Payments services hubs have long been talked about in the industry. The good news is that we’re now finally starting to see some successful roll-outs of these –
SBSA’s being the most recent. But the implementation of a payments services hub is just the start of the journey. How banks use their hub to enhance their existing infrastructure is what can truly make all the difference.
Multiple operations projects and initiatives are a fact of banking today. And, understandably, nearly all institutions comprise a complex mix of legacy applications, silos, processes and procedures. The introduction of a payments services hub must therefore
be in conjunction with a fully coordinated payments strategy – one that recognises what’s beyond the project in hand. Without this, the hub can’t be fully exploited, further fuelling the disjointed nature of the banking environment.
What distinguishes a hub from just another payments component is genuine flexibility. It’s being able to fit into a complex environment and talk to other systems – even legacy ones. It’s using data from these applications to enrich the payments process.
And it’s making what banks already have in place work more effectively – improving payments services.
This level of flexibility means the hub can work in conjunction with processing, accounting and reporting systems, while also linking to other services, such as FX. A rigid payments approach simply cannot achieve this.
While hubs can certainly optimise existing infrastructure, banks must also realise that they cannot resolve all problems. For example, front-end manual processing will still lead to headaches due to their error-prone, time-consuming nature. Banks therefore
need to look at the big picture for payments and use the implementation of a hub to modernise operations. Not everything has to be done at once, but a coordinated strategy will certainly help realise an even faster return on investment in a payments services