Christian Fink, COO
Until the last few years, banking organisations around the world have majorly relied on legacy frameworks. They have been driven by long-standing trends and conventional processes that are quickly becoming obsolete. Today, the tailwinds of recent technological disruptions, the dot-com boom, and tech-savvy millennial demands are pushing the boundaries of banking operations. Once a tightly-closed industry, incumbent banks today face the competitive heat on many fronts–from FinTech firms, tech start-ups, and technologically-advanced international banking organisations. Evidently, banks operating with legacy systems must shed their traditional practices, modernise core processes, and embrace the latest technologies to offer real-time transaction mediums, around the clock. For starters, banks must up their game by providing payment methods to meet the needs of today and tomorrow.
However, it’s easier said than done!
Meet van den Berg Service AG.
If there’s one company that can be truly credited with the advancement of digitised payments, it’s van den Berg. As a specialist in payment transactions for more than 34 years, the Germany-based company brings to the table Instant Payments Gateway (IPG). This 24/7/365 highly secure interface acts as a vital component to the Transaction Clearing and Settlement Mechanism and numerous payment solutions in the digital world. Presently, with its state-of-the-art hardware and software solutions and a service-oriented agile corporate culture, van den Berg positions itself as an eminent partner in digitising payment transactions.
van den Berg combines over three decades of rich expertise and agile in-house technical infrastructures to emerge as the link between payers and recipients. The organisation’s sole mission is to enable international payment transactions for banks, companies, and FinTechs through its ISO-27001 certified systems and services that meet stringent regulatory and IT standards.
Over the years, van den Berg seized every opportunity that surfaced in the payment processing realm and metamorphosed its solutions according to market demands. From leveraging successful hardware-based products such as “vdb/DTA” to bringing innovative software to currently identifying itself as a competent service provider in the German banking market, van den Berg has always been open to improvisations. The company’s penchant for transformations and excellence has propelled van den Berg to become the reliable payment transaction specialist in current times. Today, bolstered by the rich knowledge of its experienced team of developers, programmers, and consultants from the banking-world, van den Berg identifies itself as “The Transaction People.”
van den Berg’s expertise in diverse areas—instant payments, individual and bulk transactions, SEPA card clearing, Optical character recognition for paper-based settlements, T2/T2S consolidation, and SWIFT connectivity—enables it to optimise payment transactions anywhere in the world. Under the same token, van den Berg provides its customers with a secure connection to Target Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS), which has been in operation since November 2018, as well as to the alternative EBA clearing (RT1). IPG is technically connected to RT1 and TIPS via the Network Service Provider (NSP) SWIFT and the Alliance Gateway Instant (AGI).
As a service provider, van den Berg provides the necessary infrastructure on ad hoc basis, creates optimal line connection with hardware encryption in the shortest possible time, reduces total costs of ownership, and much more.
We, at van den Berg, offer a hybrid model to our clients that can be used as both, a SaaS in the service bureau operations and as an on-premise model for in-house operation of respective institutes
To add, van den berg Service Bureau guarantees a secure connection via the EBICS and SWIFT communication standards. The company also equips its customers with SIP-compliant SWIFT infrastructure that serves as the settlement platform for instant payments, enables connection to clear houses and TARGET2, and allows the exchange of financial messages. van den Berg’s proprietary solution–Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard (EBICS) helps the customer to achieve secure connectivity between Bundesbank and communication with RT1. The EBICS infrastructure helps clients in making instant payments.
A Class Apart
What distinguishes van den Berg from its competitors is its unique, double-featured portfolio that includes a mix of both, solutions and services. “We, at van den Berg, offer a hybrid model to our clients that can be used as both, a SaaS in our own service bureau operations and as an on-premise model for in-house operation of respective institutes,” remarks Christian Fink, COO at van den Berg Services AG.
To add to that, the secret recipe to van den Berg’s success lies in its integral network and close partnerships with leading organisations such as BITKOM, EBA Association, UP KRITIS, among many others. This provides van den Berg to gain valuable insights about the future developments of payment systems. “These collaborations help us to react on particular consumer needs, and then, bring relevant products and solutions into the German and European markets when the window is open,” adds Fink.
Speaking further, Fink explains that van den Berg’s unique payment processing and management (vdb/PPM) solution is the central solution for receiving, converting, validating, correcting, matching, and forwarding all payment activities. The flexible PPM model can be operated in the ASP model of van den Berg’s Service Bureau. Acting as the link between the different systems and entities involved in the payment life-cycle, PPM helps in creation/clearing of postings, processing of domestic/foreign payments, unifies bulk transactions into one platform, standardises payment formats, and imparts multi-user capability.
The highly configurable solution offers eight basic functionalities–input, import, reconciliation, approval, disposition, clearing, output, and archive. As an enhancement to its capabilities, the stellar product also facilitates SEPA Card Clearing. Replacing the former DTA, van den Berg’s SCC offers a fully automated and efficient solution for processing card payments.
Elaborating on the shifting banking climate in Europe, Fink mentions a collaboration with the client TeamBank AG, which specialises consumer credit solutions. The bank was able to ramp up its capabilities in Payments using van den Berg’s instant payment solution (vdb/IPG), which enabled them to pay out credits to their customers within seconds. Thanks to van den Berg expertise, the client was able to get into the instant payment network via RT1 and TIPS as one of the first banks in Germany and is still reaping the benefits of the collaboration.
Faring Well amid Crisis
Fink also expresses his concerns on the ongoing pandemic, but, believes, there is light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel. He mentions how there has been a drastic shift in consumer behaviour–from sending underwritings of transaction via fax to clients slowly getting inclined to the digital payment methods. All in all, Fink is hopeful that when viewed in the broad-spectrum, the Covid-19 will boost the digital payment business.
With innovation at its core, van den Berg, aims to strengthen its capabilities as a SaaS provider to banks. Already creating ripples in the German market, the company now looks forward to deepening its client base in DACH-Region. Fink even hints at the future investments van den Berg is planning. In future, van den Berg will also expand its infrastructure, data centres, and extend services.