Digitalisation in action – key exchange via INI letter procedure

Since the introduction of cryptographic keys in online banking, both for private and corporate customers, the process of exchanging the public keys of bank and user has always been a lengthy and complicated process. Admittedly, for the users it is particularly burdensome – and for the rest of humanity it is a riddle wrapped up in an enigma:

The INI letter procedure that has become established for key exchanges. In use for over 15 years, it is a reoccurring hindrance to the use of EBICS. Generating keys, sending them, then printing the INI letter on paper, signing it and handing it over to the financial institution is complicated and tedious for many. Processing at the financial institution itself, where an employee receives the INI letter, then calls up the corresponding customer contact in the EBICS system and compares the values of the electronic transfer with the values on the INI letter or even has to type them out digit by digit, is also time-consuming. Of course, the signature provided on the account sheet or contract must also be verified. It doesn't sound at all like the digitalisation that is supposed to accompany our business processes today.       

Simplifying the release of EBICS keys
Everything would be much easier if financial institutions were to detach the above process from their own employees, digitalise it completely and thus delegate it to the users themselves. The first step to be implemented is the unambiguous recognition of the respective user by exchanging a mutually agreed secret (e.g. TAN) or – if already available – an activated online session that ensures that the user is actually the right person. As a rule, this already applies to every registered online banking session. If we assume that after a successful key submission, the bank system can reach the active user online, e.g. via smartphone by SMS or app or via an online banking session, then it would surely also be possible for this user to personally confirm the correctness of the key transfer and thus release the EBICS keys within a very short time.

Only the user!
The user may do this because the bank system has determined the identity of that user for release – for example, through the correctness of the requested TAN. The user then only compares the values of the INI letter and the display in the bank system and confirms their correctness. And maybe has to enter them again. In other words, exactly what the employee at the financial institution does. Of course, the bank system logs this release by the user in order to have proof later that the user has checked the process.

Digitalisation in action
Users of the EBICS protocol can use their new access within a few minutes. Time-consuming printouts and transfers to the respective financial institution will no longer be necessary. Days of waiting time are reduced to minutes. The financial institution saves itself lengthy and expensive manual in-house processes of key release. Transferred documents – the INI letter – no longer need to be archived. The digital logging of the new procedure is sufficient and no longer requires manual creation/digitalisation of the INI letter. Customer satisfaction and acceptance of the EBICS procedure are strengthened, financial institutions save costs for employees and manual post-processing. Digitalisation in action, an undeniable win-win situation!

Author: Michael Schunk

How are CESOP and VAT law related to cross-border payments?

Let’s be honest – when we hear the word tax law in our industry, we do not assume that anything relevant for payment transactions will follow. Of course, payment methods are used by all parties to settle tax liabilities, but this does not make them a subject of regulation under tax law. The bad news, however, is that in future we will always have to look a little closer when it comes to the EU VAT directive.

Overstrain as a background 

In the course of the action plan to create a single VAT area, the EU Commission inevitably encounters the issue of VAT evasion. The increasing use of e-commerce for the cross-border sale of goods and services in the member states particularly reinforces this situation. 

The investigating authorities are struggling with deficient information and limited information gathering possibilities. The required information is often held by third parties (such as payment service providers), usually located in another state. This is compounded by insufficient administrative capacity to cope with the high volume of data required to detect VAT fraud. This concerns both the exchange and the processing of corresponding amounts of data. 

The EU Commission speaks of a three-digit billion loss of tax revenue (https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/bd27de7e-5323-11ec-91ac-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/). In order to counteract this situation from the perspective of the European legislator, the previously existing regulations were amended accordingly on 18/02/2020.


Council Regulation (EU) 2020/283 of 18 February 2020 amending Regulation (EU) No 904/2010 as regards measures to strengthen administrative cooperation in order to combat VAT fraud.

  • Establishing cooperation between national tax authorities to detect VAT fraud and ensure compliance with VAT obligations.

Council Directive (EU) 2020/284 of 18 February 2020 amending Directive 2006/112/EC as regards introducing certain requirements for payment service providers.
Amendments to the VAT directive:

  • Payment service providers will be required to keep records of cross-border payments related to e-commerce.
  • Data must be made available to the national tax authorities. Strict conditions (among others for data protection) have to be taken into account.

Council Directive (EU) 2020/285 of 18 February 2020 amending Directive 2006/112/EC on the common system of value added tax as regards the special scheme for small enterprises and Regulation (EU) No 904/2010 as regards the administrative cooperation and exchange of information for the purpose of monitoring the correct application of the special scheme for small enterprises.
In addition to further regulations on administrative cooperation, there were new EU-wide special regulations for small businesses:

  • Small businesses based in other member states (MS) may benefit from the small business regulation in the future.
  • This applies provided that their annual turnover does not exceed a maximum of 85,000 euros (limit set by MS).
  • If certain conditions apply, this can even be up to 100,000 euros, provided that this turnover was achieved throughout the EU.


 
As of 1 January 2024, Directive 2020/284/EU will oblige payment service providers to share their information with the tax authorities, i.e. to improve information accessibility from the authorities' point of view. To this end, it prescribes a central reporting of certain payments data by payment service providers, which authorities are to use in cases of suspicion to carry out their investigation without obstacles.

CESOP – payments data in data retention  

The keyword for the storage of this supplied data is CESOP (Central Electronic System of Payment Information). A central system of the EU which is supervised by EUROFISC. It shall not only record the supplied data, but also make it searchable, intelligently search for redundant data records, make correlations visible etc.

Only the tax authorities of the member states will have access – all in accordance with other rights, of course. The general interest in avoiding damage from tax evasion amounting to billions outweighs the individual's right to data confidentiality here.


Which payments have to be reported by whom? 

Whenever payment service providers provide payment services for more than 25 cross-border payments within a calendar quarter to the same payment recipient, regardless of the amount of the transaction, these must be reported. The data must be kept for at least three calendar years.


European payment service providers

If the payment is made to a payment recipient in the EU, the recording obligation lies with the payment recipient's payment service provider.

If the payment is made by a payer in the EU to a payment recipient in a non-EU country, the recording obligation lies with the payment recipient's payment service provider.


Supplying, but how? 

The by now hopefully inclined readers will surely now ask themselves: "Okay, we have a new reporting obligation. But how do we get the data into CESOP?". The good news is that you as a PSP do not have to do this at all, because CESOP is "fed" via the national authorities. It is also already clear what the interface and format for supply and the data format look like. What is unclear, however, and this is the bad news, is how payment service providers for their part will have to hand over the information to the national authorities after they have compiled it from their systems (if they even have this data already). 

Directives require implementation by national legislators. They therefore differ (indirectly) from regulations in their mode of effect. The latter are effective immediately and must be applied directly. The German legislators have not yet dealt with the amendments to the VAT directive; in other words, they have not even begun to implement them. After all, they still have until 31/12/2023 (as a reminder: the start is on 01/01/2024) and are currently still waiting for further developments at EU level (which is not necessarily wrong). 

In the course of implementation, however, the German legislators are free to decide whether to implement 1:1 or to adopt stricter rules. A deviation from the wording of the directive would also be legitimate. The finer details could therefore still depend on the implementation by the German legislators.

Conclusion 

European VAT law is now very much related to payments and makes payment service providers responsible for providing information to the tax authorities of the member states. 

The legal situation at national level and the manner of implementation remain unclear. It is also still uncertain which technical means will be used to transfer the information to the responsible national authority. However, this does not mean that payment service providers can now sit back and relax, because data aggregation, orchestration and the implementation for reporting are not to be underestimated.

Author: Benjamin Schreck

Project possible in cross-border payments

Have you ever tried to convince your international network of 11,000 participants to climb Mount Everest together? An impossible project, you say. To be honest, for most of us it would probably already fail on account of the network. But the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has managed to build up a correspondingly large network since its foundation in 1973 and has started such a "project (im)possible" – except that the aim is not actually to climb Mount Everest, but to renew the messaging interface in international payments.

Showdown in November 2022

So if you look into the payments offices of global financial institutions these days, you will find this project (im)possible everywhere. Let me briefly summarise what it is all about:
 
SWIFT will change the current communication basis as of 2022. While MT transactions in accordance with ISO 15022 are currently used for communication in international payments, a migration to MX transactions will take place as of 2022. The MX transactions were defined by an international working group Cross-Border Payments and Reporting (CBPR+) and are based on the ISO 20022 standard. This is why we often speak of CBPR+ transactions or MX transactions. The scope includes the transaction formats from payments, reporting and investigation. In the "old MT world", this corresponds to the categories MT1xx, MT2xx and MT9xx.  

The new transactions are also sent via a new interface. The InterAct (FIN+) channel will be opened for payments as of November 2022. A complete changeover from the FIN to the InterAct (FIN+) channel is forced as of November 2025. SWIFT refers to the period between November 2022 and November 2025 as the "co-existence phase" and speaks of a "user-driven" migration. Each financial institution in the SWIFT network may decide for itself when to switch to outgoing MX. However, incoming MX messages must be expected as of November 2022.
 
A supposedly small migration project that has turned into one of the biggest challenges in payments in recent years. Old host systems, the processing of new data fields, the coordination with partner banks and the constantly changing conditions keep bringing new challenges and questions that need to be solved:
 
As a financial institution, when exactly should one make the switch? What happens to rich data elements? Should all sub-elements be saved or can we perhaps do without Garnishment Remittance after all? What exactly happens between November 2022 and November 2025? What is the minimum required in November 2022?
 
SWIFT has set November 2022 as the first possible go-live date. The first-mover banks still have three months to answer the last urgent questions, fix the last defects and inform the last customers. The first-mover banks, which SWIFT says account for more than 50% of the total cross-border transaction volume, are ready to go – and yet there are still changes and recommendations that may jeopardise a go-live.

Too late to turn back

The postponement of SWIFT's Transaction Manager to the end of Q1 2023 instead of November 2022 was one of the major shock moments. For a long time, the Transaction Manager was presented as the "redeeming SWIFT application" that was supposed to ensure a truncation-free transaction exchange across the entire payments chain by storing a so-called golden copy. Regardless of whether information-rich MX transactions or rudimentary MT transactions are sent or further processed, the Transaction Manager was to expand the transactions with the respective data variety originally sent and thus to ensure the consistent forwarding of all information. Now, with the delay, comes the fear that important information will be lost.
 
In order to get a grip on the problem, the PMPG (Payment Market Practice Group) published a recommendation in July to dispense with rich data by November 2023 (https://www.swift.com/swift-resource/251867/download). The term rich data refers to the information that is newly provided with the MX transactions. A financial institution can rightly ask itself whether it makes sense to carry on with the project if such uncertainty continues to prevail.
 
But it is too late to turn back. The project budget has been allocated, the development teams are in the middle of development, the first releases have already been made, the internal go-live plan is in place, the communication campaigns are running hot and the project timeline for the next few months is already set. No matter how agile a financial institution wants to be, a migration project that occupies the entire bank, from e-banking to core processing to account reconciliation, cannot simply be stopped.

We have reached base camp – the ascent is yet to come

With regulatory and market-driven rigour, SWIFT is pushing its participants up Mount Everest and, as is usual on any hike, some are further ahead and some are slightly behind. What is certain is that a number of financial institutions will be sending MX transactions starting November 2022. But have they already reached the summit they were aiming for? If one takes a look at what has been achieved and the scope intended by SWIFT, one can only speak of reaching the base camp – the ascent itself is yet to come. Monitoring of production, additional operation efforts, conversion of reporting messages, conversion of investigation messages, processing of rich data elements and any changes and suggestions by SWIFT are likely to keep project (im)possible a fixed part of the project agenda at many financial institutions.
 
In conclusion, it must be said: the SWIFT community is currently transforming cross-border payments and, with the migration to ISO 20022, is building a basis that should improve and optimise payments in the long term. Even if the promised benefits of structured and granular data, higher data quality, better analysis options and international interoperability will not yet materialise in 2022 or 2023, the foundation for more is being laid. We can be curious about what else will happen in international payments in the next few years.
 
Where do you currently stand with your SWIFT MX migration project and how do you perceive the current situation? Let us know or leave a comment.
 

Author: Florian Stade

Will financial institutions play a role in the implementation of the digital euro?

The European Central Bank's (ECB) two-year analysis phase on the digital euro is not yet over and many questions are still unanswered. However, there are already initial tendencies on some issues, such as the implementation model or the distribution of roles.

Considering the basic prerequisites of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), such as cash-like security, privacy protection, user-friendly peer-to-peer payments and widespread distribution, various implementation scenarios are currently being discussed.

In this article we will look at two common implementation scenarios:

1. Direct CBDC

In the direct approach, the European Central Bank would develop the digital euro on its own and be the interface to the users.

Consequently, the ECB is responsible for setting up the infrastructure, operating the system, performing the customer onboarding and processing the payments.
All of these issues result in enormous efforts on the part of the ECB, since in addition to the development of the back and front end, the subsequent administration and management also await the ECB. For example, customers need to be guided through processes such as KYC and AML checks. Furthermore, it remains open whether users in this model would receive a separate account at the ECB for payment activities.

In addition to the effort and time factors, the current ecosystem would be undermined, as neither commercial banks nor financial service providers would act as distributors at the customer-bank interface.

The indirect CBDC scenario is therefore far more likely:

2. Indirect CBDC

In this model, the digital euro is issued by the ECB and distributed to the end consumer via verified intermediaries, for example financial institutions and payment service providers. The distribution would be similar to the current cash system but in digital form. Consequently, the user has no direct contact with the central bank, but has a direct legal claim against it.

The model would strengthen the existing ecosystem by securing the role of intermediaries and involving them in the provision of the digital euro.
In addition to the administration, intermediaries would be able to build on established processes (including KYC and AML checks), onboarding mechanisms and front-end developments.
In this model it must also be considered that the further development of value-added services can arise in connection with existing use cases of the financial institutions and the digital euro. The ability to innovate is increased and consumers can hope for an optimised user experience.

For the reasons mentioned, we currently assume that the commercial banks will be involved in the distribution of the digital euro in order to use established processes and strengthen the direct customer contact. However, the question remains open as to whether other providers besides classic commercial banks can also take on the role of an intermediary.

At PPI, we are following this topic with great enthusiasm and consider the innovative capacity of the payments system as indispensable for the economy. To keep you up to date on current developments, we will use this blog to regularly inform you about news on the digital euro.

An important step towards unity

From the end of 2023, the range of users of the Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard (EBICS) will expand: in November of next year, the migration of payments systems from the proprietary Multi Bank Standard (MBS) used up to now will begin in Austria. For the companies in the Alpine republic, the changeover means work at first, but in the end it has clear advantages. Because with EBICS, there is a seamless connection to the largest European payments area around Germany and France. Obviously the banks do not leave their customers to make the switch on their own. First, however, the institutions themselves have to do their homework. In a joint interview, Thomas Bargehr, Product Manager Banking Solutions and Payment Services at Hypo Vorarlberg Bank AG, and Michael Lembcke, Leading Product Manager at PPI AG, talk about the schedule, advantages and procedures.

 

  1. Mr Bargehr, in July 2020, the Austrian banking industry declared its accession to the EBICS Company, and since then the introduction at the banks has been underway. How far along is your bank, what is the further roadmap?
    We are currently coordinating the requirements for automatic migration interfaces in the PSA (Payment Service Austria). They are to be used to transport data and authorisation methods from the legacy programmes and the MBS master data. This enables a user-friendly switch from MBS to EBICS. The migration itself is to follow from November 2023 according to the national project plan. From then on, all business customers must also switch to EBICS.

  2. Mr Lembcke, German financial institutions have been using EBICS for quite some time, and we have not heard of any problems. What advantages does this standard have for financial institutions compared to MBS?
    For corporate clients, cross-border multi-bank capability is particularly important. Too many different national standards or procedures cause additional work and disrupt processes. Standardisation also promotes possible process automation in the sense of straight-through processing (STP). At the architectural level, EBICS enables an innovative, contemporary design of payments systems.
     
  3. Mr Bargehr, the further development of MBS has been discontinued, so corporate customers will have to switch to EBICS at some point. This causes work for your corporate customers; what can be used to justify this?
    Since the introduction of the euro, payments and the formats to be supported by the customer software have been subject to constant change. So companies are already used to the fact that something changes every few years. The manufacturers of enterprise resource planning software usually accompany these developments in a timely and qualitatively excellent manner. Of course, the same also applies to our own house, which always sees itself as a reliable partner at our customers’ side.
     
  4.  Mr Lembcke, PPI AG is the market leader for EBICS solutions and has been involved in the standard from the very beginning. From a payments advisor's point of view, how is the introduction in Austria going?
    So far, no significant problems have been identified. The challenge, at best, is to make the transition as smooth as possible for all parties involved. Of course, as a manufacturer of EBICS software, it is our job to provide solutions. Obviously there was already a functioning e-banking standard in Austria with MBS. But in the future, the institutions and corporate customers in Austria will have a European multi-bank standard that is based on state-of-the-art architectures and will make payments in the country future-proof in the long term.
     
  5. Mr Bargehr, such a migration of data processing standards is by no means a trivial matter. How do you ensure that nothing goes wrong and there are no downtimes?
    We ascertain the current status of the customer well before the start of migration and thus determine any special requirements in terms of technology and support at an early stage. Accordingly, we then provide support for the companies until the migration. The keys to success are a clean transfer of customer accesses to the EBICS server, a short and at the same time manageable transition period as well as high-quality customer service.
     
  6.  Mr Lembcke, PPI AG has accompanied numerous migration projects towards EBICS. What approach do you recommend to a financial institution?
    There is no one-size-fits-all solution here. The procedure depends strongly on the strategy and customer structure of the individual institution. A big-bang migration, in which all customers are migrated at once, is quite conceivable. However, step-by-step migration scenarios are just as justified, even if parallel operation of EBICS and MBS becomes necessary. It is important to exchange information with the institution's corporate customers, whose migration plans should be queried. In any case, there is no reason for downtimes; migration during ongoing operation is absolutely feasible.
     
  7.  Mr Bargehr, EBICS does have regional differences; for example, France has insisted on some local adjustments. Are there also deviations from the EBICS standard case in Austria?
    Even though EBICS is not yet a standard in Austria, most banks already operate corresponding servers and clients due to market requirements. However, they have different strategies: some buy off-the-shelf solutions and operate them without further adaptation to national specifics. Others – and Hypo Vorarlberg is one of them – analyse precisely those local requirements and take them into account when designing their customer systems. For us, PPI has implemented the respective special cases into the payments solutions. Therefore, we have already been fully EBICS-ready since 2017.
     
  8. Mr Lembcke, does EBICS 3.0 have the potential to end the discussion about the need for additional, PSD2-compliant APIs?
    This is ultimately a discussion in which there can be no result in the sense of a decision. Because just as EBICS is an established standard mastered by all institutions, APIs are also an integral part of the IT landscape due to their number. Both will coexist for some time to come.
     
  9.  Mr Bargehr, what path will Hypo Vorarlberg Bank take? Do you offer additional interfaces or are you relying fully on EBICS for the time being?
    The smallest customers can continue to use our online banking as usual. However, small and medium-sized companies as well as large customers will work with us exclusively via EBICS in the future. We are taking the EBICS migration as an opportunity to gradually switch off old payments and banking systems and thus avoid double-tracking.
     
  10. Mr Lembcke, a lot is happening in European payments at the moment anyway; examples include the SWIFT migration or Request to Pay (RTP). How is EBICS to be classified in this context?
    The standard fulfils all the important requirements for harmonising the foreseeable changes in European payments with each other. For this reason alone, everything should be done to officially introduce EBICS in other countries. Attention should also be paid to standardising the way of use in order to increase acceptance. The areas of application are already diverse. For example, SEPA instant payments can be processed with EBICS, and RTP is supported in interbank communication. EBICS is the ticket for participation in payments of the future!

The European Retail Payments Strategy – an update

In today's article, we go into the development of the European payments strategy in a short interview. What is already in motion, what is new and what is on the horizon? We invited our colleague Swaantje – an expert in this field – to talk to us.

EBICS blog:
Hello Swaantje! Thank you for taking the time to be here. Would you like to tell us something about yourself first?

Swaantje:
Hi! Yes, it's my pleasure. I am Swaantje Völkel, Managing Consultant in the Consulting Payments division of PPI AG in Hamburg and I focus on adjustments that are initiated at European level. This includes the EU Digital Finance Strategy and, more specifically, the EU Retail Payments Strategy.

EBICS blog:
What is the biggest challenge here?

Swaantje:
Well, first things first – a strategy is not a law, but only a kind of declaration of intent, a framework plan for the future, for future events. There are no compulsory guidelines or deadlines, it is a process of growth, where observation, interpretation, experience and judgement are required.

EBICS blog:
So the desire for autonomy is strong, but the willingness to make it mandatory less so?

Swaantje:
The EU Retail Payments Strategy is part of the EU Digital Finance Strategy. Both are driven by, among other things, the EU's Open Strategic Autonomy, and are intended to support it. Yes, that's right – the focus is clearly on promoting the EU's Open Strategic Autonomy. The EU Retail Payments Strategy describes 17 measures of varying scale and impact. One main topic is the review of PSD2 – this is where we start at PPI.

EBICS blog:
Does this mean that things are becoming more concrete here and that changes can be expected?

Swaantje:
Indeed. The subject is slowly becoming more tangible: two current consultations are asking for feedback on the objectives of PSD2, including the question on how successful PSD2 has been in achieving its goals. Feedback should also include opinions on the enforcement of PSD2 by national regulatory authorities and any proposed changes that respondents believe should be made to the directive. There is also the question of whether the application scope, measures and procedures of PSD2 are appropriate, taking a forward-looking approach. Responses to these consultations are due to be submitted in the summer.

EBICS blog:
As the effort estimate is what's decisive – can any kind of prediction be made?

Swaantje:
PSD2 has brought massive changes with the introduction of account access by third-party providers and new requirements for strong customer authentication. After the review and amendment of PSD2, we expect changes, but not quite such serious ones. There can still be big and important changes – just not as big as the initial introduction of PSD2. The bottom line is that we have a lot of work to do – because small changes can have a huge impact and vice versa, so I am reluctant to make predictions.
 
EBICS blog:
Is it helpful to take such a vague approach?

Swaantje:
It grants us a valuable creative phase that has always provided useful insights so far. I refer to the difficult wayfinding last time. Secretly, however, we hope that the road to PSD3 won’t be quite as long as it was back then. In particular, delays are encouraged by the continuous lobbying, which on the one hand ensures progress on the strategy, but on the other hand unfortunately also means pointing out many competing wishes, evaluating them and trying to reconcile them. This is not an accelerating aspect.

EBICS blog:
In that case, be honest – when will the drafting of a PSD3 be achieved?

Swaantje:
2023! (laughs)

Big moment at the TRAVIC User Group 2022 - payments as a service in double pack

After a three-year forced break the TRAVIC user group finally took place live again. Innovations of the TRAVIC suite and product-related workshops were presented, and any resulting needs and questions were addressed in the deep dive in a collaborative setting. However, that was not all – the eagerly awaited guest speakers Alexander Merkel (Deutsche Bundesbank) and Nico Frommholz (Hamburg Commercial Bank) made people sit up and take notice: Mr Merkel outlined the status quo and dared to look over the rim by shedding light on the expectations, opportunities and risks that need to be kept in mind when dealing with the topic of "crypto currencies / digital euro". Mr Frommholz, Director Head of Payment Operations, opened the main topic of payments as a service for discussion with the presentation "SEPA is live" – a topic that PPI AG is increasingly focusing on and, in addition to EBICS, is a major drive and cause for consideration.

With the go-live of HCOB, PPI AG has demonstrably succeeded in filling a significant gap in the payments as a service market. However, it gets even better: the British Internet direct bank Revolut relies on the data exchange solution TRAVIC-Interbank and also on the payment-as-a-service model – cloud-based and by PPI AG – for its expansion into the EU region. Founded in London in 2015, neobank Revolut currently has around 18 million private customers who use the company's finance app. In January of 2022 Revolut launched its banking service offering in Germany and nine other European countries. For the aggressive development of the EU market, Revolut, as a non-EU bank, needs a connection to the European Banking Authority (EBA) as well as the technical connection to EBA CLEARING – in particular to the real-time payments system RT1 for SEPA instant payments and the STEP2 platform for regular SEPA payments. This connection is realised through the TRAVIC-Interbank data exchange solution and the payments-as-a-service model. 

The Hamburg-based consulting and software company PPI AG thus becomes an all-round service provider in the European payments business. The payments as a service solution expands the consulting and software products divisions to include a complete offering and thus rounds off the service portfolio of the Hamburg-based company. PPI, with its teams of specialised consultants and its TRAVIC suite, is therefore one of the European market leaders in the payments sector. "We are now able to offer payments as a service across the full spectrum of the payments processing for financial institutions. This enables them to relieve their IT departments, use their resources efficiently and thus improve their competitiveness," said Dr Thorsten Völkel, CEO of PPI AG. It constitutes a prime example that the TRAVIC suite not only provides the central software solution for this, but above all serves as the future for a standardised, multi-client-capable, modern and hosted payments platform for the European banking market! With these services PPI AG enables financial institutions and insurance companies to operate entire value chains as a software as a service. The modular portfolio ranges from the provision and operation of the IT infrastructure to a wide variety of services and inspires not only because of its internationality, its technical complexity, but above all on the compliance and legal level.

These success stories clearly show what we have in common: a passion for excellent payments software and consulting services. We are very pleased to have shared this aspiration on the User Group 2022. As we have all learned, sharing facts and solutions to issues in digital meetings and calls has been a matter of course. But it was precisely the mutual and collaborative inspiration from which the further development of TRAVIC products has always benefited, characterised by the lively and face-to-face exchange, that we missed. All the greater was the pleasure of being able to continue this close cooperation in a festive manner and to honour the esteemed PPI customers for two days with a packed and varied programme: from the presentation of new TRAVIC product releases, to use cases and the latest treasure troves of experience, to in-depth discussions with customers in the context of the product-specific workshops.

Author: Andreas Löwe