ABK decided to supplement its existing platform for international SWIFT payments with IBM Financial Transaction Manager and the IBM Financial Transaction Manager for SWIFT Services, in combination with IBM MQ messaging middleware. The company integrated IBM Financial Transaction Manager into its new, modern FinACK solution platform.
Throughout the project, the company received excellent implementation support from IBM, including IBM Lab Services.
The new solution runs on ultra-reliable IBM z Systems servers with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z. Ulrich Buch, CTO at ABK Systeme, says: “This unique combination of IBM hardware and software helps us to deliver performance, security and integrity at huge scale across every payment transaction.”
ABK’s solution platform FinACK leverages the strengths of the IBM z Systems server, including hardware-accelerated encryption to satisfy the advanced security requirements. The software can be easily distributed across a number of instances and its efficient release management reduces maintenance workload. With its multi-tenant architecture, FinACK is optimized for data center operations at scale and integrates seamlessly with the company’s E.F.I.S. Transaction Platform.
To achieve the highest possible reliability, ABK operates its high-performance transaction platform on an IBM zEnterprise® BC12 server, connected to a grid-scale IBM XIV® storage system. IBM Financial Transaction Manager is powered by the IBM DB2® for Linux UNIX, and Windows database, also running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z.
By implementing IBM Financial Transaction Manager, the company can now provide a payment-processing platform for more than 80 different formats and standards on the global payment market. Despite this growth in the scope of the platform, ABK managed to streamline its system architecture and consolidated several distributed software instances to just a single server.
Armin Gerhardt comments: “We used this opportunity to move more workloads to our IBM z Systems servers. Standardizing core systems on our strategic Linux platform running on IBM z Systems enables us to use our resources more efficiently than before and improve reliability and security for our customers.”
Minimizing administration overhead is crucial for ABK. The company had already been running IBM WebSphere® Application Server on the same platform and developed multiple mobile applications to expand its FinACK solution platform and also created its own zCockpit mobile app with IBM MobileFirst™ Platform for advanced monitoring of the IBM z Systems environment.
Gaining flexibility and speed
IBM Financial Transaction Manager enables ABK Systeme to be more agile and support changing requirements and regulations fast. The solution connects to a wide range of systems and applications out-of-the-box, helping the company to reduce costs and speed up the onboarding of new customers.
The IBM solution provides a reliable platform that strengthens the company’s market position and will allow ABK to launch new services and deploy more advanced data analytics in the future. By relying on IBM Financial Transaction Manager for its modern FinACK solution platform, ABK can focus on value-adding features.
To simplify application monitoring for clients, the company has for example implemented a range of FinACK apps that provide administrators and managers with key performance indicators, helping them to keep informed about the system status anytime, anywhere using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Other new offerings will include immediate payments to support the growing number of mobile payment systems.
Ulrich Buch elaborates: “By offering our international customers integrated interfaces for all communications protocols using the proven IBM Financial Transaction Manager software, we can rapidly deliver new services to clients and help ensure compliance. By linking to SWIFT, we can deploy the latest architecture and the entire spectrum of communications protocols required by our clients.”
Thanks to the new solution, ABK can also target completely new customer segments that have very specific demands. Armin Gerhard says: “IBM Financial Transaction Manager supports the operations model of a service provider very well. Today, we can provide services cost-efficiently that we could not offer before. We hope to capitalize on this business opportunity and increase our revenues.”
On one hand, the IBM solution increases flexibility; on the other, it reduces complexity substantially. By simplifying process orchestration across systems, ABK now relies on fewer separate applications and interfaces, making the overall solution more reliable and minimizing the risk of faults.
Armin Gerhardt concludes: “With IBM Financial Transaction Manager we have improved our capabilities and can take on new customers quicker, supporting our rapid international business growth of 10 percent per year. Running this reliable and future-proof platform on our IBM z Systems servers with Linux further improves energy efficiency in our data center, contributing to our green IT strategy.”