The term “host-to-host” (h2h) was borrowed from the sphere of computer networks where it is used to designate the transport layer of a network model that provides services to higher levels. In this article we will consider h2h as a kind of channel for interaction between a bank and a corporate client’s accounting system.
This channel provides the exchange of information objects, including electronic documents, between the automated systems of the bank and the client. It means that all possible intermediate links such as “Client-Bank” or ECM are excluded. This method makes h2h-interactions automatic, secure, continuous and reliable. Also, we should note their high speed and high throughput.
From sealing wax to host-to-host
In the XIX century in Russia was marked by the advent of the first commercial bank, so it became necessary to manage money in the bank. There were documents and instructions for carrying out operations. Of course, the documents were made of paper, they were first signed, later on seals were introduced. Thus, the technology of managing money in Russia has existed for two centuries.
The 1980s saw a rapid growth of information technology. There was an opportunity to manage one’s money in the bank remotely. We mean so-called remote banking systems, for example, mobile banking systems.
What characterized those systems? Firstly, in the 80s there were quite a few of them, and they were offered only by advanced banks. Secondly, the disparity of formats was observed: one bank used text files, another – csv, the third – databases, the fourth – archives, etc. Channels of interaction were cardinally different – somewhere there were telephone lines and direct dial-up connection, somewhere -the Internet. Thus, as there was no unified standard, each bank offered services guided by their own vision.
Around the 2000s, the first generation of electronic exchange systems evolved into the second generation. In fact, those were the usual “Client-Bank” systems. At that time, we managed to move from uncoordinated formats towards unification: all those who work with Client-Bank know that almost all interfaces look the same. There was an emphasis on the “thin” client – interaction through an Internet browser, for which you do not need to install any applications: you open the browser, register – and go ahead.
Also, in the 2000s instruments of crypto protection came to the forefront. They allow you to accurately identify the customer, and this is what led the remote banking system to the most active development. Another common feature is the use of a common xml format for data representation.
In addition, at that time, the world-famous SWIFT system for working with payments was created. It can be called the progenitor of host-to-host, only within the interbank system.
A new evolutionary leap took place around the 2010s, when many banks started offering their customers direct integration with accounting systems. What is h2h? It is the same as “Client-Bank” working without a separate interface – you can work with payments, statements and other documents relating to the bank just in your accounting system or in ERP.
How to work with Russian banks?
In fact, there are two standards in our country for the time being. One of them is the international standard ISO20022, supported by all major international banks. But Russian companies work with a limited range of them. Russian banks are very enthusiastic about the standard developed by 1C. It is called “1C:DirectBank”, and NAUKA plans to move on with this standard.
Benefits of host-to-host
Those who work with the bank in SAP, face a quite conservative implementation. We form and send payment documents, money is transferred to us, but we get to know about these transactions in the bank only the day after by receiving a statement. There can be no talk of any operational credit control with such system.
Using the h2h system allows you to receive information in seconds about both outgoing and incoming payments. Before you ship the product to the client, a good businessman always checks if the money was received from the client. How does he do it? He asks an accountant to look for a payment in “Client-Bank”. With host-2-host technology, operative credit management becomes possible: the client comes to the bank, transfers money into the account, in real time we see in SAP that the money was received –we can ship now.
Remote banking systems have a number of weaknesses. There is an opportunity to correct the information that emerged from the ERP-system before it was sent to the bank. The statement before importing it into SAP is also vulnerable to forgery. You should not forget about “drawing” payments directly in the “Client-Bank”.
With the help of h2h, data transfer between the accounting system and “Client-Bank” is excluded from the chain. There is no intermediate file – there is no possibility to fix it manually, the probability of data corruption will be less. The link between SAP and “Client-Bank”, unfortunately, now uncontrollable, it remains only to rely on the conscience of employees. However, SAP makes all the actions in the change log, you can always check the history of transactions.
Thus, host-to-host technology allows you to track all user actions in the ERP system. Since transactions do not require the user’s participation, it excludes the possibility of accidental or deliberate distortion of information.
The processes of creating, signing and sending documents to the bank are integrated into the business processes for making outgoing payments. No need to switch to other tabs for loading, unloading, verification and sending documents.
Outgoing payments become as transparent as possible. You can approve the application, create a payment document, immediately sign and send it. Information about the status of outgoing payments is updated automatically according to the schedule.
Once the bank has formed a statement for the working day, it appears within two to three minutes in the system – you do not have to wait until the responsible employee receives it, loads it, etc. In such a system, the statement becomes secondary, because the transaction takes place in the online mode. It is only necessary to make sure that everything is done properly. And the holding document itself can be done without waiting for a statement.
You can see the advantages of host-to-host technology by leaving a request on the NAUKA’s website using the feedback form. Our specialists will contact you within a working day.