IFX Standard Framework

The IFX standard uses a service-oriented architecture (SOA) framework for interactions between businesses and applications. The framework exposes obvious design patterns, standard abbreviations and common message handling techniques that make it easy to work with in any business or technical setting.  New capabilities can easily be incorporated that are immediately compatible with those previously defined. Be sure to visit the Standard Content page to understand the wide variety of business capabilities supported in the Framework.

SOA Framework
Key Concepts

Built with the recognition that every business superimposes its own unique practices on any standard, the framework allows for customization and extensibility while adhering to strict design principles needed for large-scale interoperability.

The IFX standard has been built for platform and technology independence and cross-industry applicability, based on a rich set of common objects, a reliable request-response message protocol and a consistent service-oriented architecture.

The following concepts are key to understanding the IFX framework.

  • Network-connected endpoints are assumed not to be necessarily managed by a single entity.
  • The Request-Response Message Protocol is strictly followed to ensure reliability in stateless environments common to internet communications.
  • IFX Common Object definitions include reliable identification of individual objects and the service or service provider that “owns” them.
  • Design patterns and naming conventions are consistently applied.
Object Model
Object Model
The IFX Specification content covers a broad range of capabilities necessary for most core banking functions, including account management, customer management, statements, authorizations, loans, payments, checks and much more.

The foundation of the IFX Specification includes a set of common objects that can be used across multiple types of financial services. This facilitates the implementation of cross-service applications.  A financial institution that wants to offer multiple services (such as banking and insurance) that may be located in different business units can readily take advantage of the common object definition to unify the disparate systems.

Another significant advantage of the IFX Object Model is that it offers an easy-to-understand common reference for mapping your data and your partners’ data to the standard.

This diagram shows the basic container hierarchy of every object in the IFX Standard. The data attributes commonly associated with an object are found mostly in the xxxInfo segment and the current state of the object is found in the xxxStatus segment.ObjectContainerModel

Another significant advantage of the IFX Object Model is that it offers an easy-to-understand common reference for mapping your data and your partners’ data to the standard.

Here are some key concepts of the IFX Object Model:

  • Every IFX object adheres to this exact same design pattern.
  • The names of the data elements in every object are constructed exactly the same way. You have only to substitute the name of the object for the xxx pattern in these lists to arrive at the exact tag name for a specific group of data elements.
  • This consistent application of rules and patterns makes it easy to extend the standard and makes it clear where your data extensions will reside.
Additional helpful resources:

Topic Synopsis Link
Object & message model
  • Gain insight into the role of the Object-Message model
  • Learn how messages can be routed to other service providers
  • Understand how the Message Request Header supports authentication
View Video
Object model details
  • Learn about the design pattern used by every IFX Object
  • Discover how IDs, IDENTs and SvcIdents work together to identify specific data objects and their owners
  • Understand naming conventions that make it easy to find data in the specification
View Video
Object aggregation data A deeper look at IFX Objects

  • How Aggregate Extensions support renaming as well as extending with additional data
  • How Abstract Aggregates work in practice and why they are important.
  • How the Party object makes extensive use of Abstract Aggregates and Extensions
View Video
The IFX Object Model includes these named objects.

BMS Object Name Keywords
Acct Deposit Account, Loan Account, Certificate of Deposit, CD, Time Deposit, Credit Account, Rewards Account, Mortgage Account, Secured Loan Account, Unsecured Loan Account.
AcctAcctRel Sweep, Interest Distribution, Overdraft, Notional Pooling.
AcctHold Account Hold, Permanent Hold, Check Hold, Court Order Hold, Restriction, ACH Hold, Authorization Hold, Collateral Hold, Secured Account Hold.
AcctPayOff Loan PayOff, Payoff Request, PayOff Estimate
AcctStmt Account Statement, Financial Statement, Bank Statement, Interim Statement
AcctTrn Transaction History, Transaction Search, Account Transaction
AcctTrnImg Check Image, Deposit Slip Image
Alert Notification, SMS Text,
Ath Authorization, Transaction Authorization, Credit Authorization
Bill Account Statement, Invoice, Notification, Billing Statement
Biller Creditor
Card ATM Card, Debit Card, Credit Card, Prepaid Card, Pin Reset, Temporary PIN
CardAcctRel Card Account Relationship, Credit Card Account, Card to Account Relationship
CardOrder New Card Order, Pin Order
CardUpdate Issuer Script Command, Prescript, Pre-Script
ChkAccept Check Acceptance, Check Authorization, Check Verification, Funds Verification
ChkIssue Check Issue, Positive Pay
ChkOrd Check Order, Order Checks
ChkSum CheckSum
CompRemitStmt Comprehensible Remittance Statement, Lockbox
Credit Credit Transaction, Deposit, Cash Deposit, Check Deposit, Merchandise Return, Check Payment, Envelope Deposit
CustPayee Customer Payee, Add Biller, Add Bill
Debit Debit Transaction, Withdrawal, Fee, Purchase, Purchase Cash Back, Credit Card Advance, ACH Verification
DepBkOrd Deposit Book Order
Dev Device
Disc Disclosure, Agreement, Terms And Conditions
Dispute Dispute, Credit Card Dispute, Transaction Dispute
ForExDeal Foreign Exchange Deal, FX
ForExQuote Foreign Exchange Quote, FX
ForExRateSheet Foreign Exchange Rate Sheet, Rate Inquiry, FX
ICCUpdate Issuer Script Command, Prescript, Pre-Script
Inventory Cards, Order Volume, Reorder Level, Seasonal Order, Stamps, Check Stock, Money Orders, Envelopes
MagCardUpdate Issuer Script Command, Prescript, Pre-Script
MediaAcct Media Account, Teller Drawer, ATM Container, Safe, Recycler, Cassette, Vault
MediaAcctTrn Media Account Transaction, Buy, Sell, Dispense, Replenish, Set Balance
Note Comments, Special Instructions, Remarks
Offer Opportunity, Campaign, Products, Services
Party Customer, Consumer, Prospect, User, Attorney, Ownership, Responsibility, Signatory, Organization, Retail, Trustee, Guarantor, Guardian, Executor, Administrator, Borrower, Co-Borrower
PartyAcctRel Party Account Relationship, Owner, Individual, Joint Tenant, POD, Payable on Death, Power Of Attorney, POA, Trustee, Guarantor, Guardian, Executor, Administrator, Signatory, Borrower, Co-Borrower
PartyCardRel Party Card Relationship, Primary, Secondary
PartyPartyRel Party Party Relationship, Householding, Customer Grouping
PartySvcAcctRel Party Service Account Relationship, Billpay, Account Link
PartySvcRel Party Service Relationship, Service Link
Passbk Passbook
PassbkItem Passbook, Transaction, Printed Item
Pmt Payment, Credit, ACH, SWIFT, CHAPS, CHIPS, Book Transfer, Debit Network, ePay, Federal Reserve Network, Remittance
PmtBatch Payment Batch, ISO20022, PAIN, Direct Debit, Payment Cancellation, Payment Reversal, Credit Transfer
PmtBatchStat Payment Batch Status, ISO20022 Payment Status Report
PmtEncl Payment Enclosed Transaction, Envelope Deposit, Cash Deposit, Check Deposit
ProdIntRate Product Interest Rate, APY, Rate Tier, Accrual Method, Compound, Prime, LIBOR, APR
PurchItem Purchase Item, Prepaid
RecurChkOrd Recurring Check Order, Recurring Model, Repeating, Instances, see ChkOrd
RecurPmt Recurring Payment, Recurring Model, Repeating, Instances, see Pmt
RecurXfer Recurring Transfer, Recurring Model, Repeating, Instances, see Xfer
Remit Remittance, Payment, Bill, Invoice, Payable, see Pmt
SecObj Security Object, PIN, Key, Encryption, Password, Certificate
StdPayee Standard Payee, Biller, Creditor, Payable To
StopChk Stop Check, Stop Payment
Svc Service
SvcProvider Service Provider, Host, Application, Owner
TerminalObj Terminal Object, ATM, POS, Device
TerminalSPObj Terminal Service Provider Object, Host, Application, Owner
Trn Transaction, Credit, Debit
Xfer Transfer, Credit, Debit
Message model
Request-Response Message Model
All data exchanges are handled with a reliable request-response protocol. Predefined messages and message formats simplify initial understanding and later extensions.

The messaging framework includes message header information that facilitates:

  • Message routing in SOA environments
  • Message routing to-from service provider partners
  • “Blind routing:” i.e., route messages based on header without inspecting message details
  • Multiple security and authentication credentials per message
  • Combining messages to perform common operations in a single step

All response messages include status indicators to maximize reliability.

IFX messages are consistently available to all IFX objects. In addition to ordinary CRUD-like operations, the messages include additional operations such as Audit and Sync, which support reliable stateless operation.

All message responses include Status details, which can include not only success/failure indicators, but may also include the state of the data on the service provider’s system.

Take a look at this educational video to learn more.  View Video.

  • Gain insight into the role of the Object-Message model
  • Learn how messages can be routed to other service providers
  • Understand how the Message Request Header supports authentication
Service model
Services, Service Providers
The IFX Framework is based on the key concept that Service Providers offer Services to clients.  Clients may be customers (i.e.,Party), applications or other Service Providers.

The participating entities in an IFX-enabled solution can be separate financial institutions, corporations, devices, customers or service providers of many varieties – all of which may or may not have pre-established relationships with each other, may or may not reside within the same corporate walls, and may not even be located within the same country.  Nevertheless, transactions must be reliably directed to and from service end-points with proper authentication, predictable error-handling and auditable results.  The IFX standard supports all of this with its Service Oriented Architecture.

Service Providers (SPs) may partner with other Service Providers to fulfill the necessary steps to satisfy a client request. Each SP can simply forward messages received from clients to other service providers to act on.  This capability to delegate services without client awareness is an important precept of SOA architecture, and the IFX framework fully supports this notion. SPs may be co-located or geographically separated.

Service Providers may be single companies offering many services or multiple companies partnering to provide a single service.  The granularity of a service is defined by the institutions offering them, not by the IFX Forum.  This facilitates service segmentation across business boundaries, technical boundaries or both, with complete flexibility within the framework.

In the IFX framework, it is easily conceivable that a Service Provider may be an application that collaborates with other applications and that those applications are built on different platforms with different technologies.  The stateless Rq-Rs protocol and built-in recognition of Service Provider routing and data ownership are all critical to easy adaptation of the IFX model to any deployment model in any channel.

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