HSBC has replaced nine-year-old internet banking platforms across the world with a single website to cut costs and add functionality after completing a project that saw the bank run two internet banking services simultaneously to minimise risk.
The bank has migrated more than 3.5 million customers to the new platform in a four-month project which included the replacement of all back-up servers in two datacentres as well as all critical software.
The Personal Internal banking application and its supporting security applications were replaced and the bank had to rewrite code for all applications within this such as balance reporting, bill payments and share-dealing software. The bank said there are dozens of these.
The project was managed in-house and the bank faced the challenge of moving to the new platform without breaks in service. The bank ran the two services simultaneously while integrating the identification and verification systems so that each customer was handed to the appropriate internet banking service as they logged on. "This was driven by a database that was being updated as each new batch of customers was marked for migration," said Nick Staib, spokesperson at HSBC information technology.
He said the upgrade was done to take advantage of the synergies of operating globally on the same platform. "This allows savings and functional interoperability between our global entities," said Staib.
The upgrade is not just a consolidation strategy but is also scalable to allow services to be added. "Banks must constantly review, refine and update their online service offering as this remains a very competitive aspect of service delivery," said Staib.
The bank has designed it to offer a more personalised experience for customers, which HSBC said will be important in the next generation of personalised internet banking services.
According to HSBC the previous system, which was in place when it launched internet banking in 1999, was effectively a publicly accessible online brochure with information with an internet banking section with account access and services such as bill payments and funds transfers available.
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