Customer Enterprise, Your Trade Finance Front-end Solution
Addressing the Challenge
The global market has advanced into a trend where high value goods require handling within a matter of hours, instead of days, putting pressure on banking technologies to match these new demands.
Bank customers, looking for reduced turnaround time and more efficient methods by which to address evolving business requirements, have adopted channels such as email for correspondence, and browser for low-cost data input and information retrieval. Banks, in turn, need increased sophistication in their technology infrastructure to be able to offer services that will help their customers meet the demands of their business.
China Systems, the world's leading supplier of trade finance systems, provides bank customers with a browser based interactive message creation and communications system that allows access to all open account, payment, and trade finance services of the bank with the speed and efficiency that a modern commercial environment requires.
What is Customer Enterprise?
Customer Enterprise is the front end component of China Systems' Enterprise solution, which may be implemented with Eximbills Enterprise, our back office component, or with any other back office system in the bank.
Customer Enterprise is an adaptable and easy-to-use business- to- business (B2B) solution that provides bank customers with a convenient and secure single window for processing and enquiring on all their trade finance, open account and payment transactions, providing support for the full range of financial supply chain and SWIFT TSU-related activities.
Starting from the upload of Purchase Order data or image files on the buyer side, through generation of invoices and settlement instructions on the supplier side (via L/C, Collection, Cheque, Sight or Deferred Payment) the customer and the bank have a single window for processing and monitoring financing requests and to offer services on both ends of the supply chain. All users who are given access to the Customer Enterprise portal can communicate in real-time, whether they are part of the bank's internal network, the bank's customer base, an in-sourced bank, a customer of an in-sourced bank or another party in the trade chain.
Designed using Java EE technology (Java Platform, Enterprise Edition) for building Web-based Enterprise Applications, Customer Enterprise runs on a very robust SOA-compliant technological platform that allows banks to take their destiny into their own hands and quickly accommodate the market's dynamic business requirements.
Banks can opt for independence from application vendors, providing them with a higher degree of control over future strategy and costs.
With its thin-client and platform-independent processing capabilities, Customer Enterprise allows bank customers and other parties to access services such as trade finance, open account and payments through Browser technology provided via Internet, Intranet, or Extranet applications.
• Provides standard integration mechanism, via SWIFT or XML formats, to interface with China Systems' or other back office solutions
• Facilitates rollout and maintenance requiring no software on the client side
• Provides high level of security, supports White List checking, PKI, Token authentication, and Single Sign On, and enables integration with third party security products
• Allows automatic and business logic-driven creation of documents based on transaction input, own uploaded data, and data received from the bank
• Provides browser-based screens for real-time enquiries
• Reduces errors and increases productivity by applying business validations and maximum reuse of data
• Incorporates easily configurable parameters
• Offers extensively reusable framework and capabilities
• Provides a low cost development platform for bank-wide, front-end applications through the use of its RAD toolkit
System Characteristics and Functionality
Cross-Platform Architecture and Multi-RDBMS
The cross-platform design of Customer Enterprise gives banks immense flexibility in the choice of platform, operating systems, as well as presentation and application servers that fit their technology standards. Moreover, this solution allows vast freedom in the design and maintenance of the user interface to meet the bank's GUI standards. Customer Enterprise offers full multi-language capabilities at user interface and output level.
The system supports a fully interactive processing relationship between customer and bank as it may be accessed over the web, regardless of customer location. It does not require installation of any software on the client.
Customer Enterprise, being based on the Java EE framework, employs extensive usage of industry standards such as XML, JMS, JDBC, Web Services, SOAP, and Federated Identity.
Java EE is a standard/platform designed by a consortium of well-known companies including BEA, IBM, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems, to develop distributable enterprise software applications. Java EE is a platform-independent system that can be run on any computer, thereby eliminating the need for platform-specific applications. Java EE is currently the definitive standard for robust enterprise applications.
Customer Enterprise supports third-party security hardware and software that meet industry standards. It is designed to be a robust system, assuring end-to-end security control.
Customer Enterprise supports Two Factor Authentication, Public Key Infrastructure, Digital Signatures, Token Authentication, LDAP, Single Sign On, SSL, and MAC'ing, among others.
Parameterisation can be done in a controlled and time-effective manner, without source program modification. Experienced and well-trained users can maintain and modify existing parameters or add new business functionality on their own as required by an evolving business environment.
Advanced Multi-Entity Capability
• fully supports global and regional processing across multiple time zones and allows banks to use and control a centralised business application and its resources in the most efficient way
• can be deployed in multi-bank or ASP mode
• enables a straightforward and controlled rollout of business functionality across the bank's entire network through thin client user access, whereby the geographical location of processing centres and customer service centres can be optimised to reduce costs, improve operational efficiency, intensify customer relationships, and deliver superior service through closely integrated front and back office processing
• supports the definition of parent-child relationship between different entities of the same company, in the same or different countries, thus administering intra-company processing flows
Customer Enterprise provides customers with the facility to define and maintain text clauses, transaction templates, as well as third party information in transactions, such as counter-parties and their banking relationships, and shipping and insurance companies. An archiving facility is provided to selectively store transactions with an archived status, as well as to individually restore transactions from the archive.
Single Sign-on Enabled
Besides having a customisable look and feel, the Customer Enterprise solution can be fully integrated within the bank's existing web portal, allowing the customer to use a single login profile.
e-Business Platform Support
Apart from using SWIFT standards, Customer Enterprise supports messaging formats such as SWIFT FIN and ISO20022 compliant TSU XML.
File Upload and Viewing Capability
Customers may upload and view image files, as well as files from their ERP systems, subsequently making the data instantly available to themselves, to the bank, or to other parties in the trade chain, which would be given access to the Customer Enterprise portal. Similarly, the bank can send image files and other documents from the back office to Customer Enterprise, e.g., in PDF format.
This capability can be applied to many business areas, such as Purchase Orders related to L/C's, the document discrepancy handling process, and the presentation of invoices for discount.
Central Inbox and Intelligent Notification Capabilities
The solution provides a central inbox that informs the user about all transactions that require attention or activity.
Another alternative for informing users about new business events is through the definition of email notification rules. Through this capability, authorisers may be advised about transactions that are to be released, as well as about new incoming transactions or transaction events. Moreover, the solution supports email notifications to bank staff as a result or transactions generated by bank customers via the front end.
In addition to its detailed online inquiry capabilities, Customer Enterprise provides support for open source reporting tools such as BIRT, JasperReports, and Pentaho. It can as well be integrated with leading Business Intelligence solutions such as Crystal Reports.
Scalability, Load Balancing, and Failover
The number of Internet users transacting business online is increasing significantly. Business volume growth forecasts can only do so much. Customer Enterprise supports load balancing seamlessly and automatically over multiple servers to process heavier loads or larger amounts of transactions, or even to provide seamless failover without changing the system. Vertical or Horizontal scalability is fully supported, hence extra processing power can be added easily to the solution without disruption.
Customer Enterprise's Java EE technology is available on a wide range of hardware platforms that enable bank customers to access authorised data using browser-based technology.
Because its architecture is based on international standards, using mainly off-the-shelf components, it enables banks to use standard web development tools such as Front Page, DreamWeaver, and Websphere Studio to design the web pages and to facilitate integration with the parameter system. Customer Enterprise supports a number of servers such as WebSphere, Weblogic, and other Java EE-compliant servers running on Windows NT, Windows 2000, Unix, Linux, and IBM Mainframe. Moreover, Customer Enterprise can support most major RDBMS's including, DB2, Oracle, Sybase, Informix, and SQL servers.
As Customer Enterprise is based on Java standards, its code is portable regardless of the technology it is required to be executed on. Customer Enterprise business logic may be separated from the presentation logic such that it is able to support multi-channel delivery of data to the customers. Today, the range of these channels includes internet banking and browsers. Tomorrow, data delivery may very well use phones, interactive TV, and other similar devices.
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