PAYMENTCOMPONENTS LAUNCH FIRST EVER UNIFI COMPONENT

London - 12 February 2007

UNIFI is the acronym given to ISO 20022 and stands for UNIversal Financial Industry message scheme. UNIFI represents an ambitious project to provide the financial industry with a common platform for the development of messages in a standardized XML syntax.

What this means in real terms, is that by adopting UNIFI, financial systems in all countries and territories will be able to communicate seamlessly. The open nature of the standard will encourage a faster adoption of the standard than would normally be the case with a proprietary format.

Currently the UNIFI standard provides messages for Payments and Securities related activities with FX and Trade Services to follow.

Build it and they will come
Nearly all financial applications in use today will benefit from the addition of UNIFI compatibility and within a very short time the benefit will become a necessity.

By providing their applications with UNIFI messaging capabilities, developers will not only help future proof their investment but will provide their products with an additional key selling feature.

By embracing the UNIFI standard, the IT departments of financial institutions will ensure the commercial viability of their company by providing the most compatible infrastructure available in the financial industry.

Investment required
Of course, providing their applications with UNIFI capabilities requires investment from the developers and IT departments. Two forms of investment are available, but only one offers an extremely cost effective solution.

The first solution, is to train staff on all aspects of the UNIFI standard, develop a full understanding of the business aspects of UNIFI messaging, have architects define the systems and capabilities that the application or organisation requires.

Once this learning curve has been completed, development of the required applications can commence. The development phase needs to be followed by a very thorough and exacting testing phase and finally the products can be deployed.

It is not difficult to see that this first solution requires a large investment in manpower and resources, however, PaymentComponents have an alternative to this time consuming and expensive development process.

Components, complete the development puzzle
By utilising an off the shelf component it is possible to reduce the person months required for a UNIFI development project by as much as 80%, this huge saving is provided by the technical and business expertise inherent in the component. The provider of the component invests heavily in attaining this technical and business expertise leaving the developer free to concentrate on the specialist functionality of their applications.

An additional benefit of utilizing components is often overlooked; the provider of the component is better able to keep abreast of any changes to the relevant standards and issues regular updates of their components to maintain compliance. This enables the developer to ensure the compliance of their applications with a minimum of ongoing investment.

January 2007 saw the launch of the first commercially available UNIFI component, with PaymentComponents announcing the launch of their new UNIFI Message Processor component.

This component is available in 2 versions, the first being aimed at the Payments sector and provides a Java library for the creation, parsing and validation of the 26 Payments messages that ISO 20022 currently defines. The second caters for the Securities sector and provides a Java library for the creation, parsing and validation of the 45 Securities messages currently defined in the ISO 20022 standard.

These two components will greatly simplify the development of SEPA and MiFID related applications and should help accelerate the adoption of these new standards.

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