whether a borrower is reliable without resorting to collateral? How to screen fraud and money laundering? How to avoid bad debts and financial losses? This series of complex questions need to be answered in milliseconds.
Traditional financial institutions rely on manpower to audit is obviously not feasible, not only high cost, time is not allowed, so there must be a set of data and algorithms to build a huge, complex and precise platform, rely on massive calculations to make accurate decisions.
This is not a simple matter, because every transaction is related to real gold and silver, mistakes will lead to capital losses, financial level for accuracy and stability requirements are very high, especially in the case of very demanding delay requirements, technology is a great test. For example, if a Huaxiao account is suspected of cash-taking, both real-time feature calculation and graph calculation are needed to check the funds associated with the account. Switching back and forth between different computing modes will not only increase costs, but also bring delays and affect user experience.
Ant Golden Clothes: Not Replacers, but Supporters
Powerful technical support has enabled Ant Golden Clothing to achieve fast, stable and accurate. Many enterprises and individuals who had difficulty in enjoying financial services can now enjoy the convenience of inclusive finance. In the eyes of traditional financial institutions, new technology financial institutions like these are powerful competitors. Many bankers in developed countries worry that the rise of emerging technology companies will squeeze their share.
But in the view of Ant Golden Clothes, this concern is superfluous: Ant Golden Clothes will not replace traditional institutions, but play the role of supporters to help institutions improve service efficiency and quality through technological openness.
On the basis of self-research technology, Ant Golden Clothes has also been playing a role in promoting technological openness and empowering the traditional financial industry. Because the Inclusive Finance in the definition of Ant Golden Clothes is not only to serve a large number of users themselves, but also to benefit those users who have difficulty in enjoying convenient financial services, but also to enable more financial institutions to better serve a large number of users through the opening of technology.
In the trend of financial industry reform, many traditional financial institutions have embarked on the road of digital transformation. In the process of transformation, they have come across similar threshold: how to build online business quickly? How to use the Internet to attract customers, expand business scale and coverage? How to develop new products based on the characteristics of Internet user groups?
Ants open up the technology and experience they have accumulated to make traditional financial institutions hold more efficient tools and take fewer detours when facing such problems.
The three big PaaS products are the crystallization of the open technology of ant gold clothing: mPaaS (mobile PaaS) can quickly help these organizations develop mobile APP; bPaaS (business PaaS) is a suite of distributed financial core capabilities accumulated over the years by ants, and can help them quickly copy Alipay in the shortest three months. As a data intelligence platform, dPaaS can help these organizations acquire business analysis insight and real-time intelligent decision-making ability based on large data by means of powerful underlying data engine and massive computation.
Since its promotion in the second half of 2017, mPaaS has helped many joint-stock banks and city commercial banks to upgrade their Internet finance, such as Guangzhou Development Bank, Huaxia Bank and Suzhou Bank. In less than three months, the mPaaS team helped the railway ticketing system 12306App complete its reconfiguration, greatly improving its performance and efficiency. In addition, mPaaS has also worked closely with Shanghai Metro Metropolitan App to achieve scanned entry, which solves the problem of queuing for tickets for Shanghai Metro with an average daily passenger flow of more than 11 million.
The emergence of bPaaS provides an off-the-shelf platform for the transformation of traditional financial institutions, so that they no longer need to explore and develop their own distributed business system from scratch, saving a lot of time, but also greatly reducing the difficulty of landing distributed technology in the core business. BPaaS integrates technology and solutions that have been verified numerous times in the practice of financial industry for more than ten years. Under the premise of maintaining the stability of traditional core of banks, bPaaS can quickly customize new business scenarios according to the different business scenarios of different banks. With the opening of bPaaS, it is possible for financial institutions to “replicate the core technical capabilities of ant golden clothes” in the shortest three months.
DPaaS, aiming at the painful point of using too high data threshold in the transformation of traditional financial institutions, mainly provides “three in one” data intelligence capabilities: tools for processing massive data, standards for collecting and storing data, and methodologies for using data. In the scenario of wind control and marketing, dPaaS has outstanding performance. With the help of dPaaS, traditional financial institutions can use data more smoothly to improve their business, effectively transform the data assets in their hands into business capabilities, and realize the value of data.
The Economist points out in particular that technology has far-reaching implications for the financial industry. Technological innovation can breed a more flexible, convenient and open financial system, and the wide application of smart phones and digital technology in the financial industry will be one of the best ways to promote social and economic development and inclusive. In the application of data and data technology to avoid risks, reduce costs, promote business growth, and promote inclusive finance, China’s financial and technological companies represented by Ant Golden Clothes have taken a path of their own. At the same time, they are constantly promoting the trend of technological progress to the world.
Author: Hua Meng
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