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"Payments business now a boardroom issue for banks"

A key theme of the "Journal of Financial Transformation", published by The Capco Institute

LONDON, December 15, 2004 – The payments business in the financial services sector is undergoing substantial change and is becoming a boardroom issue for banks. Underlying this change in Europe is the introduction of the Euro as the single currency in 2002. This has forced payment providers to reduce the cost borne by users making cross-border Euro payments to the zero cost of making a domestic Euro payment. In the US, the custom of paper check payment is moving steadily to electronic transaction processing. In Asia, credit and debit card providers are increasingly the alternative to cash payments.

Capco, the global financial services and technology solutions provider, is pleased to announce the publication of the 12th issue of the "Journal of Financial Transformation", focused on payments, published by The Capco Institute, available online.

The Nobel Laureate section of the Journal features Professor John Nash, Jr., Senior Research Mathematician, Department of Mathematics, Princeton University, and joint-winner of the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1994.

Julian Wakeham, Partner, Capco, said, "The payments business is central to banks in terms of revenue and customer service experience and must become a board-level issue. Banks that do not have a clear strategy in terms of their payments proposition and a supporting infrastructure will face an increasingly heavy financial burden of declining revenues and ultimately franchise disruption."

Contributions to the Journal cover three main areas of discussion: 'emerging models', 'transition' and 'future'. Among the individual topics developed are:

· Bringing broadband banking to Iraq: Kathleen Tyson-Quah, Chief Executive, Granularity Ltd

· Creating a profitable infrastructure - the payments challenge for banks: Ann Cairns, Global Head, Working Capital, ABN AMRO

· Banks’ strategies for payment services: Which role for debit cards?: Francesco Saita, Associate Professor, Financial Markets and Institutions Department, Università Bocconi

· New models of collaboration in transaction banking: Wolfgang Gaertner, Chief Information Officer, Global Banking Division - Global Transaction Banking, Deutsche Bank, and, Director, SWIFT

"The traditional balance between regulation, cooperation and competition in the payments industry is shifting. Combined with advances in technology, this shift is creating a need for new operating models," added Wakeham.