Future Advisory is a firm that specialises in the provision of strategic counsel to its blue chip client base. It's members have been in operation in this industry for over twelve years. The CEO of Future Advisory, Herman Singh, has had an illustrious career as a director at Standard Bank for over 12 years and has been actively engaged in the development, deployment and operations of various channel, product and technology solutions within the bank.

Our Financial Services & Payments Experience

Specifically, Herman's financial services and payments track record at Standard Bank includes:

  • Launching internet banking in 2000
  • Building and launching the bank's website in 2000
  • Implementing mobile banking using text messages in 2001
  • Implementing online airtime sales from internet banking in 2002
  • Implementing the next generation ATM fleet starting in 2002
  • Running the banks technology R&D team for 10 years starting 2001
  • Lead the technical team that drove the construction of MTN banking and obtained Mastercard certification in 2004
  • Lead the rollout of EMV onto all 5000 of the banks ATM's and its 36000 POS devices and its teller verification terminals in branches and upgraded the banks issuing capabilities to allow it to issue chip cards in 2005
  • Implemented the online solution 'Autopay' for online debit card payments in 2002
  • Implemented online payment solutions for verified by visa and secure code from Mastercard in 2004
  • Implemented free McAfee antivirus software and the 'one time password' for internet banking security in 2003
  • Set up and operated the first e-crime prevention team in the country in 2003
  • Upgraded the banks entire debit card fleet in order to enhance security in 2003
  • Developed the architecture for the generic switch in the bank for the implementation of 'Postillion' for payment switching across the pos and ATM fleets
  • Deployed the first online system for the sale of prepaid electricity vouchers
  • Listed as the inventor on a number of patents jointly held by MTN and Standard Bank or Standard Bank alone
  • Won the innovation award for the banking industry for three years running for Standard Bank for MTN banking from Mastercard and for instant card issue in branch from the Banker magazine 2003-2005
  • Implemented the country's first Reserve Bank approved e-currency in 2008
  • Implemented the fastest growing voucher based money transfer solution in 2009
  • Completed the acquisition of and sat on the board of the firm with the largest payment switch and the largest money transfer switch in the country in 2010
  • Developed the platform and implemented the rollout of the first fleet of 8000 bank shops for the bank for airtime sales, prepaid electricity, money transfer and soon to be card based transactions 2010-2011
  • Implemented the countries first cashless rock concert in 2011
  • Launched the countries first large scale fully compliant contactless card wallet for transit low value payments and transit tokens for the bus industry in 2012
  • Signed the deal for the integration of the voucher based money transfer into the country's largest social media network for the implementation of its 'm-commerce' strategy in 2012
  • Securing the mobile payments licence in Nigeria in 2010
  • Implementation of a trader based banking and cash depositing solution in the markets of Lagos in 2010
  • Negotiated a PayPal license for the bank for the entire continent of Africa in 2012

Functional Capabilities

The challenges that 'Payment Players' face in the rollout of proposed solutions fall into many categories,
these include but are not limited to the following functionally specialised areas:

  • Regulatory
  • Customer service
  • Channel management
  • Device management
  • Operations management
  • Settlement
  • Clearing
  • Reconciliation
  • Payment switching
  • Compliance management
  • Risk management
  • PR management
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity
  • Voucher management
  • Treasury management
  • Interbank relations
  • Agent management
  • KYC for subscribers and agents
  • Security

Any business proposed needs to be tested against a number of variables. These include customer segment analysis, affordability, needs assessment, competitor analysis, channel costs, switching costs, fee recovery, agent costs, charge backs, fraud management etc.

The challenge is to ensure that a view is taken at both an operational and a strategic level to address the business imperatives to ensure a sustainable and profitable business. This is a non-trivial task and requires a set of skills, capabilities and experiences that are not typically resident in most firms.