The next Zengin system will break away from Fujitsu mainframe and COBOL, what will change?
By February 8, 2023, the general framework of the next-generation “All Banks Data Communication System (Zengin System)”, which the Japanese Banks Fund Settlement Network (Zengin Net) aims to start operation in 2027, was known. The operating platform is a policy to break away from the existing Fujitsu mainframe and adopt an open platform. At the same time, we are considering rewriting existing COBOL programs with Java. The openness of the Zengin System is likely to have a major impact on domestic financial institutions’ decisions regarding core systems.
The Zengin System, which handles interbank remittances, started operation in 1973, and is now in its seventh generation. The system is renewed approximately every eight years, and the next-generation Zengin system, which is the eighth generation, is expected to start operation in 2027.
In April 2022, Zengin-Net established the Next-Generation Payment System Study Working Group (WG), consisting of banks, the Financial Services Agency, IT vendors, and experts, to build the next-generation Zengin System. Discussing gender. The WG plans to compile a basic policy for the next Zengin System in FY2022. In line with this basic policy, Zengin-Net plans to issue an RFP (request for proposal) in fiscal 2023, select a vendor in charge, and begin development.
Relay computer (RC) will be abolished
Currently, the Zengin System uses a “core time system” for transactions from morning to evening on weekdays, and a “more time system” for transactions on weekday evenings, weekends and holidays. Considering the impact on trading participants, this configuration will not change in the next Zengin System.
As for the operation platform of the next Zengin system, Fujitsu has announced a policy to withdraw from the manufacture and sale of mainframes and maintenance for existing customers. In constructing an open platform, do not rely on a specific IT vendor.
Applications are divided into a “mission critical area” that handles main operations such as domestic exchange, and an “agile area” that is positioned as additional functions and services for main operations. By dividing the areas and increasing their independence, we will be able to quickly implement new functions and services on the agile area side. Agile area operation platform will be considered including cloud. Functions and services that are used infrequently will also be consolidated and abolished.
At present, direct connection to the Zengin System requires banks to install relay computers (RC) based on their own connection specifications, which is costly and time-consuming. In order to improve this situation, Zengin-Net is building an API (application programming interface) gateway, which is expected to start operating in 2025-2026. As of 2027, when the next-generation Zengin System is expected to start operating, RC and API Gateway will coexist. In the future, we aim to unify with API gateway, and RC will be abolished in 2035.