Outdated COBOL supports crucial apps, a fintech disaster waiting to happen.

January 29, 2024
1 min read

– Around 70% of large corporations still rely on the programming language COBOL for mission-critical work
– COBOL is an outdated language that poses a threat to the financial system’s future

According to Anne Willem de Vries, CEO of Silverflow, reliance on the outdated programming language COBOL could have negative consequences for the financial system. Despite being over 60 years old, around 70% of large corporations, including those in government, banking, finance, insurance, and automotive industries, still depend on COBOL for mission-critical work. COBOL powers everything from ATM transactions to stock trades, but integrating it with new technologies like Open Banking, blockchain, or AI is nearly impossible. Furthermore, COBOL’s age makes it a security risk, with vulnerabilities discovered decades ago still ripe for exploitation. The lack of programmers skilled in COBOL raises concerns about the maintenance and future of these systems. De Vries argues that there needs to be a coordinated, industry-wide effort to migrate critical financial systems away from outdated technologies and develop viable, future-ready alternatives.

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