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IFX Forum releases ATM/POS implementation guide

20 April 2004  |  607 views  |  0

The Interactive Financial eXchange (IFX) Forum has published a comprehensive ATM/POS Implementation Guide, designed to help business and technical personnel understand how to use IFX to implement all or part of an ATM/POS solution.

The Guide, which has more than 400 pages, will be highlighted at the Forum's Annual Meeting, which is taking place next week in London; all current and prospective Forum members are invited to attend. Starting Thursday, April 22, the Guide will be available at no charge via download from the IFX Forum's Web site, www.ifxforum.org.

The IFX Forum is a not-for-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 current version of its IFX specification, Version 1.5, can be downloaded free of charge from the Forum's Web site.

The ATM/POS (Automated Teller Machine/Point of Service) Implementation Guide is the culmination of nearly two years of dedicated work by the Forum's ATM/POS Working Group, which is chaired by Kendall Draeger of NCR Corporation. The Guide, which includes relevant use case scenarios, is intended to help business and technical personnel understand how to use IFX to implement all or part of an ATM/POS solution. It further explains how to utilize the IFX business messages to communicate information between the parties participating in EFT services.

"The ATM/POS Working Group has supplied modifications already incorporated into the IFX specification that focus on the development of business messages to enable an open, interoperable framework for EFT and related processing," said Richard P. Urban, IFX Forum President. "This working group has thoroughly explored the issues involved in enabling interoperability among transaction generating devices and transaction acquiring systems, and the new Guide is the result."

Many of today's ATM and POS environments use proprietary message formats, which can hinder interoperation with other institutions' systems, or at best require additional work to make "conversations" between systems effective (until the next software upgrade occurs). By comparison, standardizing on IFX as a business message specification eliminates the problems with proprietary message formats from ATMs or POS devices.

Additional benefits of using IFX include a more competitive vendor marketplace, because vendors can concentrate on their true competitive differentiators; easier integration with other channels and systems; and more detailed network management information. The new Guide will help any implementing companies realize these benefits.

"A particularly helpful feature of our Guide is its clarity for showing how to use IFX messages for necessary ATM/POS transactions," said Draeger. "The members of the Working Group spent hundreds of hours writing this comprehensive Guide. I encourage everyone in the global ATM/POS sector to download and use the Guide."

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