IFX Forum establishes branch banking services working group

Source: ACI Worldwide

The IFX Forum has announced the official formation of a Branch Banking Services Working Group, following approval by the IFX Forum Steering Committee. The IFX Forum is a non-profit standards-developing organization working to develop a robust framework for the electronic business-to-business exchange of data among financial service institutions around the world.

The new working group, which is led by Karin Brown, Sr. Product Manager, ACI Worldwide, Inc. and Rossana Funte, Advisory Developer, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), is chartered to extend the existing IFX Business Message System (BMS) to perform transactions through the bank branch delivery channel. The group intends to incorporate enough functionality to support commonly used teller and call center transactions in the next available release (likely Version 2.0) of the IFX BMS.

In addition to the IFX BMS modifications, the group plans to develop an IFX Branch Banking Implementation Guide to describe usage and message flows. More complex functionality, including branch platform transactions, will be added to the IFX BMS in later releases.

"By adding branch functionality to the IFX BMS, the IFX Forum is addressing yet another financial institution service delivery channel, which broadens the opportunities for organizations to standardize their electronic transaction processing," said Richard P. Urban, President of the IFX Forum. "The enhanced IFX message specification can be leveraged by the entire branch delivery channel. We feel confident that we'll see many new implementations of IFX resulting from this reach into branch banking services."

"A customer service rep in a bank branch or a call center must be able to perform a superset of retail and commercial banking transactions - many but not all of these already exist within the IFX BMS," said Brown. "The Branch Banking Services Working Group will recommend changes to existing functionality and propose new functionality that will continue to round out the IFX BMS as a robust messaging standard."

The planned Branch Banking Services efforts are analogous to the activities of the ATM/POS Working Group, which developed functionality to support standardized electronic transaction messaging for ATMs and POS terminals in the IFX specification. The ATM/POS Working Group issued a detailed Implementation Guide in spring of 2004, which is available for download from the IFX Forum Web site at no charge.

The new Branch Banking Services Working Group will have its first face-to-face meeting Monday, October 25 at the upcoming IFX Membership meeting in Miami, October 25-28. All other active Working Groups will also meet.

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