Nordea corporate customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be able to choose an IBM WebSphere-based payment system or Microsoft's BizTalk Server messaging platform, with a new plug-in called Financial Services Accelerator (FSA), said Patrick Geiger, Microsoft's business manager for financial services global accounts.
"We're aiming to make connections between businesses a commoditised good," Geiger said. "Companies should not have to build their own systems and pay for systems integrators to get them to work with other companies and banks. We're selling software with all the different connectors they'll need to do it easily."
Together with Nordea, Microsoft will use FSA to establish a payment infrastructure, supported by Identrus, which will support new Extensible Markup Language (XML) standards including ISO 15022.
Identrus is a private New York company that is developing identifications systems to enable e-commerce security.
Microsoft will also develop an interface for Nordea customers that will automatically translate different messaging formats. The system will be protected by Identrus' public key infrastructure (PKI) security.
FSA is due to be released later this year, Geiger said, but in the meantime customers can use a beta version, installed and supported by Microsoft.
"The beta is obviously fully tested and ready; we're just doing acceptance testing now before releasing it fully," he said.
IBM was not available for comment on its own offering, but Geiger said the three companies have worked together closely on the offerings. "It just gives Nordea a higher market potential if customers can choose between the two," he said.