Icon hosts exclusive instant payments roundtable in Hungary

19 September 2017


Icon Solutions was delighted to host an Instant Payments breakfast roundtable in Hungary, in association with their local partner T-Systems on Wednesday 13th September 2017.

Breakfast Roundtable

The topic of this exclusive roundtable was ‘Instant payments – preparing for the transition’ and included guest speakers Gábor Füredi (Head of Competence Center, T-Systems), Otto Benz (Payments Director, Lloyds Bank), István Molnár (Instant Payments Expert, T-Systems), and Tom Hay (Head of Payments, Icon Solutions).

The attendee list included senior payments representatives from top Hungarian banks such as Budapest Bank, Commerzbank, Erste Bank, FHB, Raiffeisen and Unicredit.

The Speakers

Gábor Füredi, T-Systems, led the discussions by sharing the latest on the impending instant payments scheme planned to launch in Hungary in July 2019. System testing will begin in July 2018 and will continue until early next year. He highlighted the fact that GIRO has chosen a big-bang approach with 37 banks planning to go live in July 2019 together.

Gábor was then followed by Tom Hay, Icon Solutions, who outlines some of the challenges and considerations banks face when transitioning to instant payments. In particular, Tom focused on the key differences between batch and instant payments and the resulting impact on payments systems. Tom also examined the different approaches available, such as single or multiple payments hubs or modular frameworks, and discussed the relevant pros and cons of each. Importantly, Tom also highlighted what features banks should be looking for from an instant payments solution.

Otto Benz, Lloyds Bank, provided insights into the drivers behind the roll out of Faster Payments in the UK and the different approaches available at the time for adopting the scheme. Otto shared the challenges experienced first-hand in the UK and the lessons learnt that would help other markets in their transition to instant payments. Otto highlighted that instant payments represent an entirely different set of challenges for the bank, such as ‘instant’ fraud and, as a result, there is the need to address fraud check requirements and devise strategies to counter payments irrevocability in case of fraud or duplicate payments. He also mentioned the need of a strong industry body to support the adoption of best industry practices that are beneficial to both customers as well as banks providing payment services.

Some of these issues were also reflected in the experience of István Molnár, T-Systems, who has front-line experience delivering instant payments for organisations in Singapore. His experience on these projects identified that the main challenges faced by banks were around the upgrading of their back-end systems and that this led to a slow rate of adoption for the scheme during the initial period.

The Way Forward

Hungarian banks now have less than two years to upgrade their systems to enable the high volumes and straight-through processing requirements of instant payments. It was clear from the roundtable discussion that banks will need to focus on upgrading their payments systems by mid-2018 to meet the deadline.  It was also evident that there was a need for solutions designed specifically for instant payments and which are able to extend payments systems already in place. It was felt that this combination would aid and accelerate the timescales for instant payments delivery.

This roundtable was one in a series of planned payments events in Hungary. Icon Solutions will next be presenting at the T-Systems Symposium in November. If you would like to learn more about how Icon can help you with your particular instant payment challenges, or if you would be interested in attending our next event, please email info@iconsolutions.com.