Financial institutions around the world have never been under so much pressure to deliver fully-functional, electronic payment systems that can be accessed at a time, a place and through a channel convenient to the consumer.

With the burgeoning of new technologies it is clear that electronic payments customer loyalty is hard to maintain in the payments world and financial institutions are competing hard to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive market. There has never been more attention focussed on security, mandates and regulation, it is therefore no surprise that the costs associated with providing compliance and new business functionality at persistently high levels of service are increasing many fold in an attempt to maintain customer satisfaction and therefore loyalty.

Inefficiencies experienced by financial institutions today are a direct result of inflexible, costly and unresponsive legacy systems. Financial institutions should be looking to architectures which provide open and more productive systems, allowing innovation and product development to provide new business in rapid time frames while remaining cost effective.

Financial institutions faced with the challenge of refreshing, updating, modernising and maintaining their system the ability to do this in a fault tolerant, flexible, efficient and cost effective way all while minimising risk and overall exposure of the change to the customer.

It is possible to achieve all of this when the supplier of the payments system is totally focussed on a technological solution that will provide a modern, open design and implementation methodology facilitating rapid development and go-to-market strategies based around business decisions (rather than code delivery) inherently minimising business and operational risk.

The changes faced today are both long term and global, but the challenge should not be the technology but the plan. As long as proper consideration is given to the potential impacts it is clear there are a number of different options available to financial institutions.