24 February 2018
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Australian Settlements taps IBM Cloud for new payments platform

18 May 2017  |  3831 views  |  0 Source: IBM

IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that financial services provider, Australian Settlements Limited, has adopted IBM Cloud for its New Payments Platform (NPP) implementation that will provide members real-time payments that can be cleared and settled within seconds.

Australian Settlements Limited (ASL) provides members, including building societies, credit unions and mutual banks, efficient settlement and transaction processing services. To drive its digital transformation further, ASL wanted to develop a secure and reliable NPP implementation that met strict governance requirements. The NPP is an industry-wide initiative to develop new national infrastructure for payments in Australia.

ASL selected a hybrid cloud solution from IBM that leveraged IBM PureApplication Systems as well as IBM expertise to help build the NPP solution. The IBM hybrid cloud team designed the IBM NPP Accelerator to deliver the pre-requisite IBM Middleware, third party packaged payments application and Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT)1 supplied software componentry for secure financial messaging.

The solution also comprises IBM MQ messaging software, IBM Websphere Application Server to underpin the payments applications and IBM Hardware Platform in the form of the PureApplication Systems delivering compute, network, storage and the pattern engine which enables the full NPP production software stack to be deployed in under 60 minutes.

“ASL wanted to help members respond effectively to a period of industry growth, rapid innovation and change,” said David Jay, Chief Executive Officer, ASL. “ASL’s NPP will not only allow members to adhere to pressures of today's finance landscape and government imposed regulations, but it will also allow unparalleled control.”

Through the new system, ASL members will be able to connect to the Basic Infrastructure via ASL’s Back Office application, as well as gain access to forums that provide guidance on when activities should progress. IBM’s NPP Accelerator will also provide connectivity to the SWIFT private network and SWIFT Payment Access Gateway host. IBM PureApplication allows pattern engine for rapid provisioning, data replication and management and monitoring.

The SWIFT NPP Basic Infrastructure will deliver a greater connectivity between NPP participants and control over processing the flows of payments and settlements. IBM’s cloud solutions expertise and IBM PureApplication Systems have enabled ASL to build their NPP solution in an agile manner. IBM’s expertise provided the skilled resources required to deploy the IBM NPP Accelerator within the PureApplication system, allowing ASL to capitalise on a predictable and repeatable way to avoid human error in application deployments, monitoring and life cycle management.

“ASL not only required speed to market but to adhere to pressures of the financial landscape and government imposed regulations,” said Tony Armfield, General Manager IBM Cloud. “IBM was delighted to provide our expertise and innovation, with the ultimate beneficiaries being the Australian public and Australian businesses.”

Background New Payments Platform

Due to go live in the second half of 2017, the NPP is an industry-wide initiative to develop new national infrastructure for payments in Australia, and is the Australian payment industry’s response to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s strategic review on innovation. While established institutions are facing the challenge of rapid change from the world of FinTech and industry disrupters, the NPP will enable the industry to offer a versatile and responsive payment options to customers.

As competitive and regulatory pressure intensifies globally, financial institutions must transform their payment systems to drive costs and consolidate any duplicate systems. IBM is helping banks worldwide modernise their payment systems to improve efficiency and transparency as they face challenges such as duplicate systems, manual payment processes, and increased regulation. The increased business agility IBM provides allows banks to reduce operational costs, automate manual processes to reduce time required to complete payments, and improve overall infrastructure among numerous networks to meet regulatory requirements.

The move to faster payments is a result of the transformation within the banking industry and the evolution into cognitive banking. Banks must utilise data and customer insights to adapt to new client needs. IBM Commercial Payments offerings also provide payments analytics, support for client segmentation, and real-time fraud detection for clients moving to instant payments pilots and emerging global schemes.

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