Software for interfacing and connecting financial systems to third-party applications.
Universal Gateway is a central part of the Portfolio Plus Plug-In Banking architecture. This is the module you would use to interface to external systems or devices.
Universal Gateway allows you to plug in external interfaces, such as interactive telephone response (IVR), Automatic Teller Machine (ATM), point of sale (POS), Java Messaging Service (JMS), query credit bureau interfaces (such as Equifax and TransUnion), reporting credit bureau interfaces (such as METRO2), Bill Payment, Debit Management Systems, and various XML and JMS-based interfaces supplied by SonicMQ, SonicXQ, Sonic ESB, WebSphere, and TIBCO.
The key business benefit of the Universal Gateway is agility. The banking environment as we know it is changing on a daily basis. Mergers, acquisitions and competitive pressures are the key drivers. As such you may be called upon to interface to other systems or add new services in short order. Universal Gateway answers this need.
Interactive Voice Response is a popular technology in the financial world. Chances are you've used it yourself. Properly designed, IVR can be an effective tool for you and your customers. Customers get their answers quickly. You save man-hours by having an auto attendant interface to the Portfolio Plus retail system for balances, transfers, and other transactions, instead of having a teller or call centre attendant perform that work.
ATMs have proven themselves to be an indispensable part of the global banking and financial institutional infrastructure. Portfolio Plus accommodates ATM interfaces via the Universal Gateway and the Retail module. These work in concert to provide multi-currency interfaces and are able to help you deploy a global ATM and debit card strategy.
Note: To those familiar with debit card technology, the Portfolio Plus Universal Gateway provides both Point of Sale and "shared cash" debit card interfaces.
The Universal Gateway was designed to accommodate future needs with a Plug-In Banking architecture that can interface to other systems or devices using industry standards like TCP/IP, SSL, XML, and JMS. In the increasingly inter-connected world of banking, this architecture allows you to have more options.
XML is a very simple concept. It is a way of “tagging” data to give it labels. When two systems interface to each other and can understand each other’s labels, then XML can help them communicate with each other, provided that there is a transport mechanism. The Universal Gateway, in combination with Java Messaging Service, provides this transport mechanism. XML is useful when you have two or more vendors’ systems that need to exchange data with each other on a regular basis. Data exchange via XML is a superior alternative to costly and high maintenance database-level interfaces. Furthermore, the type and volume of information that can be exchanged between systems is limited only by the user’s imagination and the available data.
From a maintenance standpoint, data exchange via XML can accommodate changes in the underlying systems without having to change the XML format.
Industry standards are another force that is driving XML. TransUnion and Equifax both started accepting XML queries for credit history within the last few years.
Java Messaging Service is part of the overall Java J2EE Standard as invented and, for the most part, controlled by Sun Microsystems. The popularity of Java is due to the fact that it can be used on virtually any computer operating system. The Universal Gateway makes use of JMS and Java primarily to interface to other systems within a larger banking infrastructure. Within this type of large infrastructure there are billions of dollars worth of transactions that need to be exchanged between systems from various vendors. JMS, in combination with XML and SIT’s Universal Gateway, is the way this is accomplished.
When a customer approaches a financial institution for a loan, the financial institution or bank typically needs to query the databases at Equifax, CSRS or TransUnion to get the financial history on the prospective client. SIT's Universal Gateway module supports these interfaces. Transparent to you, SIT sends an encrypted XML query to the credit bureau, over the Internet, and then gets XML data back from the credit bureau. Portfolio Plus then serves up this result in the form of a credit history report.
METRO2 is a standard developed by the credit bureau companies like Equifax and TransUnion so financial institutions can update the financial history of their clients. As an example, every time a customer makes a payment on a car loan, the credit history for that client would be updated.
All transactions that are performed as part of an external interface, incoming or outgoing, are logged. It's up to you how far back you want to retain these logs. In light of Sarbanes-Oxley, you may want to archive these forever.
When dealing with external interfaces, security is of the utmost concern. For Universal Gateway, this isn't a problem. Using the base technology supplied by the Universal Gateway, in combination with SSL and up to date security infrastructure, you can deploy safely.
The Universal Gateway was designed to evolve. As part of Portfolio Plus’s Plug-In Banking architecture, the Universal Gateway provides a future that is wide open. It provides you with the business agility you need to accommodate the driving forces in your market.