ACI Worldwide: our task is to follow our customers in any country of their stay! - Information portal

ACI Worldwide: our task is to follow our customers in any country of their stay!

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ACI Worldwide: our task is to follow our customers in any country of their stay!

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ACI Worldwide: «Our task is to follow our customers to countries of their operation»

Eric Israel, Manager for Retail Development in EMEA, ACI Worldwide, speaks about the company’s modern strategy, new products and activities, as well as about key trends in the global payment industry.

R&L: Which strategy does ACI pursue in Europe and in the world?

Eric Israel: ACI Worldwide has over 40 years of experience in developing electronic payment and banking systems. Our priority is to cooperate with banks, retailers, processing centers and billing systems. Our task is to provide payment processing solutions to those segments. Currently ACI employs over 4500 experts worldwide, we provide service to over 2000 business entities in 80 countries, including 67 of World’s Top 100 banks. Company’s turnover is appr. 1 billion USD, company shares are listed on NASDAQ stock exchange.

ACI Worldwide is constantly developing its business, particularly owing to acquisitions which allow the company to strengthen its broad product portfolio. For example in 2014 we announced acquisition of Retail Decisions, UK company specializing in development of anti-fraud systems for online retailers. In Nov 2015 we announced takeover of PAY.ON payment platform, which works with over 300 acquirers and payment systems in 160 countries. Those two acquisitions complemented each other perfectly and allowed us to launch a fully functional payment platform with robust fraud prevention features onto the market.

R&L: Which areas have the highest priority for ACI?

Eric Israel: One of the most promising direction which ACI intends to actively develop is real-time payments, or instant retail payments (fast payments). This type of payment service has several advantages, that is availability 24/7, instant confirmation and crediting of funds. Consumers are interested in faster, easier and cheaper ways to make payments provided that an appropriate level of security and control is in place. Given this background, some countries are already actively using real-time retail payment systems, others have just started their development. For instance, such countries as UK, Denmark, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland already have functioning real-time payment systems.

An important direction in the development of payments industry is development, implementation and support of payment standards. ACI Worldwide ensures global inter-operability for its customers wherever they operate. We also work with EPAS standards developed for SEPA payment cards and actively participate in their promotion and adaptation to our platform. Using those standards in software development allows both our customers and ourselves to save tremendous amount of time. I should note that EPAS standards were developed based on ISO 20022 rather than the previous version ISO 8583.

R&L: Could you please say a couple of words about uniqueness of the service model your company uses today?

Eric Israel: We offer two ways of implementation of our solutions. The first one has been widely recognized already, we sell licenses to use our software in customers’ data centers. The second one is that we provide our customers with software based on Saas model. Today, ACI has two data centers in the US, in the fall of 2015 we opened the first data center in Europe, namely in Ireland.

I’d like to note that today we observe dynamic growth of the payment solution market, at the same time not only licensed products but SaaS model as well are increasingly in demand. SaaS model allows our customers to save time and money by focusing on development of their business.

R&L: Omni-channel concept in payments industry: what technology do you see as the most promising?

Eric Israel: In our view, the key point of omni-channel concept is to ensure a continuous payment process in addition to allowing consumers to make purchases online and offline. As an example I want to mention evolution of taxi fare payments. A major leap forward was the launch of such services as Uber. Instead of paying with card using POS- or mPOS-terminals customers now pay their cab fee through mobile application and receive corresponding invoice in few seconds.

In my opinion, tokenization technology that allows to secure electronic and mobile payments by means of a robust data encryption holds considerable promise: during the tokenization procedure data that must be protected is replaced by modified data (tokens),

which are given to retail operators to use through any channel used by customers to make purchases.

R&L: What were the most interesting projects that ACI implemented in 2015?

Eric Israel: Last year ACI Worldwide announced collaboration with Auchan Group who chose our ACI Postilion solution that meets all SEPA requirements as a core of its new centralized payment platform designed for omni-channel processing of electronic transactions within the EU. Our collaboration allowed this large retailer to reduce product time to market and costs, to become independent of acquirers’ policies, POS-terminal network owners, etc.

R&L: Does ACI plan to enter the Russian retail market?

Eric Israel: Our task is to follow our customers to countries of their operation, that’s our main competitive advantage. ACI Worldwide is present in many countries of the world and that allows us to receive information about payment industry specifics, consumer behaviour in those countries etc. from local ACI employees. One of our objectives is to provide our customers with front-to-back solutions in all countries and to reduce their maintenance costs due to increase in delivery volumes of our products.

Use of global payment standards eliminates the need to develop a system from scratch every time we enter a new market. After our solution is successfully implemented in one country it can be easily implemented in another one. No additional certification will be needed: our customers may operate all over the world based on ACI certificate received earlier. Such system is profitable for all parties involved: ACI Worldwide saves money spent on support and our customers reduce time to market for products and services for end users.

To sum it up, I want to draw your attention to three key directions for our company. First, instant payments: I’m sure that they are rapidly becoming ubiquitous and soon will be offered as a standard banking service. From the technical point of view, there are no difficulties arising in connection with their launch and ACI certainly has technology necessary to provide relevant support.

Second relevant topic is related to standardization, i.e. interrelation between payment solutions and new standards such as EPAS. And finally the third topic concerns a number of issues such as omni-channels, anti-fraud systems, new trends in consumer behaviour, e-commerce as a whole, etc.

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