IBM (NYSE: IBM) has announced the launch of a flexible set of solutions to help banks transform their payments systems.
The solutions will help banks meet the regulatory requirement under UKFPS (UK Faster Payments) to speed the time it takes for inter-bank payments in the UK to clear from the current norm of three to five days to the new target of no more than two hours. The range of solutions allows banks to select the best approach to mitigate risk as they seek to meet the regulatory requirements by the tight dead-line of November 2007.
"Banks, all of which are facing a host of regulatory challenges, need to use these as a catalyst for change and an opportunity to innovate and transform the way that their payments systems work" said Roger Gate, Managing Consultant, Security and Privacy, IBM Global Business Services. "Simply adding additional layers of complexity that drive cost but not service innovation won't make it any easier to overcome the cost and human resource constraints or meet the tight dead-line, and it will constrain a bank's ability to adapt to the next wave of regulation. An innovative approach is required that will use technology to enhance ability of banks to make subsequent service and product enhancement, thus creating the agility to adapt not only to UKFPS, but also to future challenges."
IBM's three-tier solution includes:
For the major banks with the most comprehensive set of needs, in which UKFPS is typically seen as one payments issue amongst many:
IBM has developed a component based approach delivered through its WebSphere middleware products that in conjunction with highly resilient hardware options and additional components from one of many potential vendors can provide a fully integrated enterprise level solution.
For those banks that need a cost effective solution that shields their core systems and other development priorities from as much change as possible:
IBM has worked closely with two of its payment application partners, eFunds Corporation and Dovetail Systems to develop a pre-configured stand alone system that can be integrated through a messaging infrastructure to the bank's core systems.
For banks that require a hosted service that again can be integrated to their core system through a messaging infrastructure IBM has taken the pre-configured solution described above and is implementing it in its highly secure Managed Data Centre. This approach delivers the cost benefits of shared infrastructure, operational management and application support.