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Open Banking Today: 4 Case Studies from European and Global Leaders

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How have Netflix and Amazon thrown a challenge to banking services worldwide? How can your business expand during the era of Open Banking? What makes up a successful Open Banking platform?

Julian Farley, Business Development Manager at OpenWay, answers these and other questions during his presentation at MoneyLive Summit in London. Learn what kind of Open Banking transformations with WAY4 are taking place and how this is giving our clients the competitive edge in a new era.

What to Consider When Choosing a Technology Partner to Power your Payments

Published at: Business Day

Customers are demanding sophisticated financial products and services anytime, anywhere, using any channel.

From Africa to Europe, the Middle East and the US, the change in customer expectations is a significant global trend. Consumers are not only comparing banks with other banks; their expectations are also rapidly being shaped by technology companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Apple and other facilitators that ease their lives and give them the desired experience. And consumers and businesses are now demanding sophisticated financial products and services anytime, anywhere, using any channel.  

To deliver on these new expectations requires the right type of digital capabilities behind the scenes. Technology platforms must be flexible, scalable and work end to end. Naturally, they must also be secure and work across all channels – the ones we know about today and the ones we don’t yet.

Yet banks and processors also have to balance seemingly conflicting demands. They want to cut costs and time to market but are constrained by their legacy IT infrastructure. This is complex and costly to maintain, and it restricts their ability to innovate. Then there is the need to maintain regulatory compliance, interoperability and 24/7 operations.

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Fintech start-ups are also piling on the pressure. These newer, more nimble players are not encumbered by legacy. They can adapt more easily to the demands of customers and regulators. The fintechs may not have scale today, but their technology allows them to compete strongly in the future.

The right type of technology helps businesses think as well as act differently. In this way, technology drives both a technical and a cultural mindset.

Considerations when choosing a partner

If the future of payments is to be open and collaborative, then banks and processors need to have the technology in place to capitalise on opportunities. This often means better rather than more technology.

Payment systems should allow different business models to run on the same platform. OpenWay’s WAY4 platform enables concurrent customer propositions and business models, both new and traditional. It offers a variety of credit, debit, prepaid and multi-currency services for mature customers, and supports financial inclusion use cases for those who are unbanked or new to financial products.

Loyalty, deposit, payment and non-payment services and online interoperability are musts for successful wallets. These five elements unite clients as varied as Equity Bank in Kenya, Asia Commercial Bank and SmartNet in Vietnam, B1NK and AzeriCard in Central Asia, Advanced Info Services in Thailand and many others that either create their own wallet products or use an existing wallet ecosystem on WAY4. Openway clients target both unbanked consumers and demanding tech-savvy users.

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Payment partner considerations

Payment method-agnostic
Open and API-rich
Scalable and flexible
Cross-border
Truly digital (across B2B, B2C, B2G, C2G and so forth)
Supports various business models
Grows your ecosystem
Backed by an experienced team

Payments live in an ecosystem. Banks and processors are increasingly having to consider how and where they operate within this wider ecosystem — and naturally with whom. Their technology should facilitate greater co-operation or competition, and sometimes both. Ideally, payments platforms should be payment-method-agnostic, open and supportive of a rich library of APIs for everything from risk management and scoring to tokenisation.

Scalability and flexibility are critical. The chosen technology platform should have the flexibility to scale up to meet business needs and the robustness to cope with sales spikes. One of Openway’s biggest clients handles up to 2,400 transactions per second with no latency. This bank has achieved 140-million active debit and credit card portfolios with a variability of products and more than 40 configurable parameters for each of them.

Invisible security is key. That the platform should conform to the latest versions of EMV, 3-D Secure and PA-DSS is a given. In addition, a good technology partner should offer a range of fraud screening and risk management services. OpenWay provides an anti-fraud engine with about 80 customisable parameters, including payment and non-payment transaction data, customer and device information and historical analysis, which bring seamless security at every customer touch point.

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Personalisation: one size fits no one in payments. Openway worked with Nordic processor Nets to implement standardised products with minimal configuration options on WAY4, enabling quicker speed to market for end clients and with Borgun (Iceland) to offer merchants personalised pricing and value-added services. Plus the product user experience is personalised in real time due to the event-driven configuration.

Omni-channel is the default for banking and payments today. Customers should not see or feel the awkward join as they bank or shop online or in person at a branch or store. Openway helped Halyk Bank, one of the most innovative financial institutions in Central Asia, power the front-end omnichannel experience across e-commerce and face-to-face acceptance.

Commerce becomes more and more borderless. Top European processors have built distributed installations worldwide on WAY4 for issuing, acquiring, gateway and wallet services. For example, Six Payment Services successfully migrated close to 40 banks to WAY4 within two years. When the client’s digital strategy or domestic/regional regulations require on-soil presence, the platform allows the combination of cross-border centralised installations with local ones in the distributed processing environment. Good examples are Nets serving its banks throughout the Nordics, and Credorax working with merchants across Europe, both on the WAY4 platform.

Knowledge, skills and experience count for a lot in the brave new world of payments. OpenWay has more than 20 years’ experience in managing complex projects in multiple countries worldwide. The company has built national payment switches for countries, helped facilitate social payments for governments and interoperable mobile payments for banks and operators, and managed fuel card payments for oil companies. Leveraging this, the National Bank of Greece recently replaced its legacy mainframe systems with the modern, future-proofed WAY4 platform, and received recognition for delivering the best large-scale IT project in 2018.

The WAY4 system is an open, digital-payments software platform, used by 135 banks, processors, telecom and oil companies across the globe. OpenWay has been independently ranked as a market leader in card and merchant management by Gartner since 2009 and Ovum in 2015-16, and as a market leader in digital wallets (Ovum 2016).

THE ANALYTIC REPORTS

For more information, click to download the analytic reports.

Looking for Mobile Customers' Engagement and Monetization?

The WAY4 Mobile Wallet white label software solution helps banks and payment processors to engage their cardholders and merchants with their-branded digital wallets.

You can launch your own digital wallets for online customer enrollment, payments and P2P transfers, e-commerce and NFC payments, marketing, security, and other value-added services. Enjoy the movie and ask us for more details!

AK Bars thanks OpenWay for its great contribution to the banks’ success

We appreciate the feedback of our client, AK Bars Bank, for our cooperation and success in preparation for the 27th Universiade that was held in Kazan, Russia, on 6-17 July 2013.

Watch2Pay - part of the payment ecosystem created for Universiade in Kazan by AK Bars Bank and OpenWay

Watch2Pay - part of the payment ecosystem created for Universiade in Kazan by AK Bars Bank and OpenWay

“Allow us to express our deepest thanks to you and your company’s staff for your great contribution to the success of Universiade 2013 in Kazan. Together with the Bank, OpenWay Service implemented innovative bank products used during Universiade 2013, such as prepaid cards, volunteer cards, accreditation cards, guest cards, Pay2Watch watches, and NFC via SIM. Also, ATMs, POS terminals and kiosks supporting innovative WAY4-based banking technologies were deployed and launched at Universiade facilities in the shortest possible time.

Some of the products were implemented in Europe and Russia for the first time. Products created together with your company were highly appreciated by visitors and citizens of Kazan, as well as participants of Universiade 2013.

Solutions created by your company demonstrated high reliability and fault tolerance. We hope for further effective cooperation in creation of new innovative bank products, and wish you and your company prosperity, affluence and continuous development for the benefit of your clients and Russia’s financial industry in general.”

M. Dubkov, Director of Information Technologies Department, AK Bars Bank

M. Ganeev, Director of Retail Business Department, AK Bars Bank

OpenWay Announces the Arrival of WAY4 Wallet

The WAY4 Wallet solution is aimed at developing financial services in the virtual and e-money environment. This innovative product has strategic value for banks that are putting an emphasis on attracting and servicing clients through the Internet and mobile applications. The product will be presented at the leading international exhibition - CARTES 2012 - in Paris during an OpenWay workshop that will take place on November 6 at 11:15 in room 2.

Mobile and internet channels are becoming more and more popular as the first choice of cardholders for the way they get service. This is a serious reason to re-examine the approach to providing retail banking services. The WAY4 Wallet solution makes it possible for banks to attract other banks' clients and get fee revenue from servicing their cards through mobile phones and the Internet. Client service is possible not only through the bank's Web portal or application on a client's mobile device but through any Internet spaces or social networks. 

Moreover, thanks to WAY4 Wallet, a visitor to the portal or mobile phone owner can become a bank client without even setting foot in a financial institution: this is done online in a matter of minutes while observing a high level of security.

Thanks to the built-in mechanism for target marketing and cross-sales, the bank is able to approach current and potential clients directly, offering them new products and services. In the virtual personal office, clients can manage their cards, make payments and transfers, receive targeted offers from the bank and respond to them, all from a single point of entry. Using state-of-the-art channels - Internet and mobile phone - WAY4 Wallet can acquire any card: prepaid, credit or debit regardless of the issuing bank. 

WAY4 Wallet can be used as a personal office in which cardholders can associate their cards, obtain virtual cards and manage them, make financial operations, create any payment templates and receive personal messages from the bank. 

Wim Pardon, Managing Director of OpenWay EMEA, comments: “When developing solutions for working with new service channels, the first thing we do is analyse the demands and expectations of clients actively using these channels. Our multi-channel solution was initially based on the concept of a payment ecosystem, and this approach has totally lived up to expectations. It is now time to take the next step. This means even new clients can easily be registered online, it means expansion of financial space by servicing all the client's financial instruments and moving into social networks and a lot more that allows companies using WAY4 to be attractive to an audience that is used to good service in the virtual dimension.”

SeABank Vietnam attracts happy couples with WAY4

South-East Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SeABank) of Vietnam issues Visa Couple card on the WAY4 payment processing software to attract happy couples into its client base. As the cardholder of SeABank Visa Couple you can share with your loved one various banking add-ons, as well as discounts at multiple restaurants, studios, hotels, resorts. In Vietnam SeABank is the pioneer who supplies a designated card product for couples.

This is just another link in the SeABank’s chain of card innovations. Five years ago SeABank was the first in Vietnam to carry out the validation under EMV standard for international card payment and issuance. 

Ms. Pham Thuy Nga, Director of SeABank’s Card Centre, said: “When we were looking for a strategic partner, we wanted a company that could provide international expertise with local support. We needed flexibility, reliability and commitment – OpenWay met all our requirements with its local office in Hanoi. Our decision has been justified as the WAY4 implementation has been very smooth.”

In 2007 OpenWay launched WAY4 processing in SeABank in just four months, starting with MasterCard EMV debit cards issuing, ATM management, authorization, clearing and settlement. The second phase ended in December 2011 and ensured similar services for VISA debit cards. Followed closely after the VISA Couple cards, OpenWay and SeABank team continued working on the Autobank project. As part of the Autobank requirements, OpenWay was highly involved in improving SeABank’s ATM and Self Service Kiosk functionalities. The AutoBank system operates 24 hours, providing full basic banking services for customers to deposit money, withdraw cash, exchange currencies and search for information not only for VISA & MasterCard but also extended the facilities to American Express, JCB and Diners Club card holders. SeABank became Vietnam’s first institution to provide AutoBank services in January 2012. 

“With WAY4, we significantly extended our product line”, - confirms Ms. Pham Thuy Nga.

As for volumes, the bank currently processes around 400,000 debit, credit and prepaid cards, 200 ATMs and 3000 merchants on WAY4.

Ms. Sheue Chee Beh, OpenWay’s Asia Pacific senior account manager, added: “SeABank is a pioneer in banking services in Vietnam. We have provided the bank with a dedicated team of four engineers throughout this project which has helped in building relationships and eliminating the potential for hold-ups.”

SeABank

Founded in 1994, the Southeast Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank - SeABank is one the first Vietnamese commercial joint stock banks. Proud of its achievements of the past few years, SeABank has been ceaselessly perfecting its products and services to pursue the policy of sustainable development, aiming to be among the leading commercial joint stock banks in Vietnam. SeABank is now ranked top 14 biggest Banks in Vietnam with 152 transaction points and 2200 employees, and also top 8 biggest banks in term of charter capital with its charter capital of VND 5.335 billions until now. Société Générale – the best retail bank in France and Europe has become SeABank’s strategic partner which owns 20% in charter capital. SeABank was honored with many noble titles, including Certificate of merit granted by the Prime Minister, Most Admired ASEAN enterprises – ABA 2010, ASEAN Typical Enterprise 2012, International Arch of Europe Award for Quality and Excellence ( IAE), Top 300/500 of Vietnamese largest enterprises, Top 85/500 of largest private enterprises in Vietnam, Top 44/1000 of largest corporate income tax payers in Vietnam, etc. As official member of two world biggest card associations MasterCard and Visa Card, in 2010 SeABank officially launched international debit card EMV MasterCard, international deferred debit card EMV MasterCard using EMV chip technology with optimal security standard, quasi unprecedented in Vietnam in particular and Asia region in general.

Borgun turns to OpenWay

Borgun, the first issuer and acquirer of credit cards in Iceland whose business today comprises over 200.000 cards and 10,000 merchants, has turned to OpenWay’s WAY4 all-in-one software platform to manage issuing, acquiring, e-commerce and loyalty programmes for its total portfolio.

Haukur Oddson, CEO of Borgun, said, “Card usage in Iceland is among the highest in the world so we needed to have advantage over the competition. Borgun is known for innovative solutions when it comes to servicing merchants and we needed a processing platform that could react and adapt to our changing requirements. Of vital importance to us was that full functionality scope including e-commerce, acquiring and issuing, could be supported while we centralised processing for all our businesses. We chose WAY4 all-in-one solution because it ticked all the boxes including providing an interface with our existing platforms and Payments associations, could run loyalty programmes, integrate with our issuing client banks and be able to acquire for all Payment schemes.”
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Wim Pardon, Managing Director of OpenWay EMEA added, "We are very pleased to be working with Borgun, an innovative company operating in one of the most developed and thus challenging card markets. Our WAY4 solution is especially suitable for projects where the client needs a single transaction processing platform with proven issuing, acquiring and switching capabilities together with rich e-commerce and loyalty functionality. Borgun was one of the pioneers in the market and we believe WAY4 will help Borgun to continue to lead the market supported by increased flexibility, faster speed to market, and improved efficiency".

Borgun

Established in 1980, as the first issuer and acquirer of credit cards in Iceland, Borgun is a leader in payment solutions in Iceland and is committed to innovation and excellence. Borgun provides acquiring services to merchants and issuing processing services to a diverse range of issuers of credit and debit cards on the Icelandic market.

The company offers solutions for merchants accepting MasterCard, Maestro, VISA, VISA Electron, Union Pay, JCB, Diners Club, Discover, and American Express credit cards; and card-not-present, including e-commerce acquiring services for MasterCard and VISA.