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September 10, 2015updated 30 Aug 2016 12:19pm

Barclays uses Cloud to tackle payments outages

UK bank aims to enhance contingency of payments solutions.

By Alexander Sword

Barclays has launched a contingency channel for corporate customers to manage payments in the event their primary channel fails.

The Contingency Payment Access solution, developed in partnership with AccessPay, will allow clients to continue with payments when the main channel is unavailable.

Clients will also be able to initiate payments through a laptop separate to their primary infrastructure.

Outages can occur when primary users are unavailable, if a security token is lost or damaged or when the client experiences an internet outage.

Significant outages of payments channels can lead to considerable customer inconvenience, lost revenues and reputational damage.

One of the most famous disruptions to a payments system was that of the Bank of England’s Real Time Gross Settlements system back in October 2014, which settles around £685 billion of payments per day. £289.3 billion of submitted payments were settled during the day.

According to the Bank of England, this was caused by the introduction of defects during functionality changes made to the system. The need for contingency solutions was highlighted specifically by the bank after a review by Deloitte’s.

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"Among the lessons learned, the incident has highlighted the need for the Bank to further consider the contingency solutions for RTGS, as well as the future development of the system," said a statement. "In addition it highlights the need to strengthen the Bank’s crisis management framework."

Michael Mueller, Managing Director, Head of Cash Management at Barclays Corporate Banking said: "Our clients want to have certainty that they will be able to manage cash and make payments whenever and wherever they need to, and we are constantly looking to design new innovative services around their needs."

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