The Financieele Dagblad reports that Rabobank outsources its cross-border payments to Fin-Force, while simutaneously acquiring a 22% share in this Belgian company. An English press-release can be found at Yahoo.
The two articles provide an indication of the future ICT-strategies of Dutch banks. ABN AMRO and ING will start to become a European gateway for other banks; notably for smaller banks who can not further bear the burden of investments towards integrated European processing. Rabobank on the other hand has decided to be an early mover by partnering with KBC's Finforce.
Fin-force, starting out as the separated payments processor for KBC, is increasingly partnering with others. On March 11, Finforce signed a partnership with DZ BANK AG/Transaktionsinstitut. And now the deal with Rabo is done. This will allow Fin-Force, Rabobank, DZ BANK AG and KBC Bank to acquire a bigger market share in future.
At the moment, Fin-Force processes around 3300 million transactions a year (22.5 million of which are cross-border transactions) for DZ BANK AG and KBC. With Rabobank, they will have to process approximately another ten million payments and cheques.
The actual shift towards Finforce is planned for 2007. This results in the redundancy for 45 Rabo-employees, for whom new jobs will be sought.