Survey Highlights Trend Toward Enterprise Payment Systems

Nearly three fourths of business executives said they expect their organization to take steps toward the integration of retail and wholesale (consumer and corporate) payment systems in the next five years, an ACI Worldwide survey finds. A similar percentage said

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Nearly three-fourths of business executives said they expect their organization to take steps toward the integration of retail and wholesale (consumer and corporate) payment systems in the next five years, an ACI Worldwide survey finds. A similar percentage said they expect to operate mission-critical applications on open systems platforms.

The responses were gathered by payments software provider ACI Worldwide as part of its annual customer satisfaction survey. ACI clients include many of the world’s largest banks, retailers and payment processors.

The authors of the survey predict the force behind trend toward convergence of payment systems is driven by banks’ desire to lower the cost of payments processing, enhance service levels and one-on-one marketing, and improve risk management techniques.

For some banks it may take the form of deploying a common authentication service across their enterprise. For others, it may involve an enterprise-wide routing function, or a service that electronically notifies retail and wholesale customers when particular events such as deposits or transfers impact their accounts.

Industry analysts have observed that payments are a logical target for consolidation since they account for an estimated 40% of cost, revenues and operating income at many banks.

Business executives in the ACI survey said they expect to operate mission-critical applications on open systems in order to achieve lower costs and the ability to reuse existing technology and skill sets in their organization.

The ACI survey was conducted in late 2005 by research-based consultant TNS Prognostics. Fifty-four percent of the survey’s 387 respondents were based in the Americas, 36% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and 10% in Asia or the Pacific Rim. Ninety-five executive respondents provided information on the integration of retail and wholesale payment systems, and 100 provided information on the use of open systems platforms.

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