Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment volume is on the rise. NACHA, the electronic payments organization, estimates that ACH payments surpassed 21,000,000,000 in 2012. Financial institutions, businesses, and consumers are all contributing to a significant increase in direct electronic payments and causing a dramatic shift in the requirements for ACH processing. As result, financial institutions are re-evaluating their current payment platforms. Many have infrastructures in place that were not designed to handle high volumes of processing while still meeting the ever-changing needs of their customers and managing risk and compliance.
Customers are demanding improved information access to their payments, whether they are online, mobile, or using a traditional outlet. In addition, requirements for more open and visible transactions have created demand for new capabilities, such as near real-time payment status visibility, automated exception handling, and same-day processing. Along with higher customer expectations, financial firms are being tasked with reducing costs and offering new services to create additional revenue. At the same time, they must reduce financial risk. A single view of all types of customer payments can help them address these issues.
Gaining value from existing assets that are part of a complex web of unconnected transactional systems can be a significant challenge. Aging core transactional systems that are built on COBOL and assembly language technologies are costly to maintain, difficult to upgrade, and unaware of more than a single transaction type. Skills attrition can also be an issue for older platforms that are not in common use today. This IBM® Redbooks® Solution Guide describes how IBM Financial Transaction Manager for ACH Services can help address these challenges.
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