CBA, the Oslo based International banking automation software developer, has been chosen by Aktia Savings Bank in Finland to supply its IBAS GPF - Global Payments Factory, and also applications that include international payments, trade finance and accounting & general ledger.

The IBAS GPF will be running in the bank within 6 months – the installation has already begun. The step-by-step delivery and installation that sees IBAS GPF in place by Summer 2003 concludes with the remaining applications in production by the end of the year.

According to Janina Grønholm, Aktia Savings Bank Manager, SEPA (Single European Payment Area) is here to stay, and the bank must adapt to stay ahead.  ‘As revenues from payments will inevitably decrease, we have to focus on internal processes, and find straightforward cost saving solutions.  We saw quickly that we had to focus on STP for our cross border transactions, initially looking at our operating costs to see how these could be reduced.  Next we looked at what options were available to achieve the STP rates we wanted, and which systems incorporated the newest rules and regulations in the cross border transactions arena,’ says Grønholm.

Aktia Bank wanted a system that was compatible with its existing IT environment, and which was not mainframe based. The target was a very high level of automation and flexibility, while keeping costs firmly in check.  The alternatives were outsourcing, in-house development or finding a supplier that satisfied the bank’s requirements.

‘Aktia chose CBA’s IBAS GPF because this was a modern concept that had already achieved excellent STP results, and which had shown itself to be very operationally stable.  Moreover, costs were considerably lower than the alternatives, for purchase, installation, implementation and running costs.  There was no reason to spend large amounts of money on research and development when we could acquire finished systems from CBA for considerably less expenditure,’ adds Grønholm.

CBA’s systems can be demonstrated and tested beforehand, and the experiences from the pilot banks are particularly good.  The time used to production start is also less than the time taken to draw up a rough specification for a new system.  As such, the project’s risk factor is minimal.

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