TOWERGROUP: BUSINESS CLIENTS AND BANKS ARE DISSATISFIED WITH CURRENT TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION CAPABILITIES

Needham, MA - 10 October 2006

Wholesale banking clients are dissatisfied with the present integration capabilities of their banking partners, frustrated by a host of challenges related to concepts like straight-through-processing, secure file transfer, real-time messaging, XML standards and an overall lack of seamlessness in connectivity. New research from TowerGroup finds that banks are focusing on improving integration with their wholesale clients' financial and accounting systems, but are finding it difficult and expensive to support today's rapidly evolving technology and proliferating standards.

TowerGroup believes the complex connection between business clients and their banks merits a new term: B2Bank. The current challenge facing banks is to implement and support new technology solutions that will enable them to be more responsive and flexible to their business clients. Many corporations are now conducting their transaction business with fewer banks. To survive this consolidation, TowerGroup believes that banks must establish partnerships with technology providers who can assist in the area of integration rather than attempting to do it themselves.

The components of B2Bank integration are similar to those required for any multiple-enterprise integration solution. However, certain aspects play a more critical role due to increased concern over the security of financial data and the timeliness of processing this information. Key components of B2Bank integration include:
- Protocol Management
- Mapping and Translation
- Scheduling Logic/Event Triggers
- Security and Privacy

The new report titled, "B2Bank Integration: A New Acronym for the Changing Ecommerce Landscape," by Susan Feinberg, research director of the Wholesale Banking practice at TowerGroup, examines the evolution of bank-to-client systems integration, current challenges, key components of B2Bank integration, and provides an overview of the third parties that are emerging (or
reemerging) as providers of integration solutions.

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