Setting up EBICS – simply step by step

As a standard, EBICS offers maximum security for smooth European payment transactions. However, this also demands effort by all parties involved. The necessary initialisation and setup of bank accesses, EBICS users and rights requires careful configuration steps. To utilise the high potential of multi-banking, repeated steps must be performed which are usually distributed onto different places and executed in a decentralised manner. Reducing complex, networked applications to linear, simple sequences for business users is the art of designing user-oriented software.
The compact setup wizard that PPI has developed for its corporate customer portal TRAVIC-Port proves that this can be done conveniently, easily, and quickly. The target group is administrators on the customer side - because self-service is a key asset in modern customer-bank relationships. Allowing direct access to essential administration processes creates fast workflows without any detours to the provider.

Granted, if you want to create a new EBICS user, you will have to go through quite a few clicks; however, it is a purposefully guided, step-by-step process. The same is true for the PPI product world, i.e. TRAVIC-Port. The system requires from each individual user an ID, the master data, the initial password, and a security medium which will be used for login later on. On top of that, the user takes on different roles, has different authorisations and often more than one bank connection. As TRAVIC-Port is multi-bank capable, the respective bank accesses must also be set up. Often the main bank takes over this task for its EBICS corporate customers - and this usually means long phone calls during which the bank employee has to query all this information.

The user of the portal finds a new entry directly on the start page (see Fig. 1). This link can be used to go directly to the setup wizard and greatly facilitates the introduction to the secure world of EBICS. Via a series of dialogs, the wizard queries all necessary data in order to create a new EBICS user.

The wizard also ensures that the data is entered in the correct places. This is particularly convenient because the system sets up the download agents via a different menu item than bank accesses and users, for example. Although this makes sense logically, it complicates quick input and makes new setups error-prone and tedious. Dialogs prevent important data from being omitted and enable you to see at a glance what information is actually required. For instance, the first thing to do is to set up a new bank account - whether this is done by the bank or an administrator on the customer side is irrelevant. The dialogue asks for all required information and shows how much work still lies ahead. As many as seven dialogs come together for the setup of a new bank access (see Fig. 2).

Once all bank accesses are set up, it's usually time for the individual users. For example, a small law firm wants to set up account authorisations for the owner, two employed lawyers and an assistant - specifically different ones for each individual. The owner naturally wants to have all rights, be able to order and release transactions without limits and, for example, issue releases for her colleagues via an electronic distributed signature. The two employed lawyers, on the other hand, are only allowed to release transactions up to a certain amount on their own - and the assistant may create payments but not release them. All four in turn should be able to see the account statements which are downloaded from the EBICS bank server. All these configurations are facilitated by a dialog that can create new colleagues for an already created corporate client (see Fig. 3).

Starting and working with EBICS in payments can thus be simplified rather easily without sacrificing security and compliance with standards. The setup wizard has been tested in practice and is in use at well-known major customers. If you would like to know more about this feature in TRAVIC-Port, please contact us. Together, we make EBICS easier.

Author: Christian Veith 


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