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
"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. As is the IFX Forum's custom, prospective members are invited to
attend this meeting free of charge, to become familiar with the group's
activities before formally joining. The October meeting will take place at
the four-diamond, four-star landmark Hyatt Regency in downtown Miami, on the
river. Advance meeting registration is required by October 20; go to
www.ifxforum.org for details, or contact LeAnn Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Forum's next meetings will be held January 10-14, 2005, in Phoenix,
Arizona; April 25-29, 2005 in Toronto, Ontario (Annual Meeting); and July
25-29, 2005 in Seattle, Washington. These meetings are an important
platform for the Forum's working groups' accomplishments, though activity
continues in between meetings by other means. As meeting dates approach,
details will be available at the IFX Forum web site.