As part of a series of activities lined up to mark its resounding success of a 20-year long journey, Epic held a media conference to announce its continual excellence of innovations.
Dr. Nayana Dehigama, the Executive Chairman and Managing Director, founded Epic in 1998 as a backyard start-up with just four members on board. With the vision to be a technology leader in the FSI solutions sector, the company began to develop secure payment software solutions to cater to the needs of the banking and financial industry in Sri Lanka.
Today, Epic has evolved to be a diversified, techno-entrepreneurial conglomerate offering world-class life-enhancing innovative solutions to public and private sector enterprises in the region. While forging ahead amidst the constant technology transformation, Epic expanded its services beyond Sri Lanka, and established its operations in Malaysia, Japan and Singapore too.
Today, Epic is renowned as a fintech solutions innovator in the region. Epic also has made remarkable impact as a technology leader that provides state-of-the-art enterprise digitalisation and information systems security solutions. The introduction of branchless banking concept to the world and innovating the Asia Pacific’s most comprehensive and feature-rich priority banking solution suite that enables virtual banking experiences from anywhere in the world and new generation customer centric fintech solutions through disruptive technologies are some ground breaking achievements Epic is proud of.
Dr. Dehigama recalling the rapid progress Epic made at the outset said, “We began our fintech innovation drive in early 2000s even before the banks and tech giants realised the potential in it. In a context where the most banks in Sri Lanka were challenged with diminishing credit-worthy customers due to market hostilities and facing fierce competition for the lucrative urban market segments especially from the techno-oriented new entrants that offered more flexible and innovative products and services, we offered technology solutions for the banking and finance sector enabling them to go beyond traditional boundaries to access new markets.
“We saw the potential and dire necessity for banks in reaching out to the unbanked and under-banked population, particularly in the untapped rural sectors. Therefore, we took the challenge of innovating cost-effective means for banks to reach millions of potential rural sector customers who are scattered in larger geographical area and included them in the banking system.”
With its strategy to adopt an organic expansion by adding core and distinct competencies that are complementary to the secure payment industry in mind, Epic has acquired expertise in information systems and transaction security, mobile applications, content and process digitalisation. This portfolio of competencies has helped Epic to create differentiated solutions for totally new verticals such as e-governance, document and workflow management, enterprise digitalisation and PKI Infrastructure for enterprise and communication security.
The Chief Architect at Epic, and its Group Director and CEO, Viraj Mudalige speaking on plans beyond 20 said: “From the very outset our aim has been to create a unique electronic secure payment platform that facilitates processing of all kinds of banking transactions that initiate from multiple channels such as ATMs, EDC/POS, mobile phones, TABs, PDAs, and internet banking, which are currently being done through isolated systems. Our mission was to be the world’s first fintech company, which will unify all these payment channels into one single platform, so that banks will have single platform to create and manage multiple revenue channels. We are happy that our dream has come true today with our Epic Omni-Channel Synchroniser, which is now rapidly gaining global acceptance.”
The world-class expertise and the tireless contribution of the highly proficient and passionate technocrat force of over 300 at Epic working on many flagship projects of large banks in Sri Lanka, as well as in the region have helped Epic build credibility and, thus, strategically focusing on business development thrust to make Epic a global player.
Speaking on a few emerging trends of the technology industry, Dr. Dehigama said: “The world is transforming digitally in a pace that is difficult for anyone to even fathom. We are entangled in new disruptive technology jargon. IoT, cloud computing, edge computing, big data analytics and 4G/5G broadband internet connectivity, augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, blockchain, crypto-currencies and bitcoin are some of the trendy terminology we hear every day. But, whatever jargon that may be around us, we seek five main things from this digital transformation – convenience, speed, reach, scale and value. Therefore, we carefully pick the most appropriate technology to build our solutions with simplicity, affordability and effectiveness for our clients to achieve these five core needs.”
Commenting on the challenges faced by the FSI, Mudalige said, “We created history by introducing branchless banking to the world. As our first project in branchless banking, we helped HSBC’s Sri Lanka operations to leverage its global strategy – ‘World’s Local Bank’ – by transforming over 750 post offices to function as HSBC branches. It was truly a revolutionary move that the banks could not believe. This innovative concept caught on fast, spreading over the region and a few competitors following us. We are very proud to have secured Malaysia’s largest branchless banking rollout. Later, consequent to our continuous innovation thrust, we introduced our mobile banking platform to capitalise on the dynamics of mobile revolution in the world. As the smart devices were penetrating well in to everyone’s life and digital transformation was beginning, we came out with the world’s most comprehensive and feature-rich ewallet and digital banking platforms. Now, we are ready to introduce a disruptive priority banking platform, which offers banking services from anywhere in the world with the novel experience of virtual and augmented reality.”
Epic’s offerings are not limited to fintech solutions alone. Epic is also renowned for enterprise digitalisation and information systems security technologies. It has also implemented state-of-the-art document management and workflow automation solutions in both public and private sectors, for which many national accolades have been received in recognition of its product supremacy. Public-Private Key (PKI) architecture-based enterprise security and user authentication solutions designed and developed by Epic have also created a high demand in the market.
Automation of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which helped the Department to cut down the application processing time from six hours to six minutes, and the PKI Architecture at the Department of Immigration and Emigration of Sri Lanka that secures the entire passport personalisation and issuing system are two examples among numerous exemplary digital transformations Epic has carried out.
In 2016, Epic was adjudged the Overall Best ICT Company in Sri Lanka with the awarding of the prestigious Gold Award at the NBQSA. FriMi – the most popular digital wallet program – created by Epic for a leading bank in Sri Lanka, has been ranked 22nd in the global best products list of the banking innovations by the ‘Asian Banker’ – the leading organisation that provides strategic intelligence for the financial services industry.
Holding a record for having won the highest number of awards by a single company at the National Best Quality Software Awards for six consecutive years, National Business Excellence Gold Award in ICT for three consecutive years, the first Gold Award at APICTA for Sri Lanka in the financial services sector are testaments to the technological innovation and dominance, product supremacy and entrepreneurial excellence of Epic.
ISO 9001:2008, ISO 27001-2013 and CMMi Level 3 certified Epic Technology Group strides ahead, unlocking technological secrets of the future, enriching lives and creating a comfortable and secure environment, tomorrow and beyond.