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FirstVision – Delivering Technology Leadership

By First Data

FirstVision is First Data's strategic, global issuing and consumer finance processing solution providing consistent functionality to meet the needs of issuing banks and retailers around the world.

A highly flexible, functionally rich processing solution, it covers multiple products and channels with fully-integrated value-added services. Eva Hughes, vice president of issuing product management at First Data, discusses.

FirstVision is First Data's own enhanced version of VisionPLUS, built on the proven strengths of the platform of choice for many of the world's leading issuers.

Since First Data chose its strategic international issuing solution four years ago, our focus on execution has delivered a truly global solution that supports all product verticals in the consumer finance and commercial cards space.

The foundation was laid out with the deployment of our VisionPLUS outsourced solution, merging our processing know-how with the rich capabilities of the most widely used global payments software in the world. We keep up to date with global enhancements and compliance requirements, while enriching the product offering for every market we enter.

The market response has been remarkable and has enabled First Data to establish a unique footprint across the world. Our evolutionary strategy has been centred on the creation of a technology framework that is highly flexible and comprehensive in terms of architecture, development methodology, channel integration and product capabilities.

FirstVision continues to be the focus of significant technology investment, delivering flexibility and speed to market; enhanced business intelligence and simple, fast implementations to issuers globally.

 

The technology

FirstVision is a comprehensive, flexible and functionally rich platform. It also comes with an unrivalled set of integrated value-added solutions – risk, loyalty, data analysis, communications and pricing tools – to improve cross-selling and revenue growth.

We recognise technology as a fundamental core strength that our clients exploit and employ to meet their business goals. First Data has invested over $200m in its issuing technology and product offerings to provide our customers with a fully integrated suite of card management tools and supporting value-added services to help them grow their business.

With this in mind, our clients on FirstVision have achieved:

  • A single customer view of their portfolio
  • Shorter time to market for new products and geographical expansion
  • Reduced operational and financial risk
  • Reduced total cost of ownership

FirstVision provides interfaces to multiple delivery channels to maximise sales and service opportunities and deliver a consistent user experience across all customer touch-points.

FirstVision is delivered through a single global organisation with a repeatable model for implementation, service and relationship management, driving consistent, high-quality support and service delivery. Our Financial Institutions global solutions team provides focused leadership and continuously delivers new capabilities to our FirstVision solution using the Agile development methodology.

We are in good company in our FirstVision technology innovation journey. Sun Microsystems is our technology partner in architectural design and infrastructure, and Capgemini brings a global and scalable development capability and expert consultancy.

Catalyst Resources, a specialist in rich internet application (RIA) design of financial institution web applications, has provided thought leadership and invaluable know-how on the design of our user desktop, built with Adobe Flex Builder. The result is a highly productive web user interface that deploys consistently on all major browsers, desktops, and operating systems.

 

Benefits of key technology differentiators

FirstVision consists of some major technology differentiators, offering a range of significant benefits to users. These include:

  • Giving clients control of change introduction: using Agile Product Development allows business requirements and IT solutions to be developed through collaboration between cross-functional business teams that are aligned with the needs of the customer. This allows users to control the introduction of change at their own pace, i.e. independently of the fixed product release schedules of third-party card processors.
  • Maximising user productivity: Web 2.0/Adobe Flex User Interface is the very latest web technology, providing an intuitive and efficient screen navigation tool. This technology will lower clients' back office costs by providing more efficient training of bank staff within the contact centre and a faster call handling time for customers telephoning the bank's contact centres. This in turn enhances the end-customer experience and maximises cross-selling opportunities.
  • Enhancing the customer experience: customer service costs are a major cost component for most financial institutions, as shown in the 2009 Boston Consulting Group Global Payments study. FirstVision's card management system is customer-centric, provides a single customer view and allows the cross-selling and up-selling of other products. From the issuer's perspective, this will also reduce operating costs and enhance cross selling opportunities.
  • Enabling better decisioning to reduce fraud losses: business intelligence allows customer behaviour and portfolio performance to be predicted and analysed. Users can also integrate business intelligence solutions with predictive analytics to make better informed and more incisive decisions. This in turn helps reduce fraud losses, delinquency rates and charge-offs.
  • Using data analytics to increase revenues: by using predictive analysis tools for decision management, issuers can develop customer retention strategies based on insight into customer behaviour. This allows them to design strategies and what if scenarios to increase revenue and minimise losses, complimenting and supporting their existing data knowledge management strategy.
  • Getting to market faster: Java is a widely-used industry standard development language that maximises industry innovation and facilitates the portability of business applications. This allows easier, quicker and faster integration with third party systems, facilitates the faster launch of co-brand programmes and provides tools bring innovations to market faster than your competitors.
  • Improving channel and system integration: service oriented architecture (SOA) is an industry standard architecture based on services to manage requests or transactions, enabling differing applications to exchange information. As a result, integration with different applications on diverse platforms becomes simpler, more cost effective and faster. Channel integration becomes quicker and the ongoing requirement to integrate with other bank systems becomes sustainable and affordable.
  • Increasing transparency for the end user and improving cost management: distributed Computing allows applications to be run across a number of computers each communicating through a network in a way which is transparent to the end user (e.g. the Google model). Use of this architecture allows First Data to deliver a highly scalable application whilst exploiting the availability of competitively-priced computer hardware. It avoids hardware vendor lock-in and significantly extends the longevity of the FirstVision solution.
  • Enabling easier reporting and messaging: at the heart of the new FirstVision platform is a metadata catalogue. This describes the data (name, size, data type) held in the system in a way that can then be directly interpreted to build screen content, reports and messages. Using a single central catalogue to drive these processes enables much quicker and easier development of screens, reports and messages. Use of a centralised data catalogue also ensures a single view of the system data throughout FirstVision, reducing the possibility of inconsistencies and errors. The benefit to users is that changes can be done quicker and at less cost which reduces time to market.
  • Faster parameter configuration and product launches: Client and Product Boarding is First Data's web browser tool to facilitate quicker launches of new products and services, including the migration of new clients to FirstVision. Because First Vision is business parameter-driven First Data clients realise up to 15% time saving on parameter configuration and up to 80% faster set up and deployment of new product launches. As a result FirstVision clients have the ability to test and launch new campaigns and products and without the need for any development.

 

Summary and conclusions

FirstVision enables profitable payment processing for issuers. It provides core processing functionality on a single platform across a wide range of products, including credit, debit, commercial cards and consumer loans.

As well as benefits from processing economies of scale, FirstVision offers a range of value-added services. It is a rich offering of highly integrated value-added solutions – risk, loyalty, data analysis, communications and pricing tools, enabling issuers to gain a single view of each customer relationship to improve both revenue opportunities and risk management.

Finally, FirstVision provides interfaces to multiple delivery channels to maximise sales and service opportunities and deliver a consistent user experience across all customer touch-points.

For more information about what FirstVision can do for your business, please contact Peter Labrinos at Peter.Labrinos@firstdata.gr.