How can we learn from Mother Nature?

Nothing in nature operates individually. Nature works in a connected, circular ecosystem where everything is leveraged, shared and repurposed. Did you know that a grain of sand from the Saharan desert affects the fertility of the Amazon Forest? Or that seaweed in the ocean can produce around 70% of the oxygen in the atmosphere?

In nature, everything is perfectly orchestrated in harmony. Why can’t our future economy be the same? Specifically, how can we enhance our banking and payments ecosystem to make it thrive?

As we contemplate nature’s ecosystem, we realize that a good foundation is vital for survival. Just as a sterile flower won’t attract a bee, we cannot operate in an ecosystem if the foundation has defects. The base element must be functional and productive before enhancing the following operation chain.

As the base element of our economy, our existing banking and payment applications must undergo an in-depth review to see if they must be recreated before they can be part of the future economy fabric. This transformation would include the entire framework of people skills, operational processes and technology infrastructure, in addition to the core functions of the product.

Target three key areas to mimic nature

First, we must align and reinforce our banking and payment platforms on a global level. The base element must be fully functional and productive.

Some examples to enhance the functionalities and achieve higher productivity:

Provide timely visibility into all global transactions.
Eliminate time-consuming manual payment generation.
Protect against fraud.
Keep pace with industry changes (formats and technologies, particularly in the payment process).
Start to adopt digital banking and provide a seamless wireless experience for both employees and customers.
Embed advanced security, like Security Service Edge (SSE) and Zero Trust.

Second, we must optimize the load to share and leverage our base elements. This is how we create a common infrastructure for our resources to work together.

Some examples to achieve such optimization:

Adopt a flexible cloud strategy.
Optimize infrastructure load across the cloud. This helps to distribute server workloads more efficiently, speeding up application performance and reducing latency.
Share cloud standard services, like security framework, certificate management, identity management, licensing services, metering and monitoring services.

Third, we must interconnect and open our systems, which is how we bring life to the entire ecosystem and make it function as one body.

Some examples to achieve such interaction:

Leverage cloud interconnectivity and adopt a hybrid cloud strategy.
Adopt an API and microservices.

Share multiple resources for a richer ecosystem

As a banking and payment industry leader, IBM can help ignite banking and payments businesses in every country to enhance performance. Aside from technological shifts, IBM identifies the core business needs and what’s expected from those systems, applying the latest industry standards both from a business and technologies standpoint and reimagining and rearchitecting those systems to withstand the viral shifts in business requirements and technology.

Our banking, payments, business process workflows, development, infrastructure, architecture and security experts can reimagine and design systems to address future ecosystem challenges. Leveraging more than 100 years of experience, we are paving the way for the world’s future business and technology demands. This new era will change the face of this industry in terms of speed, agility, interoperability and performance.

Nature cannot depend on a single resource; nor can our financial systems. For example, enterprises face pressure and challenges to move beyond a single cloud provider. The hybrid cloud tackles those challenges by connecting and sharing multiple resources to produce an effective ecosystem with improved performance. The hybrid cloud can connect systems around the world with speed and efficiency, allowing the use of widely spread infrastructure to accelerate offerings worldwide.

That’s what the IBM Payments Center (IPC) is doing with the IBM Service Bureau for SWIFT as we leverage IBM financial cloud offerings with on-prem and other public cloud offerings. We set the stage to deliver a SWIFT solution that fits any client’s need in terms of cost, speed, regulations and cloud performance, without the need to tie to one provider or a single technology. Our vision for our clients allows them to consume SWIFT as a service regardless of where the platform runs.

In addition, a hybrid cloud brings many additional benefits, including the following:

Modernizing at a pace that makes sense for the business
Maintaining regulatory compliance as many industries require systems (or data) to sit in a specific location (such as SWIFT data)
Running applications at a remote edge location, as some industries require edge hybrid computing for low latency and better user experience.

COVID has forced the acceleration of digital transformation in banking and payments. We offer contactless experiences for clients and automate more processes. Very few applications today can accomplish goals on their own without connecting to other systems within the technology stack to share data. For this reason, developers must build “open” systems with connectivity to other systems in mind. APIs can bring that fabric to life; open APIs can accelerate growth and allow the application to communicate at its core. APIs enable integration with emerging technologies at scale, exchanging information, leveraging existing systems to produce a scalable business model and allowing integration of new financial technologies.

As a leader in emerging technologies and payment solutions, IPC has adopted a strategy to mimic a natural flow. As we reinforce the fabric of payments worldwide, design future-proof solutions, adopt in-depth hybrid cloud offerings and open API to interconnect our solutions around the globe, we are creating a living financial system.

Modernize your payments with the IBM Payments Center.

Talk to the IBM Payments Center team.

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