Business Cases

Payment Hub

A Payments Hub can be considered as a technological path or a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) that enables the bank to route all its electronic payments to a centralized engine for processing while moving away from the individual transaction processing systems dedicated to certain types of payments or products.

It is a web-enabled technology that stands between payments processing platforms and front- end access channels. There are different types of payments hubs each providing specific benefits to the organization. The most common types of approaches are:

Front Office Hub

Designed to consolidate access channels

Middle Office Hub

Helps to consolidate customer data

Back Office Hub

Helps to consolidate customer data

Why do banks need a Payments Hub?

In a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous paradigm characterized by stiff competition and sometimes-stringent regulatory changes, speed to market is key. However traditional payments processing systems are based on ageing technology that lacks flexibility and is difficult to integrate with other existing banking channels. Despite this, there are significant investments made each year to improve legacy systems in an effort to remain relevant in a fast moving and competitive environment. Exacerbating the situation is that improvements typically run in parallel at different ends of the organization.

However, considering that most payments, regardless of their nature, follow a very similar process of origination, authorization, authentication, clearing and settlement and also communicate with similar areas or systems in the organization (e.g. Compliance, Fraud, Marketing, Data Analytics, General Ledger, etc.), a centralised approach is the natural choice that has the potential to save banks considerable amounts of time, effort and money.

What benefits does it provide?

Organisations that have implemented Payment Hub, have seen a significant improvement in Risk Management, and Marketing analytics, enabled by having the customer data automatically fed into the relevant systems, ultimately providing increased value to the end customer.

Organisations also realize a considerable reduction in operational costs enabled by the elimination of duplicative systems and functions, reduced error rates and increased straight-through processing rates.

Payment hubs allow different platforms to communicate, providing a bank-wide customer transaction history which can be a valuable tool in fraud prevention. This also enables cross-selling of products, the capability to provide a customized client experience. They can also facilitate the outsourcing of credit card platforms.

A payment hub can also enable consolidation of systems within the organization through hassle-free and cost-efficient integration of existing platforms. And possibly, the biggest benefit that it provides is the ability to respond rapidly to the market ever changing requirements through the flexibility that a payments hub offers. This flexibility enables banks to create and build new services relatively easy, without the need for complex and expensive projects.

How should banks approach this?

A payments hub is still a relatively new concept based on new technology that, currently provides early adopters with a competitive advantage, however with more banks starting to utilize this technology, it will soon become a minimum competitive requirement. Implementing Payment Hubs is a massive undertaking and should not be underestimated. Its implementation is a massive change for an organization, requiring long term commitment and investment.

Considering that organisations have different payments requirements and situations that are influenced by their current infrastructure and information systems being utilized, a cost/benefit analysis is required to understand the potential Return on Investment (ROI).

Finally, a solid understanding of the risks involved is also a mandatory part of the decision-making process. A payments hub should only be considered as a long-term strategy that, if implemented correctly, could provide benefits from the start.

May Business Consulting can provide assistance and guidance in the process of understanding which type of approach/ implementation strategy is best suited for you, considering the unique environment and circumstances of your organization. Additionally, May Business Consulting can fully manage the implementation process of a Payments Hub, helping you take advantage of this innovative tool before your competitors will!

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