An interview given for the Portuguese Association of Leasing, Factoring and Renting – ALF
Could you please briefly explain how CODIX has grown and how provided services have developed in the last years?
For the last 25 years, CODIX has had only organic growth, first nationally, then internationally. We do everything we can to assure our Clients we care about the product and the services we provide them. Our Clients acknowledge this and convey that message to our prospects. We started our business journey with debt collection for financial institutions, large corporates, government bodies and large external collection agencies; we then extended the functional scope of our software package to credit insurance, then commercial finance, leasing and consumer finance. At all stages of our development, we apply the same recipe: we invest a lot of efforts developing the functional depth and width of the application to support all operations through the full life cycle of the contracts, with maximum automation and yet preserving a high level of flexibility. It is this adaptability and versatility, that we build everywhere in the system, which is the key, allowing not only to accommodate the natural evolution of the products proposed by our Clients to their customers, but also to comply with all regulations adjustments and to keep up with the evolution in the behavior of the financiers and their markets.
Given your presence in several countries, does specialized financing and the way of doing business change much between countries?
At a macro level, the answer to this question would be no, the main lines of the products are fairly similar across many countries. The standardized internal accounting principles also lead to common constraints. However, if we look at the details, we do observe a significant amount of local practices, local regulations and local market expectations that need to be taken into account. Even something as basic as an invoice, issued to a customer, has to accommodate many country specific rules, even within Europe.
How do you accommodate the differences between countries with a single software?
The key word here is parameterization, completed with a proper design. Indeed, when we build/extend features in iMX, we also make sure to design them with a global reach and application. As a consequence, in the definition of most of the business rules in the system, the country of the financier/business unit, the country of the customer, as well as the type of product are among the criteria determining the conditions of application of the rule. With such design, we do not have to know all country specifics upfront, we only have to add the proper parameterization, once we need it for a given country or region, as the rule has the necessary flexibility to expect this and adapt. This of course comes in addition to the fact that from the very beginning iMX was designed and created as a multi-currency and multi-lingual system.
What do you consider to be the importance of being an ALF aggregated member?
As a member of ALF, it gives us a better exposure and helps to create better awareness about CODIX and the specialized leasing and factoring software solution we offer, customize and implement. Being a member of ALF also means having greater access to up-to-date information and news related to the Portuguese Leasing & Factoring Industry.
Do you believe the current pandemic will change how specialized financing markets operate? And if so, in what ways?
In just a few months we have all been literally forced to adapt to what is going on. The world found itself in an unfamiliar situation for which it has been preparing for years, but had to implement for days. There has been a lot of talk lately about the digital future and remote services, but it has not been put into practice. And the winner will be the one that adapts most quickly. Now more than ever it is clear that the digital transformation in the financial sector is irreversible. The current crisis has accelerated this process providing an opportunity for companies to refine their business strategy and even benefit from the rapidly changing environment through technology. With the right solution at hand they can improve the quality and speed of services, enhance the user experience, automate the processes and even increase the productivity in these tough times.
Certainly, the IT investments of the financial institutions are expected to continue to increase in the coming years, as pretty much all organizations need to answer fully the end-customers’ need, especially in this challenging situation which could last for a long time. Therefore, whether small or large, organizations need more and more a complete multi-layered business solution, able to assure flexibility in the work flow, large set of features and full functional coverage of all products to ensure the sustainability of their business. Everyone will adopt their own approach, depending on their current market positions and ambitions for the future. But no financial institution has an option to stay the same.