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Panel: Opening Up the Cores

Scott Mills, President of William Mills Agency, moderated a core panel discussion on trends that focused focus on the use of open APIs and third-party integration.

On the panel: David Culbertson, President at CSI Technology Services Group; Mark Forbis, Vice President & CTO at Jack Henry & Associates; Michael Groothuis, VP Product Strategy at Fiserv; and Tom Ruppel, Vice President - Business Line Executive at FIS Integrated Banking Systems.

The emergence of self-service channels, such as the web and mobile banking, as well as transformative technologies like big data, electronic payments and remote deposit, have led the evolution of core processing.

One essential element of the progression was a shift from closed core systems to open architectures. Open architecture core banking systems give financial institutions the ability to keep pace with rapid technological changes and incorporate best-of-breed functions across the branch, online, mobile and ATM channels.

Today's core processing systems must also have the ability to service all channels 24/7 and seamlessly connect to a wide variety of self-service solutions, as well as to more advanced personal and business banking management systems.

In terms of integration, “not everyone gets it right of the bat,” Forbis noted. “We want to be as open as possible, we’ll work with any third party, if anybody wants to integrate with us, we’ll integrate with you.”

Culbertson said, “Our customers should have the right to select whichever solution they think is best for them whether we deliver it or someone else delivers it.” He explained CSI is releasing an API but it is not open. “We are not making it available to everybody.” It is available upon request from a customer.

For FIS they have to deal with as many as a half dozen different core systems. “The number one initiative that we have going is the idea of dealing with an open API,” Ruppel said. FIS has about 150 third-party relationships in place. “They use the same API we use.” Ruppel pointed out the challenge in using APIs is it still requires knowledge of the banking systems that require integration. Therefore, they are trying to standardize the methodology.

Groothuis agreed, “We need to figure out how to make our systems more open.” Coming at it from the other side, internally at Fiserv, one was to accomplish this is building a set of middleware with a standardized set of services. “We’re trying to do this in a standards based way, not open.”

“We need a more consumer oriented focus,” Forbis emphasized. The industry needs to do a better job of making banking easier for the consumer he said. “We are stuck in our own way as an industry sometimes.”

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