Anca Puiu

Open Finance Expert

Introducing Anca Puiu, an accomplished Senior Java Developer and aspiring team lead, renowned for her proficiency in DevOps. With a specialized focus on Open Finance, Anca emerges as a prominent authority, bringing unparalleled expertise to the forefront of financial technology innovation.

What inspired you to specialize in Open Finance, and how has this field evolved since you began working in it?

I deeply value how Open Finance transforms the way customers engage with their finances, unlocking a world of possibilities. It’s not just about developers creating innovative solutions; it’s about the user, gaining access to a wealth of previously inaccessible banking features, enriched by additional services. As we navigate this privacy-centric environment, safeguarding your data is paramount, making my role both exhilarating and meaningful.

Could you discuss the role of APIs in enabling Open Finance and ensuring secure data sharing?

I believe that APIs played a crucial role in enabling Open Banking and Open Finance to provide precise and readily accessible data, reducing processing costs and ensuring enhanced security. By employing strong authorization methods, the system ensures that only authorized users have access to their specific data, thereby facilitating secure data sharing. Additionally, the use of HTTPS further guarantees encrypted transmission of data, providing confidence to customers that the presented information is reliable.

How does educating and empowering customers promote Open Finance adoption?

Open Finance can be a tough nut to crack at first, as the domain is comprised of multiple complex terms with no clear path towards deciphering them. It is essential to educate customers on fundamental concepts such as open APIs, data ownership, and consent mechanisms. By providing this knowledge, customers are empowered to make informed decisions about sharing their financial data and engaging with services that align with their preferences.

How do you tackle interoperability and standardization in Open Finance integration?

I usually start by investigating what a certain financial service is offering, understanding the reason or business decisions it made and the way it is working. After that, I compare it to our currently integrated financial services and try to find the common ground between them. Then I work on extracting that common denominator into a single standardized unit. The key takeaway is making sure that we construct this shared unit in such a way that it is easy to extend, so that each particularity of a financial service will come as an extension of it.

How do you partner with fintech and stakeholders to innovate and create new Open Finance products/services?

In one of my previous projects, I enjoyed working in an atmosphere which fostered openly engaging in conversations with anyone: from marketing to developers to CEOs and CTOs. Having access to such a context helped me a lot in understanding the Open Banking and Open Finance business. Even the most basic inquiries have proven valuable, uncovering subtle flaws in business processes and logic for fellow fintech partners. Creating an environment conducive to brainstorming allowed us to identify and promptly address these issues collaboratively.

How do you handle the complexity of software development for banking and payments compared to other industries?

Security is a first-class citizen: the fact is that you are working with large datasets comprised of sensitive user information (personal data, bank accounts, transactions) makes it so you need to ensure a complete level of protection throughout the data processing pipeline. Whenever you’re retrieving data, sending it, processing it, it must me tamper-proof. Even the smallest of breaches could lead to significant costs towards the business which could affect employees or even the economy.

Another complexity would be understanding the differences between different banks, bank providers and protocols. For example, some banks follow the NextGenPSD2, the ones from the UK usually follow the Open Banking norm and some have not applied PSD2 regulations yet. Because of such differences, you need to understand the particularities of each, find the common things between them, reuse what you can and adapt by extending the particularities.

Can you share insights into how your team handles scalability and reliability in software designed for high-volume financial transactions?

One example would be the way we handle releases. For reliability purposes, we opted to use blue-green deployments, in order to reduce the risk of app downtime. In simple terms, two instances of the platform run at the same time, the blue one representing  the old version of the app and the green one representing the new version of the app. Through various health checks, we establish if the green instance is running correctly. If so, it will replace the blue instance, running the old version, with zero-downtime. Even though our releases are fully automated, we have a policy of manually monitoring the logs and processes after the release by using tools such as ELK and Datadog.

When scaling a service, we first need to understand the problem, the nature of transactions (certain hours that might have more traffic for example), the business, then monitor our current setup to see its performance (through stress tests, performance tests, establishing monitoring to see consumed resources). Based on all this information, we establish what we want to achieve, and we make it happen.

Can you share a recent technological innovation or trend that excites you the most?

I’m really keen on seeing blockchain technology take off. Even though it has been around for a while and closely connected to the cryptocurrency world, it is starting more and more to be applied to various fields other than finance (such as management, healthcare, education). I am curious to see how it will grow in the future.

What’s the most challenging project you’ve worked on, and what did you learn from it?

One of the most rewarding projects I’ve undertaken was my introduction to Open Banking. I had the opportunity to develop a solution that harmonizes data from all European Regulated Entities, ASPSPs, and TPPs into a standardized format. While the technical aspects were undoubtedly challenging, balancing infrastructure, backend, and frontend development, what truly tested me was diving into the intricacies of the Open Banking domain. Despite the initial hurdles of navigating unfamiliar territory, this project was instrumental in honing my skills in AWS DevOps and mastering the nuances of Open Banking. The experience has empowered me to excel in these two areas, setting the stage for future successes.

How do you stay ahead of emerging trends and technologies?

The Maxcode environment helps me a lot in this track: with colleagues doing internal presentations and workshops, hackathons that are organized twice a year, events with a lot of interesting people from the tech industry that are organized either by Maxcode (such as Innovative Tech Talks) or by other people from the tech community of Iasi (such as Codecamp). I am lucky to work in such an atmosphere that helps me grow.


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Ready to dive deeper into the evolving landscape of technology? Connect with Anca for insights, collaboration, or to explore groundbreaking opportunities in the world of Open Finance. Your journey to the forefront of innovation begins here.

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