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World Payments Increase

Today sees the launch of the World Payments Report – an annual barometer of payments across the globe. Promisingly, it shows that payments volumes continued to grow in 2009 despite the impact of the financial crisis while increased competition and new regulatory initiatives are creating a more complex payments landscape.

In fact, there was an increase in non-cash payments of nine percent in 2008, which shows that even during some very difficult economic times, electronic payments are growing at significant rates - increasing pressure on the banks to ensure their payments infrastructure can keep pace.

With cards remaining popular, there are huge opportunities for banks to illustrate innovation in new products – such as suites of family cards that are tailored to the specific needs of different ages. But to achieve this and gain overall cost savings, improve margins, better manage risk, speed time to market with new products, and support true "markets of one" with their payment systems, financial institutions need to move toward "payments hubs" – a point recognised by the World Payments Report.

The need for banks to adopt payment hubs is further underlined by the many new regulatory pressures the industry faces. Without an agile system that gives a complete overview of all payments across all channels, they cannot achieve the visibility required to meet the requirements of the Basel III framework, for example. These hubs can also reduce the increasing complexity of payments for banks, ensuring their mission-critical systems stay robust and able to manage the challenges of the future.

Andy Brown

Payments Industry Consultant