11 Nov Member Spotlight: Virtual Affairs
More and more financial institutions are offering a state-of-the-art digital experience to their end users. One of the financial software experts in the Netherlands is the Amsterdam-based firm Virtual Affairs. With over 110 employees located in the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Bangladesh, Virtual Affairs has earned a global reputation based on almost 20 years of building innovative software solutions for several long-time clients such as Knab, Achmea International, Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance, Van Lanschot & ING. Guided by the digital demand and behaviour of the consumer, Virtual Affairs offers a unique blend of financial technology applications scalable to the size of established banks and insurers.
Erik Lamers, recently appointed as Director at Virtual Affairs, explains the increased need for (established) financial organisations to put the customer in the centre when creating digital products: “It is a clear fact that basic financial services are reaching the customer through all sorts of digital channels. However, just like many other traditional industries, not all existing solutions are appealing or accessible enough from a user perspective. Modern customers are not satisfied with merely informative finance applications but they demand a fully integrated experience of all basic financial services on all devices. Hence, online banking goes beyond a simple account overview and evolved into a complete portal for customer service channels, investing, trading, mobile payments and insurance services. Due to our experience of the last two decades we are not easily scared to think out-of-the-box and lower the barrier through all channels. As a result, we are on the right track generating steady growth, expansion of our client portfolio and international presence.” Erik Lamers (48) has a background in various leading software companies including Capgemini and Avanade. During the years Erik has worked with many large organisations, starting their first digital transformations and digitisation at a time when this was not yet regarded as the most logical strategic decision. Currently it’s required to survive and many organisations still struggle.
Virtual Affairs helps organisations to get ready for a high demanding and technology-driven future. Within his function at Virtual Affairs Erik is responsible for the commercial growth of the firm where the main mission consists of developing agile front-end and mobile solutions for financial service providers. At Virtual Affairs, technology is used to move finance forward. Erik Lamers: “Creating optimal digital services is a journey by itself, first of all for the organisation but ultimately for the user. In the end, the individual customer has to click on the buttons and interact with the application, whereas numerous factors can influence their perception. You need many insights to create the perfect, personalised experience to ensure sustainability and loyal customers over time. At Virtual Affairs, our agile and SCRUM-based approach, enriched with the latest analytics, empowers marketers and technicians of our clients to implement, maintain and improve the end products. We have established partnerships with relevant Fintech providers such as Sitecore, Microsoft, Five Degrees, Ortec Finance and Avanade. Moreover, Virtual Affairs is a certified Sitecore Platinum Implementation and EMEA Silver Technology partner and a Microsoft Gold partner. Our propositions are always a unique combination of smart tools from different partners to guarantee feasible, customised and competitive services to our clients supporting a short time to market. All our solutions are based on our two flagship products named BankingRight and InsuranceRight, respectively applicable to the environments of retail banking, including wealth management and insurance services.”
Currently, Virtual Affairs has built several platforms for large financial institutions ranging from insurers, banks and Fintech firms. For the Dutch challenger bank Knab, Virtual Affairs built and implemented the entire frontend, both web and mobile. Moreover, Virtual Affairs developed a discretionary investment managing application for Van Lanschot which enables their customers to monitor all aspects of their portfolio. Last September Virtual Affairs, in close collaboration with banking platform provider Five Degrees, launched a completely new online and mobile banking environment for ArubaBank in the Antilles. In the United Kingdom, the online investment advisory Munnypot chose the expertise of Virtual Affairs to develop an innovative, chat and robo advice based private investment application, ready to challenge the market. Other clients include Rabobank, Nationale-Nederlanden, Raiffeisen, Achmea and Unirobe Meeùs Groep. Erik Lamers: “Nowadays, it is incontestable that the modern consumer expects accessible and responsive financial services, easy available through all devices. Based on the main drivers of customer centricity and agility, Virtual Affairs is a valuable partner to achieve this. While working in this changing financial landscape, there will come a very exciting and nearby future where online communities and social networks will obtain essential roles in the world of money. As long as we take the experience of the consumer into account, the financial industry will be prepared for any disruption. Therefore, we will continue with our ambitions and we are looking forward to share our knowledge with our peers and the network of Holland Fintech.”