Reseller News

Reserve Bank systems replacement projects nearly a year late

Bank determined a need for several systems to go live at the same time
The Reserve Bank says despite delays it remains close to budget on its payment systems replacement projects.

The Reserve Bank says despite delays it remains close to budget on its payment systems replacement projects.

The Reserve Bank expects its major system replacement projects will go live next February, nearly a year later than planned, however, they may still be brought home close to budget.

The replacement projects, budgeted at $28 million, date back to a review of its 30-year-old central securities depository systems (the Exchange Settlement Account System (ESAS) and NZClear) in 2013/14 as well as the inter-bank Real Time Gross Settlement system (RTGS).

"As a result of the strategic review and industry feedback, the bank decided that it must continue to own and operate ESAS, given that ESAS is central to New Zealand’s financial systems and the Reserve Bank’s statutory functions," the bank explained on its website.

"The Reserve Bank has chosen to retain the NZ Clear business after a divestment process attracted no sufficiently compelling commercial bids."

The replacement software, was originally supposed to go live in April 2019. This was then delayed to mid-2019 and now has been pushed out to February 2020, the bank confirmed to Reseller News.

While user acceptance testing for ESAS is complete, it appears the same process for NZClear is ongoing.

A bank spokesperson told Reseller News the projects kept very close to budget even though the go-live date had been pushed out. 

A focus on the quality of the new NZClear system determined that both it and ESAS need to go live together, the spokesperson added.

"Subject to all final assurances and quality gates being met, our scheduled go-live date for the project is February 2020," the spokesperson said.

"We continue to work closely with the member community on detailed go-live planning."

A more detailed update on the projects is expected in the bank's annual report in coming weeks.

During 2017/18 independent project assurance was sought from Wellington consultancy Gemtech on the replacement projects. 

It provided two reports assessing program health and made a range of recommendations. These included accelerating the change management stream and preparing a consolidated detailed program plan to bring all streams together, including the work undertaken by third party vendors.

The new software for the systems is being provided by Italy-based SIA/Perago running on infrastructure developed and supported by Datacom.

Late last year, the Reserve Bank booked a $3.3 million write-down on another system for trade valuation.