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Providing personalised banking with the right technology

Craig Ramsey

Craig Ramsey, ACI Worldwide, discusses how with the right technology, financial institutions can provide banking packages for “markets of one

No two businesses are the same. They have different models, different customers, varying products and cater for a vastly different array of needs and requirements from their clients. However, every business does have to make payments, and as such they require unique, sophisticated online banking tools that help them manage their cash flow, make payments and instantly assess the financial status of their businesses.Craig-Ramsey

For banks’ customers it is essential to provide tools that allow visibility into their total cash position and the ability to easily move funds to trading partners and employees around the world. This must be supported with easy to use transaction initiation, advanced data-gathering capabilities research and notification work-flows, delivered via a user interface tailored to their specific needs.

Yet achieving this level of personalisation can be a major challenge for banks that often work with a number of siloed payments systems and tend to treat customers in three groups: consumers, small to medium sized business, and corporate clients. The result is that traditionally systems can sometimes lack flexibility and as such customers often face complications when managing finances and lack clarity when it matters most.

Today’s customers are more demanding than ever. Financial institutions looking to win market share can beat the competition by differentiating their internet offerings and delivering solutions that provide customers with flexibility, visibility and convenience. Those institutions wishing to come out on top may want to consider offering tailored solutions for each of their customer segments – and if that means creating a bespoke package for a “market of one”, so be it. In the end, it will be these forward-thinking financial organisations that others will ultimately loose customers to.

Achieving this in-house can be expensive and time consuming, with many banks struggling to control escalating costs – thus making it hard to justify the investment. On top of this, in-house developed software can rapidly become out of date and immediately start to fall behind again.

This is why ACI Worldwide has introduced ACI Universal Online Banker, which allows institutions to serve the needs of sole proprietors or micro businesses as well as the requirements of large corporate customers, using the same solution in a single instance. This enables the bank to simply create a service that suits the needs of the specific customer group or even the individual customer.

ACI Universal Online Banker allows customers to pay bills, initiate transfers and stop payments, check balances, assign account nicknames, view images of cheques and deposits, as well as view online statements, make loan payments, order checks and more.

The flexible user interface delivers global and local payments such as ACH, SEPA and expedited payments, domestic and international wires, foreign exchange, positive pay, optional two-way OFX support and enhanced reporting for superior funds management.

The result is that institutions can meet customers’ needs in real time, evolving their online banking functionality as customers grow or vary their business model and require additional services, with a fully maintained and up to date product. Whether those customers are based in Europe, the United States, Latin America or Asia, it provides a single solution for a truly global bank.

Security is also a key element of ACI Universal Online Banker. It’s out-of-band authentication solution simultaneously uses two separate networks to authenticate the user with a single-use code sent to the mobile phone and the user’s self-selected four-digit PIN.

In addition, risk management features are built into the software providing approval options, payment limits and activity reports for bank personnel and customers to help mitigate fraudulent activity and provide visibility into online activities.

Further security is available through integration with third-party providers for multifactor authentication support, which includes transaction monitoring and authorisation as well as challenge questions, pass phrases and tokens for login or transaction initiation. Users can initiate real-time security alerts to thwart possible fraudulent activities.

Throughout all of this ACI still maintains a customer focus, working with financial institutions to deliver agile, innovative solutions and help streamline business processes, delivering measurable, demonstrable cost savings and increased revenue.

Integration is key
One of the biggest complications with introducing a new payments solution is integration from a technological and operational point of view. Getting to grips with any new solution can be a challenge. ACI understands this and therefore provides E-learning training packages that are designed to educate bank staff and customers through web-based training modules, as well as instructor-led onsite training.

In terms of software integration, ACI Universal Online Banker has been designed from the ground up to compliment ACI Worldwide’s growing software portfolio. It provides simple integration with ACI Global Trade Manager (which enables the import and export customers to manage trade instruments) and ACI Money Transfer System (facilitating the origin and remittance of payment information).

Ultimately, Universal Online Banker expands customer relationships, increases revenues and reduces costs for financial institutions while giving them the opportunity to offer packages of tailored products and services that offer a personalised user experience and pricing to any business segment worldwide. Importantly, banks can gain lower total cost of ownership through a single platform that unifies all business segments.


Product features

  • Tailored service offerings: customise and create different product packages to meet the needs of distinct markets. Administrators can easily define product func¬tionality, pricing and audience
  • Dashboard: the dashboard is an at-a-glance integrated view for users to quickly assess their account balances, make quick transfers and payments, and identify items needing their attention
  • Interactive information reporting: corporate customers enjoy a personalised view of prior day and current day account balance information at any bank, in any currency, whether reported via BAI or SWIFT. They can format data presentation to meet their needs; perform advanced data aggregation, calculations, sorting and filtering; automate report delivery; and access pixel-perfect reports on account balances, ACH, wire, and transfer payments, uploads and check services information
  • Global payments: comprehensive global payment types such as ACH, domestic and international wires and local schemes for in-country processing such as UK Faster Payments, BACS and CHAPS. Our global payments framework focuses on business process orchestration to deliver common services, allowing you to easily add new payment types
  • Integrated payables: a bulk file upload module transmits multiple payment types, in multiple currencies, in a single payment file — with optional approval levels and flexible upload, review and approval capabilities. Any-to-any translation means banks can offer a variety of file formats, including NACHA, CPA005, BECS and SAP IDOC. End users can modify file content before approval and submission
  • E-learning: training solutions are available to help maximise return on investment by educating bank staff and end users through self-paced online modules, instructor-led onsite training and/or web-based training
  • Cheque services: review and reorder cheques or stop payments is necessary

Global Banking & Finance Review


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