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XIBMS – Ivobank is an independent bank that specialises in the provision of secure.

XIBMS – Ivobank is an independent bank that specialises in the provision of secure.

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XIBMS – Ivobank is an independent bank that specialises in the provision of secure.

Based in London, Ivobank is an independent bank that specialises in the provision of secure, reliable and versatile online payment and banking services. The company employs 60 people.

“In recent years, the online retail and gaming sectors have grown enormously, and traditional banks have often struggled to keep pace with the rapid evolution of online payment systems,” explains Martin Peterlechner, Director of Commercial Development at Ivobank. “Both merchants and consumers are looking for ways to transfer money across international borders quickly and securely – without incurring the large fees and inflated exchange rates that most banks force upon them.

“Ivobank takes a different approach. We can help our customers transfer money immediately, at a fair market exchange rate, without any fees. We also make it much easier for consumers to purchase goods and services online even if they don’t have a credit card – we can work with any merchant that accepts MasterCard.”

To launch its business, Ivobank needed to create a technology platform that would deliver the high levels of reliability and security that are required by financial sector regulators, as well as sufficient performance to handle a very high volume of online business-critical and key enterprise transactions. For its back-end systems, the company selected ICBS, Fiserv’s core banking platform, Fiserv Aperio for workflow management and Fair Isaac’s decisioning software.

“The core banking systems that we have implemented are very well-respected within the industry and deliver a powerful backbone for our services – but as an online bank, we knew that the front-end would be equally important,” says Richard Maddams, Director of Technology and Operations at Ivobank. “We needed our customers – whether consumers or merchants – to be able to access our services via a simple, flexible Web interface. We decided to find a partner with the right business experience and technical skills to help us develop it.”

Choosing a partner

Ivobank issued a request for proposals, and evaluated a number of suppliers.

“We were keen to work with a major vendor – one that had experience of working with companies in the banking sector,” says Richard Maddams. “We soon realised that IBM would be an ideal choice, as its WebSphere and Rational products are highly respected and widely used by financial services companies.”

IBM recommended working with Morpheus – an IBM Premier Business Partner specialising in eBusiness solutions and Web application development.

“The Morpheus team were strong, both technically and in delivery terms,” says Richard Maddams. “We relied on Morpheus to provide a true end-to-end service, from initial consultancy through design and development to implementation and support.”

Leveraging IBM software

Morpheus deployed IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software as a development environment, and used the page design tool to map out a detailed plan for the new Ivobank Web site.

Neil Dillamore, Senior Java Developer at Morpheus, explains: “Web site design and page creation in Rational Application Developer is simple, and gives us a real head-start. It makes it easy for developers to show business users how the final site will flow and function, and it also provides a sound basis for the actual development itself.”

Another advantage of Rational Application Developer is its tight integration with WebSphere Application Server – the SOA runtime platform behind Ivobank’s new site. With a few mouse-clicks, code developed in Rational can be run on an embedded WebSphere server, so it is easy to test and assure quality.

Ivobank and Morpheus worked closely together to refine the design for the Web platform, which now consists of a static marketing site, secure online banking sites for consumers and business customers, and an API which enables merchants to interact directly with Ivobank’s back-end systems.

The application is written in Java, using the IBM JavaServer Faces (JSF) framework, and uses Web Services to communicate with the Fiserv and Fair Isaac systems. It runs on WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment 6.1 which is designed to offer first-class clustering and high availability management to help eliminate the cost of system downtime for the Web environment.

Delivering on time and on budget

The project started in 2007, and the platform went live in May 2008.

Richard Maddams comments: “The use of the IBM Rational tools and Agile development methodologies enabled Morpheus to respond very flexibly to our changing requirements – and as a result, our entire platform was up and running in less than 18 months.”

Supporting business growth

With the technology in place, Ivobank is in an excellent position to attract customers and grow its business today while positioning the company for the future. The simple Web interface helps to provide a range of services that deliver business value for customers.

At the core of WebSphere Application Server is a unique focus on investment protection. In any economy, businesses need to make decisions that leverage investments from the past to quickly and effectively respond to the future. Thus, businesses need technology that drives business agility and a smarter business outcome. For example, the Ivobank site is designed to provide straight-through processing for customer registration, eliminating much of the effort and delay that opening a traditional bank account can involve. Once registered, customers can use the multi-language Web interface to send and receive money in a wide range of currencies, helping them interact with merchants and service providers across the globe.

“At Ivobank, we believe that we have a market-leading solution for rapid, low-cost online payments anywhere in the world – a solution that delivers real value to both consumers and businesses,” concludes Richard Maddams. “But as an online bank, none of this would be possible without a reliable, high-performance technology platform. By leveraging IBM Rational and WebSphere software, Morpheus has provided a solution that forms the customer facing front-end of our business.”

Questions

  1. Which Software was used to improve Customer Services?
  2. What was the Ultimate result?
  3. Give your comments about the case study.
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XIBMS – Ivobank is an independent bank that specialises in the provision of secure.

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