Sao Paulo-based T4B is but one of several SPB vendors that has entered an arena that includes Microsoft, ACI, Unisys, IBM and EverSystems. T4B finished building its SPB system at the beginning of this year after six months of work, and now has approximately 25 bank customers. In addition to offering systems, T4B provides advisors and information concerning the impact that the systems will have on banks.

T4B's system contains two components: the message manager and the monitor, explains Marcio Yatsuda, the company's chief information officer. The message manager, based on eXtensible Markup Language (XML), is software that creates messages on the IBM MQ series-which provides the base messaging functions for servers and clients, and assures once-only message delivery-and then puts it in the queue. The message then is directed to the Central Bank, which also is working in XML and IBM's MQ.

For the monitor piece, the individual charged with managing the bank's accounts can track money flows by the second that go in and out of the bank. In this way, he can ensure that the bank's balance never enters the red. If the banker charged with observing the bank's balance sees it veering towards zero he will try to get money from the market as a guard against a negative balance, which would be very bad for the bank because everyone in the market would know the bank was rejected, says Yatsuda. So everyone is very concerned with this because for everyone from Jan. 2 transactions must be in real time. Everyone will have to manage his money very carefully, very precisely, very second to second.

Yatsuda says that T4B offers banks both of its products together, which cost from $50,000 to $300,000, depending on the amount of the transactions and the size of the bank. Major banks, with thousands of transactions daily, need more robust products than smaller banks, which witness hundreds of daily transactions.

T4B's products are developed with Java technology, are completely Web-based, and are multi-tier. Thus, they are scaleable to both small and large banks. Additionally, because its products are entirely based on Internet standards, T4B can help bank clients make both business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions.

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