Down under, new regulations requiring 24/7 retail payment operations nationwide are necessitating the banking and financial sectors’ move to the Cloud.

Like the rest of the world, New Zealand’s banking and financial sectors are accelerating their transformation to fully digital businesses and preparing for industry changes as a result of a long pandemic.

In response to this landscape, Kiwibank’s newly installed, full capability Payment Hub is set to meet the challenge by providing real-time experiences payment experiences. The payment hub is a software-as-a-service solution hosted in Azure via a secure platform.

According to its Chief Product and Strategy Officer, Elliot Smith: “Many consumers now expect almost everything to be available instantly and the payments system is no exception. The nature of cloud technology means we’ll be able to do things faster and more efficiently, and we’ll be able to deliver those simple and seamless experiences customers now demand. The business benefits of real-time payments are huge, including enhanced cash flow management and improved liquidity. This improvement will be especially impactful to small merchants that may be used to waiting days for their settlement.”

Through this latest digital transformation move, the bank expects to lower the cost of operating multiple (and growing) payments services such as related back-office functions and overlapping IT infrastructures, Smith said. By utilizing ACI Worldwide technology, the bank will be able to bring new products and services to market faster, add new payment types quickly and cost-effectively to its existing core infrastructure, and rapidly scale to meet customer demands.

The move also prepares and equips the bank for impending industry changes, when the New Zealand retail payment system is required to operate seven days a week, 365 days a year. At present, settlements between banks occur at regular intervals between 9am and midnight on business days only.

ACI Worldwide’s managing director Leslie Choo said: “We are excited for what this flexibility and operating model holds for Kiwibank and other financial institutions across the region.”