Why Banks Must Engage Experts to Choose Their CMS/Switch Systems?

The cards market is going through an unprecedented period of change. It is driven by new technologies, new services, and changing customer expectations. These changes are being felt throughout the cards’ value chain, and it is having a profound impact on the infrastructure underpinning the cards space. This includes issuing, processing and acquiring.

Unlike mobile and online channels, card management systems have not received the same level of hype and attention; even though it is a core component of any issuer’s retail payment infrastructure.

However, as digital transformation gets high on agenda for banks, they are updating their legacy payments infrastructures. In the process, it is evident that Switch/CMS platforms have a critical role to play in broader modernization activities.

Since the Switch/CMS platform is among the most significant investments that a bank makes, its evaluation and selection are critical to the success of the financial institution.

With multiple forces and constraints to consider, selecting a Switch/CMS can be a daunting task. The considerations that influence this decision include strategic, business, functional, non-functional, technology, interfacing, compliance, financial, and time factors.

The fact that over 25 vendors offer Switch/CMS platforms makes the decision even more difficult. Most Switch/CMS platform vendors have done a good job of targeting their offerings based on business models, size, channels, IT ownership preferences, cost and time appetite, etc. However, evaluating and selecting a Switch/CMS platform that fits the bank’s needs requires matching the functionality, scale, ownership model, cost, and timelines with the platform vendor offerings.

This is as much an art as a science.

Typically, banks have matured processes around software procurement. Switch/CMS system selection tends to follow the same established approach. It is primarily driven by the procurement team and supported by a team comprised of the project sponsor and other relevant stakeholders within the bank.

Every CMS/Switch platform boasts of robust technology capabilities, a strong focus on enabling modular flexibility, the promise of legacy system modernization, and a proven record of deploying CMS/Switch systems in a complex financial environment.

However, forward-thinking banks understand that they need the assistance of experts to help them select the right system that fits “their” specific needs?

Therefore, they prefer to outsource this entire evaluation process to consulting organizations and have them work with the procurement team to run it end-to-end till final selection.

Let’s explore how consulting organizations with expertise in cards and payments can help banks in selecting the right CMS/Switch systems –

They possess deep technology capabilities

Technology consideration is one of the major aspects to look into while selecting a CMS/ switch platform. Any failure in the technology stack could lead to a service outage and customer dissatisfaction. That’s where consulting organizations add value. They come with deep expertise of the technology landscape. It helps them ensure that the vendor providing CMS/Switch platform uses the right technology that is flexible, scalable, and aligned with the bank’s existing IT infrastructure.

Considering that all CMS/Switch platforms promise advanced levels of functionalities and modular architecture, picking the right system can be challenging. They understand how to choose a platform that is built on future-proof architecture, allows third-party integrations with back-office systems, and has demonstrated commitment to continual development and maintenance. Additional capabilities such as hosting and managing CMS services to make it economically viable for smaller banks are also some of the important propositions to look into while choosing the platform.

They understand security protocols

Bank frauds can break the carefully built reputation of banks within minutes. Customers may even resort to closing their accounts with the bank if they come across security loopholes. The expert consulting organizations understand the importance of security and have a deep knowledge of the international security standards that the system needs to adhere to. They can evaluate the system based on its proactiveness to detect and prevent frauds easily and its support for advanced technologies such as risk-based authentication, tokens, and also biometrics.

They understand business workflows

Every bank has its own processes, systems, and way of functioning. Multiple types of users access the Card Management System. It is, therefore, important to have a system that is comprehensive, user-friendly, easy to configure based on the unique business needs, and secure with tight access controls. Consulting organizations typically have an in-depth understanding of business workflows, usage patterns, and needs of various business users. They use this knowledge to evaluate the suitability of the system to the bank’s specific business needs.

They understand the complexities in platform implementation

The implementation of a CMS/Switch platform is a complex, time-consuming, and effort-intensive endeavor. There are multiple aspects to evaluate such as –

-Availability of deployment options including on-site, hosted, or software-as-a-service methodologies.

-Availability of the vendor’s partner network to implement the platform

-Vendor’s capability to manage large-scale deployments

Flexibility to implement specific modules to ensure phase-wise implementation and rapid roll-out of new payment products

– The platform’s flexibility to add additional modules later on

Consulting organizations, with their expertise and experience of managing large-scale CMS implementations, understand the complexities and nuances of platform implementation, which helps them in vendor evaluation.

They possess the business knowledge

The global card payment industry is buzzing with change. A robust growth in card payment volumes, combined with stricter regulatory guidelines, progressive industry initiatives, evolving customer expectations, and innovations like mobile and contactless payments have ushered in an era of technology-driven, boundary-less transactions. Consulting organizations possess up-to-date knowledge of the overall ecosystem and understand the changing landscape. They use this knowledge to evaluate the right CMS/Switch system that is flexible, secure, and can scale as per the bank’s short-term and long-term business goals.

Verinite has been playing an active role in helping banks, financial institutions, fintech’s and third-party payment processors transform their payments systems and implement them successfully. Let’s connect if you need help in evaluating and implementing the right CMS/ Switch system for your needs.

Ashish Katkar

Ashish is Managing Director @ Verinite. His passion is to build a next generation technology company focused on BFSI industry in emerging economies. An ardent Arsenal, Amitabh, Kishore Kumar and Sachin Tendulkar fan.