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ASB Bank And S2 - Enhanced Transaction Processing

ASB Bank And S2 Systems Introduce Enhanced Transaction Processing Solution For Windows(R)

OpeN/2(TM) Solution Sets Standard for ATM and EFTPOS Networks By Improving Performance, Reliability, and Scalability

DALLAS, Texas, July 17 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ -- S2 Systems, Inc., a global provider of transaction processing, authorization and integrated solutions for the banking and financial services market, announced a joint initiative with ASB BANK to introduce an enhanced system for managing banking transactions. The open architecture switching solution enables ASB BANK to expand service delivery, improve customer service, and significantly reduce the cost and complexity of transaction processing services. This implementation is the first of its kind in New Zealand.

The decision of ASB BANK to transition from proprietary systems to S2's OpeN/2(TM) solution for Windows(R) sets a new price/ performance and ROI benchmark in the banking and financial services sector. It also enables the bank to maintain high availability for its payments based transaction network and broaden its delivery channels -- which in consumer terms translates into real-time transactions round the clock and expanded services. ASB BANK aims to sustain its position as New Zealand's pre-eminent retail bank with the introduction of this system.

"ASB BANK customers expect us to be at the forefront of introducing advanced, interactive electronic banking and self-service applications," stated Clayton Wakefield, ASB BANK's Group General Manager Technology and Operations. "We're introducing a number of significant technology innovations to our banking service and product range, so we need our system to be able to handle a large volume of transactions at peak times with no disruption to the customer. S2's system allows us to do that."

S2's OpeN/2 solution for ASB BANK enables a higher level of ATM management, interchange and reciprocity transaction switching as well as stand-in capabilities during periods where the mainframe server is offline. The OpeN/2 solution is built to support transactions through ATMs and EFTPOS devices, as well as Internet, wireless and other emerging technologies, connected by open or proprietary networks.

"Our collaboration with ASB BANK sets an important precedent in New Zealand and validates S2's next generation transaction processing solutions for banking and financial services," said Stephen Clark, president and CEO of S2 Systems. "We expect this key implementation to precipitate a sea change in the region, with respect to open standards-based technology, and to encourage broader adoption of OpeN/2 as the global solution of choice for open architecture transaction processing."

The bank's implementation of S2's OpeN/2 engine operating on Windows(R) servers will enable ASB BANK to handle peak transaction volumes with greater duration, speed, reliability, and scalability than existing proprietary systems.

"The ASB BANK project team worked hard to implement this system," said Clayton Wakefield. "Since going live, we are pleased with performance. Additionally we are now testing against the critical benchmark of 99.995% availability for our key transaction network. This translates into optimal availability for our 24x7 business operations, enabling us to expand customer service, and differentiate ourselves by increasing the ways our customers can do their banking electronically."

ASB BANK's transition to open architecture allows it to utilise the power of Intel(R) state-of-the-art chip technology in its servers for: easy access of relational databases, lower hardware costs, comparatively high throughput, and maximum availability. In addition, deployment of OpeN/2 in Microsoft(R) Windows NT(R) enables performance optimisation, and scalability can be provided with additional servers, improving speed-to-market in the delivery of new services.

In the banking and financial services industry, it is critical to maintain high availability of ATMs and EFTPOS networks. Seventy-five percent of ASB BANK's online transactions - handled by its payment gateway - are ATM and EFTPOS transactions. According to a report published by the Strategic Research Corporation last year, system outages can result in an estimated hourly loss of US$14,500 (NZ$35,740) in ATM fees.

About ASB BANK:
ASB BANK is a full service, nationally operating bank with more than 115 branches and 300 ATMs throughout New Zealand. ASB is New Zealand's pre- eminent retail bank and is well known for its practical application of leading-edge technology. The Bank offers retail, Internet, corporate and international banking, trading finance and investment services. ASB BANK has provided over 150 years of service to New Zealand and has been in the forefront of introducing advanced, interactive electronic banking and self- service technology. Fastnet internet banking, Bank Direct's Net Direct and ASB Securities' online discount sharetrading are the most popular online financial services offered by ASB Group. Visit the Bank's web site at www.asbbank.co.nz

About S2 Systems
S2 Systems, Inc. is a leading global provider of e-business solutions for the banking, financial services, retail and travel & hospitality industries. For more than 18 years, some of the world's largest organizations have relied on S2 products to drive their high-volume e-commerce transactions. S2 Systems' leading-edge technology enables businesses worldwide to implement Web-based initiatives that improve operational efficiency, enhance customer service and generate new revenue streams. S2 Systems is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and has offices in Atlanta, London, Paris, Maarssen, Stockholm, Dubai, Riyadh, Hong Kong, Beijing, Melbourne, and Sydney. For more information about S2 Systems, visit its Web site at www.s2systems.com

ENDS

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