Absa moves IT platforms for Africa ops


Absa has moved data platforms and IT systems for its banking operations in Africa from Barclays plc's datacentre in the UK to its own centre in South Africa.

The movement of the datacentre, IT systems and customer transaction processing platforms is part of Barclays' divestment from its Africa interests formerly housed under Barclays Africa, now Absa.

The six Absa subsidiaries whose banking platforms have been moved from the London datacentre include Botswana, Ghana, Mauritius and Tanzania. The bank's platforms for its operations in Seychelles and Zambia have also been moved to South Africa.

Paul O'Flaherty, Absa's chief executive for engineering services on Wednesday described the migration of data and IT platforms as "large and complex."

He said it constituted a "significant milestone in Absa's separation from Barclays" which is set for completion in June 2020.

Banks in Africa, such as Ecobank, Standard Bank and Standard Chartered, continue to revamp their IT platforms to bring faster and convenient banking solutions.

The Absa banking platform migration project was completed on 14 April and involved the movement of "customer transaction-processing capability and data from IT systems owned and housed by Barclays to systems owned by Absa in South Africa".

The banking entity has also confirmed that normal banking operations for its depositors, which had been grounded in the six African markets, have since resumed.

"All digital channels and ATM services (are now) fully restored," Absa said in a statement.

Gartner has stated: "the shift of enterprise IT spending from traditional (non-cloud) offerings to new, cloud-based alternatives is continuing to drive growth in the enterprise" software market.

In December, Absa rolled out its new-generation replacement Absa SmartPay device which targets the SME and informal markets.

"We will bundle products that are SME-specific under SmartPay, with the first being a new mobile point-of-sale device," said Antoinette Barnard, head of business merchants at Absa earlier this year.