Solutions and Systems

Payment Switch

Infotech Payment Switch is a complete Card Management System which combines a front and a back office. It provides an optimum flexibility in providing various independent modules for both acquirers and issuers. It processes a variety of financial transactions and authorizations originated from POSs, ATMs, branches and authorization call-centers.

IPS is a comprehensive payment system composed of individual state-of-the-art modules that provide dedicated payment services. Each module can be purchased separately, and yet each can be seamlessly linked to the others to create a powerful set of features in order to meet the needs of individual banks or processors.

By providing its extensive set of ready-to-use payment modules, IPS delivers a solid framework for continual growth that allows the client needs to be met quickly and cost-effectively in a rapidly evolving industry since Entry Time to Market is a key to success, new products and services can be built winin hours.

IPS provides a scalable, open software architecture that lowers the costs and increases the profitability whil control in the risks involved in payment activity.

IPS meets the most current payment transaction standards such as ISO 8583 and EMV. Infotech protects your IPS investment by adding new features and functions that meet all payment associations’ periodical changing needs (VISA, MasterCard, American Express,etc,...).

Internet and chip options are having a great impact on the payment card market. IPS captures the business benefits of new technical developments,whill in turn provide more accessible payment products.

IPS offers an unprecedented level of parameterization and therefore provides maximum flexibility. IPS provides Multi-Country, Multi-Bank, Multi-Currency, Multi-payment schemes, Multi-Language and Multi-Management Rules facilities.
IPS is designed to be fully VSDC / M-Chip programs compliant. Therefore, IPS enables banks to deliver multi-application cards with a wide range of functions and all the security mechanisms required by EMV specifications. IPS  olso offers a full EMV implementation option.

IPS allows the efficient processing of a wide range of products: credit cards, charge cards, debit cards, chip cards, multi-application cards, loyalty cards, e-purse cards, private label cards, affinity cards, and co-branded cards.

On-line and batch error messages, help-text, and even some screen designs can easily be modified by system administrators. In addition, all processing parameters are on-line and easily accessible.

IPS meets the fraud monitoring and reporting requirements of Visa International, MasterCard, and American Express.

The following diagram shows the different IPS modules and their interactions


switch

 

Key Features:

  • Acquiring and Issuing
  • Unix Based Technology
  • Oracle Data Base
  • Modular design
  • Multi-Country, Multi-Bank, Multi-Currency, Multi-payment schemes,Multi-Language, Multi-Management Rules
  • HSM support
  • Fully customizable
  • PA-DSS compliant
  • Full feature Back-office (Reporting, Monitoring, Management)

1.Front office Modules

1.1 Introduction

IPS switch is based on a very modular architecture to offers to:

  • Availability,
  • Performance,
  • Scalability.

IPS can run as much as necessary instances of each interface with different parameters on the same or a different server which helps considerably those three characteristics. In addition, IPS switch uses multithreading technology in order to increase process running and performances.

The following charts give a example of a IPS switch implementation:

 

switch-2

 

IPS switch enables banks to manage both acquiring and issuing activities. As a matter of fact, all incoming authorization requests received from POSs, ATMs, branches, voice authorizations and International Associations (Visa, MasterCard, Amex,…) are logged in real-time, controlled and then routed to the appropriate authorization server. The answers are sent back to the authorization initiators.

IPS manages the following categories of on-line Interfaces:

  • Gateways:
    •    VISA Gateway,
    •    MasterCard Gateway,
    •    National Switch Gateway,
  • Acquiring Modules:
    •    ATM Driver,
    •    POS Driver,
    •    Internet Driver,
    •   Voice Authorization Driver,
  • Issuing Modules:
    •   Host interface,
    •   On_Us module:
      • Stand-In module,
      • On-Behalf module,
  • System module:
    •    HSM Interface.

 

IPS Switch integrates a module called ‘Supervisor’ to monitor all the on-line interfaces in real time.

1.2 Switch

IPS switch enables to manage both acquiring and issuing activities. All incoming authorization requests received are logged in real-time, controlled and then routed to the appropriate authorizer. The answers are sent back to the authorization initiators.

All the switch modules are sharing the same database in order to log authorizations, get routing destination and stand-in parameters, …

The authorizations requests can be acquired from different channels : ATM, Voice, National switch, Visa and MasterCard, ….

1.3 Gateways

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1.3 Gateways

1.3.1 Visa interface

The Visa interface would be used to interface IPS system with Visa network. This interface will act as acquirer and issuer.

Foreign cards will be processed in single message mode (SMS). Bank cards used at Visa network will be processed in dual message mode (Base 1).

1.3.2 MasterCard interface

The MasterCard interface would be used to interface IPS system with MasterCard network. This interface will act as acquirer and issuer.

 

Foreign cards will be processed in single message mode (MDS). Bank cards used at MasterCard network will be processed in dual message mode (CIS).

1.3.3  AMEX Gateway

IPS provides an American Express Globe interface. This interface processes from an acquirer or an issuer stand-point, all authorization requests for purchase, cash advance and ATM withdrawal

1.3.4  National switch interface

The national switch interface would be used to interface IPS system with national network. This interface will act as acquirer and issuer.

1.4 Acquiring Modules

1.4.1  ATM Driver

IPS ATM driver is a software package designed to run ATM terminals.  The standard supportedprotocol are Diebold 912 and NDC+.

 

The standard services offered by IPS are:

  • Cash withdrawal,
  • Balance Inquiry,
  • Statement printing,
  • Mini statement,
  • Checkbook requests,
  • Account to account transfers,
  • Bill payment,
  • Deposit,
  • PIN change.

IPS ATM server provideslanguageselectionpossibility for foreigncardholders.

The main management functions ensured by the ATM server are:

  • ATM Driving,
  • ATM Parameters setting,
  • Authorization and Reversal management,
  • ATM services,
  • Management of the cut-off of the ATM and the ATM Server,
  • Management of the Cash balance in the ATM,
  • Administration and monitoring,
  • Configuration download,
  • Keys download,
  • Activity Management.
1.4.2 POS Driver

IPS POS driver enables POS network management in conjunction with the terminal management.

This section describes the on-line services offered by IPS POS server, to include the following functions:

  • Single message Payment with or without PIN entry
  • Cut-off management (same as ATM)
  • Double message payment
  • Transactions upload
  • Parameter download
  • Stop list download (total or update)

IPS supports currently the following protocols:

  • CB2A,
  • ISO 8583.

 

1.4.3 Voice Authorization Driver

The IPS voice authorization driver manages all voice authorization requests as well as lost and stolen card reports.

Call center staffs use a dedicated profile which allows them to perform:

  • Response to an authorization request,
  • Authorization modification
  • Authorization reversal
  • Lost and stolen card report data capture including optional on line transmission to Payment schemes (national and international)
  • Lost and stolen card record maintenance

 

1.4.4  Internet Driver

 

IPS V6 enables to manage, securely, the full life cycle of Internet transactions. In fact, the proposed solution extends the classic way of managing a payment transaction to a new environment where:

  • the physical terminal becomes virtual,
  • the risk management turns out to be crucial.

The IPS V6 will allow the bank to:

  • hire a new category of merchants: e-Merchants,
  • manage new kind of transactions: e-Commerce Transactions,
  • offer this new service to its member banks.

 

The e-Commerce solution is based on three main modules:

  • a Merchant-Kit: to be installed in the merchant site to manage, securely, the different authorization requests concerning international or national cardholders,
  • an e-Commerce Server: to manage the on-line requests generated from the different Merchant-Kits,
  • a Back-Office Application: to manage the life cycle of a transaction processing.

1.5  Issuing Servers

1.5.1 HOST Interface

The Host Interface would be used to interface IPS system with the Bank Host system in order to manage debit cards authorizations requests.

1.5.2 Stand-in Module

IPS Switch provides an integrated authorization module which can act in different mode :

 

  • ON-LINE :The acquiring system or terminal sends transaction to IPS which sends them to the host to be authorized, using the host account database. In this case IPS will perform all controls linked to the card level including risk control (open to buy) before transmitting the authorization request to the HOST.
  • OFF-LINE : In this mode, two different situations are handled by IPS

         Stand alone SITUATION

IPS authorizes and logs the transaction itself, using its own account database.

 

         Stand in SITUATION

If the issuer host is in DOWN situation, IPS can authorize and notify later on the issuer host with an appropriate     advice. The authorization can be based on the card limits open to buy and/or the accounting balance received from the HOST.

 

1.6  HSM Interface

 

The HSM Interface is assuring the security management related to sensitive data processing.

 

 

2.Back office Modules

2.1 Introduction

 

The IPS Product is very rich in terms of functionalities which can make from an institution a very productive foundation for future development and long term use.

 

Back-office modules provide comprehensive processing solutions for managing several millions of consumer-generated transactions done in any device, anywhere in the world, securely and conveniently.

Back-office modules enable also financial institutions to actively manage and launch effective card and merchant management programs.

The following diagram shows the different IPS Back-office modules and their interactions.

switch-3

 

2.2 Cardholder Management

 

IPS Card management module allows to process efficiently a wide range of products including: debit cards, prepaid cards, credit cards and charge cards. Those products can be issued by the institutions as proprietary or  branded cards.

 

The Products that institutions can offer through IPS card management system are tremendously increased by the usage of intensive modularity and parameterization.

 

IPS is native E.M.V. which means that its relational data model has been designed from the beginning around E.M.V. rules and specifications including multi-application.

 

Therefore, financial institutions can issue and use in full option mode the following type of cards:

  • Magnetic-stripe card
    • VISA,
    • MasterCard,
    • AMEX,
    • Private Labels.
  • Chip card with the following applications
        • VSDC Applications :
          • Visa debit or credit,
          • Visa electron.
        • M-Chip Applications :
          • MasterCard credit card,
          • Cirrus Card,
          • Maestro debit card.
        • Other E.M.V. card :
          • E.M.V. 2000 compliant

 

2.2.1  Issuing Hierarchy

 

In order to get all possible flexibility and to obtain the best benefits of EMV, the cardholder database is maintained at four levels.

 

This provides the bank with a unified view of all products owned by its customer. This CIF improves dramatically risk management, customer service, marketing…

switch-4

 

Customer:  At customer level, all demographic type of information is maintained. Its design allows issuers to set up a client/company chart into IPS with an unlimited number of levels, thus offering a full commercial card service to its business clientele.

 

Account:  A customer may have several accounts. Transactions are posted in these accounts according to parameters set up in a decision matrix. Each account is managed according to business rules such as currency, limits, charge mode (prepaid, debit, charge, credit, installment) which are set in the contract.

 

Card:  A card is linked to one or several accounts. All information related to the plastic (embossing, encoding, chip personalization) is defined at the card level.

 

Application:  A card can contain several applications. Applications are loaded in the card’s chip when applicable. The issuing side of VSDC from Visa and M/chip from MasterCard are implemented as card applications in IPS.

 

2.2.2 Card operations

 

IPS card management system allows users to perform the following operations :

 

      • Fees and commission definition,
      • BIN’s definition,
      • Product definition (BIN, card characteristics, PAN generation method, fees, commissions, data to be embossed  and encoded, risk management, …),
      • Card application processing (data capture and application validation),
      • Card data generation,
      • Encoding and embossing data file generation,
      • PIN mailer generation,
      • Card activation,
      • Card renew,
      • Card replacement,
      • PIN recalculation,
      • PIN try limit reset,
      • PIN mailer regeneration,
      • Fees and commission generation,
      • Inquiries (customer, accounts; cards, transactions, …),
      • Real time hot list management  ( per card and per BIN),

 

2.2.3 Card products
2.2.3.1 Revolving Credit

 

The Credit Revolving system function enables the bank to manage:

 

      • Revolving credit using card,
      • Charge cards.

 

Customer and account tables include all necessary data elements to allow the bank to:

 

      • Score customers.
      • Make a decision,
      • Tune credit conditions,
      • Supervise the credit lifecycle,

In essence, Credit Revolving function allows:

 

      • Financial data management,
        •    Balance calculation for each type of transactions,
        •    Interests calculation using different rates for each type of transaction,
        •    Value dates and due dates calculation,
      • Statement printing,
      • Late settlement management,
      • Fees calculation,
      • Bad debt management,
      • Parameter driven settlement.

 

2.2.3.2 Prepaid

IPS allows bank to issue and manage prepaid card. This can be done either in using the chip capabilities (E.M.V.) or in a full on-line debit mode which is described in this chapter.

 

The On-line prepaid module enables banks to manage to kind of prepaid cards (reloadable and disposable), to include:

 

      • Card commission management,
      • Card product definition,
      • Card order,
      • Card issuance,
      • Card information update,
      • Card renewal,
      • Card reload,
      • Card Risk management.

 

2.2.3.3 Installment load

 

The installment loan module allows banks to implement loan agreement operated by means of a credit card. It allows them to reduce the administrative processing related to consumer-credit agreement.

 

A customer may apply for one or more running accounts. For each account, the bank will provide a credit limit depending on the assets and spending of this customer. Each amount used should be repaid on a monthly installment for a specified period.

When an amount is repaid, it can be used again by the customer.

 

The usage of an installment loan card may be restricted to specific types of merchants. In the other hand a ‘normal’ card may be considered as an installment loan card when it is used on a specific merchant types.

The IPS installment loan module allows banks to define :

 

      • interest rates,
      • repayment numbers and
      • the method determining the date upon which each repayment installment is payable.

 

depending on the following parameters :

 

      • Customer (merchant),
      • transaction type,
      • MCC,
      • Amount range

 

A bank may give a grace period for the first repayment.

 

At each cycle, the installment loan module calculates the repayment schedule for each credit ‘contracted’ by the customer.

 

The statement generated by this module contains the following information:

 

      • All the transactions performed during the cycle,
      • The repayment schedules for each credit contracted during the cycle,
      • The amount for each due repayment installment.

 

For each month, the customer is asked to pay all the due repayment installments.

 

This module manages the following fees:

 

      • Late payment fees,
      • Overdraft fees,
      • Insurance fees (the amount will be included in the monthly installment).
      • Miscellaneous fees,
      • …etc.

 

2.2.4 Bonus point

 

The Bonus Point Program (BPP) allows banks who issues credit cards to its customers to provide incentives to these credit cardholders by rewarding them with bonus points based on the value of spending over the card.

Under the BPP, a credit cardholder will be awarded bonus points based on the value of each purchase transaction (excluding cash and quasi-cash) performed by his credit

card. These bonus points earned by the cardholder will be accumulated and may be redeemed by the cardholder based on the redemption programs.

 

 

2.3  Collection Module

IPS collection module is providing a simple means to track payments or even manage a contingency fee collection practice

 

It’s designed to be used by an institution that needs to keep track of collection accounts, debts, or loans.

 

The purpose of the collection module is as follow:

 

      • Improve productivity and the level of service of back-office function of Collection
      • Processing and inquiries.
      • Provide a performance level reporting for management when required
      • Multi organization and multi product system
      • System is controlled by parameters
      • Permits the flexibility to queue accounts for follow ups and reporting
      • Accounts are examined for specific collection conditions
      • Accounts are flagged during batch processing
      • Based on priority order in Collections

 

Depending on parameters set on the systems IPS collection module will select accounts for collection. Collection module uses the criteria to drive the account into a specific classification. Accounts are moved from a classification to another one depending on defined parameters.

2.4 Merchant Management

 

IPS enables a institution to perform a complete range of acquirer functions covering payment and cash transactions.

2.4.1 Merchant Hierarchy

The IPS merchant hierarchy provides four different levels as shown in the following chart:

switch-5switch-6

These hierarchical levels have the following definition:

 

      • Merchant:  At the merchant level, all static type of information is maintained. IPS design allows acquirers to replicate corporate merchant organization into IPS Merchant System with an unlimited level of hierarchy offering then a full service to its large retailer clientele. IPS manages three types of merchant: single, Master Chain, member chain. Each merchant has its own MCC, floor limit, discount…

 

      • Account:  A merchant may have several accounts. Transactions are posted in these IPS accounts according to parameters set up in a decision matrix. Each account is managed according to business rules such as currency, gross or net, Payment means, Bank account number.

 

      • Terminal:  A merchant can get as many terminals as needed. The IPS Merchant System provides a full terminal management system, including stock.

 

      • Application:  A terminal can contain several applications. Applications are loaded in the terminal when applicable..

 

This hierarchy provides a unrivalled flexibility associated with a full usage of E.M.V.

 

 

2.4.2 Merchant operations

 

IPS merchant management system allows users to perform the following operations:

      • Fees and commission definition,
      • Merchant activity (MCC)
      • Merchant product definition (floor limit, MCC, commission, fees, payment conditions and modes, currencies,  …),
      • Merchant application processing (data capture and application validation),
      • Merchant data generation,
      • Fees and commission generation,
      • Inquiries (merchant, accounts, transactions, …),
      • Statements
      • Correspondence and memos management

 

2.4.3 Merchant Terminals

 

Merchants can have an unlimited number of terminals.

IPS terminal function enables to:

      • Manage terminal data elements,
      • Follow up terminal applications and versions,
      • Prepare the terminal data elements for terminal parameters download.

 

2.5 Transaction Management

2.5.1 Clearing

 

IPS database organization allows storing all transactions processed by the system and their related sub-transactions independently of their sources.

 

IPS is able to generate clearing figures related to each financial transaction managed by the system. The system will present it as Debit/Credit transaction between two parties:

 

  • Issuer and Cardholder (Transactions, Cardholder Commission, Issuing Fees, …),
  • Acquirer and merchants (merchants credits, commissions,  …),
  • Clearing result between the bank and payment schemes (Visa, MasterCard, National Switch),

 

The transactions will be presented directly in the settlement currency related to settlement account of each party.

Clearing is also able to process taxes according to the country regulations that may lead a bank to apply taxes when charging financial fees or commissions to its customers.

The following chart shows the clearing process as designed in IPS.

switch-7

 

 

IPS can acquirer transactions of different sources:

 

      • POS,
      • ATM,
      • INTERNET,
      • Mobile
      • Paper Slips
      • Incoming files from International or national card schemes

 

IPS will post all non on-us transactions to the appropriate temporary account of each issuer organization according to BINS table Those account will be reconciled against the next incoming.

IPS will post all on-us transactions, Commission and Fees on the appropriate account according to the account routing rules described above.

2.5.2 Payment Scheme Interface

 

Payment scheme interface is the process allowing the bank to exchange with the payment schemes.

 

2.5.2.1   VISA Base II interface

IPS integrates Base II interface capable of exchanging clearing data between the bank and a Visa payment scheme:

      • All the necessary data-elements required by Visa will be produced by IPS with respect to the outgoing file format.
      • Visa clearing result will be integrated by IPS in order to allow the bank to process all debit and credit Visa transactions received in the incoming files.

In addition, Base II interface provides to users, all necessary tools to follow and process the whole life cycle of transactions (Reversal, Chargeback, Representment,  …).

 

2.5.2.2 MasterCard IPM inertface

IPS integrates IPM interface capable of exchanging clearing data between the bank and a MasterCard payment scheme:

      • All the necessary data-elements required by MasterCard will be produced by IPS with respect to the outgoing file format.
      • MasterCard clearing result will be integrated by IPS in order to allow the bank to process all debit and credit MasterCard transactions received in the incoming files.

 

In addition, IPM interface provides to users, all necessary tools to follow and process the whole life cycle of transactions (Reversal, Chargeback, Representment,  …).

 

2.5.2.3 AMEX batch interface

IPS integrates AMEX batch interface capable of exchanging clearing data between the bank and AMEX payment scheme:

 

      • All the necessary data-elements required by AMEX will be produced by IPS with respect to the outgoing file format.
      • MasterCard clearing result will be integrated by AMEX in order to allow the bank to process all debit and credit AMEX transactions received in the incoming files.

 

2.5.2.4 National Payment Scheme batch interface

 

IPS integrates a Clearing Interface capable of exchanging Clearing data between the Center/Bank and a National Clearing System. All the necessary data-elements will be produced by IPS and hence will allow the National Clearing System to integrate the maximum figures of the transactions managed by IPS.

IPS generates a standard clearing format : VISA BASE II Clearing Format. The evolution of IPS Clearing format will follow the VISA standards. This choice was made to enrich the contents of the Clearing Data in a standard way.

 

2.6 Reconciliation

 

IPS reconciliation module is based on rules set by the international organizations Visa and MasterCard, and offers to the bank an effective means to follow and untie its financial transactions which it maintains with these organizations.

 

This module is based on files and record received in the incoming file and related to reconciliation process (Visa TC 46 and TC 33 and reconciliation records for MasterCard)

 

This module provides the following functions:

      • Inquiry all transactions contained in the received incoming file and generated outgoing files,
      • Generation and Inquiry summary of each processed  incoming and Outgoing files,
      • Incoming and Outgoing reconciliation in order to detect non processed or rejected transactions,
      • Integration in the accounting file, the interchange and fees transactions received in the incoming  file
      • The management of the rejections received in incoming.

2.7 Dispute Management (Chargeback)

 

The IPS chargeback module is designed to automate and facilitate the management of chargebacks. Based on the rules set by Visa and MasterCard, it’s supports the whole chargeback cycle and all sub transactions (copy request, chargebacks, reversal, arbitration,…).

IPS chargeback module process the incoming and outgoing files to allow users to follow any transaction processed by the system and to track all subsequent transactions.

The management of the entire chargeback process is built on link established between the original transaction and sub transactions.

The module uses an easily understood graphical user interface, to follow the evolution of any processed chargeback.

IPS chargeback module provides users with different tools which allow to:

 

      • Inquiry all transactions received in the incoming files and sent in the outgoing file,
      • Inquiry the status and a stage of any dispute,
      • Print different reports,
      • Manage automatically deadlines based on provided reminder functions ‘‘To do list’’ and ‘‘Time limit tracking’’.

 

2.8 Fraud Management

 

Fraud Management Module provides users with efficient tools in order to improve the identification, prevention and diagnosis of  the fraud that occurs on a transaction.

 

In addition to the fact that this module is highly parameterized especially for the rules used by the system in the fraud detection process, it offers the necessary options to run the batch processing and to print all the required reports.

The Fraud Reporting ensures the tracking of suspicious authorization and transactions processed by the system.

It’s based on pre-defined rules that are used to provide an Issuing & Acquiring Activity Follow Up.

 

The Pre-defined rules are applied on every transaction and authorization in order to get the data which is not following one or more of the specified criteria.

The record detected is then considered suspicious and the corresponding client information is clearly identified.

 

2.9 System administration

 

In IPS, access security is managed by the System Administration Function which enables to:

 

      • Define and manage users based on a very flexible profiling procedure,
      • Manage access rights associated to each profile,
      • Manage the memos which are user-defined or system generated,
      • Inquire the log-file to get information related to users access history (access date and time, accessed screens, performed operations, …),
      • Display, in real-time, access information about users working on the system.

A Profile is a set of parameters which defines the rights of a user or a group of users to access IPS. Profiles define users’ rights to access different menu options:

      • Screens,
      • Operations (Browse, Modify, Delete, Add, Print),

A profile will also set the type of System Views, users are allowed:

 

      • Center View: allows the users of this profile to view and manage the data of all the banks managed in the system
      • Bank View: allows the users of this profile to view and manage the data of a bank,
      • Branch View: allows the users of this profile to view and manage the data of a branch with the exclusion of any other,

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