Monday, 06 July 2015 06:28

Reserve Bank in call for major systems upgrade Featured

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The RBA's existing core banking system The RBA's existing core banking system

The Reserve Bank of Australia has called for Expressions of Interest (EoIs) for a new software-based core banking system.

It will be the largest such upgrade in 20 years and is the largest component of a major overhaul of its entire IT base.

While the RBA does not conduct retail banking, its role as Australia’s central bank and clearing house means its payments systems process in excess of 320 million payment and 25 million collection transactions per year, which are posted to customer accounts on an aggregate or an individual basis.

No monetary value has been attached to the new system, but the based on previous implementations it is likely to run to tens of millions of dollars, with the strong possibility that new hardware will also be necessary.

The EoI document specifies the new transaction processing system must run on the bank’s existing infrastructure. Mandatory requirements are a system based on Microsoft SQLServer or Oracle’s Relational Database server, with Microsoft Active Directory for identity management integration.

The document includes a diagram of the existing core banking system (see above).

The RBA’s call for EoIs says they must include integration technologies based on common industry standards for secure file transfer like Secure FTP, secure assured messaging technology like MQ messaging, and web services based integration. They need to be highly scalable and include “activity monitoring, application monitoring, performance monitoring, audit logging and reporting capabilities.”

Apart from the mandatory requirements, the call for EoIs says that it is preferable that the solution be based on the following technologies:

  • Microsoft Windows or Linux operating systems
  • A modern supportable language such as Java, C or .NET. If another language is used, the respondent must outline plans and approaches to minimise risk from obsolescence and related issues in skills scarcity
  • Virtualisation capability is achieved through VMWare tcServer or Oracle Weblogic. If another solution is proposed, the respondent must outline plans and approaches to minimise risk from obsolescence and ensure interoperability with the RBA’s environment.
  • Interface to the RBA's PeopleSoft general ledger.

“As the services must support critical Australian Government transaction processing, it is essential that the respondent has a substantial and proven track record in the supply, integration, implementation and support of core banking solutions.”

EoIs close on 30 July 2015.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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