Earlier today, Sopra Steria announced its plans to acquire Fidor Solutions via its subsidiary Sopra Banking Software. Fidor Solutions is the technology subsidiary of Fidor Bank, a fintech that became part of Groupe BPCE in 2016. As a side note: Groupe BPCE is also in the process of selling Fidor Bank itself to the private equity firm Ripplewood Advisors.

Fidor Solutions works with financial services institutions in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East on digital banking front ends — on elements that Forrester calls a digital banking engagement platform (DBEP).

What can Fidor Solutions bring to Sopra Banking Software if the planned acquisition becomes reality?

Fidor Solutions:

  • Will enhance Sopra Banking’s development team. This won’t only boost developer numbers; it will also bring new perspectives and experiences that can enrich Sopra Banking’s DBEP efforts.
  • Can provide software artifacts for customer engagements that will allow Sopra Banking to accelerate its DBEP efforts.
  • May bring new architectural ideas — although some of the key drivers of these ideas have left Fidor Solutions years ago.
  • Might slightly enhance Sopra Banking’s geographical scope, as the two companies have vastly overlapping areas of operations.

However, a few questions remain:

  • How will Sopra Steria and Sopra Banking manage the integration of two development teams that seem to work in different corporate cultures?
  • How will existing clients of Fidor Solutions react to being served by an established banking software vendor as opposed to a fintech? (This may be a smaller concern, though, when comparing the client bases of Sopra Banking and Fidor Solutions.)
  • How advanced are Fidor Solutions’ software components compared to market-leading DBEPs given that they were invented and released many years ago?

Unfortunately, responses to these questions will have to wait until more details on the deal become available.

As always, let me know what you think: jhoppermann@forrester.com.