BNY Mellon has rolled out its new global payments infrastructure today in London, UK, and also revealed that it is to join the CHAPS scheme in the UK as a direct settlement member. The bank has developed its new technology platform in cooperation with Clear2Pay and previously launched it on euro accounts processing in Frankfurt, Germany, at the turn of the year.
The London launch of BNY Mellon’s new global payments infrastructure was revealed by Alan Verschoyle-King, the bank’s global head of client management, treasury services, at a press conference in the UK capital today, who added that there was “much much more to come from this new platform”.
The real-time payments platform uses Clear2Pay support and adapted technology to provide a scalable and ‘future-proofed’ payments processing platform that is flexible and can handle volume growth, changing payment geographies with the rise of south-south trade, and new payment types such as mobile transactions.
In a later panel discussion at today’s press conference in London, Doug Gross, general manager of Clear2Pay Americas, explained that the new platform – effectively a service orientated architecture (SOA)-like launch – would be able to cope with new demands from mobile transactions, new currencies like the renminbi (RMB) and perhaps even virtual currencies like Bitcoin in the future, adding that “the bank had been diligent in picking a good architecture” as this long-term project comes to fruition.
For Verschoyle-King and his BNY Mellon colleagues Dominic Broom, EMEA relationship manager, and Peter Hazou, head of market management, treasury services EMEA, the benefit of the new global payments platform at BNY Mellon are that the bank can now accommodate:
• Growth capacity: With $300 billion earned from global payments in 2011 and a prediction of $350bn once last year’s figures are counted up, the amount and value of payments is rising fast, under the impact of increased trade post-globalisation and new transaction methods on mobile and digital channels. Coping with this rising volume demand, and ensuring resiliency, requires an updated technology infrastructure.
• Currency flexibility: The euro, pound, dollar and other major currencies are all being rolled out on the new BNY Mellon payments platform this year but they won’t be the last currencies, with Verschoyle-King claiming that “any time, any currency, any geography” functionality was the aim of the new launch; catering to corporate treasurers’ cross-border payment needs around the world as required.
• New payment types: Wire transfers and central bank ACH-type payments are no longer the only game in town with new mobile and settlement mechanisms launching all the time under the impact of new disruptive technologies and standardisation drives. The new platform can therefore handle ISO20022 messaging and conversion services to cope with, for instance, the new single euro payments area (SEPA) environment highlighted by fellow panellist, Wim Raymaekers, head of banking and treasury markets at SWIFT and new formats.
Crucially for the bank and its treasury clients, the new payment platform can also handle the regulatory drive for more transparency post-crash with real-time liquidity management a key driver for its introduction, ahead of the new Basel III capital adequacy regime which will demand intra-day risk reporting and better real-time liquidity management.
The new BNY Mellon payments platform will have to cope with a changing world, in terms of altered trade flows, currencies, reporting duties and end user corporate treasury demands, with electronic e-invoicing, cash flow reporting, and other such ‘value-adding’ functionalities another key driver for its introduction.
As fellow panellist Gareth Lodge, senior analyst for payments at the Celent consultancy, commented at the press conference and subsequent discussion panel today: “There are 400 trillion dollars’ worth of actual transactions at the moment and 5bn mobile phones globally; all adding to the level of transactions all the time. The customer doesn’t want to know about the complex back-end and different elements that, for instance, go into processing European debit cards – all they care about is the fee, clearing, and services information. This [latter] functionality is what will be the key differentiator for banks in the future.”
According to Clear2Pay’s Gross it is always the classic people – process – technology elements that go into making any good payments infrastructure and previously technology and supporting standardisation and interoperability problems were often the cause of failed payment or inflexible systems. “Technology is not the problem anymore, however,” he concluded.