Citigroup Inc. and HSBC Group are re vamping systems that businesses use to route payments around the world. The banks are migrating to Global PayPlus, a payments software product from Fundtech Corp.
Changes in regulations and technology are causing banks to scrap their legacy payment platforms, says Bandula Wijesinghe, HSBC's senior VP of payments transformation. Cross-border payment systems allowing funds to rapidly move between different countries didn't exist at the time the systems being replaced by HSBC and Citigroup were developed. Another relatively new phenomenon is SwiftNet, an IP-based messaging system that lets banks send messages in bulk instead of one at a time.
The Fundtech system will replace legacy payment systems running at each of three major HSBC processing centers in the United States, Great Britain, and Hong Kong, says Chris Organ, head of IT for HSBC's global payment systems. The system is live in Citigroup's London processing center and will go live later this year in Frankfurt, Germany, and by 2006 in North America and Asia, senior VP Sankar Aiyar says.
TowerGroup analyst Breffni McGuire says North American banks will spend $1.1 billion this year on real-time electronic-payments-processing software and related hardware and services.