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Incorporating the world-recognised WAY4 payment processing system by OpenWay, Network One will enhance and accelerate Emirates NBD's ability to create bespoke cutting-edge products for its credit and prepaid card customers based on payment behaviour, giving them a distinct edge over competitors.
Network International's seamless migration of a large-scale portfolio of the leading cards issuer in the market, Emirates NBD, marks an important milestone for the payment solutions company as it looks to consolidate its market leadership in the UAE and strengthen presence across the Middle East and Africa.
"Successfully implementing Network One migration for a large-scale cards player such as Emirates NBD is a solid testament of our expertise and capacity," commented Network International's Group CEO Simon Haslam. "We are delighted to be Emirates NBD's partner of choice in this critical project as we mark new ground as the unrivalled regional leader in card issuing."
Added Matt Sinclair, Group Chief Information Officer of Network International, "This project underlines Network International's core purpose of enabling clients to strengthen their capabilities to grow and maintain market leadership. Our well-coordinated approach helped deliver a seamless solution to Emirates NBD, migrating the entire cards portfolio seamlessly. We now look forward to lending our expertise to other banks in the region looking to upgrade their proposition with value-added payment services".
Network One is based on a framework that allows innovative payment and card products to be created by monitoring the behaviour and attributes of a payment. It also fully supports the implementation of value-added services such as loyalty programmes, mobile payments, loans and fraud management.
Suvo Sarkar, Senior Executive Vice President & Head - Retail Banking & Wealth Management commented: "The Network One platform offers us enhanced speed and scalability, and will allow us to provide more customized and innovative banking and payment solutions for our customers, helping us to remain their bank of choice."
Network International has previously successfully migrated 15 other banks across the Middle East and Africa to Network One. Network International is currently the exclusive partner and reseller of OpenWay's licensed solutions within the Middle East and African markets.
About Network International
Established in 1994, Network International LLC is the largest acquirer in the UAE, and a leading payment solutions provider in the Middle East and Africa region (MEA), servicing more than 70,000 merchants and 200 financial institutions across 55 countries. The company’s service offering comprises a comprehensive range of payment products and services for both the Issuing and Acquiring segments of banks, financial institutions and retail merchants including end-to-end consultancy ranging from planning and designing to developing of new card and consumer finance products and services. In addition, the company offers several value-add products including data analytics, scoring and loyalty solutions. Network International has Operation centers in the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, South Africa and India, with its corporate head office in Dubai. The company recently acquired Emerging Markets Payments Holdings Limited (EMPH) and continues to invest in strategic partnerships that will increasingly see its influence spread across the region.
As the first independent vendor certified by both Visa & MasterCard for card payments in the Middle East, Network International is a Principal Member of Visa International and MasterCard International in the UAE and enjoys extension of its MasterCard License in other key countries. It is also a member of JCB and Union Pay card schemes, and it owns and manages the Diners Club International Franchise in the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. The company also launched a GCC-based domestic scheme, Mercury, and partnered with Discover Financial Services (DFS) to allow global acceptance of Mercury cards on the Discover, Diners Club International and PULSE networks. Network International is a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) certified company.
Bank Audi: Speed Wins
The Bank Audi group believes is that when it comes to banking, it's no longer size that matters, but speed. Therefore, Bank Audi maintains a strategy of innovation and strategic partnership with innovative companies:
- The group is a key partner of international payment systems in the region and is on the board of directors of MasterCard Worldwide in the MENA region.
- The company uses an innovative processing centre in Lebanon that is built on OpenWay's WAY4 system and services all the countries where the group has a presence.
- The group is a market pioneer and leader thanks to its innovative approach to creating product portfolios. While the majority of companies are striving to optimise products by reducing assortment, Bank Audi manages 45 products, all of which are highly profitable due to accurate client segmentation and tuning products to the requirements of each segment.
- The group's clients are the first to get access to in-demand developments in business and technology such as mobile banking, e-commerce and now contactless technologies.
Bank Audi sees contactless technologies as the next step in development after the card chip. Over the past few years, competition on the market for bank services has increased, especially in the payment card segment. One possible competitive advantage is to provide clients with a new user experience that will retain existing and attract new clients.
Another important characteristic of contactless is that it allows new acquiring segments to be opened, attracting merchants that didn't accept cards before (such as fast food restaurants) and increasing card turnover due to cashless purchases at such merchants.
How Is It Implemented?
The most difficult and expensive element of any project related to contactless cards is to build the acceptance network. Therefore Bank Audi made an initial analysis to identify key merchant categories for which the acceptance of cards with a contactless interface could be critical both in terms of client service and competitive advantage:
- Fast food restaurants
- Retail networks
- Filling stations
1. Working with merchants
At the first stage of the project, the group began to work with 3 thousand merchants from the selected categories. These merchants already include such well-known brands as McDonald's, Nike, Vero Moda, and ALDO. One of the most important elements of this success was the well thought out training of both bank and partner merchant employees. Not only did it include teaching customer service techniques according to the new technology, it more importantly explained which new benefits it provided for the merchant:
- Speed and convenience: since transactions take place faster, client satisfaction increases and lines get shorter.
- Branding: merchants emphasise their image as high-tech companies, increasing client loyalty.
- Costs are cut both for merchants and clients since the majority of transactions are made without cash.
- Increase in revenue: now clients can spend more using contactless credit cards.
Together with its partners, Bank Audi made their devices for accepting contactless cards stand out, calling attention to the opportunity for contactless payments. Contactless terminals were supplied with special branded blocks and posters with "Tap2pay" and the MasterCard PayPass and bank logos were placed nearby:
3. Issuing co-branded credit cards
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this project is a co-branded credit card with the ABC shopping centre. The largest and most popular shopping centre in Lebanon, ABC represents the majority of merchant categories selected for issuing products with contactless technology: parking, fast food chains, cafes, cinemas, brand retail stores, and bookstores.
- Welcome gift: the Platinum card provides a welcome voucher with 15% discount welcome voucher, the classic card – 300 welcome points. Both cards give 2 free entries to the shopping centre's game zone.
- Fashion Experience: for each $300 spent on the cards, the cardholder can attend a fashion show.
- 1,000 welcome points as a gift for the first three months of using the card.
- Privileges from Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussman: 10% discount on ABC credit card purchases in addition to a 12% tax return, and an invitation to a weekly fashion show.
- Personal marketing: personal offers, exclusive promotions and events.
- Birthday: points and gifts.
- Free delivery of purchases: for purchases over $550 at ABC.
- Free parking.
4. Innovation needs innovation
Competition in quality service and efficiency requires Bank Audi to quickly adapt innovations. That's why the group chose OpenWay, the WAY4 system vendor, as their strategic partner. OpenWay plays a leading role in the new technological and business environment requiring a flexible, reliable and scalable payment ecosystem.
To meet the high demands of its clients and to profit from new business opportunities and IT, Bank Audi uses the WAY4 processing platform. This is a functional and reliable system that includes an operational component, and tools for authorisation and accounting, making it possible to flexibly and quickly respond to the bank's needs.
WAY4 serves Bank Audi's technical requirements in issuing and processing payment card-based products and makes it possible to implement the latest innovations such as mobile payments, electronic wallets and contactless technology. It supports the bank's strategy on the technological level, allowing IT to work for business and quickly put new business ideas into action.
Bank Audi was able to provide its clients with comfortable service on a new level. The project was implemented in October 2012 and already in January 2013, 4 months after implementation, the number of credit cards had increased 10 times from the first month, up to 5000 and this number is continuing to grow. 50% of all purchases made with Bank Audi cards at the ABC shopping centre are contactless card purchases.
Based on this positive experience, Bank Audi plans to develop the contactless card acceptance network; expanding the line of debit and credit products offering a fast way to pay. The Bank is implementing NFC, which means in the near future, clients will be able to take advantage of contactless payments using their mobile phones.
Bank Audi, one of the leading Arab banking groups in the Middle East, started to issue and acquire contactless cards on the WAY4 processing platform from OpenWay. As the region proved ready for new payment experience, the bank reacted in a fast and customer-centric way. MasterCard PayPass technology was implemented and certified in 2012. In 4 months, number of contactless cards was increased in 10 times in ABC mall, Lebanon’s most prominent shopping destination.
The year 2012 was the right time to promote contactless solutions, and fast time-to-market was a must. In October 2012 Bank Audi launched contactless cards co-branded with ABC mall, Lebanon’s most prominent shopping destination. In 4 months the number of these cards grew from 500 to 5000 cards, all issued on the WAY4 system.
Bank Audi’s success strategy was revealed in detail at OpenWay e-Payment Grand Prix user group. The presentation, including stats and retail signage examples, was published on OpenWay’s website.
It’s the bank’s vision that Big will not beat Small anymore, instead it will be Fast beating Slow. Bank Audi is growing its versatile payment portfolio and expanding rapidly in different regional and international markets, with being technology-forward as a high priority. The bank’s contactless technology created a more compelling consumer experience and therefore better business opportunities in issuing & acquiring.
Bank Audi chose to rely on OpenWay, with its flexible WAY4 processing software and solid experience of contactless implementations – over 20 cases worldwide. Following the successful MasterCard PayPass project, the bank plans to deploy Visa payWave and other innovative solutions on WAY4.
“We are proud to work with Bank Audi and accelerate the multi-direction growth of its payment processing business,” commented Sophocles Ioannou, OpenWay Regional Manager for Mediterranean and Levant. “OpenWay is ready to introduce tailor-made innovative solutions for the Middle East, by leveraging both global expertise and regional knowledge.”
The fast launch of Bank Audi’s contactless operations on WAY4 was handled by OpenWay and its local partner Infotec Systems.
Bank Audi is a banking group with a universal profile. In December 2012 the bank's assets reached $31.8 billion. The group is represented in six countries of the Middle East, in Egypt and Sudan as well as Turkey, France, Monaco and Switzerland. The group is in the top 20 banks in the region by assets, client deposits and net profit and in the top 10 for issuing credit cards.
Procco Financial Services selects WAY4 to implement its Sharia-compliant multi-functional retail financing system for new EMV instalment card issuing and acquiring business
Procco Financial Services, established by The International Investor, and OpenWay, an international developer and vendor of new-generation payment processing solutions, are happy to announce that Procco has selected OpenWay's WAY4 product and transaction framework to build its new multi-functional retail financing system.
Procco Financial Services has been established in Bahrain by The International Investor (TII), a leading financial shareholding company in Kuwait. Licensed by the Bahrain Monetary Agency, Procco will provide a full range of Sharia-compliant services and transaction processing, both to TII companies and to others wanting dedicated Sharia- compliant ‘back offices’ supporting their financial products. Procco services are based on a Service Oriented Architecture technology platform and services undertaken include contract and product management, transaction processing, call centre, risk management, application and data control, and finance and administration functions.
According to the agreement between Procco and OpenWay, OpenWay's WAY4 software will provide Procco with EMV-compliant chip card issuing and acquiring, product and transaction management, accounting, multi-branch management, terminal network management, and integration with Procco's IT infrastructure. In addition, WAY4 enables Procco to issue and acquire EMV-compliant branded private label and merchant-branded cards.
Furthermore, WAY4 enables Procco to design and manage comprehensive server-based loyalty programmes, based on OpenWay's "behaviour loyalty" concept and supports multi-application cards with Sharia-compliant instalment and purchasing applications. Sharia compliance means that Procco products and services conform to Islamic law. For example, no interest is charged on retail transactions, goods or services must be acceptable under Islam, and high risk or uncertainty is avoided. Under Sharia-compliant instalment plans, consumers pay fixed service fees for certain time periods allowed for them to purchase acceptable goods.
John Dolton, a Senior Partner at TII and CEO of Procco, commented on the signing of the agreement: "The first card-based financial products to be supported by Procco will be unique and truly Sharia compliant and leading in the use of Chip and PIN technology. This required a partner and provider whose software could provide greater flexibility and scalability than normally available, and this needed to be attained with minimum effort which is just what the WAY4 OLTP framework offered."
WAY4's flexibility ensures that the system can be easily adapted to various customer requirements. The system is highly parameterised, which allows banks to create a great variety of products and services and manage processes effectively. It also translates into less time-to-market and a reduced total cost of ownership. To protect bank investments, WAY4 provides comprehensive means for real-time risk management. The system's productivity allows for processing more than 10 million products on a unified platform, while the module architecture ensures the system's scalability, which may influence both productivity and the number of functions.
According to Kamran Khan, COO, OpenWay Middle East: "In this project, we face Sharia requirements in the banking business and must implement them according to Procco's unique business approach. The fast-expanding Middle East market has great potential for us as a vendor of solutions for fast developing large-scale financial businesses and implementing innovative programmes, and we are happy to see the market's interest in the WAY4 system."
Procco Financial Services has been established in Bahrain by The International Investor (TII), a leading financial shareholding company in Kuwait. Licensed by the Bahrain Monetary Agency, Procco provides a full range of Sharia-compliant services and transaction processing, both to TII companies and to others wanting dedicated Sharia- compliant ‘back offices’ supporting their financial products. Procco services are based on a Service Oriented Architecture technology platform and its offering includes contract and product management, transaction processing, call centre, risk management, application and data control as well as finance and administration functions. "Customer satisfaction is a top priority for us and we are committed to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of our customer service operations," said Bénard Wiese, Project Manager at Procco. "After a very comprehensive search for a solution provider, we partnered with Altitude Software because of the company's expertise in solving demanding, Sharia-compliant contact centre requirements.