Making an impact

If all the bank customers relying on Temenos solutions were a nation, it would be the third largest. As part of MEA Finance Magazine's LEADERS IN BANKING TECHNOLOGY special report, Jean-Paul Mergeai, President of APAC and MEA, reflects on his journey with the company and where their future is taking them.

What excites you and keeps you motivated as a regional leader in banking technology? 

This year we are celebrating 25 years of Temenos in MEA. We have a strong presence in the region with seven offices and a highly experienced team, as well as a deep and rapidly growing customer base, from the very largest banks (such as Al Rajhi) to the newest and most ambitious new challenger banks (such as STC Pay).

I am particularly excited by the size of the opportunity with challenger banks and digitization in the region. MEA is a hotbed of banking innovation and there are many great examples of banks, big and small, using technology to make banking better and boosting financial inclusion.

Describe your journey in banking technology and how this has influenced the role you are in today? 

I am a technologist at heart, having started my career as an academic specializing in the fields of Machine Translation and Artificial Intelligence. I have worked for over 30 years in IT solutions for banks and financial institutions.

I joined Temenos in 2010 as part of its acquisition of Odyssey Financial Technologies and have been the Managing Director of Temenos’ MEA operations since 2014. My remit has since expanded to include the APAC region.

What is really exciting is the pace of innovation at Temenos and its scale. It is really rewarding working for a company that can boast to have such a massive impact on people’s lives – we serve 3,000 banks and as a result 1.2billion people worldwide depend on Temenos solutions for their day-to-day banking.

What does your company bring to the banking and financial sector that helps it advance levels of service and remain profitable? 

Before Coronavirus, we knew that banks faced big challenges, including intense financial pressure, rising customer expectations and fierce competition. The pandemic added to this, in particular accelerating the customer demand for digital. Individuals and businesses are now less likely to visit branches or use cash and are more willing to bank digitally. Banks have had to accelerate their digital transformations by years.

To succeed in this new normal any player, whether an incumbent or a nimble new entrant, must have a front office that delivers rich customer experiences and a back office that drives automation and brings products to market fast.

It is a big moment for our industry, and we are in a unique position to support banks adapt, transform and launch new hyper-personalised digital banking products and experiences.

In the light of the past turbulent year, what are your plans for 2021? 

Personally, I will be expanding my geographic focus in 2021 as I take on my additional responsibility for the APAC region. We have an enormous customer base in APAC and I am excited to work with the team to support their development and accelerate growth in APAC-MEA, a high-potential territory full of opportunities for Temenos.