What is the Payments Services Hub (PSH)?
iGTB’s Payments Services Hub (PSH) is a centralised real-time payments and transaction management solution for banks worldwide from small to large to Tier 1 global.
Why is such a Hub important for banks?
The future of payments will centre on not just the ability to process payments from a variety of different customers, instruments, channels and payments standards but also give the ability to understand each and every interaction whether it is initiated by a human, application or device and whether it is provided in traditional message, file or by means of digital API.
To drive this understanding, banks must start with deploying a horizontal layer across all payment channels and interfaces to orchestrate the handling of instructions and execution of payments in a holistic and centralised manner. Payments Services Hub provides this functionality, handling any form of payment, whether it is traditional wire, ACH, real-time payments or even blockchain-related digital payments such as Ripple.
Payments Services Hub furthermore will enable corporate payments to be “business aware”, allowing banks to understand the intent or context of each and every interaction. Firstly, this improves the execution of the payment – taking contextual factors such as need for safety, speed, legality and insurance, counterparty trust, revocability and/or traceability into account to make intelligent route calculations. But it will also improve the interaction, by interpreting information to provide the optimal advice to corporates across their operations, including how to manage their money, credit facilities, or payment executions.
We term this contextual banking. Banks adopting such an approach can integrate much deeper into their corporate clients’ value chain, adding value and ensuring that they are not side-lined from the payments process. And last but not least, such an approach drastically improves the potential for cross-selling and up-selling.
What makes iGTB’s approach unique?
iGTB’s Payments Services Hub aligns with this view of banking by centralising a bank’s payment workflows – giving banks a better understanding of clients’ transactions and their context. Payments Services Hub then provides routing and transformation services based on business rules.
Yet the ability to orchestrate payments across channels and execute traditional payments are “hygiene factors” – important, delivering proven operational and economic benefits, yet more-or-less the industry standard.
iGTB differentiates itself by going a step further and enabling payments to be orchestrated horizontally across the bank, with the aim of enabling banks to become an integral part of their corporates’ supply chains – delivering tangible economic, operational, business and strategic benefits to both parties.
Looking ahead, banks must ready themselves for the Digital Age, support Real-Time payments and assess what that means from a corporate/consumer behaviour, regulatory compliance and banking IT infrastructure perspective. They must also support the convergence of retail/corporate payments across the spectrum of C2C, C2B, B2C, B2B.
iGTB’s approach aims to:
Change the operating model: Moving corporate and transaction banking to be centred around the corporate/consumer and not around the traditional product or account;
Change the application/IT: Moving corporate and transaction banking to be centred on the channel and interaction and not around core banking systems or transactions;
Change the strategy: Moving corporate and transaction banking to be centred on understanding the intent and context of each and every interaction, enabling optimization and maximization of the associated execution;
Drive partnership: This is about positioning banks to become valued partners for the corporates by understanding their business and delivering tangible business benefits, diffusing the risk of disintermediation.
What additional functionality does Payments Services Hub offer?
iGTB’s Payments Services Hub is a centralised real-time payments and transaction management solution.
In terms of functionality, iGTB’s Payments Services Hub also provides easy integration with downstream systems such as core banking systems and payment gateways. It therefore functions as a single, all-purpose centre for pre-processing payments, using a modern technology platform that is cost-effective, scalable and easy to implement.
iGTB’s Payments Services Hub offers banks a number of further advantages. Due to its ability to handle large transaction volumes, it enables banks to capitalise on growth opportunities – processing more payments for more clients, all while catering to the demand for rapid execution. The time-to-market for new products and channels is also improved, and there is enhanced visibility of payment flows.
Of course, it supports domestic and cross-border payments in various formats, including MT101, MT104, ISO Pain 001/Pain 008, ANSI X12, CPA005, NACHA 94, and many others.
What are the key benefits for Banks of using iGTB’s Payments Services Hub?
Many corporate customers use multiple payments formats to initiate both domestic and international payments across multiple isolated systems. iGTB’s Payments Services Hub provides a bank with an integrated, centralised solution to unite these separate channels – supporting existing products and services for payables and receivables. Beyond this, the solution provides a platform to accommodate further innovations – forming a foundation for the development of future payments products and capabilities.
Centralising payments services via iGTB’s Payments Services Hub opens the door to increased operational efficiency for both banks and their clients. New payment methods, channels, products and acquisitions can all be on-boarded quickly and cost-effectively, while banks also benefit from the reduced operational complexity of a centralised system, and increased straight-through processing (STP) rates for all payment types.
iGTB’s Payments Services Hub offers a comprehensive, yet flexible, payments services hub that allows banks to centralise and optimise their existing services, while offering a robust platform for developing new ones.
Can iGTB’s Payments Services Hub help with compliance?
iGTB’s Payments Services Hub creates a single data repository for client and transaction-specific information, along with clear, simple audit trails, making it easy for clients to store and retrieve information for compliance purposes. On top of this, all PSH channels can be integrated into fraud, AML and sanctions screening tools for added efficiency.
iGTB’s Payments Services Hub can also help banks meet Basel III requirements. Under Basel III’s Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR), banks are required to hold an amount of high-quality liquid assets (HQLAs) – such as cash, treasury bonds or corporate debt – equal to, or greater than, their net cash outflow over a 30-day stress period, having at least 100% coverage.
iGTB’s Payments Services Hub allows banks to monitor in near-real time their outflow of cash – and enables them to “dynamic throttle” their outgoing payment instructions from any division across the whole bank so that their cash outflow does not break the LCR covenant.
But what happens if the cash outflow does break the covenant? In that case, the bank would have to determine the available headroom, prioritise payments based on products or customers and execute only those payments allowed in the headroom. Those that are outside of the available headroom (and thus would violate the LCR ratio) would have to be put in a suspense queue to be released only when offset by incoming payments or if the bank allocated more HQLAs in order to raise the headroom.
In light of scarcity and the expense of capital within a bank, the ability to optimise required capital and to ensure adherence to the LCR by means of dynamic payment throttling is critical to meeting compliance requirements.
U.S. inauguration turns poet Amanda Gorman into best seller
WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The president’s poet woke up a superstar on Thursday, after a powerful reading at the U.S. inauguration catapulted 22-year-old Amanda Gorman to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list.
Hours after Gorman’s electric performance at the swearing-in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, her two books – neither out yet – topped Amazon.com’s sales list.
“I AM ON THE FLOOR MY BOOKS ARE #1 & #2 ON AMAZON AFTER 1 DAY!” Gorman, a Los Angeles resident, wrote on Twitter.
Gorman’s debut poetry collection ‘The Hill We Climb’ won top spot in the online retail giant’s sale charts, closely followed by her upcoming ‘Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem’.
While poetry’s popularity is on the up, it remains a niche market and the overnight adulation clearly caught Gorman short.
“Thank you so much to everyone for supporting me and my words. As Yeats put it: ‘For words alone are certain good: Sing, then’.”
Gorman, the youngest poet in U.S. history to mark the transition of presidential power, offered a hopeful vision for a deeply divided country in Wednesday’s rendition.
“Being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it,” Gorman said on the steps of the U.S. Capitol two weeks after a mob laid siege and following a year of global protests for racial justice.
“We will not march back to what was. We move to what shall be, a country that is bruised, but whole. Benevolent, but bold. Fierce and free.”
The performance stirred instant acclaim, with praise from across the country and political spectrum, from the Republican-backing Lincoln Project to former President Barack Obama.
“Wasn’t @TheAmandaGorman’s poem just stunning? She’s promised to run for president in 2036 and I for one can’t wait,” tweeted former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
A graduate of Harvard University, Gorman says she overcame a speech impediment in her youth and became the first U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017.
She has now joined the ranks of august inaugural poets such as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.
Her social media reach boomed, with her tens of thousands of followers ballooning into a Twitter fan base of a million-plus.
“I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise! Brava Brava, @TheAmandaGorman! Maya Angelou is cheering—and so am I,” tweeted TV host Oprah Winfrey.
Gorman’s books are both due out in September.
Third on Amazon’s best selling list was another picture book linked to politics and projecting hope: ‘Ambitious Girl’ by Vice-President Kamala Harris’ niece, Meena Harris.
(Reporting by Umberto Bacchi @UmbertoBacchi, Editing by Lyndsay Griffiths. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)
Why brands harnessing the power of digital are winning in this evolving business landscape
By Justin Pike, Founder and Chairman, MYPINPAD
Delivery of intuitive, secure, personalised, and frictionless user experiences has long been table stakes in digital commerce, well before the era of COVID-19. As businesses harness the revolutionary power of digital technologies, they have pursued large-scale change to adapt to evolving consumer preferences (some more successfully than others, but that’s a blog for another day). Digital transformation is a term we hear repeatedly, and it looks different for each organisation, but essentially, it’s about utilising technology and data to digitise, automate, innovate and improve processes and the customer experience across the entire business.
As I said, this was already well underway but then came 2020 and no industry escaped the disruption of the coronavirus outbreak, which has had an indelible impact on businesses performance, operations, and revenue. Regardless of whether the impact of COVID has been very positive or very challenging, it has forced organisations globally to re-evaluate and re-orient strategies to adapt.
As lockdowns and pandemic-related restrictions continue to change daily life, this raises the question of how we can balance a dramatic shift to digital and the benefits it brings, while ensuring business continuity and innovation both during and post-COVID, and protecting everyone against fraud?
Digital is an essential survival tool, and even more so in a COVID world
No one could have predicted the dramatic digital pivot that has taken place over this year. Indeed, within weeks of the COVID outbreak cash usage in the UK dropped by around 50%. Digital solutions including delivery applications, contactless payments, mobile commerce, online and mobile banking have become essential components of a touchless customer experience in the era of social distancing. It’s no longer just about an enhanced and superior customer experience, it’s also about health, safety and survival.
In store, businesses have benefited from contactless payments enabling faster throughput and reduced need for consumers to touch payment terminals (therefore requiring greater cleaning, which degrades the hardware much faster). Mastercard reported a 40% increase in contactless payments – including tap-to-pay and mobile pay – during the first quarter of the year as the global pandemic worsened. Digital has also become an essential sales channel for many B2C brands. Where brick and mortar stores have been required to close, digital commerce enables continuity of customer relationships and revenue. This channel also provides brands with rich customer data, which can be used to enhance and personalise the customer experience and typically results in greater levels of engagement and uplifts in revenue.
Industry forecasts estimate that worldwide spending on the technologies and services enabling digital transformation will reach GBP 1.8 trillion in 2023 – a clear indication that the process represents a long-term investment and a global commitment to digital-first strategy. The key point here is that digital brings significant benefits, and regardless of COVID, is here to stay.
The challenges that rapid digital transformation brings to businesses
Regardless of whether businesses are operating in developed or less-developed economies, these times of crisis have levelled the playing field in the sense that all businesses are facing similar issues. Access to products and supplies, maintaining customer relationships, accelerating sales for some and declining sales for others, health and hygiene are just a few of the unique challenges brought about by COVID.
Many businesses in physical environments have had to swiftly implement changes to significantly reduce safety risks for staff and customers, such as contactless payments, mobile ordering and delivery options. But with these changes come a host of other benefits of digitisation, such as faster transactions, and reduced human error at the point-of-sale.
The reliance on technology, however, can also expose organisations and consumers to certain vulnerabilities. In particular, the risks of fraud and cybercrime have dramatically increased since the onset of the pandemic as scammers have taken advantage of digital technologies to target both businesses and individuals.
As a McKinsey report illustrates, new levels of sophistication in the activities of fraudsters have placed more pressure on companies that have been previously slow to go digital, bringing “into sharp relief how vulnerable companies really are”, and damaging the financial health of small and large businesses. In fact, the Bottomline 2020 Business Payments Barometer reveals that only one in 10 small businesses across the UK report recovering more than 50% of losses due to fraud.
But take these stats with a grain of salt. While it is important to be aware of the risks and challenges this new business landscape brings, it’s equally as important to have a lens firmly across your own business, industry and audience, and to identify the changes you can make internally to mitigate risk as well as improve your customer experience. Where can you make some quick wins? Do you have the right skillsets internally to achieve what you need to achieve? What technology is out there that will enable your business goals? There are tech companies like MYPINPAD that are making huge strides in software development, which will transform businesses globally.
A digital world post-COVID
Almost a year in, the line between business success and failure remains fragile. However, an ongoing transition towards greater digitisation will be the difference between survival and the alternative.
There is a wide range of initiatives businesses can implement to weather this storm. If we look at the space MYPINPAD operates within, secure digital consumer authentication is crucial to the ongoing success and security of not only financial products but also identification and verification across a range of different industry verticals. Shifting the authentication of consumers securely onto mobile devices enables businesses to completely reshape their customer experiences. By bringing together a more seamless, frictionless customer experience, accessibility, privacy, security and access to consumer data, businesses are able to drive digital transformation across day-to-day activities.
Against this backdrop, software with stronger security standards continue to play an ever more vital role in supporting society, protecting consumers and businesses from the increase in risks that rapid digitisation brings. Already, merchants can deploy PIN on Mobile technology from companies like MYPINPAD, onto their smart devices to speed up the digitisation process many are now tackling.
Essentially, opening up universal payments and authentication methods that feel familiar, for both online and face-to-face transactions, will be key to opening up a world of possibilities when it comes to redefining how businesses engage with consumers.
Brexit responsible for food supply problems in Northern Ireland, Ireland says
LONDON (Reuters) – Food supply problems in Northern Ireland are due to Brexit because there are now a certain amount of checks on goods going between Britain and Northern Ireland, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said.
British ministers have sought to play down the disruption of Brexit in recent days.
“The supermarket shelves were full before Christmas and there are some issues now in terms of supply chains and so that’s clearly a Brexit issue,” Coveney told ITV.
The Northern Irish protocol means there are “a certain amount of checks on goods coming from GB into Northern Ireland and that involves some disruption,” he said.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Tom Hogue)
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