(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| NTT Data to Upgrade ANSER Financial Services Network
September 30, 1998 (TOKYO) -- NTT Data Corp. revealed to Nikkei Computer
that it plans to upgrade its ANSER financial network by the spring of
|The plan aims to realize a "one-stop financial service" to allow users
to select a combination of financial products provided by banks, securities
companies and life insurance companies. It is also planning to review
its PC software application programming interface (API). Microsoft Corp.
decided to use Money in compliance with such an API, according to NTT
The current ANSER started operations in 1981 as a joint network for financial
institutions to carry out their services such as inquiries of bank balances
as well as requests for fund transfers and transfers to other accounts.
NTT Data's decision to fully update ANSER follows the company's realization
that the "current ANSER won't be able to satisfy the needs of individuals
and corporate clients after the financial 'big bang' large-scale reform
of financial systems," according to Masaharu Murakami, manager in charge
of the First Network Systems Sales and Marketing Group of NTT Data's
Financial Network Division.
The next generation of ANSER, due to start in March 1999, will interconnect
services of banks, securities companies and life insurance companies,
so as to "provide a comprehensive service (a one-stop service) made
possible by breaking down industry barriers," Murakami said.
Users with PC utilities including asset management software can perform
a series of transactions, including purchasing stocks through a securities
company and transferring payment funds from a bank account. Because
ANSER now separates three different services by type of financial institution,
it cannot offer such integrated transactions.
Also, NTT Data will review APIs used to call ANSER services from utilities
such as asset management software. Conventional APIs have a problem
because their contents differ according to financial institutions, even
if they use identical APIs.
The APIs for the next generation of ANSER will be standardized through
the initiative of the ANSER-API Consortium established this April by
multiple financial institutions. They are due to be enhanced based on
APIs of ANSER SPC, or services corresponding to TCP/IP of the current
"Microsoft has already decided to have Money support standard APIs. In
addition, several vendors will use asset management software to meet
the requirement," Murakami said.
The new ANSER can be accessed through the Internet. However, functions
will be limited to services such as balance inquiries and detailed statements.
Directions to move money such as fund transfers and transfers to another
account will be handled through an SPC dedicated network.
"Although we are implementing some security measures including encryption
technology, we cannot fully ease our concerns over Internet security,"
Multi-currency transactions will be permitted in the next-generation
ANSER. The U.S. dollar and the German mark can be used as units of currency
for balance reference as well as for directions of transfers of funds
and transfers to other accounts. They are supported mainly in corporate
services realizing multi-currency accounting and consolidated accounting
conforming to new international accounting standards.
When connecting a corporate accounting system with the next-generation
ANSER, it is possible to evaluate the market value of financial assets
corresponding to multiple currencies.