Alternative share trading service Unlisted is poised for a substantial change with the overdue roll-out of a new trading platform at the end of the second quarter of 2017.
The new platform, which was originally supposed to be in place in the third quarter of 2016, will allow Unlisted to decouple its web site from the trading engine, allowing the company to significantly update its front-end and brand for the first time since Unlisted's launch in 2003.
Director David Wallace said the old platform was built on old Oracle technology and databases that will soon no longer be supported.
"The first issue is obviously technology redundancy and non-support," he said. "But the old technology is also includes a model where the website is built into the platform which makes it very hard to change and upgrade and refresh.
"That's why it still looks like it was built in 2003."
Wallace said now that Unlisted has achieved regulatory certainty under new market rules, it can look to adopting a new platform and brand.
Unlisted received an exemption from licensing requirements under the Financial Markets Conduct Act in 2015, allowing it to continue to operate.
Unlisted will be using a US-based company's trading platform enhanced for the New Zealand market. He was not prepared to disclose the name of the company involved except to say it was a relatively new fintech player.
Wallace said the new technology would be delivered as platform-as-a-service, so the upfront cost was reasonable at "less than $100,000". Ongoing hosting, support and licensing was also reasonable in relation to Unlisted's business model, he said.
The existing platform is hosted by markets technology specialist Chelmer while the new one will either be hosted by Chelmer or possibly AWS, Wallace said.
The key pieces are a back-end trading engine, a trading portal and a front end website decouplable from each other.
Unlisted will then be able to make changes to its website without checking thousands of lines of code first, Wallace said.
The new technology will enable Unlisted to create different types of markets with different types of price matching. It will also offer a path into the era of Blockchain technology if needed.
Wallace said delays in the project were due to the need to make sure all the pieces were "right from the get-go".
"We made a decision it was better to go slower than faster to make sure what we are delivering into the market is correct."
The new brand will retain the Unlisted name, Wallace said, but it would be freshened up and used a bit differently.
Several technology companies allow their shares to be traded on Unlisted, including public transport technology company Connexionz and IT service shop Fronde.