“Global multi-national and large corporate clients expect sophisticated connectivity solutions from their financial institutions. These clients also expect their financial services providers to make it easy for them, by supporting their preferred connectivity method and file formats. But for financial institutions, the trick is balancing customer ease against increased expense and complexity.”
Financial institutions support many customer access channels. For commercial clients, institutions invest in branch, call center, online, mobile, and direct, host-to-host file transfer. They have made dramatic investments in channels, but the biggest beneficiaries of these investments are those supporting human interaction, rather than machine-to-machine connections. These machine-to-machine or host-to-host file channels often support limited file types, are difficult to change, and require lots of expertise to support. The file channel is often referred to as corporate to bank connectivity.
GXS recently commissioned industry analyst Jeanne Capachin, formerly of IDC Financial Insights and Meridian Research, to research and author a white paper addressing the complexity of host-to-host connectivity for financial services firms. Connectivity complexity arises for a few different reasons.
Fortunately, there are third-party specialist providers that are well-versed in overcoming the complexity of corporate client connectivity. And financial services institutions (FSIs) are becoming more comfortable with relinquishing in-house control of the file channel in favor of managed services. As explained in an earlier blog post, managed services enables FSIs to offload complex integration requirements, including protocol mediation, file transfer and messaging, and data transformation.Supporting transaction types and regulatory requirements across geographic regions;
- Developing solutions to accept proprietary formats from a wide range of corporate financial systems;
- Continuously evolving industry standards;
- Expanding financial institution offerings; and
- Supporting unique customer requirements.
For financial services firms considering outsourcing connectivity, the white paper outlines the attributes of best-in-class connectivity solutions:
- Connectivity—solutions that are configurable (as opposed to customizable) reduce bank staffing expense, speed customer onboarding, and support evolving standards.
- Visibility—The “no news is good news” approach isn’t good enough. Clients expect positive confirmation and clear, understandable messaging if and when an error occurs.
- Future proofing—Solutions must adapt as standards evolve and new requirements are introduced. Institutions already have enough solutions that were great at a point in time, but have not kept pace with change.
- Scalability—Both upward and downward scalability is important. A single platform for both large and small clients reduces expense and complexity.
- Security—There is no one answer now, nor will there ever be. Institutions must support a wide range of security protocols, and their connectivity solutions must be flexible enough to support multiple, layered approaches.
Find out how GXS Managed Services can help you manage your business requirements, not your technology requirements click here.