The Electra electronic banking system provides a single, integrated and transparent interface for communication between banks and their customers, with components covering every electronic channel used by financial institutions.
Electra is the market leading electronic banking system in Hungary, which has provided secure and fast communication between banks and their customers for more than 25 years. Financial institutions implementing our system can ensure secure management of their customers’ financial transactions also when customers log in remotely. From account balance queries to direct debit transactions, to securities transfers, customers can use nearly one hundred order types and queries, giving them full access to the bank’s services through the system.
At the beginning of 2019, 15 financial institutions offering account management services and 12 savings co-operatives used Electra services – some of them under the name ‘Electra’, some others under their proprietary brand names. With the popularity of electronic channels growing, the number of retail and corporate customers using our system is continuously increasing.
We have gained important integration experience for the past two decades as we have had to interface our system with financial institutions’ IT infrastructure not only as part of the initial implementation process in already operating banking environments, but also following modifications in or complete replacement of the banks’ back-end systems. Because of this, Electra has several functions to support switching over from one IT system to another.
Electra services have been continuously extended for the past two decades and all relevant system components have been upgraded in line with technological developments. Taking into consideration the feedback received from our customers and the international trends in financial services provision, we made significant development efforts and – in addition to our Client Program, the installed client-side software providing a common solution in the initial period – released the Electra Internet Banking module in the early 2000s, the same time when the internet revolution began in earnest. Responding to the growing popularity of smartphones and the increasing demand for mobile payment services, we also launched the Electra Mobile Banking service in 2008, which was developed further into the hybrid MobilApp in 2017.
Our partners have different banking backgrounds and risk sensitivity, and they subject our systems to regular audits. As a result of these audits, we continuously upgrade the security parameters of Electra, also observing the newest versions of the relevant international IT security standards.
A single integrated system
The greatest advantage of Electra is that its components use a single system to cover all electronic channels of banks and savings co-operatives, from high-performance installed client applications to MobilApp, to open API solutions. This arrangement allows flexible management of the channel types available to users; moreover, it facilitates the tasks of system operators and administrators.
The core element of the system is the Electra server, which communicates with the bank’s account management systems and other specialised back-end systems. The connection is always implemented in line with the bank’s needs and the IT requirements. Based on the preferences of the financial institution, this connection can use webservice, MQSeries, BEA WebLogic or even native TCP/IP-based technology. The Electra modules also connect to the server, which is the central storage of all user access IDs and access rights.
The consistency of the system enables customers to access banking services via the channel most suitable under the current circumstances and for the given needs. Users working at the same company and having different mobility levels or different technical backgrounds can use different channel types simultaneously as the channels supplement each other and can be used concurrently.
The greatest advantage to operators is that the different channels do not require running separate, standalone systems, which means that every channel can be updated and maintained from a single location. There is no need to acquire specialist knowledge in different fields either, which improves operational safety and reduces operating costs.
Even when the bank’s account management or other back-end systems are replaced, it is enough to develop and test a single interface (the one used to connect the Electra server), which greatly mitigates the risks, the time requirement and the costs of the switchover.
Electra’s central customer database stores all appropriate access IDs and user access rights for all channels at one place. This makes user administration easy and flexible, with all necessary settings specified for every channel centrally and at once.
The single most important feature of the Electra system is the interoperability between its components. These components complement each other, and their combination creates an easy-to-use platform which can be operated as a kind of ecosystem covering the whole spectrum of banking services for customers.
When processing their banking orders, corporate customers can transfer their incomplete order packages between channels, which opens up new possibilities. For instance, a package added or imported in an installed client program can be signed and sent to the bank by another authorised company user via Mobile or Internet Banking, or perhaps, the openAPI channel. Companies can fully exploit the advantages of this function if their users with signatory powers do not work at fixed physical locations: our solution allows such users to access Electra from their mobile devices and to query and finalise order packages to be sent to banks via MobilApp or an interface provided by a third-party service provider (TPP).