In an increasingly commoditized payments world, it is no surprise that banks seek to differentiate their payments offering. Technology is usually the key enabler in creating competitive advantage, but soaring IT integration costs can all too easily derail the bank’s efforts.
Banks are being squeezed. They are caught in the vice of increasing competition, rising customer expectation and more regulation on one side; and falling prices with changing volume patterns on the other. And we can add innovation, flexibility, cost reduction and enhancing the end-user’s experience as simultaneous aims.
Unfortunately, the costs associated with IT integration make decisions on investment in new technology more difficult, as there is greater uncertainty regarding the payback period.
One answer may be to mitigate the integration issue by buying, for example, a front-end to back-office payments system, complete with fraud capability, from a single vendor : pre-integrated and with guaranteed interoperability. Time and cost saving aside, there are real benefits to be gained in terms of payments visibility and real-time information, which can form the basis of true differentiation. Add to this, easy-to-use self-service enrollment forms that provide immediate access to online services, and banks may well have a competitive, and more importantly, profitable offering for their corporate customers.