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Barclays first UK bank to offer corporate clients high-tech backup connectivity

Companies always ask about contingency in their RFPs for electronic banking services, but then they accept the fax legacy technology as the backup solution. This is quite ridiculous in today’s cloud-based, Internet base EB world. Finally a bank has launched a modern and more appropriate solution to the ’lack of connectivity’ problem that occurs more often than most corporates think and often at a critical moment in transactions. Barclays Contingency Payment Access offers an alternative method to instruct urgent/high-value payments should corporates be unable to access their primary Electronic Banking application for any reason instead of resorting to fax. 

Barclays Contingency Payment Access solution

Barclays have built the first cloud-based contingency payment service banking access channel, see figure below. 

Contingency Payment Access

Source & Copyright©2015 - Barclays 

Key features:

  • stand-alone payment initiation platform allows you to instruct urgent payments if you are unable to access your primary channel and/or internal systems
  • corporates can register Barclays and non-Barclays accounts providing multi-bank contingency*
  • control user access through role entitlement
  • full audit of user access and instructions created
  • advanced security through use of SWIFT 3SKey personal digital identity tokens in combination with one time passcodes sent via SMS text
  • simple and easy-to-use service, with ongoing support.

This new service will allow Barclays corporate customers to gain access to an additional channel for managing payments should they be unable to access their primary channel. This can happen for a number of reasons including the primary user being unavailable, if a security token is lost or damaged, or when the client experiences an Internet outage. 

The new service helps both corporates - who have a slicker, easier to use service- and Barclays - who reduce the number of manual payments they have to make. 

Improving contingency strategy

The additional channel is intended to act as part of clients’ contingency plans, and will be available continually alongside their primary corporate banking channels. Clients might, for example, choose to access the new Contingency Payment Access solution via a laptop that is separate from their primary infrastructure to ensure they can instruct payments due to issues with their main systems.

Such a solution could extend to cover an Internet outage, e.g. the client may have a MiFi device to use with the laptop or even use a nearby WiFi connection.

Michael Mueller – Managing Director, Head of Cash Management at Barclays Corporate Banking said: “Our clients want to have certainty that they will be able to manage cash and make payments whenever and wherever they need to, and we are constantly looking to design new innovative services around their needs. Through this new partnership with AccessPay, Barclays can uniquely offer a new seamless service to clients which is even more convenient, flexible and resilient.”

Setup and cost

Set up involves self-registration via an internet URL, a summary of which is then presented in PDF format for the client to sign and send to the bank for approval. There is no cost for the channel itself, but the client will require a minimum of two 3Skey security tokens which are charged at £55 each. Thereafter, the client will pay the same tariff for any urgent transaction they create in Contingency as they would otherwise have paid had they initiated the instruction via their primary channel.

CTMfile take: The real question here is, “Why haven’t banks done this before?” This is an eminently sensible solution which frees corporates (and banks) from awful legacy technology and, finally, they can get rid of their fax machines.

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