Innovative credit card development Go-Live for First Data

First Data’s goal was to enable the go-live and further development of an innovative VISA Simply-One credit card with a Swedish bank. Our part was to support the venture to make the transition to the production environment as smooth as possible, assuring the right quality for the end customers and manage the upcoming regulatory requirements with a right requirements management and development planning.


The challenge:

Payment processing and credit card product’s setup needs to be considered a high-risk endeavour within a highly regulated financial market, where not only the deadlines and regulatory requirements have to be met, but also the correct product quality has to be secured.


The project was divided into following conducted activities:

  • Securing and managing all UAT activities between the sponsor and the Bank
  • Conducting all activities around the Requirements Discovery phase with the Bank for the regulatory adjustments for the upcoming operational year
  • Conducting all activities around Requirements Discovery and Requirements Management, as well as the production of the Software Requirements Specification documents and Technical Design Documents, for the requested changes to the core system and its behaviour


The project’s main objective was to secure smooth enablement of the first VISA Simply-One implementation in the conservative German market; reduce the workload associated with performing the acceptance tests required to go-live (UAT); reduce overall expenses associated with requirements management, organise and update the requirement’s base, introduce structured approach to gathering and managing the Bank’s requirements and throughout the organisation.


The test activities on both sides, as well as business requirement’s management, were identified as major bottlenecks to be solved in order to secure the frictionless implementation of the product. One of the main issues identified in a very early stage of the product was associated with the process itself: most of the test documentation, system documentation and requirements documentation was not recorded at all, or outdated at best. If there was any documentation, there was no unified structure or templates that were known to the responsible SMEs.


The technology:

The architecture is a terminal based, complex mainframe system working on IBM z/OS machine. All interface points had to be designed the proper way in order to secure correct migration between two core banking systems and its backups – the Sponsor system and the Bank system, where the Sponsor’s system had to be mirrored in the Bank’s system. Not only due to risk management and regulatory reasons, but also to secure the operational business conducting with the right customer’s data.


The core project systems were as follows:

  • FirstData ADV+
  • CardPlus


The solution:

The initial scope of 7 different banking interfaces was successfully taken live (AML/MLTF (Anti-Money Laundering / Money Laundering Terrorist Financing). Marketing DB, Mass Data Management, Customer Identification, Post Interface, Bulk Booking Interface, Insurance Interface) , thank to introduced quick structure based on previous banking and financial industry project experience. The base for introducing a proper team setup, process setup and data management was set and hand-over to the sponsor. The introduced quality structure within the UAT department was composed mainly on a basis set of document templates, test data management principles, proper test data and test results documentation and archiving, a well-thought meeting and call structure over many other departments as well as with the Bank and its departments.


The further requirements management and discovery for further development due to regulatory conditions, as well as further functional development to meet the Bank’s expectation, was conducted in a series of well-structured requirement’s discovery workshops with the Bank’s SMEs. The workshops were planned in a span of couple of months. The workshops resulted with a closed Software Requirements Specification and Technical Design documents enabling the Sponsor’s in-house development team to fulfil the Bank’s expectations on the system and its behaviour. Due to a wrongful expectations and logical errors, a number of business and operational requirements were out-scoped during the workshop’s phase, which reduced overall cost and project’s time horizon.