To reach out to a new potential market, Visma Connect wanted to launch a new SWIFT Bureau payment processing service. How could it expand operations cost-effectively and comply with financial regulations?
The company selected IBM Financial Transaction Manager running on an IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper server, to create a highly secure, reliable platform, with full scalability for future growth.
Quadruplesthe number of transactions processed per month, from 2 million to 8 million
10%estimated revenue growth since adopting IBM Financial Transaction Manager
ExpandsVisma Connect's customer base into the financial services sector
Business challenge story
Moving swiftly on
Visma Connect BV provides transaction management as a service to businesses and governments across Europe, processing more than 2 million transactions a month. Looking to capitalize on this success, Visma Connect wanted to reach out to the financial services industry with a SWIFT payment processing service.
To launch the service, Visma Connect would need a solution that could support SWIFTNet connectivity, provide full security, and comply with legislation such as the EU Payments Services Directive (PSD2)— as well as being able to scale to manage very large transaction workloads.
Coen Egberink, Managing Director at Visma Connect, explains: “We felt our capabilities were a perfect fit for the financial sector. We decided to offer a SWIFT Bureau payment processing service, but that meant expanding our IT infrastructure.
“Our existing systems were near capacity, and were not suited to the SWIFT Payment Bureau offering. We needed an integrated system that supported a SWIFTNet connection, with very high availability and near-zero downtime. Security was an additional priority, because of the high standards required by SWIFT itself, and because of financial services compliance and the European General Data Protection Regulation.”
Launching a new service
After reviewing its business requirements, Visma Connect selected IBM Financial Transaction Manager, running on an IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper server with IBM Spectrum Storage for data management, for its new SWIFT Payment Bureau services.
Coen Egberink comments on the business decision: “We were very impressed by IBM Financial Transaction Manager. The flexibility, open architecture and integration capabilities of the solution meant we could adapt our services to individual customers’ specific requirements, and seamlessly integrate with customer systems. That level of specialization is especially useful in the highly-specified financial services industry.
“We selected the LinuxONE Rockhopper server as the right platform for the venture, as it gives us the capacity to reach our business expansion goals while handling all transactions on one physical machine. LinuxONE Rockhopper gives us the ability to scale up without disruption on a cost-effective, secure, highly available platform. This is likely to prove extremely valuable as the new SWIFT Payment Bureau service helps us to attract more customers in the financial services industry.
“Looking to the future, we’re also excited by the IBM solution’s blockchain capabilities,” says Coen Egberink. “We foresee blockchain becoming ever more useful, perhaps even standard, for services like ours, so it’s important that the IBM solutions can handle it. The level of support IBM is providing for blockchain has made us even more excited to leverage its business potential.”
Since implementing IBM Financial Transaction Manager on the LinuxONE Rockhopper server, Visma Connect has seen a rapid increase in revenue, and has quadrupled its transaction processing capacity. Economies of scale mean that the cost of processing individual transactions is falling as volumes rise, creating an attractive commercial model for Visma Connect and its customers.
IBM Financial Transaction Manager has also helped simplify compliance for Visma Connect, particularly relating to PSD2 and the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). With a single system to manage, Visma Connect can design and implement suitable data protection policies, apply them to all transactions, and more easily demonstrate compliance.
Coen Egberink continues: “It’s essential for us that we get GDPR right. Not only are there fines and other penalties on the line, we also need to give our customers confidence that we are handling their data responsibly. The capabilities of IBM Financial Transaction Manager should help make compliance much more straightforward.”
Offering the SWIFT Payment Bureau service has also helped the organization attract new customers. “We estimate we have seen at least a ten percent increase in revenue as new customers have come on board,” says Coen Egberink. “IBM Financial Transaction Manager has given us the ability to handle that increased demand.”
Before adopting the IBM technology, Visma Connect averaged 2 million transactions per month; today, that figure has risen to 8 million transactions.
“The scalability of the IBM solution gives us room to expand even further,” says Coen Egberink. “We predict that in the next year we will process around one billion individual transactions.”
He concludes, “IBM Financial Transaction Manager, combined with the IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper server, enables us to offer clients a flexible, robust and secure platform to deliver our payment services.”
Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, Visma Connect BV provides transaction management as a service to both private sector and government clients. In doing so, it helps ensure the organization, improvement, and management of information exchange between organizations across all economic sectors.
- IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper
- Spectrum Protect (inc CDM)
- Storage: IBM DS8000
- Financial Transaction Management
Take the next step
IBM is working with organizations across the financial services industry to use IBM Cloud, cognitive, big data, RegTech and blockchain technology to address their business challenges. Watson Financial Services merges the cognitive capabilities of Watson and the expertise of Promontory Financial Group to help risk and compliance professionals make better informed decisions to manage risk and compliance processes. These processes range from regulatory change management to specific compliance processes, such as anti-money laundering, know your customer, conduct surveillance and stress testing.