ACTIS Payment System ZVplus: a "hub" for a large cooperation businesscooperation

Frankfurt, October 27 2003: The German AKBANK, a user of ACTIS PABA/Q since 1998, has prepared itself for a nation-wide project with a comprehensive system extension. As a cooperation partner of Citibank, the German branch of the well-known Turkish private bank will render cash transfers and payments to Turkey so rapid and comfortable as has never been thought feasible.

Thousands of Turkish fellow citizens submit funds transfers to their home country week after week after week. For customers of AKBANK, funds transfers have long been rapid and easy. For many other Turkish people, however, it was more involved, often entailing long waiting periods. Through the joint initiative of Citibank Privatkunden AG and AKBANK, as cooperation partners, this is to change.

Since August 2003, all customers of Citibank can complete transfers to Turkey within 24 hours. If necessary and involving a higher charge, payments can even be available at the Turkish bank within two hours, at the most. This has become possible thanks to the cooperation with AKBANK which, with ACTIS ZVplus, operates both a future-oriented payment system and a quick proprietary network for communication with its Turkish parent company: the AKNET.

15 minutes from one teller to the other
Flash-transfers have already been executed through this AKNET, that has existed for almost 25 years and has constantly undergone further extension. Whoever submits a payment at an AKBANK teller in Germany can transfer a password to the recipient in Turkey, so that he can pick up the money at an AKBANK teller there about a quarter of an hour later. Fund transfers virtually in real time!
For Citibank customers it does not work quite so fast, but two hours for a rapid transfer and 24 hours for a normal transfer is a quick, progressive service – easy to utilise from more than 280 branches of Citibank in Germany. In a countermove, AKBANK customers can now also use the automatic teller machines of Citibank in Germany, free of charge.

When seeking a qualified cooperation partner, Citibank quite rapidly set up an agreement with AKBANK in Frankfurt. Not only AKNET proved a good prerequisite but also the interface to the complete banking system ACTIS PABA/Q used since 1998.

Comprehensive adjustment
According to Karl-Friedrich Rieger, one of the two Managing Directors and beside others responsible for the IT area, after only a few months the German AKBANK branch can expect the cooperation to generate as many as 60 000 new payment transactions per year. On the basis of this outlook, AKBANK in Frankfurt decided on an extensive adjustment of its system as early as the outset of 2003. The ACTIS PABA/Comm gateway replaces an external product, previously used for payments. At the same time AKBANK is now successfully using the ACTIS PABA/Q solution ZVplus for all its payments. Furthermore, the necessary interfaces to Citibank payment system and AKNET have been created.
Through the use of the central messaging system "Message Master" supplied with the most recent release 2.8 of ACTIS PABA/Q, AKBANK achieves a high level of transparency with regard to all incoming and outgoing payment transactions with ACTIS Payment System ZVplus. This makes the whole payment system easy to administer. During the project phase of several months, the DP Manager Robert Otto and his partners at ACTIS had to solve a few start-up issues – fairly standard for system extensions of this magnitude. However, the benefits of the new ACTIS Payment System ZVplus and system enhancements clearly show, particularly for mass payments, just starting up.

Sights set on further modules
In the context of the Citibank project, approximately 90 percent of the 2.8 level of ACTIS PABA/Q went live, according to the DP Manager Otto. The greater number of options in straight-through processing are advantageous, particularly in Citibank’s payment transactions. AKBANK would like to reap similar economy benefits with regard to another variant of money transfer to Turkey. Turkish fellow citizens can also execute money orders and transfers to Turkey through the Postbank – via AKBANK. In principle, this procedure has proven its worth, however, as the required forms must be filled in by hand, double handling will be required for a while. If incorrect information is supplied and advised via AKNET, the "Message Master" can help with clear status messages.

AKBANK has its sights set on further extensions of its complete banking system ACTIS PABA/Q in the future. Thus, the issue of money laundering is a topic of particular importance to Karl-Friedrich Rieger and his colleagues. The corresponding ACTIS PABA/Q option will therefore be discussed in the near future.

Praise for documentation on CD
Regarding the innovations already implemented and the ones planned, DP Manager Robert Otto had words of praise for the new documentation on CD, supplied with Release 2.8. With regard to the support supplied by ACTIS, which was ‘great’ especially in respect of the Citibank project, Mr Otto is pleased, and not only since the most recent system adjustment. DP Manager Robert Otto has been familiar with the complete banking solution ACTIS PABA/Q for the past eleven years. He used to operate with the system at the – now defunct – Banco Real and, since the end of 1998, at AKBANK in Frankfurt. Under the management of Robert Otto, the AKBANK branch in Malta was also connected to the ACTIS PABA/Q system in Frankfurt in 2001. Mr Otto’s verdict after such a long time with the ACTIS solution: "It is good that ACTIS PABA/Q covers all business areas and that it is a complete solution!" Also the hardware platform iSeries (AS/400) used by AKBANK is, in his eyes, a very positive point, considering the specific security aspects.

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