Tag Archives: payments

New Date – NACHA Webinar on Cloud and Payments Aug 9 at 1:30

Join Maggie Scarborough, FinServ Strategies; Julie Elberfeld, Capital One; and Mary Ann Francis, WIPRO Banking & Financial Services; Vinay Prabhakar,
Bottomline Technologies

Register Now

As mobile burns a billion dollar trail through the technology sector riding on cloud computing, many financial institutions are unprepared for customers  in the CLOUD transacting business.  FI’s must keep customer information private and safe. For this reason, every institution should have a CLOUD strategy regardless of the level of direct involvement.
Join us for this exciting NACHA Webinar. Click here:

Mary Ann Francis, Senior Consultant – Payments, WIPRO Banking & Financial Services
Julie Elberfeld, Senior Vice President, Commercial IT, Capital One Bank
Vinay Prabhakar, Director Global Solutions Consulting, Bottomline Technologies
Maggie Scarborough,
Managing Director, FinServ Strategies

 Register Now


Fait Accompli – Fundtech and S1 Merge ——— Next? One, Two, Core

Maggie Scarborough, Managing Director, FinServ Strategies
June 27, 2011
The Fundtech – S1 merger really isn’t a big surprise to me after covering the online cash management, online consumer and payments spaces for over 25 years. The two were bound to mash up with another entity. In a consolidating bank market, larger scale is needed by both to catch more “ big fish” by serving global and domestic markets with a full suite of information, payments, trade, supply chain and liquidity products. Another scale element of the deal is the ability to serve far more community institutions, more efficiently (they both have SaaS operations in Atlanta). The pair attains both goals by combining S1’s online consumer, small business and corporate banking  and trade platforms with Fundtech’s considerable back-end or core and middle office payments and liquidity capabilities. Wasn’t this ACI’s dream?
Who will dominate and how will it go from here?
Less Choice Creates Opportunities

With fewer online cash management, consumer banking and payments choices for institutions, there is now room for highly competent and global payments and treasury management player, Bottomline Technologies to further spread its wings and for neo-tech Online Banking Solutions (OBS) to further burn into the market. Bottomline Technologies, which serves both global institutions and corporates, will gain even more traction with large and mid-tier institutions that already have core payments capabilities.  The concentration of customers with one super-vendor Fundtech-S1, also leaves room for agile players like Online Banking Solutions (OBS) with their straight through processing architecture and secure browser to leapfrog the current competition with more efficient and scalable solutions built for integration.  Players like Intuit continue to keep their collective eyes on the vision of financial integration with consumers and small business.
One, Two, Core
What about the core banking titans? Fiserv, FIS, Jack Henry, et al. They have all of the banks on their systems, but haven’t done a very good job of integrating and deploying acquired online cash management and online consumer banking. In-house initiatives, while well-conceived, have lost traction. Plus, there is a trail of less than effective past acquisitions, because the vendors acquired simply didn’t have enough scale to compete with the core’s home-grown capabilities, which they typically give away. My instincts tell me that there will be further consolidation and, like so many past mergers in fintech, the merger of Fundtech and S1 may be simply one and two of a three-base play. Hmmm…will there be a part three? What do you think?  Maggie Scarborough, Managing Director, FinServ Strategies, maggie@finservstrategies.com, 301-535-4559.

Clear the Fog About CLOUD and Payments, NACHA Payments 2011, Session 204PB, Tuesday April 5, 8:00-9:15 am

See 3 Experts  Face-Off about Cloud Computing and Payments at NACHA Payments 2011, Austin, Texas
CLOUD & Payments: Let’s Talk Business
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.; Room 17A
Maggie Scarborough,
Managing Director, FinServ StrategiesJulie Elberfeld, SVP, Commercial IT, Capital One Bank
Mary Ann Francis, Sr Consultant, Payments, WIPRO Banking & Fin’l Svcs
Vinay Prabhakar, Director, Global Solutions Consulting, Bottomline Technologies, Inc.
Why does cloud computing remain a mystery? It uses technology to create a business advantage. Cloud computing technologies not only enable efficiency but allow for the extension of services outside the institution’s firewalls and across nontraditional service boundaries and providers. Attendees gain an understanding of the cloud concept and learn about its players, deployment in payments and cash management, risks, audit/regulatory concerns, and business line, as well as customer issues and benefits. Attendees learn potential business benefits, competitive risks, and face-off with a banking strategy consultant, payments expert, vendor, and bank in this exciting presentation-panel combo.

Nomenclature: Why a Payments Hub Isn’t Necessarily Payments Management

Byline: Maggie Scarborough, Managing Director
(c) 2010  FinServ Strategies. All rights reserved.

It’s a pet peeve I share with several people I know, the idea that a Payments Hub can truly effect business process change within an organization.  I believe you need something bigger, Payments Management.  So, I am going to split hairs –  there is a big difference.

A Payments Hub is Tactical, A Payments Management System is Strategic
There are a number of Payments Hub solutions out there that have a simple set of processes that allow some centralized control of amalgamated payments processing. It is operationally focused, system process-centric – more tactical in nature:

The Hub
Any payment or format in, any payment or format out (e.g, to the client)
Transformation and normalization on data and messaging layers
Logical routing; business logic for dynamic routing
Interfaces for distribution
The Database
A basic data model and management reporting
Administration and Permissions
Shared Services
Anti-Money Laundering, Terror and Fraud
Currency conversion

A Hub – Not bad, eh? But Payments Management is Strategic.  If you can perform this type of centralized processing, you will further reduce costs, but only to a point. The next step is strategic –  to execute better in the market from Risk, Liquidity/Credit, Business, and Market perspectives.  So what do you have to add?

Risk Analytics
Understanding attack vectors and solutions
Learning transaction patterns indicative of fraud

Liquidity  Analytics
Understanding  liquidity flows and solutions and settlement patterns
Knowing when and how your partners and customers are using liquidity

Business Process – Work Flow Centric, Not Simply System Process-Centric
Use f Analytics and work flow to detect payment issues in flight and cure them before they leave
Cure or resolve exceptions between all of the parties in process
Allow customer self service and reconciliation management

Business of Payments
Understanding processing concentrations and flows and normalizing customers and use
Learning where you make money or leak it.
Discovering intersections of customers and counterparties and leverage the relationships for services that are not only end-to-end for the initiator, but also across her business and partners

Management Console
Enables roles-based reporting and modeling, including process modeling

Stay tuned for more. Is this a realistic vision? We’d love to hear what you think?

–end, please comment

Maggie Scarborough, Managing Director
Maggie@FinServStrategies.com, +1 410.685.2324




Payments 2010 Follow Up: Better Execution In Cash Management and Payments – Fiserv Style

Byline: Maggie Scarborough, Managing Director, April 29, 2010
(c) 2010  FinServ Strategies. All rights reserved.

Prior to the NACHA Payments 2010 Conference, I riffed on what was needed for better business execution in the industry (banks and vendors), especially on the cash management system front. A late 2009 conversation with Dan Nagy, then the very new SVP and GM at Fiserv Business Services, inspired my thinking. Among other projects, Dan is providing the leadership to pull together the various online banking solutions (BANKLINK, Premier eCorp, Voyager) into one cohesive offering  – no small task.  We had spoken about the need for reality and discipline (I say from both banks and vendors) in the execution of the cash management development plan as well as allowing the teams on both sides to experience success.  So when I spoke with Dan a couple of days ago, we talked about how they fared.

Thus far, Fiserv has executed on the migration plan to a consolidated business banking solution in a very compressed time frame.  The now cross-functional team has been executing on a plan of gap remediation among the 3 solutions, and then bringing them together with a SaaS platform build-out and a software-based solution. The team is leveraging the development strength of the Voyager platform along with its consumer and small business banking acumen, the detailed cash management capability of BANKLINK, and the durability offered from the core services processing center of the Premier eCorp team. Communicating with customers and delivering interim steps when promised along the consolidation migration have been key efforts in a relatively short time.  Fiserv indicates that customer feedback has been very positive.  Leveraging other Fiserv assets and delivering them through the new consolidate platform will provide the differentiation along with a dose of innovation. It is a plan that will continue through 2012. With the discipline of this team, I have no doubt they will succeed and with table stakes of a 1,500+ financial institution customers in this segment they need to.  Stay tuned.

— end, please comment

Maggie Scarborough, Managing Director
Maggie@FinServStrategies.com, +1 410.685.2324




Payments and Cash Management: Get me one of those…From Blame Game to Better Execution

Byline: Maggie Scarborough, Managing Director
(c) 2010  FinServ Strategies. All rights reserved.

The NACHA Payments 2010 Conference is coming up quickly and it is time to decide where I will focus my research and advisory while attending. Improving business and technology execution is a good place.

Last year about this time, I had a conversation with a banking industry executive who said that the online cash management and payments part of the corporate banking business has poor business execution. I couldn’t agree more. In this blame game, all participants are included: the financial institution’s business side that vaguely defines feature requirements based on what they “think” customers need; the FI technology side that is not considering the business of the business, but rather the business of IT; fintech vendors that know banks poorly execute and aggregate up the costs of poor planning through unbelievably high overruns on professional services; core vendors that still believe that they can “not help” in order to maintain competitive advantage; and last but not least the new kids on the block, procurement, which often protract costly negotiations to meet their own unit’s goals rather than the business and compliance objectives of your own business unit.

What is needed are discipline and success. Fast following does not necessarily equal good execution. In the rush to follow leaders, banks often lose sight of execution quality. There are examples of deliberate and focused execution. For example, when Wells Fargo finally brought ACH origination to its Business Online Banking platform in 2006, it seemed like it took them much longer than some of their peers, many of which implemented packaged solutions. But, Wells Fargo took the time to understand customer needs, built the solution in an integrated way that allowed growth and stable support, and innovated to improve its business customers’ processes. Its Direct Pay ACH solution is integrated with Business Online platform capabilities such as alerts and service, plus it improves and simplifies ACH exception handling processes so its small business customers can more easily use it and use it more frequently. Plus the solution was and is STABLE. So, with that example in mind, here are some credos for better execution.

1) Align with the organization. Understand the reward and align business objectives with activities. By the way sell up, get buy in across the organizational silos, acculturate (big word), and report back. The organization itself may not be properly aligned to support the goals it has asked your unit to perform. Find a way to explicitly get the support (authorities, responsibilities, incentives, cross-organizational collaboration requirements).

2) Live in the moment, but know what CUSTOMERS want. Banks and financial institutions should clearly and reasonably define what they want based on knowledge of their customers’ needs and business processes. I can’t say “customer business process” enough.

3) Don’t passively rely on enterprise projects to provide the solution. Manage your own solution and migrate to the enterprise ideal over time. Enterprise projects always get pushed way out beyond the ideal delivery time and they tend to change in scope. Control your own unit’s technology including that enterprise that will supposedly get delivered in the future. Work toward the enterprise ideal, but have a plan B.

4) Partner with Fintech vendors that help you execute with customers more efficiently. Does the vendor have a platform that helps you easily develop new services to meet niche needs and market opportunities without long custom IT projects? Does it bring its own partners to you to help you expand services?

5) Does the vendor provide an efficient and sustainable platform? Stay away from vendors that are all about the enhancement queue.  Does the platform reduce reliance on expensive IT development and testing resources for frequent new releases? If the vendor does focus on queue management ask them for aging reports and understand how software can be customized without major releases or code branching.

6) Be realistic about supporting on-premise solutions. Mid size and large community banks need to be very realistic about supporting on-premise solutions. There are many hidden costs including security, as the threat environment increases in intensity and becomes even more dynamic.  Once you bring it inside, it will be years before you can outsource it.

(c) 2010 FinServ Strategies

–end, please comment
Maggie Scarborough, Managing Director
Maggie@FinServStrategies.com, +1 410.685.2324

New Cloud Computing Report

New Research Report – Cloud Computing: Clearing the Air

“Cloud Computing: Clearing the Air,” Maggie Scarborough, April 2010, 11 pages, 2 figures, 3 tables

Feeling confused about cloud computing? Don’t feel alone. FinServ Strategies has a new report that provides insights and tools to clear the air. Written for product manager consumption, this in-depth report includes contributions from technologists from Intuit, Bottomline Technologies, and Online Banking Solutions, all of which use cloud computing.
Open the attached Report Abstract for more info. To purchase this report visit, register and browse the research store


or visit, email or call http://www.FinServstrategies.com, http://www.  maggie@FinServStrategies.com,  +1410.685.2324

Let’s Tweet and Retweet  http://www.twitter.com/FinServ