Digital Banking

Behind the Scenes of Banking’s Digital Revolution 

Digital Banking’

Banking is an industry that everyone is involved in. As one of the most expansive corporate industries, finance has much going on behind the scenes—more than meets the eye. 

“The essence of progress lies in our ability to innovate continuously while safeguarding what matters most: our customers’ trust and security,” shares Manikandan Rajaram, a key figure in the banking infrastructure of Capital One.

Innovating from the Core

Rajaram, a seasoned software engineering professional with over two decades of experience, has been pivotal in Capital One’s digital transformation. His journey is marked by his ability to develop software systems that streamline data and event processing for improved efficiency, reduced latency, and enhanced real-time decision-making capabilities

One notable achievement is developing a business process management software platform that increased efficiency by 30%. This feat optimized KPIs and a plethora of significant benefits. Additionally, he engineered a resilient, scalable microservices platform and automated data processing. As a result, a single client saved over $1 million on an annual basis. 

To that effect, his work in developing advanced rule engines revolutionized decision-making accuracy and consistency for clients.

Leading Capital One’s Cloud Journey

Since 2015, Rajaram has been instrumental in Capital One’s strategic cloud migration. As the engineering lead, he spearheaded the re-platforming and migration of numerous applications to the AWS cloud. This strategic move enabled Capital One to exit two data centers, resulting in significant cost savings and improved operational efficiency. Rajaram explains, “Our cloud center of excellence aimed to leverage the cloud to streamline infrastructure and reinvest savings into the business.”

Despite the initial success, Rajaram and his team identified areas for improvement, particularly in data protection and cost optimization. They implemented robust data encryption measures, enhanced access controls, and automated cost monitoring tools, substantially reducing cloud expenditure. Recounting the steps, Rajaram notes, “The first time, we made it work; the second time, we made it better, and now, in 2024, we are the best, with all our services fully operating on the cloud.”

Overcoming Challenges and Fostering Innovation

Rajaram has encountered countless failures throughout his career before reaching his streak of success. Looking at the bright side, he views each failure as a valuable learning opportunity. This mindset has been a building block in his continuous improvement. “Failure is not a disaster but a chance to learn and improve,” he says. This dedication to learning and growth has set Rajaram and his teams apart.

As head of engineering for messaging, documents, and IAM at Capital One, Rajaram has built 10 platforms, five of which are enterprise-critical applications underpinning bank operations. These platforms are compute and data-intensive, highly resilient, and serve millions of customers by processing billions of events. Rajaram’s expertise in best-in-class programming, concurrency techniques, and appropriate data structures and algorithms has unlocked multiple innovations, including NLP, ML, and artificial intelligence (AI) experimentations. 

Rajaram’s contributions to the industry have not gone unnoticed. He has four pending patents and has received several awards, including the Capital One “Tech Excellence” award for engineering excellence, cloud optimization, tech automation, and inner-sourcing. 

Verizon also recognized his outstanding contributions to SEI CMMI Level 5. In 2007, Rajaram was awarded the Verizon Achievement Award for Individual Excellence. 

What Lies Ahead

Reflecting on his career and the industry’s future, Rajaram highlights the importance of adaptability and continuous learning. “The landscape of technology looks different every day. Our success depends on our ability to learn, adapt, and innovate constantly,” he notes. 

Manikandan Rajaram’s contributions to the digital revolution in banking are profound. His expertise and leadership have positioned Capital One as a leader in innovation, ensuring that the bank meets and exceeds its customers’ expectations.

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