Tracking and tracing Intix helps automatically trace transactions as they progress through a bank, and track and store every item of data relating to them. It’s not just an internal hygiene factor, but a powerful tool to aid business decision-making, says Managing Partner, Marc Braet The phrase ‘track and trace’ now trips off the tongue. It’s become part of our 2020 pandemic lexicon. But it’s been front-of-mind for financial chiefs for some time when it comes to payments. Innovative digital technologies being rolled out at lightning speed have led to a proliferation of choice when it comes to payment channels and the rails that underpin them. As a result, a complex set of internal systems, often across operational departments, support each institution’s role in the end-to-end processing of a transaction. When it comes to crossborder payments, that transaction’s journey becomes particularly opaque as it passes through ebanking portals, connectivity software, sanctions filtering systems, messaging middleware, core payment engines, interfaces, clearing systems and correspondent banks – a process that might involve a dozen or more steps before reaching a beneficiary account. Tracking and tracing those payments has never been more important for the purposes of regulatory compliance and reputational integrity, not to mention customer satisfaction. Throw into the mix the challenge of doing this with the legacy IT systems still employed by most longstanding banks and it’s easy to see why specialist data transaction firms like Intix come into play. Intix provides solutions to
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organise data accessibility by enhancing core IT infrastructures to make the end-to-end internal tracking of transaction flows possible. Its xTRAIL software indexes all data sources used by a bank and keeps them in a digital repository to satisfy compliance timeframes, while its xTRACE software provides granular tracking of transactions inside an institution, together with all the events in that payment’s lifecycle, and monitors them in real time. “Banks have to be even more capable than before of making their data accessible, so that whenever they get a regulation or compliance type of inquiry, they can address it very, very fast,” says Marc Braet, managing partner of Intix, which he co-founded in 2011. “We have seen with our customers, and prospective customers, that this really is an enormous challenge with the increasing complexity of all these payments flows and formats.
Banks have to be even more capable than before of making their data accessible so that whenever they get a regulation or compliance type of inquiry they can address it very fast “While Intix is quite often used as the entry point for a bank to start working on use cases linked to compliance and regulation, there’s also the fact that customers have much more stringent requirements in terms of information. They want to make sure that transactions are processed in real time so that beneficiaries get their money fast. “Intix developed xTRACE to track transactions end-to-end within the bank, so that whenever there is a hiccough we can inform the bank instantly of that problem so it can look for a resolution
without the customer being impacted. That’s really top-of mind for many of our biggest customers today.” In other words, Intix doesn’t fix the problem, but it alerts banks in real time to a problem that they need to fix. Most major banks already use SWIFT gpi (global payments initiative) for crossborder payments, which provides transparency around payment processing by correspondent banks. In December, SWIFT gpi Instant was rolled out first in the UK, connecting the high-speed crossborder rails with real-time domestic infrastructure – in this case, the UK’s Faster Payments scheme – and giving visibility as to where payments are in that real-time journey. Braet says that, as Intix’s xTRACE maximises ‘granular visibility’ of internal payment processing and performance, it complements gpi, with a ‘best of both worlds’ approach. Emphasising the point, he adds: “Combined with SWIFT gpi, our software can create full vision, full transparency around the value chain, and the lifecycle of a transaction, that goes beyond the organisation. That allows banks to better measure their service levels and, hopefully, increase them to the benefit of their customers.”
Not all created equal Perhaps the most important benefit of xTRACE is being able to assess the relative value at risk whenever there is a problem in the processing of a transaction, explains Braet. “Without knowing the value at risk, you can’t prioritise your decision-making. If I have two transactions stuck and they each have a value of €500, that’s a different priority to having two transactions stuck with a value of €100million each. So that is something that we see is really important to the actionable requirements of our customers, and that’s what we can address with our technology.” The cost of payments failure can be huge for institutions. www.fintechf.com
Fintech Finance presents: The Paytech Magazine Issue 07