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Is your Card Management System Holding you Back? – Part IV

How many platforms are too many?

In the halcyon days of banking, issuers ran debit and credit card portfolios as separate divisions, each with their own platforms, systems and operating models. In many cases, this continues to be true today. From issuing cards to managing customers, the same functionality is performed from two, possibly three, similar-yet-separate card management systems. Such redundancy creates the following challenges:

Compliance complexity: The more card management systems in place, the more infrastructure and processes that fall under the purview of various regulatory compliance initiatives. A best practice when it comes to limiting PCI-DSS scope, for example, is to limit the number of networks and systems dealing with credit and debit card processing tasks. Increasing the number of issuing systems needlessly expands the scope, and with it the cost of compliance.

Lost synergies: Not only are multiple card management systems not logical from a cost and compliance standpoint, but they also preclude any synergies that may be achieved by combining processes for all card types into one issuing platform. With one platform, complexity is reduced and training, maintenance, support and security are all simplified. Plus, any new feature added to one type of card issuing program can easily be extended to another — without the need to add more hardware or other redundant resources.

Increased innovation costs: Older, separate, inflexible card management systems also preclude any synergies that may come as the business rolls out new products and services. How easily will each current system adapt to the need to support contactless, new mobile-based initiatives or EMV? As new products emerge, will they result in the need for yet another platform to build, run and maintain?

Service setbacks: Financial institutions that support several card management systems often are unable to provide the holy grail of customer service: a single unified view of the customer across all the different card products. Customers can grow increasingly frustrated as they wait for agents to log in and access customer information residing in two or three different systems before they can answer a simple question about interest rates or account balances. And as noted earlier, today’s increasingly savvy customers aren’t content to wait. They’ll leave and do business with other financial institutions that can meet their needs more readily.

The reason for the status quo is simple: The existing systems are so hard-coded to issue only credit or debit cards that it would be very labor-intensive and costly to adapt them to issue multiple types of cards. Instead of a costly time-consuming rework, however, the business should examine how newer systems, with their synergies, cost savings and increased control over the customer experience, can add to the bottom line. This is an easy way for divisional heads within financial institutions to work with their IT partners to gain significant cost-efficiencies — and revenue opportunities.

ACI is continuously investing in their solutions, this press release highlights the latest version of the card and account management solution, which empowers financial institutions to increase the efficiency of card issuing.


If not now, when?

As financial organizations continue to strive to do more with less and support new products and lines of business with little or no additional budget, many are finding it difficult to make any investments, even to replace an aging card management system that no longer suits the needs of the business.

But those that do take the time to actually evaluate their current system, build a business case and win investment will see immediate gains in reduced IT costs, improved time-to-market for revenue-generating products and the ability to quickly take advantage of new trends and opportunities as they emerge.

Today, no financial institution can afford to sit back and hope that an aging, barely “good enough” card management system will keep them in the hunt. Now is the time to review your current system— before your competitors charge ahead.

It all comes down to peace of mind. Can an organization rely on their current system to not only scale, but also be available and secure, no matter what new features or processes are added or supported?

Companies that invest in modern card and account management solutions will benefit from reduced costs and improved services for their consumers through reduced operating losses and improved customer satisfaction. The ACI Issuer product flyer explains how this solution helps deliver on these goals.

Payments Expert

ACI Worldwide powers electronic payments for financial institutions, retailers and processors around the world with its broad and integrated suite of electronic payment software.