We’ve launched a new whitepaper on preparing your payments infrastructure for the next decade. Head to our Market Insights page to download the whitepaper, and find out what’s changing in the European payments landscape, How failure to adapt became the biggest infrastructure risk facing payments businesses, and how you can design a payments infrastructure that allows you to reduce risks and quickly bring new products and services to market.
Many financial services companies today are operating on technology stacks that aren’t up to the challenge of today’s market. Some banks are even operationally dependent on technology that was installed in the 70s or 80s.
Global growth and opening up of economies will help the payments sector thrive again post-pandemic, but it’s only those with the right infrastructure in place who will be able to seize these opportunities. It’s become a cliche, but the pandemic has accelerated a decade’s worth of change into just a few short years.
While the core infrastructure helped banks keep on top of the day to day challenges in the pandemic, many senior teams will be left wondering what they could have done differently had there been better infrastructure in place.
Customers needed new and different types of products more than ever. They needed protection from increased online fraud. Businesses needed to change how they operated and collected payments. In general, banks were positioned to survive, not thrive going into the pandemic. That could cost them customer loyalty, and ultimately revenue if left unchanged.
Part of the challenge is that creating and buying payments infrastructure is a big decision - it’s the engine room of your bank’s operations. That can make it all too easy to stick your head in the sand and leave changing it as a decision for another day. But that only creates bigger and bigger problems down the road. Eventually your current infrastructure will meet a challenge it can’t handle - and you’ll end up with bad headlines and an appointment with the regulator.
What do my customers expect and what’s my business model?
When faced with social changes, a raft of digital-first competitors, and regulatory pressures, understanding your positioning in the market landscape is critical.
The financial institutions need to figure out how they can appeal to new consumer expectations, and turn them into a sustainable revenue stream. The success of this generation of banks has been fueled by changing expectations of a new generation of end-users. With more trust placed in the internet, digital only offerings have been able to flourish.
Banks are facing pressures on their business models. Many are struggling to make money the way they used to, with pressure from falling interest rates, current account revenues, managing branch footprints and loan losses amongst others.
On top of that, new regulations like the European Payments Initiative means technology must be geared towards adapting to the new challenges and opportunities created.
Follow Five Key Principles for Decision Making
In today’s highly competitive Retail Payments market, there is no margin for error. To be successful, payments organizations need the very best technology, the right skills and experience, and the commercial agility to rapidly exploit any opportunities. It is a fact of business-life that all organizations have their ups and downs. However, the smart organizations continually pay attention to the critical factors that reduce the likelihood of ‘nasty surprises’, while also creating the best chances for accelerated success.
A simple ‘roll the dice’ strategy cannot ensure a future of strong growth, even if that’s how you have always ‘played’ before. The availability of powerful payment solutions like TANGO, the effectiveness of DevOps and Agile methodologies, and the perpetual shift in consumer demands are combining in a perfect storm. Unless of course, your organization can transform itself to thrive in this new era of Retail Payments.
Interestingly, the humble "Snakes ‘n Ladders" game provides a great metaphor for the ups and downs of a modern Retail Payments business.
SEEK COMPOUNDING GAINS
Fortunately, some business gains lead directly to further gains with a significant amplification of the overall benefits. Being more competitive comes from being able to learn and change more quickly than your competition. Using the TANGO micro-services payments suite delivers all the flexibility and commercial agility you need. This is clearly a crucial benefit. Additionally, with TANGO you can reduce your time and costs for compliance, support a wider range of consumer payments types, and easily form new business partnerships for accelerated growth. One ‘ladder’ leads to another, and another. Lucky dice throws aren’t guaranteed - but smart planning can, and does, make them more likely.
THE CHANGING ATM LANDSCAPE
Over the last decade, innovation in ATM services has been severely restricted as a result of several factors, including monopolistic business practices, restrictive legacy message protocols, and proprietary systems that became isolated from other banking channels and investment.
However, the exciting news is that this situation is poised for rapid, and positive, change. The ATMIA's new blueprint architecture specifically calls for cloud- based processing, the use of modern integration options including ISO 20022 and APIs, and greater flexibility for ATM deployers to tailor the consumer's experience themselves.
As a global leader in Retail Payments solutions, Lusis Payments is a strong contributor to the NextGen ATM initiative through its well proven TANGO transaction orchestration engine.
When it comes to payments processing, TANGO is simply in a class of its own with 4 of the top 10 banks already using TANGO to empower their consumer payments strategies. TANGO is functionally-rich and well proven within both large and small banks and processors around the world.
PERSONALIZED SERVICE: The New Battleground
Consumer expectations and payments technology have both changed significantly since the early days of ATM services. In particular, the personalization of services to match a specific customer’s need is now commonplace for most digital channels.
There is no doubt that business stakeholders are extremely interested in the attraction and retention of customers. In this respect the personalization of consumer service interactions is rightfully receiving significant investment.
The replacement of the restrictive legacy ATM message protocols with XML and JSON alternatives is re-writing the market opportunities for providing a personalized ATM experience to everyone. In a NextGen world, a consumer's journey can be continually refined in real time by the provision of relevant, consumer-specific information that dynamically enhances transaction workflows based on the consumer's profile and choices. Of course, this power requires the transaction switch to have the flexibility to retrieve and distribute the consumer's data securely and without unreasonable processing delays.
This client has over 55 years of experience as a leader in core banking processing. Their enterprise banking solutions empower institutions to grow their assets and reach new customers by integrating the latest digital technologies. The client's cloud-based core banking platform delivers a seamless mix of innovative, flexible, and secure banking services that provides institutions with a significant competitive advantage.
THE NEED: An Agile Payment Solution
The client has over 20 years in ATM processing that was founded on two different payments systems prior to the adoption of TANGO. Significantly, the client became increasingly frustrated by both legacy platforms due to the constraints they placed on the client’s business growth. The slowness of vendor maintenance support, the lack of development agility for new customer services, and skyrocketing costs of ownership all led to the need for a better solution for their future.
Tired of navigating product and service obstacles with their original payment solution vendor the client turned to a second provider for help. This second provider was able to migrate them to their solution and provided adequate service and functionality for a few years. However, as customer demand for new services increased this second solution had also become stagnant and restrictive. The client then sought a third and final payment solution, one that demonstrably addressed the past growth issues.
It was critical that the new solution would provide an agile architecture with the robustness to handle diverse and high-growth volumes.
Additional high-priority requirements included;
• the agility to continually, and rapidly, adapt to changing consumer needs,
• the ability to rapidly create their own configurations on the fly,
• a major reduction in application lifecycle costs.
THE SOLUTION: TANGO by Lusis Payments
The client performed an extensive research of all leading payments solution providers. Their findings indicated that there were decisive advantages in selecting TANGO from Lusis Payments. TANGO and Lusis Payments’ reputation for service and innovation far exceeded all of their business and technical requirements. TANGO's architecture, flexibility, ease of use and lower cost of ownership were once again identified by another client as compelling advantages over other solutions.
In 2012, Lusis Payments conducted a historic proof of concept with partner HPE at the HP ATC (advanced technical center) in Palo Alto, CA. TANGO was tested for 48 hours straight at full capacity. The system processed 2,500 TPS without fail. The hardware configuration used at the time of the benchmark was chosen to match a client’s production system and consisted of a 8-processor HPE J-series NonStop. TANGO proved responsive and surpassed normal daily tasks and nightly settlements. This proof of concept proved that TANGO was fault tolerant and achieved maximum volumes and throughput of a total daily volume of 50 million transactions per day.
The outstanding results came from long hard-working sessions with the HPE teams which we were proud to work with. The first week included our CTO working on-site. Soon after, he was joined by our senior project leaders, and they received significant additional support from our lab in Paris. In addition to the dedicated HPE team, the client’s team also partnered with us to test the conformity of the benchmark protocol. HPE worked with the client to reproduce its environment for a true simulation. It was great project, and we were proud of the outcome.
Since then, HPE has continued to suggest that we test TANGO on the newest (Intel based chip) hardware. As we were still quite pleased with the 2500TPS results and the fact that the client continued to realize improved performance on their HPE NonStop platform, we chose not to do additional test campaigns in subsequent years.
At the end of Q1 we said “ok, let’s do it”! At that time, bandwidth was quite low, so we made it “our dry way of doing it.” We used our Vanilla switch based on the TANGO version 7 platform installed on HPE NS server: 8 processor, 6 core NS7-X3 system again at the HP ATC labs. This system runs OS release L21.06.17.2 with NonStop SQL/MX 3.7.2. Each NonStop processor contained 256 GB of memory. We used a very similar testing protocol without any specific tunning. And “Torpedo… LOS”!
On our first run we achieved 3,500 TPS. Then with less than 10 hours of tuning, we easily reached 4,500 TPS sustained for two straight hours.
So, this has become our new reference on HPE NonStop:
4,500 transactions per second on an 8-CPU machine.
And this was simply done with our Vanilla switch and some very light tuning. So, nothing heroic, just the standard product using a standard configuration.
In Q3, we will test TANGO with the new Posix Kernel of HPE NonStop and see where we take it!
Philippe Préval Lusis
CEO Chez Lusis
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