- New solution allows modular expansion existing shop systems with new functions
- The solution is a gradual one Replacement of previous monolithic software structures possible during operation.
However, the age of the card management software, its complexity and closed structure are increasingly becoming a problem, since after up to 40 years there is hardly any staff left to expand or maintain such systems. Payworld-IT GmbH now has the first modular card management system PSX2 Developed for “Issueing Processing”, which allows existing systems for cashless payment transactions to be flexibly supplemented with new functionalities.
The PSX2 software consists of so-called hexagons, i.e. packages of software routines that represent a self-contained functionality. You can get over a API interface link with existing systems. In addition, the successive replacement of parts of the existing card management system with up-to-date and manageable hexagons in terms of software supports the gradual modernization of the system.
Modern system environment for cashless payment transactions
“The old card management systems form a complete software and system environment, as they actually already exist in every banking system,” explains Horst-Dieter Koch, Managing Director of Payworld-IT GmbH.
The extreme amount of software in these card management systems was further increased because, as originally American developments, they first had to be comprehensively adapted to the European market with its significantly different banking regulations. So from the start they had massive, unstructured functionality that could only be controlled by a large number of IT staff.
Looking for alternatives to complex systems
The personnel expenditure has increased over time, due to changes in the banking system such as SEPA and PSD2 A large number of extensions and new functionalities have been added, which have resulted in structures that are even more unwieldy. “Although the systems are being made more and more modern through changes to the surface, their core remains old, complex and is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain,” explains Koch.
Despite these disadvantages, both banks with their own integrated card management and card management service providers, so-called processors, continue to adhere to them. The main reason for this is the fact that switching to another of the previously available card management solutions is hardly feasible Lack of modular structures In these monolithic systems, successive replacement of components is not possible, only a complete changeover in one go. This in turn would result in the conversion of all data and functions existing in the old system and their transfer to the new system – a process that can take up a lot of time and personnel and is therefore hardly economically feasible.
Use of the existing structures for cashless payment transactions
This means that the operators of the card management systems have so far only been able to continue using the existing structures. In the meantime, however, this represents an enormous challenge: If a system is to be expanded or even just maintained, there is often a lack of staff to carry out this difficult task. “The developers who programmed this software 30 to 40 years ago and who have the necessary specialist knowledge are now retired,” explains Koch. “Due to the great complexity, new personnel have to be trained for a long time in order to master the system. It is a long way from the rapid implementation of new functionalities that the market requires. ”
Modular addition to previous systems through a modular system
A newly developed card management system could now initiate something like a paradigm shift through modern software structures and a completely new design of functionalities. Fürth-based Payworld-IT GmbH has developed a modular software concept for card management that can add new functions or completely replace existing monolithic systems.
“PSX2 is a modular system consisting of so-called hexagons. Each hexagon represents a number of programs that operate their own internal communication within the hexagon in order to fulfill a specific function. This function is provided completely and only at this point, ”explains Koch. In addition, each hexagon has a clear input and output interface, which ensures that it is supplied with information and allows its results to be adopted by other hexagons or external systems.
“These API interfaces ensure compatibility with the existing card management systems, which can be expanded to include the functionality of the hexagon in this way,” says Koch. Since the hexagons each represent a self-contained functionality that does not affect other functionalities, they can be maintained and further developed autonomously. The fact that the database for each hexagon – i.e. for each functionality – is separate also contributes to this. This is an advantage over the previous card management systems, which only have a single database and therefore require a complex database system.
Because of the special Software architecture of the PSX2 it makes sense to expand an existing card management system with individual hexagons. “If a system requires three additional modules, for example, these components can be selected from the PSX2 and connected via the API,” explains Koch. Examples of hexagons that could be particularly relevant here are:
- X2 – Transaction: Exchange of clearing data with the international networks of card payment systems
- SE2 – Settlement: Settlement and proof of settlement with the card payment systems
- X2 – Authorization: Data exchange with an authorization system.
In addition to the addition, it is also possible to gradually replace parts of an existing card management system with hexagons from the PSX2 during the ongoing process. This allows you to modernize your own processing step by step, as a system is gradually created that is easier to look after and maintain.
Operation on various platforms for cashless payment transactions
The operating system infrastructure on which the PSX2 is based is also an advantage in this context and allows for a scalable implementation that is independent of the target platform. The software works under operating systems of the z and pSeries from IBM, Linux and Unix. This also enables different software architectures within a card management system, since the individual hexagons also run on different platforms and still work together optimally.
The PSX system is controlled via the easy-to-use graphical browser interface Payment Card Portal (PCP). The properties and the basic flexibility of the PSX2 also open up further options, including, for example, setting up an in-house card management system for banks that have not yet had an integrated system.
In-house solution for banks without their own card management system
Banks that do not have their own card management system up to now can get one in-house relatively easily and cost-effectively. In this case, the integrative card management with PSX2 supplements the banking system with the additional equipment required for credit card payment systems – and in a form that is open to your own product design. In most cases, the banking system lacks only a few functions that can be covered by PSX2 components.
In addition to a certified connection for taking over the clearing data of the card payment systems such as MasterCard or Visa for cashless payments, there is a billing system for the daily settlement of the settlement, a possibility for a chargeback of unauthorized transactions and the option to influence the authorization of card payment transactions . In addition, a component for product design and card creation and management must often be added, as well as a component for individual pricing.
The Payworld-IT GmbH is a software house in the field of card-based billing systems for cashless payment transactions in German-speaking countries. With over 20 years of experience in software development and project management in all areas of transaction processing in issuing processing, Payworld-IT offers a flexible and cost-effective implementation of the requirements of banks and card processors. (sg)
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