Interesting article on the payments process in Bank Technology News - Collapsing the Payments Process for an Enterprise-Wide View of the Business. One of the key approaches identified is "Process automation and support driven by a dynamic rules engine", with which I agree completely. There were some quotes that I thought were particularly apropos for illustrating why Enterprise Decision Management is a perfect fit for this view of payments.
"elevating payments processing from a back-office function organized by distinct lines of business ... into a strategic business that needs to be managed with an enterprise-wide view"
Absolutely, and this is a key tenet of Enterprise Decision Management - stop taking decisions in silos or lines of business and start taking decisions across the enterprise. Treat decisions, like payment decisions, as corporate assets and manage them as such.
"The benefits of an enterprise-wide approach are many and include the ability to more easily meet regulatory requirements... to provide near real-time positioning for settling accounts throughout the day rather than just at end of day, to decrease costs associated with running multiple payment platforms, and to improve research and exception processing."
The use of business rules to manage decisions has great value when it comes to demonstrating compliance, especially with layers of numerous rules as in payments. I won't repeat myself here as there's lots more on the blog under Compliance. Moving to real-time from batch decision-making is another reason people automate these kinds of decisions and the automation of decisions like this also enables an organization to move to 24x7 operation as decisions can be taken anytime. The use of a central decisioning platform, especially one like Blaze Advisor that supports multiple platforms such as .NET, COBOL and Java, can really help with this centralized, managed, cheaper approach. Lastly the use of rules makes exception handling and research into decision processes easier - rules are easy to log and the logs can then be analyzed or passed on to those handling the exceptions.
"key to achieving an enterprise-wide view of payments is to break down existing payments silos and instead provide a single instance of payment information"
Well I think you need not just a single payment information instance but also a single point of payment decisioning. EDM for Payments.
P.S. Fair Isaac and Oracle have integrated Blaze Advisor and BPEL and BPEL is one of the few business process platforms that has the concept of a "decision service", making integration of an EDM approach particularly straightforward.