Virgin Money Jumps on Microsoft Cloud for Platform Launch

Sixth largest bank in the UK will move workloads from on-premise data centres to Microsoft Azure, using Microsoft’s tools and services to implement an IT infrastructure.

Virgin Money UK has turned to Microsoft to launch a cloud-based platform for its six million customers.

Following last month’s news that Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services (MCFS) would be generally available from November, Microsoft has confirmed that Virgin Money, the sixth largest bank in the UK, will move workloads from on-premise data centres to Microsoft Azure, using Microsoft’s tools and services to implement an IT infrastructure.

David Duffy, Chief Executive of Virgin Money UK, states: “This partnership with Microsoft is an important element of our digital first strategy. The partnership will drive efficiencies by simplifying our existing IT infrastructure and enable faster development times to help us grow, while empowering our colleagues to build a market-leading digital customer experience at scale.”

Virgin Money will also use Microsoft’s data analytics tools, to give its employees a view of customers and so offer personal and tailored financial experiences. The bank offers products for consumers and businesses.

As noted in October’s report, MCFS was officially launched in February.

MCFS integrates cloud services across the firm’s offerings – Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform.

Features include a unified customer profile, loan apps and self-service tools, and a collaboration manager for automation.

The tech titan explained (in October) that services partners Accenture, Avanade, Avtex, Capgemini, EY, Publicis Sapient, KPMG, PwC, and ISV partners Backbase, BaseCap, Finastra, Mortgage365, VeriPark and Zafin, will be joining it for the launch of MCFS this month.

The cloud sector is competitive at the best of times. In September, German multinational SAP announced the global launch of SAP Fioneer, a joint venture with German tech investor Dediq for the financial services industry.

In terms of Virgin Money there has been a mix of good and bad news.

The company recently announced it expects full-year underlying pre-tax profits for FY21 of £801 million, an increase of 546% on the previous year, due to its “digital first strategy”.

Virgin Money says it plans to launch a digital wallet with its partner Global Payments, a provider of payment technology and software solutions. The new digital wallet will “sit at the heart” of Virgin Money’s payments, loyalty and unsecured credit offering to customers – and is evidence of yet another firm trying to make money from the buy now, pay later sector.

While in September it announced plans to close 31 stores “as it adapts to changing customer demand”.

The company said customers can use Post Offices for day‐to-day banking, including cash deposits and withdrawals, cheque deposits and balance enquiries, as well as coin exchange.

It is expected that the changes will result in a reduction of around 112 full time equivalent roles across the group. Following these changes, Virgin Money will have a network of 131 stores across the UK.

Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton is the Editor of eWeek UK. He has 18 years' journalism and writing experience. His career has taken him to China, Japan and the UK - covering tech, fintech and business. Follow on Twitter @TonyFintech.

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