How old is too old?
It’s not uncommon to find issuers with millions of debit and credit cards in circulation that still depend on card management systems created and implemented 20 and even 30 years ago. The financial crisis hit every sector of the economy hard, and many financial institutions reacted by putting off replacing critical infrastructure, including their card management system. More than a few reasoned that the older systems could handle the job as long as the organization’s ambitions were modest and their offerings didn’t vary too much from the “traditional”. These card systems are also usually so heavily entrenched in the organization’s IT infrastructure that the estimated cost and risk of a “rip and replace” can erode the business case for a new platform.
That’s not the end of the cost equation, however. The total cost of owning any system includes not only the original cost of acquiring and installing the hardware and software — it also includes the ongoing administration costs for hardware and upgrades, maintenance, technical support, training and even utility and real estate costs for running and housing the technology. An older “good enough” system may actually be costing far more than the business recognizes.
Consider the operational savings that could be realized by a midsize international financial institution that replaces its aging card management system with a modern implementation:
• Interface: Replacing the legacy user interface with a more user-friendly GUI not only reduces the time needed to train new staff, but also makes maintaining data and tables far easier and more efficient. Total expected time savings through greater user effectiveness: 20-30%.
• Database: Swapping an old system running flat files with a new one based on a relational database such as Oracle® or DB2® means the bank’s staffers can perform better investigations, gather better statistics and perform more concise data extractions faster. Total expected time savings through better access to data: 50%.
• Logs: A new card management system has more comprehensive logs, meaning the application support team can better understand problems and solve them faster. Total expected time savings through improved insight into systems activities: 40%.
• Batch process control: The newer system’s stronger control over high-volume batch process sequences means staffers can more easily schedule processes and restart them quickly in a process failure scenario. Total expected time savings when dealing with job issues: 10%.
And those numbers don’t even address the savings in hardware, cooling, power, real estate and more that comes with replacing a legacy card management system with a newer, more nimble implementation.
Check out the story of the UBS card center which was able to successfully expand its existing card portfolio and provide SMS technology to its customer