BIAN SL2.0 update brings core banking interoperability closer

19 February 2013

The Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN), which attempts to define common technology standards and services to advance retail banking interoperability, has launched of its new Service Landscape version 2.0 (SL 2.0).

The BIAN Service Landscape v2.0 represents a step forward for common standards within retail banking, claims the 36-member group which includes Microsoft, IBM, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and UBS among many others. The SL2.0 provides 63 service domains (25% more than was originally expected with this update) and 39 business scenarios, says BIAN, providing a blueprint of these building blocks for core banking systems, which handle customer accounts processing and reporting. The updated standard can be used by banks, technology vendors and systems integrators. SunGard, for instance, is already using the BIAN Service Landscape and Service Domain definitions to build and implement its latest iteration of the Ambit core banking solution and says it will produce a case study of its work to assist others.

The full BIAN Service Landscape is not due to be delivered until Q1 2014, when all 260 service domains will be detailed, but this SL2.0 benchmark is a useful update along the way. In Q1 2014 the completed project should mean banks and vendors can run complete core banking implementations based upon the standards. The benefits of a shared, interoperable retail banking service landscape, will be:

• Improved business agility.
• Significant cost savings on IT integration, which can be as much as triple the purchase costs of the original core banking software.

By incorporating the Service Domains into their own core banking implementations, BIAN members such as ING, Rabobank, SAP and SWIFT, will be able to adopt Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) standards, which should assist interoperability and improve business agility, while cutting IT integration costs.

The release of SL 2.0 also sees the compilation of the BIAN Service Landscape definitions into a digital repository called MagicDraw. This central database, built on the BIAN Metamodel, allows members to download material and incorporate these into their own modelling tools. This development not only improves the accessibility and usability of the Service Domains for the wider BIAN community, but also ensures absolute consistency, maintaining the integrity of the models and supporting the BIAN aim of inter-bank collaboration and cross-industry definitions.

According to Steve van Wyk, chairman of the BIAN board: “The completion of Service Landscape 2.0 is an important step towards our vision for delivering full core banking functionality Service Domains. These industry-wide agreed definitions represent an integral stage in the BIAN mission to deliver improved banking IT efficiency and cost savings. Standard definitions promote interoperability and, as such, the cost-efficient re-use of existing IT elements.”

Hans Tesselaar, executive director at BIAN, believes that SL2.0 is a significant milestone in BIAN’s progress, pointing out that it represents a huge amount of work and engagement from the BIAN working groups. “Thanks must go to the 65-70 practitioners from across our community, who collaborated on this and have hugely over-delivered on Service Domain and Services definitions,” he said. “With banks and vendors already using parts of the Service Landscape, the community is working at a rapid pace to finalise the deliverables [by Q1 2014] and roll it out within their organisations.”

The usefulness of the collaborative approach was highlighted by John Molijn, chairman of the BIAN channels working group and an enterprise architect with ING Bank, who said: “Working with people from around the world has provided great insight into the exciting and complex aspects of channels – in building out the BIAN SL2.0, we not only identified new business domains but also improved existing domains. When complete, the Service Landscape will open up the opportunity to work on further fascinating channel areas, like mobile banking and payments and social media integration.”

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