Absa integrates Petra Financial’s payment management system

16 September 2008

Absa, South Africa’s largest retail bank plans to integrate Petra Financial’s Touchstone Payments Initiation solution within the bank’s in-house developed payments management system.

Touchstone is a software and a service solution that enables payments messages to be created simply by using Touchstone’s data mapping and cross referencing capabilities, which enriches and validates reference data in each payments message.

Touchstone has been developed for easy use and simple to integrate solution that delivers increased STP rates. Touchstone, when integrated into payments systems; enables the creation of messages with a minimum amount of information. Touchstone can then enrich and validate data, ensuring that the payments message is complete and accurate.

Absa would begin integrating Touchstone into their internally developed payments initiation and ‘front end’ solution in Johannesburg so that Standard Settlement Instructions (SSI) and routing information is automatically checked, validated or enriched.

This project is part of Absa’s innovative program to improve operational efficiency and reduce cost.

Sean Mouton, Portfolio manager Absa Group Operations IT says: “Touchstone will integrate with our payments system and deliver enriched data where we need it and ensure that the payments data is correct. Overall, the project will deliver operational efficiencies and cost containment for Absa through error reduction and increased STP rates.”

“In future, we are looking at utilizing Touchstone to validate and enrich IBAN numbers for payments into the Eurozone, and to potentially roll the service out to branches so that they can validate payments data at the point of origin”, Mouton added.

John Burton, Marketing Director of Petra Financial adds: “Absa has been very forward thinking in gaining competitive advantage through operational efficiency. We are delighted to have been selected by Absa and integrate Touchstone as a part of this core project which will deliver significant efficiencies for the bank’s core payments processing. We are confident that Touchstone will deliver a compelling return on investment, and we look forward to working with ABSA in future phases of the project on European IBAN number enrichment and branch roll out”.

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