TANGO is a mission-critical transaction processing system for acquiring, routing, switching, authenticating, and authorising transactions across multiple channels including ATM, POS, e-Commerce, and Mobile.
TANGO Payments Server is based on a generic architecture that has no restrictions on transaction types: both standard and non-standard transactions can be easily defined in the system, as can new transaction types and message flows.
TANGO operates as a truly integrated processing engine allowing full support for traditional payments processes such as high availability and fraud detection. These are integrated into the architecture as part of standard product, reducing dependence on 3rd party software and removing any associated compatibility issues. In addition, financial institutions can use TANGO to expand beyond the traditional types of transactions. For example, loyalty programs can co-exist within the same architecture and code base.
On top of all this TANGO supports a number of APIs that can be plugged into other internal bank systems to ease integration. For example, the Java plug-in can reside on a Java system and interact with the Java adaptors in that system, whilst communicating to the TANGO server in internal TANGO format. This removes the need to specify a particular protocol just to talk to the Java system.
TANGO's modern, flexible, service-oriented architecture supports a number of relational databases operating across multiple platforms. Based around a central data bus containing all transaction and configuration data, authorisation is based on configurable parameterised data held in tables rather than scripts which is more performant, controllable and flexible.
TANGO provides support for all major ATM manufacturers, including NCR, Wincor and Diebold. Its flexible architecture ensures that all traditional transaction sets are supported. The new capabilities at the ATM, such as cash recycling, currency conversion and emergency cash can all be easily supported.
ATMs can be configured individually or they can be grouped by geography, by business type, or by branch. This allows you to manage and monitor the network flexibly in the most productive way for your business, offering targeted marketing messages on screens or customer receipts to add value to each transaction carried out at the ATM.
TANGO makes the monitoring of your ATM estate much easier through a graphical user interface which provides detailed status information about the estate according to alerts provided by the ATMs. These alerts may be sent to engineers via email or text in order to maximise uptime.
TANGO’s ATM monitoring capabilities extend to automated protection against fraudulent operation. Rules can be configured that will identify significant high risk activity at an ATM and close it down or capture a card if a configurable threshold or high risk card usage limit is breached. This ensures that your ATM estate is protected from both individual and persistent fraud attacks.
TANGO’s POS solution, like all solutions from Lusis, is based on the standard, component driven TANGO Retail Payments Online Transaction Processing Architecture. It provides all the standard features available from a choice of POS vendors that can easily be configured by the customer to enhance the number and type of services offered through this channel. Configuration may be by device, store, merchant, institution, or group of institutions, whether operating domestically or internationally.
TANGO supports all leading POS terminal vendors, including Ingenico, Verifone, Hypercom and Xiring, and the many different transactions types supported at POS terminals, such as purchase, purchase with cash back, cash advance, mobile top-up, refunds, voids, multi-payment transactions, and funds transfers. It also supports the standard protocols provided by these manufacturers. Options such as key management, using 3DES, DUKPT and remote key loading using PKI technology are supported as standard within the product.
TANGO also has the capability to connect to multiple acquirers, regional networks and international cards schemes, using powerful routing capabilities to ensure that all POS transactions are routed to the least-cost authorisation destination for the acquirer.
Today, the payments market is becoming more and more international owing to industry legislation and initiatives. Over the last decade POS applications have typically been modified on an ad hoc basis, whether to face the burgeoning opportunities for customers to purchase goods and services with their cards, or in response to technical innovation and the ever increasing regulatory initiatives, such as EMV and SEPA. POS applications have therefore become both complex and proprietary in nature. Now large organisations are facing difficulties in addressing new markets, in implementing new services, and in managing POS terminal estates that continue to grow both in numbers and in complexity. Lusis has therefore designed a solution to address these common issues and to simplify the maintenance of POS terminals, ease POS software management and deliver a simple international solution.
This solution is known as LitePOS. It is a solution that is totally independent of terminal providers and totally open to any of them. It therefore allows clients (whether they are retailers or petrol/gas providers) or PSPs to set up a mature relationship with terminal providers and other service providers.
When the deployment of LitePOS terminals is linked to an online loyalty program, such as Lusis’ Loyalty or Booster programs, the cost savings can be further enhanced by opportunities to increase revenues through online instant promotions, rewards and marketing campaigns. This applies equally to large retailers and to smaller merchants, and promotes differentiation across a wider market than ever before.
It is clear that electronic payments and funds transfers are now considered to be utilities by consumers worldwide just as much as gas, electricity and water. Coupled with an increase in reliance and development in technology of mobile devices it was clear a mobile channel as payments token is the next step. Customer loyalty is hard to maintain in the payments world and financial institutions are competing hard to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive market. At the same time, to address confidence and concerns around new tokens such as mobile, there has never been more attention focused on security, mandates and regulation.
TANGO is a true multi-channel transaction processing system that can process any number of different transaction types, irrespective of the source channel or endpoint. It is therefore market-ready for the anticipated rapid growth of payment transactions with mobile.
TANGO is at the forefront of innovation, moving beyond the card as a payment token and providing consumers with the opportunity to make purchases using a standard mobile phone. The customer can initiate a payment by tapping a contactless device in-store and accessing a prepaid account, which may be topped up remotely using a standard debit or credit card registered to that account. During the transaction, the phone is used by the payment server to confirm the payment with the consumer or to authenticate the consumer, allowing a secure card-free transaction to take place instantly at the point of sale.
TANGO can support mobile not only as a source of payment transactions, but also as a communication channel for customer authentication and for delivering marketing information. TANGO takes this strategy one step further with its ability to provide targeted promotions and instant discounts via the mobile phone, taking advantage of geo-location transactional information to offer a powerful loyalty tool for both large and small retailers.
Thanks to the lower cost and higher performance of home internet connections, consumers around the world are changing the way they approach purchases, moving away from the high street in favour of online. As the e-commerce channel becomes ever more popular, it is important that financial institutions not only support e-commerce in its current form but also position themselves to support or even to generate future developments and trends.
TANGO offers a true multi-channel approach that supports today’s e-commerce channel in the same way as a traditional payments while also allowing for future development.
A complete transaction set is supported, along with card not present and fraud prevention techniques and practices, including standard Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode programs as well as CAP and OTP initiatives.
TANGO Channel Management
In order to remain competitive in today’s online, real time electronic payments market, financial institutions must be able to bring new services to market rapidly, whilst reducing costs. A payments system should to be able to support innovative channels and payment tokens as soon as they achieve market acceptance and integrate with other banking systems, allowing value and opportunity to be created from payments without compromise to performance or availability.
TANGO supports a broad, multi-channel approach to transaction acquiring. It is a true multi-channel transaction processing system processing any number of different transaction types, irrespective of channel or endpoint.
The standard payments channels are ATM, POS, e-Commerce and Mobile. However, thanks to its flexible mission-critical nature, TANGO can easily support any channel, device or interface. Configuration and rapid development define the message specifications, flows and transaction data rules.
For instance, TANGO can be implemented as an online transaction processing hub that switches different transactions, whether they are retail or corporate transactions, financial or non-financial, translating the message format from an external standard into a standard readily identifiable and accepted by a Bank’s core banking systems and routing each transaction to the correct banking system according to an entirely configurable set of routing rules.
This independent approach to transaction acquiring means that TANGO is not only capable of supporting the ever increasing number of channels and associated technologies that are currently used for authentication, supporting single or dual factor, but also is ready to provide biometric authentication to support payments in developing countries where traditional payment tokens and methods of authentication are not appropriate.
The TANGO architecture ensures that your payments system not only addresses current needs but is also future-proofed to address the requirements of new and emerging channels as they reach critical mass in terms of popularity and transaction volumes. Appropriate channel interfaces can be delivered in a matter of weeks, rather than months, allowing you to regain control of your business roadmap.
The payments landscape is constantly evolving and changing. In order for financial institutions to gain competitive advantage they must be able to react not only to entire new endpoints or channels but also to various transaction types across channels.
TANGO supports a wide variety of transactions through an ever-increasing number of channels and interfaces. The TANGO architecture design means that transaction types are not restricted to a particular channel, although different rules can be configured to control how the same transaction is supported through different channels. This can even be extended further to control how messages are supported at different device types.
Transaction support can be defined and supported in one place, allowing the flexibility for the same transaction to be supported in the same way or entirely differently through new and emerging channels.
Retail payment is more than transaction acquiring, routing and switching. It frequently involves management and assessment of the risk of fraud. To date, fraud monitoring and detection have been provided to financial institutions either by separate suppliers or by a single supplier providing a separate solution to the authorisation platform. Often this creates a major integration issue as the different system components are designed separately with no common architecture, user interface or database. This may cause an increase in resource costs and can lead to an inefficient and time consuming process.
In a fast-paced and constantly changing industry such as the payments industry this inefficiency is clearly painful and ultimately unacceptable. To address this, TANGO can be licensed with its own integrated Risk Management components that provide real time and near real time rules for fraud detection. These can share the same architecture, platform, database and user interface as the authorisation processing platform. Alternatively the fraud control can be run as a separate TANGO system, on a different hardware platform if required for cost or resources purposes.
The integrated platform means that there is no duplication of data and no redundant data stored in the database. This promotes cost savings, not only in terms of hardware capacity, software licences and data storage but also in terms of support and maintenance
The integrated fraud control within TANGO is highly configurable. Functions can be added rapidly to react quickly to market changes, changes of policy or fraud detection on a particular card or at a particular endpoint. For example:
- Providing the ability to monitor ATMs for significant numbers of high risk and fraudulent transactions. Flexible controls at the device level allow an individual ATM to be automatically shut down if configurable thresholds are breached.
- Sending an online update to the local card and account table in order to change the status of the card, blocking it from further use if necessary. The online update can also be sent to the central authorisation server and card management system, to prevent further use or re-issue of the card.
For many institutions, processors and switches particularly, the ability to connect swiftly to networks and external systems is key to their business. It is important for any financial organisation to be able to develop and react quickly to numerous changes in the market.
The TANGO system uses its Network Protocol Manager utility to facilitate the speedy production of new interfaces, defining one common message engine class per message protocol family (e.g. ISO8583, XML etc.). Standard message dictionaries are configured to support the different flavours of a protocol (Visa, MasterCard, etc.). These are held in XML files and loaded into memory at system start-up. Similarly there is a Rules Manager and a Flow Manager, defining the specific rules and flow for the interface, also defined in XML files and held in memory during run-time operation. An Event Manager, common to all interfaces, completes the framework.
This unique approach minimises the amount of new code and therefore the amount of testing that is required, allowing the easy and rapid deployment of new interfaces in a timescale to suit business requirements rather than technical development and testing requirements. In turn, development and maintenance costs are reduced, giving a competitive edge with which to increase revenues in a shorter timescale than with applications using a legacy approach.
In this way, less time is spent in co-ordinating service pack upgrades to different systems so that more effort can be focussed on enhancing one system that delivers real business benefits.
Card Schemes, Networks and Issuing Host
TANGO supports all major international card scheme interfaces, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express. A number of regional interfaces and domestic switches are also supported.
TANGO supports several generic ISO 8583 and XML interfaces which can be rapidly modified, as well as an ISO 20022 Interface for SEPA Direct Debits and Credit Transfers, and specialist financial interfaces, such as FIX and FIXML.
The real power of the TANGO architecture is found in the ability to develop interfaces to external systems or networks rapidly. TANGO customers are able to deliver new network and device interfaces typically in days rather than weeks.
This capability means that integration with new business partners becomes a simple process. Instead of waiting for the delivery of the technical solution , you are free to expand your business at the pace that the business demands.
Clearing and Settlement
Within an increasingly competitive market it is important to automate as many processes and procedures as possible in order to reduce the time spent on tasks, reduce errors, and ultimately reduce costs.
TANGO is designed to streamline and automate daily settlement and reconciliation processes by storing transaction data, for transformation into clearing and settlement files for reconciliation with internal or external partners, including domestic and regional networks or international card schemes. Similarly, clearing and settlement data received from external parties can be stored in the database to provide a true transaction vault - a central repository for all transaction data for all payments, irrespective of the channel that sourced them. The resulting transaction vault ultimately improves customer service as the operator can easily locate specific transactions for detailed analysis.
Financial Authorisation and STIP
TANGO Authorisation is based on highly configurable, granular controls that are stored as business functions or held in tables that may be accessed by users through the system GUI. This minimises the need for coding and maximises the speed to market of new real-time rules at the account, card or prefix level.
Financial control limits can be established by any combination of card type, transaction type and transaction origin, and they can be measured against accumulated counters to provide complete control over card and account usage. Limits can be configured through the graphical user interface and can be set to expire and revert to a previous limit.
For example, limits may be used to restrict or allow the card to be used in certain geographical locations on holiday or to prevent the use of a particular card for internet purchases.
TANGO may be configured to authorise transactions. Depending on any number of selected criteria, a transaction can be selected for:
- Pre-screening checks
- Simple authorisation checks for low risk transactions to alleviate the load on an authorisation host
- Full authorisation checks against limits and/or account balance
- Full authorisation, including a real time fraud rules check for high risk transactions, merchants or countries
Any of these authorisation checks can also be carried out when the authorising host is temporarily unavailable. An advice message can be generated to send to the host when it next becomes available, or transactions authorised on TANGO can be extracted in batch and sent to the host if it is unavailable for a significant amount of time.
The TANGO Card Management components are provided within the same software architecture as the TANGO Payments Server. These components provide full issuance and lifecycle management for debit, credit, prepaid and loyalty cards.
The Card Management components facilitate all aspects of the card lifecycle:
- Contract management
- Providing controls and validation parameters for the card products
- Issuing initial cards for the customer
- Creating letters to be sent to the customer
- Managing lifecycle status information and linking card renewals
- Managing disputes
- Blocking cards
- Providing card cancelation information
Personal data about the cardholder and pertinent financial information can also be stored on the card database.
It is possible to define generic conditions for the card product and then to add specific offers and features for the particular card, such as loyalty, subscription and insurance details.
Online connections to HSMs manage card and PIN creation and provide embossing files to be sent to card production companies for card issuance or renewal.
When the card is used, detailed usage and limits tables are maintained for financial controls while local fraud rules or national fraud or incident files may be accessed for fraud control. Access can be provided to call centres, or CRM portals can be accessed during transaction processing to provide additional targeted promotions or to allow loyalty points to be accumulated or redeemed.
All card usage and events are logged to a transaction audit file.
In an increasingly competitive market, large retailers and banks are spending ever more on rewards programs to keep their existing customers and to reinforce the brand in order to attract new customers. In a large number of cases, however, the campaigns and promotions are poorly targeted and have a low rate of take-up. This may be due to poor segmentation or to the perceived difficulty of claiming the reward. For banks, the traditional marketing channel has been the customer statement, placing a heavy reliance on costly manual processes for implementation and administration.
Today, large retailers and banks can focus their marketing spend using the infrastructure of their existing, online customer payment channels. Also, the traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach to marketing is outdated and needs to be adapted to address one-to-one loyalty and to offer targeted promotions. This is where the TANGO Loyalty solution comes in.
TANGO Loyalty allows all retailers to use the infrastructure of the online payments channel to add value to transaction processing by offering online discounts, promotions and rewards to consumers at the point of sale. Offers may be printed on till receipts, sent via the mobile phone, or communicated offline via email as preferred.
The solution provides a wide rane of time-sensitive or geo-located marketing offers, such as discounts and rewards, coupons and vouchers, gifts, loyalty points and cash back for events and anniversaries, sponsorship and charities, games and lotteries.
Programs targeted through the online payments channels are simpler to implement and cheaper to administer. In the case of instant rewards or cash back promotions at retailers, the administration is managed entirely locally in-store. Third party services can also be offered and used to attract new customers into a partner store or outlet. As the promotions are targeted at individual customer behaviour, they are more likely to be taken up and can be used effectively to reinforce brand competitiveness and differentiation.
In a highly competitive, cost-sensitive market, where large retailers often have the upper hand in terms of cost-cutting and offering discounts and loyalty points to customers through extensive marketing and loyalty programs, smaller merchants find it increasingly difficult to compete in managing costs and in attracting new customers to their stores.
TANGO Booster is a new loyalty program, designed to be used in conjunction with Lusis LitePOS-enabled terminals to extend the geographic reach of marketing for these merchants and to provide an effective loyalty and promotion service which will allow small merchants to work together and increase footfall into their stores.
TANGO Booster provides a merchant with access to a network of merchants who are also signed up to Booster and who are prepared to print advertising receipts on behalf of other merchants. The merchant identifies the other merchants through geo-location on a Google Map web page and selects which merchants are most likely to attract the sort of customers that would buy goods in their store too. A cost is levied for having the receipts printed, part of which is given to the merchants printing the receipts to cover their costs.
This approach works for both the merchant distributing advertising receipts through other merchants’ terminals and for the merchant actually printing the receipts. If carefully targeted, the discounts or promotions offered will attract extra customers to the Distributor merchant’s store and pay for the membership of the Booster program and the cost of having receipts printed on their behalf. Equally, the revenue for printing receipts on behalf of another merchant will not only help to pay for the Collector merchant’s printing consumable costs, but will also offset the cost of being a member of the Booster program and the rental cost of the Lite POS terminal.
TANGO Booster is available for banks offering merchant acquiring services, enabling them to reach out to a wider merchant base using both Lite POS and Booster. It is equally available to banks offering ATM services, where similar features can be offered, regardless of whether the ATM is located within the bank or remotely or in a retail outlet.
A fault tolerant system is genuinely mission-critical. Within the financial world, downtime must be kept to a minimum, as uptime is the very thing on which a financial institution stakes its reputation. As the system moves closer to 100% availability, levels of trust and confidence increase.
TANGO’s true service-oriented architecture is designed for continuous availability requiring no additional 3rd party products. Its unparalleled flexibility in deployment of processes and services across hardware platforms maximises system resilience, as the payment server is operated through two or more independent sites processing transactions in an Active/Active mode. It can be configured to group functionally as a number of different processes across sites to provide the best scale and balance to the system.
With TANGO operating across 2 or more sites, no downtime is required for maintenance or updates as configuration can occur in real-time. New services may be added to the solution dynamically without interruption to the existing system, as all processing can be moved to one system while the other is updated. This gives financial institutions the opportunity to streamline their payments platform and to reduce costs: more functionality can be offered by a single supplier and, because payments and high availability functionality are integrated within the same architecture, upgrades are automatically co-ordinated across the system.
To process in Active/Active mode, TANGO uses specific high availability components. HASND sends advice messages to the remote server; HARCV receives the advices from the remote server. These components are responsible for keeping updated a set of tables on the payment servers in order to allow each server to process data flows without any restriction. To achieve this, the payment servers contain two secured communication channels (including Store and Forward capabilities) responsible for exchanging activity advices, key management changes, and device status advices.
While innovation and cost management are key factors in any financial institution’s thinking, security must remain a priority. Creating a secure and fault tolerant system is vital to a strong reputation and high customer trust.
TANGO supports all major HSM suppliers to ensure secure payments processing. HSMs are used in all aspects of transaction processing security, including PIN management, EMV authentication, MAC generation/validation and DUKPT. Both synchronous and asynchronous keys are supported for dynamic key exchanges between interfaces and for Remote Key Download using PKI at the device.