IBM announced a new software solution and professional services to help banks progressively renovate existing payments systems and rapidly deploy new, reusable payments capabilities using service-oriented architecture (SOA) to deliver new payments products, drive organic growth and reduce payments infrastructure costs.

Banks are grappling with the task of renovating older payments systems in response to competitive, regulatory and cost pressures. Many payments systems are siloed, running on multiple platforms from different vendors, each with unique data types, interfaces and message routing capabilities. In addition, many payments functions are deployed redundantly across multiple systems, creating unnecessary costs for banks as they maintain duplicate capabilities. As a result, application development and data integration is more complex, time-consuming and expensive than ever before.

IBM's Enterprise Payments Platform, based on industry-leading WebSphere and DB2 software and services, addresses these pain points and simplifies payment systems by providing banks with a single platform to integrate new and existing payments systems regardless of where they reside. With SOA, the new platform allows other banking applications to leverage componentized payment services in support of multiple lines of business. For example, banks can now purchase or develop one service to handle identity verification requirements and reuse it elsewhere to respond faster to changing regulatory requirements.

The new platform supports payment industry standards, including SWIFT messaging protocols, to streamline application integration and speed up time to market for new payments products. The platform also helps banks conquer post-merger integration challenges by providing a single, reusable payment infrastructure across multiple areas such as wire and automated clearing house (ACH) functions. For IT managers, in-house testing shows the new platform can accelerate application development time, reduce test time and spur rapid integration of existing payment systems.

IBM's Enterprise Payments Platform is powered by WebSphere Process Server technology, allowing for phased and component-based application development while encouraging reuse and consistency for all lines of business. The platform supports the seamless integration of business partner applications that provide a wide variety of payments capabilities including liquidity management, exceptions and investigations, least-cost routing, gateway services and business activity monitoring.

The platform is the first in the industry to use the ISO20022 data dictionary as a standard data format to enable rapid service integration and provide banks with a solution to meet the SWIFT MT/MX coexistence challenge and the challenges of SEPA messaging. IBM and SWIFT will demonstrate these capabilities at SIBOS 2006 in Sydney , Australia .

"The financial industry is keen to invest in technology based on industry standards and we welcome the launch of an ISO 20022 based platform that is open to support all interfaces and gateways to SWIFT," said Johan Kestens, Head of Marketing, SWIFT. "IBM's Enterprise Payments Platform, with its ecosystem of application partners, provides a powerful combination of technology and integration for the SWIFT community."

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