Kiwibank has taken the next step in delivering real-time experiences for its customers, after entering into a strategic partnership with ACI Worldwide, a global provider of real-time digital payment software.
The agreement will see ACI provide and run Kiwibank's newly installed, full capability Payment Hub: a SaaS solution hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud.
The flexibility of ACI's cloud-native payment solution ensures that any service Kiwibank requires is available on a secure cloud-based platform, the company states.
According to Kiwibank, the announcement comes as New Zealand's banking and financial sectors accelerate their transformation to fully digital businesses and prepare for a series of industry changes.
Kiwibank chief product and strategy officer Elliot Smith says, “Due to rapid technological change, many consumers now expect almost everything to be available instantly and the payments system is no exception.
"The nature of cloud technology means we'll be able to do things faster and more efficiently, and we'll be able to deliver those simple and seamless experiences customers now demand.
According to the company, the business benefits of real-time payments are significant, including enhanced cash flow management and improved liquidity.
Smith continues, "This improvement will be especially impactful to small merchants that may be used to waiting days for their settlement.
"The digital and real-time payment market is rapidly changing with new, more sophisticated customers, a rapidly expanding set of form factors and payment types, and more active and engaged regulators.
"This relationship with ACI supports Kiwibank's long-term strategies for efficiently dealing with future payment needs. It gives Kiwibank access to some of the biggest technical resources in the world and will lower the cost of operating multiple and growing payments services, such as related back-office functions and any overlapping IT infrastructures."
By utilising ACIs technology, and cloud partner Microsoft Azure, Kiwibank will be able to bring new products and services to market faster, add new payment types quickly and cost-effectively to its existing core infrastructure, and scale to meet customer demands, the company states.
ACI Worldwide head of international markets Alessandro Silva says, “Kiwibank is a worldwide role model for the cloud-native, real-time experience. It's a great example of how ACIs flexibility, technology, and global expertise can help our partners meet the increasing demands of their customers and their markets."
ACI Worldwide managing director APAC Leslie Choo says, “ACI's SaaS solution is now up and running across Asia Pacific. We are excited for what this flexibility and operating model holds for Kiwibank and other financial institutions across the region.
The move also prepares and equips Kiwibank for impending industry changes, when the New Zealand retail payment system is required to operate seven days a week, 365 days a year, the company states. At present, settlements between banks occur at regular intervals between 9am and midnight on business days only.