HSBC Bank UK Creates a Highly Customized System

BASE24 is the fundamental authorization, routing and settlement system for HSBC ATMs and debit cards in the UK, and processes many millions of ATM and POS transactions per day. 

Over the course of 23 years, HSBC Bank had developed more than 5,000 customizations to this core payment platform, which created inefficiencies and caused the bank to depend on a limited number of specialist internal resources.

Upgrading to the Standard Saves the Day

With at least two compliance releases for both BankNet and VisaNet transaction specifications per year, HSBC needed specialist expertise to plan, design and make code changes to meet regulation, which required significant manual effort internally. The bank wanted to minimize in-house analysis and development in order to facilitate compliance with these regulatory changes. It also wanted to create quicker and more seamless routes to market and to be able to support the migration of MasterCard to BankNet and the global issuance of millions of VISA debit cards. VISA transaction processing was thus considered particularly important, as the existing customer interface did not support issuer processing.

The Bank’s UK team, therefore, undertook this project to upgrade to the latest version of BASE24 on its existing HP NonStop S-series environment, to use the standard product for all MasterCard BankNet and VISA VisaNet interfaces, and to create a uniform version of the product to make it easier and more cost-effective to apply fixes and upgrades. 

Upgrade Implementation Effort Cut by Two-Thirds

Achieving product standardization has greatly improved time to market, acceptance of fixes, reduced in-house cost and meets product upgrade implementation deadlines, enabling HSBC to save three years of manual effort every year for mandated implementation alone.

“BASE24 has long been a critical part of the payments infrastructure at HSBC UK. But with 5,000 bespoke customizations it had become rather unwieldy and resource-intensive. By integrating the standard BASE24 mandates into our version of the system, we have been able to extend the life of our BASE24 implementation on a highly cost-effective basis, while continuing to meet the demands of a rapidly changing market,” said Anton Godfrey, Systems Specialist, HSBC Bank Plc.