In today’s Retail Payments market there are two critical success factors; scale your business for revenue growth and optimize your operations for cost savings. This is a simple and well-known adage, but it masks a myriad of complexities. The inherent difficulties in meeting stringent regulations, reducing costs, and responding to rapidly changing market needs has driven legacy payments systems to breaking point.
Changing payments platforms represents a multi-decade investment commitment with serious repercussions in the event of failure. However, no amount of “just hanging on” will avoid the inevitable and it will only result in a loss of opportunities to more nimble competitors. With so much at stake it is understandable that management teams are cautious about changing payments platforms – but perhaps to their own detriment?
Fortunately, a clear way forward is emerging – TANGO by Lusis Payments.
TANGO is used by 4 of the top 10 Retail Banks to power their payments strategies, as well as a multitude of banks and processors around the globe. TANGO’s advanced micro-services technology and pedigree customers are clear advantages over its rivals. Additionally, TANGO’s functional richness, and unique configuration flexibility, guarantee ongoing business advantages.
A recent TANGO Cloud deployment provides a great example of these advantages.
An existing Lusis customer successfully redeployed their legacy DCC service into the Azure cloud using TANGO. As a result, the customer achieved substantial cost savings and vastly improved operational efficiencies. The entire service was implemented using standard product code and was delivered for acceptance testing within 3 months.
TANGO was deployed in the Azure cloud with Azure SQL using TANGO’s built in Active-Active configuration to ensure the highest availability. External links were used to connect to the bank’s on-premise HSMs and Card Association networks to leverage existing investment. TANGO’s tokenization support protects the card details and the Azure security was augmented with the bank’s own measures to achieve PCI certification.
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
As more and more companies choose TANGO to replace their aging legacy payments systems, we thought we'd shed some extra light on it by talking with Brian Miller, our General Manager at Lusis Payments.
The consumer demand for faster, more secure 24/7 payments continues to challenge payments organizations across the globe. For many organizations, the costs and difficulties of nursing an aging payments platform are now unsustainable. As a result, these organizations are now planning to replace their legacy applications with a faster, more agile solution that can free their business from the constraints of an inflexible payments platform.
Lusis Payments has set out to help payments organizations simplify and streamline their migration projects, reducing risks and delivering predictable progress milestones. As the innovative provider of TANGO, the mission-critical online transaction processing engine, Lusis Payments is making it much easier for organizations to keep pace with consumer desires for greater convenience, speed, and security in payments.
Q. What are the biggest challenges organizations with legacy transaction processing systems face today?
Miller: Legacy systems bring a whole host of challenges for organizations. For example, one of our clients, a top-five global bank, found their 28-year-old legacy system severely constraining to their business. It had become too expensive to maintain and operate, development times were lengthy, and they were less able to compete in the market.
When they started looking to replace the system, they realized that they were using the software throughout their entire line of banking services. Clearly, it would be crucial for the new solution to provide a highly extensible architecture, enable them to orchestrate low-risk migrations, and be powerful enough to handle diverse transactions and increasing volumes.
Of course, they also wanted a solution that would reduce their cost of ownership and application life-cycle costs while increasing the bank's agility in adapting to consumers' changing needs. The ability to efficiently support new regulations and scheme mandates was another key requirement. The bank conducted an extensive analysis of the leading payment solution providers. The analysis showed that TANGO exceeded all the client's business and technical requirements, and TANGO outperformed its competitors in the areas of architecture, flexibility, and cost of ownership.
Q. Why is TANGO so successful in replacing legacy systems, such as BASE24®?
Miller: Much of Lusis Payments' success comes because TANGO is easily “built to order” because of its micro-services platform. We recognize that payments organizations need a solution that works the way they do, that empowers its staff, not hinder them. TANGO does this.
A good example of this in action is our client BankservAfrica, which wanted to expand into the rapidly growing South African development community. Well, to do this, they needed a fully functional core system that could cope with fast-changing payment methods and customer requirements. TANGO also met BankservAfrica's business requirements, which included that it must be configurable, with specific monitoring capabilities. In addition, TANGO's cost and clear licensing structure appealed to the BankservAfrica team and our phased approach really makes for a painless migration.
Q. It really says something that some of the largest banks in the world have chosen TANGO to replace their systems. What's something you want other organizations and financial institutions to know about TANGO as they may be looking at replacing legacy systems?
Miller: At Lusis, it boils down to this. We don't care what transaction processing system you had. We want to hear about what functionalities you want for the present and the future. With TANGO, we can build whatever you need with scalability for any of your future needs as well.
Q. What should organizations avoid when it comes to migrating their payments system?
Miller: The most important advice I can give is don't wait. To be successful, organizations need to develop the operational skills and procedures to manage continual change. Migrating to a new payments solution is not a one time thing, it is actually a transition to a different operational lifestyle – one where change is the expected norm.
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