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Erste Bank Hungary Readies for Immediate Payments and Open Banking Era with ACI Worldwide

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Erste Bank Hungary Readies for Immediate Payments and Open Banking Era with ACI Worldwide
  •  Erste Bank will leverage ACI’s UP portfolio of solutions to meet compliance requirements for national instant payments scheme and PSD2
  •  Bank will utilise ACI’s award-winning enterprise fraud management solution, Proactive Risk Manager, to satisfy PSD2 requirements and reduce fraud losses

ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW), a leading global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, today announced that Erste Bank Hungary (EBH), is leveraging  ACI’s UP portfolio of solutions to drive its open banking strategy, support new revenue streams and at the same time fully meet PSD2 and instant payments compliance requirements.

By utilising ACI’s UP Retail Payments solution, EBH will be able to ensure real-time balance data will be available 24/7 to all customers across all banking channels. The ability to provide such balances is a crucial compliance requirement of Hungary’s domestic instant payment scheme, which will launch in 2019.

In order to comply with PSD2 and strengthen fraud protection around instant payments, EBH will also utilise the latest version of Proactive Risk Manager (PRM) and implement real-time prevention and detection capabilities. PRM will be fully maximised, especially for transaction risk analysis and reporting requirements in regard to the new Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) for ‘Strong Customer Authentication’ (SCA).

PSD2 requires payment service providers (PSPs) to improve the authentication of payment transactions to tackle fraud, introducing ‘Strong Customer Authentication’ as the means to do this. Under the new rules, exemptions from SCA are only allowed for those who can keep their fraud levels under specified reference fraud rates, which allows payments under certain thresholds to be secured using transaction risk analysis.

Ultimately, PRM will enhance EBH’s enterprise fraud detection capabilities and empower the bank to provide a better customer experience to both consumer and corporate customers.

“EBH is one of the first banks in the region to fully future-proof its payments infrastructure while laying the foundations for growth. ACI’s solutions support our customers in protecting their existing businesses and increasing their revenues, placing them in pole position in the new open banking and real-time payments ecosystem,” said Mandy Killam, group president, ACI Worldwide. “Our solutions ensure that financial institutions can take advantage of the new opportunities PSD2 and real-time payments present, by delivering openness while also ensuring the highest levels of privacy, data protection and fraud protection for their clients.”

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with ACI Worldwide. Our bank faced the dual challenge of meeting a very tight in-country deadline for Instant Payment go-live dates, while driving its digital transformation strategy at the same time,” said Tamás Foltányi, COO, Erste Bank Hungary. “ACI’s solutions will ensure our bank fully complies with new European regulations and will also enable us to drive additional revenue by rapidly delivering innovative products that meet our customers’ demands.”

EBH, a long-standing ACI customer, is a member of Erste Group, one of the largest financial services providers in Central and Eastern Europe, with 15.8 million clients across a network of more than 2,700 branches in 7 countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia).

Universal Payments (UP) is at the core of ACI’s strategy to provide the broadest, most integrated suite of electronic payments solutions in the market. UP is ACI’s vision of enabling real-time, any-to-any electronic payments for financial institutions, intermediaries, merchants and billers. Its unique underlying technology framework consists of flexible, open payment services that enable organisations to innovate quickly, reduce risk and gain choice, flexibility and control over their payment strategies.

Banking

Commerzbank to lose 1.7 million clients by 2024 – Welt am Sonntag

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Commerzbank to lose 1.7 million clients by 2024 - Welt am Sonntag 1

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Commerzbank expects to lose 1.7 million customers by 2024 as part of its current restructuring, resulting in a 300 million euro ($364 million) hit to revenue, weekly Welt am Sonntag reported, citing sources close to the bank.

The lender hopes to offset the drop by growing its loan business as well as by expanding its business with corporate and very wealthy clients, the report said, without giving any further detail of why customer numbers were expected to decline.

It also didn’t say if any specific category of client was most likely to be lost.

Commerzbank declined to comment.

According to the bank’s website it serves around 11.6 million private and small-business customers in Germany and more than 70,000 corporate and other institutional clients worldwide, so the reported loss of customers would suggest a drop of around 15%.

The bank earlier this month reported a $3.3 billion fourth-quarter loss, sinking further into the red as it continued a major restructuring and dealt with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bank’s restructuring plan involves cutting 10,000 jobs and closing hundreds of branches in the hope it can remain independent.

($1 = 0.8253 euros)

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Tom Sims; Editing by David Holmes)

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Citigroup considering divestiture of some foreign consumer units – Bloomberg Law

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Citigroup considering divestiture of some foreign consumer units - Bloomberg Law 2

(Reuters) – Citigroup Inc is considering divesting some international consumer units, Bloomberg Law reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The discussions are around divesting units across retail banking in the Asia-Pacific region, the report https://bit.ly/3pD57WP said.

“As our incoming CEO Jane Fraser said in January, we are undertaking a dispassionate and thorough review of our strategy,” a Citigroup spokesperson told Reuters.

“Many different options are being considered and we will take the right amount of time before making any decisions.”

The move, part of Fraser’s attempt to simplify the bank, can see units in South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia being divested, the Bloomberg report said.

However, no decision has been made, according to the report.

Revenue from Citi’s consumer banking business in Asia declined 15% to $1.55 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The divestitures could be spaced out over time or the bank could end up keeping all of its existing units, the Bloomberg report said.

The firm is also reviewing consumer operations in Mexico, though a sale there is less likely, the report said, citing one of the people.

Last month, New York-based Citigroup beat profit estimates but issued a gloomy forecast for expenses. Finance head Mark Mason said the lender’s expenses could rise in 2021 in the range of 2% to 3%, weighing on its operating margins. (https://reut.rs/2ZwXRB1)

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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European shares end higher on strong earnings, positive data

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European shares end higher on strong earnings, positive data 3

By Sagarika Jaisinghani and Ambar Warrick

(Reuters) – Euro zone shares rose on Friday, marking a third week of gains, as data showed factory activity in February jumped to a three-year high, while upbeat quarterly earnings boosted confidence in a broader economic recovery.

The euro zone index was up 0.9%, with strong earnings from companies such as Acciona and Hermes brewing some optimism over an eventual economic recovery.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.5%, as regional factory activity was seen reaching a three-year high on strong demand for manufactured goods at home and overseas.

Another reading showed the euro zone’s current account surplus widened in December on a rise in trade surplus and a narrower deficit in secondary income.

Still, the STOXX 600 marked small gains for the week, having dropped for the past three sessions as investor concern grew over rising inflation and a rocky COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

But basic resources stocks outpaced their peers this week with a 7% jump, as improving industrial activity across the globe drove up commodity prices.

“This week’s slightly adverse price action has all the hallmarks of a loss of momentum temporarily and not a structural turn,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

“There is not a major central bank in the world thinking about taking their foot off the monetary spigot, except perhaps China. (Markets) will remain awash in zero percent central bank money through all of 2021 (and) a lot of that will head to the equity market.”

Minutes of the European Central Bank’s January meeting, released on Thursday, showed policymakers expressed fresh concerns over the euro’s strength but appeared relaxed over the recent rise in government bond yields.

The bank’s relaxed stance was justified by the euro zone economy requiring continued monetary and fiscal support, as evidenced by a contraction in the bloc’s dominant services industry in February.

The STOXX 600 has rebounded more than 50% since crashing to multi-year lows in March 2020, with hopes of a global economic rebound this year sparking demand for sectors such as energy, mining, banks and industrial goods.

London’s FTSE 100 lagged regional bourses on Friday due to a slump in January retail sales and as the pound jumped to its highest against the dollar in nearly three years. [.L] [GBP/]

French carmaker Renault tumbled more than 4% after posting a record annual loss of 8 billion euros ($9.68 billion), while food group Danone and German insurer Allianz rose following upbeat trading forecasts.

(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shailesh Kuber)

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