How can the cloud and Payments as a Service (PaaS) act as an enabler for Open Banking?
Icon Solutions was born out of a passion to be different. To fight complexity, to celebrate honesty, and to put customers first.
Our founders Ben, Darren and Tom created Icon because they were fed up with seeing poor quality IT projects that always over-ran in terms of timescales and budget. They were frustrated by the lack of ownership and hidden agendas and were convinced that there was a better way to meet the needs of financial services clients. They knew that, with their combined experience of both technology and banking systems (payments in particular) and their ability to deliver, they could bring something different to the world of fintech.
Ten years on and their vision is a reality. Icon Solutions has grown 20% year on year delivering payment and technology solutions to leading financial institutions across the globe – institutions such as BNP Paribas, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide and HSBC. We have also created our own ground-breaking payments platform, IPF, which is used by Tier 1 banks to accelerate their payments transformation and roll out instant payments around the world.
Our secret formula isn’t complicated, or indeed even secret. Icon has been built on a set of fundamental values that are embodied in everything we do. ‘Fighting complexity’ is just one of these values - we strive to always find the simplest solution to a client’s problem, an approach which has often set us apart from our competitors. We never deliver unachievable ‘ivory tower’ architecture or an over-specified complex system. Whether it be assessing payments systems, producing IT transformation roadmaps or simply providing subject matter expertise, we deliver pragmatic solutions that allow our clients to be leaner, innovative and responsive to the demands of the future.
These values of course are meaningless without having people that live and breathe them. Whether they are a solution architect or payments analyst, we strive to hire only the best people. That’s because it takes the best to deliver simplicity (and simple is never easy when working in an inherently complex environment such as payments). Everyone in the Icon team brings a wealth of expertise from industry and a passion for keeping pace with a market that is constantly evolving.
Together we empower our customers to deliver the payments and technology change they need to meet the demands of tomorrow.
A FEW OF OUR CLIENTS
Principles to live by
Payments Architecture 101
Payments Transformation Programme Delivery Seminar
CarbonNeutral® is a global standard awarded to businesses which reduced their greenhouse gas emissions to net zero. This is usually achieved through a combination of internal emissions reductions and the purchase of environmental instruments including renewable energy certificates and carbon credits.
Being a CarbonNeutral® Company means that we have taken the steps to offset our carbon footprint by supporting different projects:
This Gold Standard project, based primarily in Uganda and Malawi, provides clean drinking water to small rural communities by repairing and drilling new boreholes. Boreholes can be used as water wells by installing a vertical pipe casing and well screen, which allows water to be extracted from the ground. By providing clean water, communities no longer need to purify water through boiling. This alleviates pressure on local forests – the predominant source of firewood – and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
This project has many sustainable benefits, ranging from improving the health and well-being of the local community, protecting them from severe droughts and empowering women by reducing the time needed to collect and purify water and enabling them to focus on other income-generating activities.
Water-borne disease has been identified as a national priority in Guatemala given the high incidence of diarrhoeal disease and chronic malnutrition. This project, which is the first Gold Standard water treatment or cookstove project in the country, distributes water filters and stoves that enable access to clean water and improve cooking conditions by increasing fuel efficiency and reducing harmful indoor air pollution. Water is purified through a gravity-fed ceramic filter made of clay, sawdust, colloidal silver, and carbon, which can treat two litres of non-potable water per hour and removes 99% of pathogens.
In addition to health and well-being benefits of the project, decreasing fuelwood use reduces the threat to biodiversity and creates more local jobs – over 800 staff are employed throughout the supply chain, in manufacturing, installation and training.
Based on the island of Borneo in Indonesia, this project preserves carbon-dense tropical peat swamp by helping to halt deforestation of roughly 47,000 hectares of forest which were originally slated for conversion to palm oil plantations. The project focuses on both community development - encompassing 2,000 households living within the project area - and biodiversity conservation, particularly the protection of the endangered Borneo Orangutan. The project actively engages local communities to improve food security, income opportunities, health care and education - all with the support of carbon finance.
In addition to this, the project delivers a number of other benefits including, training communities to manufacture and sell inexpensive water filtration devices, to provide clean drinking water.
WE ARE PROUD TO SUPPORT
Icon also supports the Hope Classic Rally which raises funds for WeSeeHope to transform the lives and futures of children in some of Africa’s toughest and harshest environments.
From rehabilitating isolated children back into their communities, to educating young people and training them in vocational and business skills, WeSeeHope focuses on delivering tangible and sustainable impact. To see how WeSeeHope help those in need, watch this short video on Yona's story.
The Wimbledon Guild offer a wide range of services available at little or no cost to people who live or work in Merton. They are currently providing more services to more people than at any other time in their history. Many local people experiencing financial, material and emotional hardship are unable to get the support they need anywhere else.
We have supported the Polka Theatre Freefalling programme since 2014. Freefalling is a drama programme provided free-of-charge to Merton Borough children aged 9-11 years old who are, or may be, at risk of social exclusion or who are experiencing difficulties at home or school.
We’re proud to be part of the number one payroll giving scheme in the UK. “CAF Give As You Earn” helps over 3,000 companies and 400,000 staff to give nearly £80m to charity each year.
We’re delighted to have been awarded the Silver Payroll Giving Quality Mark for our organisation’s commitment to payroll giving and corporate social responsibility.
In 2020 we are proud to have started working with Future Frontiers, an award-winning education charity which works with schools and businesses across the UK to provide a programme of coaching and access to professional role models to young people aged 13-18. The programme exists to ensure young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are equipped with the knowledge, skills and mindsets to achieve their potential at school and when transitioning to destinations in education, employment or training.
How can the cloud and Payments as a Service (PaaS) act as an enabler for Open Banking?
Tom Kelleher, Commercial Director at Icon Solutions interviewed by Financial IT
In response to US demand, IPF offers an accelerated route to accessing The Clearing House’s real-time payments system. This partnership enables our US customers to expedite their adoption of real-time payments, adapt quickly to changes in the payments landscape and keep ahead of their competitors.
Icon Solutions has partnered with T-Systems Hungary to provide Hungarian banks with easier, quicker and more manageable access to immediate payments via Icon’s Instant Payments Framework (IPF). Current clients of T-Systems will benefit from Icon’s ongoing investment into IPF product development which will enable banks to continually realise financial savings and improve performance.
Icon Solutions has partnered with Digital Control Room (DCR), an independent RegTech software company specialising in providing governance risk, and compliance software solutions. Icon and DCR have partnered to codify their extensive combined knowledge of the banking domain – embracing data governance and large scale institutional regulatory transformation – into The GDPR Integrator based on DCR’s GDPR Platform.
Featurespace is the world’s leading provider of Adaptive Behavioural Analytics technology for fraud and risk management. ARIC™, Featurespace’s advanced machine learning platform, detects anomalies in individual behaviour to spot new fraudulent activity in real time. The combination of IPF and Featurespace’s advanced automation systems enables our customers to seamlessly integrate with instant payment schemes globally, and to spot and block fraud attacks on the scale needed when processing payments in real-time.