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SMU Teaching Bank

SMU Teaching Bank

A Model System for Banking Operations & Technology Education and Service Innovations

Banks today rely on modern core banking systems that are more flexible and less costly to maintain than obsolete legacy banking systems. They have been spending to replace their legacy systems, integrate their applications across different areas of their business and increase the systems agility of their system infrastructure.

Starting from a clean sheet, Singapore Management University (SMU) has put together a model system for banking operations & technology education and service innovations.

This “teaching bank” is, based on today's architecture best practices; aligned to SMU's Unified Banking Process Framework (UBPF); leveraged on industry's leading banking software and enterprise platforms

SMU Teaching Bank is created for academic purposes only to support banking operations and technology related coursework, labs and student projects. It has been assembled using a mixture of vendor products in order to demonstrate real world change scenarios such as:

  • A core banking system replacement
  • A bank merger, whereby multiple vendor products need to coexist

It is a real-life platform for

  • Reinforcing key lessons through practice
  • Learning through discovery
  • Generating an on-going supply of “hands-on” assignments and projects for undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • Collaboration with banks and product vendors for experimentation and innovations

SMU Teaching Bank on the Cloud

SMU tBank is now deployed onto the cloud, and is opened for use by other universities.
tBank Cloud Structure Diagram

SMU Teaching Bank Reference Architecture

Banking apps to be developed through student projects
Internet Banking
Mobile Banking
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Existing platforms available at SMU can be integrated into a teaching bank
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Core Banking System A

Oracle Flexcube

Core Banking System B

Nucleus Software

Algorithmic Trading System

Progress Apama

Content Management System

Microsoft Sharepoint


Module Deployed


Retail Internet Banking
Corporate Internet Banking
Retail Mobile Banking
Branch Teller
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SMU tBank in Education

Banking & Financial Services

Students use SMU tBank to learn banking processes such as; account opening, credit evaluation, loan repayments, fund transfers, foreign exchange, standing instructions, GIRO, mobile payments, Two-Factor-Authentication, ATM network management, real-time customer specific promotion offers. Lab questions assess the students understanding of both bank processes as well as financial accounting.

Enterprise Integration

Students use SMU tBank to learn integration technologies such as; Message-Oriented-Middleware, and Service-Oriented-Architecture. Labs exercises include; building integration components that allow different applications in the bank to communicate, and drill-down visualizations of what is actually happen in the integration layer when a fund transfer is executed, for example.

Architectural Analysis

Students use a “lite” version of SMU tBank which is deployed on their laptops, to demonstrate their understanding of 3 main architecture principles; “resiliency” (ability to failover to a standby system), “concurrency” (handling large number of users), and “performance” (response time of the application).

SMU tBank in Research

Enterprise Architecture in Banking

Covers EA best practices in a banking context; alignment to business strategy, EA frameworks and tools, banking industry information models, enterprise platforms (SOA, BPM, BRMS, MDM, EDW), EA principles and design patterns, EA blueprints and roadmaps. Case studies on EA practices in banking. Case study on SMU tBank.

In-Memory Data Grid Use Cases in Banking

Covers performance improvements of data caching, eg; characterization of response times with and without a data cache in front of the core banking system, and the resulting impact on customer satisfaction. Also covers the economics of caching data in front of the core banking system, eg; the cost saving in MIPS incurred on mainframe systems. Covers how massive-scale in-memory data grid technology is used to enable real-time cross-sell to banking customers, eg; next best offers pending in memory, triggered on the next customer interaction. Covers real-time fraud detection.

Core Banking System Replacement

Covers the scenario where a core banking system is replaced, eg; Oracle Flexcube is replaced with Infosys Finacle. The transition from one system to the other can be done with minimum impact to banking channel applications, by using a flexible service oriented architecture. Using SMU tBank as a test bed, specific scenarios can be trialled in conjunction with actual banks in Singapore that want to participate in the study.

Bank Mergers:Technology Migration or Coexistence

Covers the scenario whereby one bank acquires another, and the combined bank needs to make decisions about which technology to keep or discard, and which technologies can coexist. The coexistence of different technologies across the two banks can be achieved with minimal impact to banking channels, by using a flexible enterprise platforms such as; SOA, BPM, BRMS, and MDM. Using SMU tBank as a test bed, specific scenarios can be trialled in conjunction with actual banks in Singapore that want to participate in the study.

SMU Teaching Bank Engagement Model

United Banking Process Framework (UBPF)

UBPF guides all FS programs

Banking Use Cases

UBPF banking use cases inform the post-graduate coursework

Master of IT in Business

Financial Technology & Analytics Track

Banking Solution Architecture

Post-graduate capstone projects specify
the solution architecture for banking channels

Undergrad projects deliver banking channel prototypes, based on the solution architecture specified by post-grade capstone projects

IS480 : IS Application Projects
Banking Channel Prototypes

Banking channel prototypes developed by undergrad projects are integrated into the SMU Teaching Bank architecture, and are in turn used to support hands-on labs for both undergrad and post-grade courses

Hands-On Labs
SMU tBank

Financial Services T.O.P.S Initiative at SMU SIS


Financial Services T.O.P.S Initiative at SMU SIS


Trade Finance Solution Architecture

Channels Integration Architecture

General Ledger Solution Architecture

Payment Services Hub

Real-time Gross Settlement Simulator

Service Management System

Last updated on 11 Jan 2022 .