A transformative year for Icon Solutions

25 October 2023

Icon Solutions was founded in 2009 with the desire to be different and simplify banking transformation, using technological expertise and deep experience to fight complexity, promote transparency and put the needs of customers first.

The organisation has come a long way since and the last financial year reflected Icon’s own transformation, with new clients supported, continued revenue growth and an expanding global team.

To mark the publication of Icon’s 2022-23 Annual Report, co-founders Darren Capehorn, Ben Hallifax and Tom Kelleher reflect on Icon’s story to date, what drives them, and look ahead to what’s on the horizon.

The past year has cemented Icon’s position as the payments transformation organisation of choice

Our emphasis has always been on enabling clients to retain or regain control, and providing them with the expertise and technology to do it with confidence.

Because of this, we’ve been at the forefront of a sustainable and flexible approach to transformation, helping Tier 1 global banks move away from vendor dependency to build and run their own payments processing solution with the Icon Payments Framework (IPF).

Over the past year, significant R&D investment has been made to enhance clients’ independence with the launch of an IPF Software Development Kit (SDK), new scheme packs, and a self-service training portal for client and Systems Integrator (SI) engineers. Coupled with our Payments Technology Strategy review to set architectural guardrails and roadmaps, our clients can now confidently embark on their transformation journey – achieving meaningful results in days rather than months or years.

But more broadly, our success runs deeper than the big-name projects, IT innovation or payments tech.

When we set out to create Icon, the mission was simple – deliver great solutions for our customers while building a company we all enjoyed working for. We felt that this was the right way to grow a business that others wanted to work for, and with.

Over time, these core principles have been enshrined into our brand values and are fundamental to why we now have an organisation full of talented people who love what they do. Their collective expertise and experience have helped us push for and deliver the most elegant and sustainable solutions to solve customers’ problems, providing the foundation for our longstanding relationships and overall success.

Our ability to evolve our workforce also comes from what we do locally and internationally for society. By committing to causes close to our hearts, getting involved and ensuring our time and contributions have an impact, we have been able to genuinely make a difference. This is fundamental to building the workforce of today and tomorrow, and has seen us recruit the best people who have helped us continuously punch above our weight.

Meeting the demands of tomorrow

Icon was established during a period of significant uncertainty amid the 2008 banking crisis, and today’s industry faces its own challenges. Commercial banking and financial services are undergoing a profound shift. Macroeconomic forces, legacy infrastructure, the impact of digitalisation, fintech competition, shrinking profit margins, and much more, are forcing banks to re-evaluate old models and reimagine their offerings.

While these competing priorities can create inefficiency, paralysis and chaos, they also create huge opportunity. Over the past year, Icon has worked to align and further develop IPF and our skills, assets and accelerators to better enable our clients to run their payments as a business instead of a cost centre.

Looking ahead, we remain committed to expanding the ways we help banks transform.

We’re continuing to further expand IPF’s capabilities. Our Payments Centre of Excellence is providing unrivalled global insight to assess the impact of industry changes and explore emerging business models. And our world-leading domain experts are strengthening and expanding relationships to provide pragmatic, navigable paths to help banks transform safely and quickly, turning existing technology estates into solutions fit for the next generation.

Darren, Ben and Tom.

Download the 2022-33 Icon Annual Report here.

Mady Dyson