The importance of store and forward functionality

Being “always on” is table stakes for any service conducted online, including financial services. Downtime erodes trust and increases customer churn.

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When it comes to digital transformation, the financial industry is often the opposite of ‘early adopters” – and it’s not always their fault. Sometimes it’s about the options they have at their disposal.

Most core banking systems, for example, were built in the 60s and 70s and are still being used today. Some have managed to somewhat keep up with technological advances in recent decades (a term we don’t typically hear in the software development world) and now enable other systems to integrate so banks can have more flexibility in terms of tech products and services they can offer to their end customers.

However – all bank CTOs and CIOs are aware of the fallibility of core banking systems. For daily maintenance or whatever reason, this software which is the closest version of a heartbeat for the bank, is down nearly every day for some core banking systems.

In the digital era, online account opening should be available 24/7

Since most core banking software used in the financial industry was built in the 60s, 70s and 80s, they don’t have modern deployment pipelines to allow for frequent updates and seamless servicing. Many core banking systems have periodic downtimes (some as often as every night) – the dreaded “nightlies” (yes that’s a real word to describe real software). These batch processes take down a bank’s core, even in peak transaction hours. That means banks are simply closed to new accounts during those times, sometimes even during peak traffic for online account opening (after dinner on the east coast for example) and a large part of the financial system effectively “shuts down” at night and on weekends. Imagine a bank branch being closed during the hours when most customers are trying to come in the door!

The reality is – today’s consumers expect technology to work 24/7/365, including weekends, overnight, and on public holidays. Being “always on” is table stakes for any service conducted online, including financial services. Downtime erodes trust and increases customer churn.

Fortunately, there’s technology that can fix this.

Technology that integrates with any bank’s core should have the ability to protect itself (and consumers) from down-time through a process called store and forward. That way, banks can continue to perform online transactions seamlessly at all times, even when the core system is down.

How store and forward works

  1. MANTL’s technology continues to allow for consumers to open accounts online while the core is down by listening for the core’s “heartbeat”.
  2. When a “heartbeat” is not heard, MANTL treats the core as a service in pending status and “tanks-up” requests which would otherwise be sent real-time to the core.
  3. When the heartbeat resumes, MANTL then flushes the “tank” and processes all the stored transactions.
  4. The customer still gets a message that their account is approved (since MANTL automates 88-92% of KYC and AML decisions), and the bank gets the account booked to the core automatically when the core is back online.

This allows banks to avoid losing customers to competitors during these downtime periods. In rare cases when customers are looking for account and routing numbers immediately, store and forward functionality may still present a delay until the core system is back online. However, the experience is seamless for the majority of banking customers.

We’ve written about the importance of immediacy when it comes to using microdeposits for account verification as well.

If you’re tired of being held hostage to your core banking software uptime, get in touch with us.

With MANTL, you can keep your existing core and also keep your Online Account Opening open 24/7/365.

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