Defining a Payment Services Hub: Why Can't We Just All Agree?

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22 November 2010


Over the last few years, the concept of payment services hubs (PSH) has been promoted by vendors and industry analysts as the leading approach to modernising banks’ payment infrastructures. However, more work needs to be done to get everyone to standardize the language and to agree on key definitions.

“Payment services hubs,” “payment engines,” “payment factories,” and other terms seem to be used interchangeably. What do these terms mean, and why can’t we all agree? In this report, Defining a Payment Services Hub, Celent defines the PSH concept and clarifies the key terminology related to this topic. The report describes the scope, functionality, and technology architecture requirements for a solution to qualify as a true payment services hub. It then describes the four types of payment services hubs being implemented in the market today.

“A payment services hub is an architectural vision, which can guide any bank embarking on a payments infrastructure modernisation project,” says Zilvinas Bareisis, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Banking Group and author of the report. “Every bank is approaching it slightly differently, which contributes to a lack of agreement on terminology.”

This is the first report in a series on payment services hubs. An upcoming report will review relevant vendor offerings and capabilities, and a third will explore the drivers of PSH adoption and review different approaches to how banks use the PSH concept to upgrade their payments infrastructures.