European Payments Solution Provider ABK Taps IBM for Powerful Global Payments Platform
IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new support to manage high volume global payments in all types of currency. Already supporting the transmission of 30 percent of financial messages across the SWIFTnetwork, IBM Financial Transaction Manager(FTM), now also enables banks to converge their SWIFT payment operations onto one payment hub to improve operational efficiency and speed transactions while delivering a seamless banking experience for clients.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardized and reliable environment. For banks around the world, financial transaction processing is complex, spread across multiple platforms and often dealing with many different currencies and transaction types. Banks need a foundation to manage all their payment operations on a single advanced platform to reduce costs, increase transparency and simplify payments procedures. With today’s announcement, FTM expands delivery of multi-payment, multi-currency platform which can deliver the speed, security and simplicity banks are looking for to build new services and deliver both batch and real time solutions to their clients.
Payments are a $1.3 trillion business for banks, representing about 34 percent of total bank revenues in 2013, projected to grow to more than 36 percent of total revenues by 2017.  Payment hubs represent the evolution of the global payments industry and hold the promise of providing an open and integrated platform for transactions.
“Banks face considerable challenges in coordinating the many accounts and multiple bank communication channels that are needed to ensure a seamless flow of money across their global networks. These include excessive costs, process inefficiencies to cash management and related financial operations,” said Keith Melton, director, IBM Commerce Payments. “The first digital, international hub will make it easier for customers to convert payments and help our banking clients take on the competition from foreign currency exchanges.”
Already used by major banks worldwide for processing more than 110 million financial messages per day, clients are already taking advantage of the new capabilities. For example, ABK Systeme GmbH, a provider of global electronic payments with more than 100 banking customers across Europe, is integrating FTM into the E.F.I.S. electronic back office system to provide a payment-processing platform for more than 80 different formats and standards on the global payment market. ABK is using FTM on IBM z to support the significant growth they have seen in payment transactions. This combination of hardware and software helps to deliver security and integrity in every payment transaction without sacrificing service quality.
“By offering our international customers integrated interfaces for all communications protocols using IBM’s proven FTM software, we can rapidly deliver new services to clients and help ensure compliance” said Ulrich Buch, CTO, ABK-Systeme. "By linking to SWIFT, we can deploy the latest architecture and the entire spectrum of communications protocol required by our clients.”