Large Bank Solves Problems Using Boutique Service Provider, Sprints, and the Cloud

by Tim Sloane 0

This CIO Magazine opinion piece identifies how a large bank, ostensibly for Chase Pay, hired a boutique developer to quickly deliver a highly differentiated back end system at low cost using Microsoft Azure and sprints. First this article describes the problem:

“Why would a large retail bank with access to the largest, most sophisticated systems integrators and fintech firms in the world opt, instead, for a relatively small boutique service provider to build one of its most important systems? This “David vs. Goliath” story caught my attention as it illustrates one of the most exciting trends of 2017 in the digital services world. I think the outcome of this story is rather amazing, given that winning in the payment space is among the highest priorities for a retail bank, and this project was highly visible to customers. 

The project was to build the back-end payment system supporting digital wallet transactions. The bank initially made several attempts at building the digital payments system internally and released a digital payment system to a couple of retailers, but the system was not powerful enough. Then it tried working with systems integrators (SIs) in several attempts. But a legacy SI approach didn’t deliver the necessary innovation and best thinking. So, Quisitive, a small, boutique firm stepped in to compete for the work.”

The article identifies three key reasons why the initiative with Quisitive worked so well. First, it was built in the cloud which enabled faster time to market and easier to scale. Second, the cloud reduced systems complexity by collapsing the technology stack deployed by the bank. Quisitive utilized the Microsoft Azure cloud which replaced the bank’s own complex servers, operating systems, middleware, enterprise application layers, and security. Lastly, the new architecture made it much easier and faster to address new customer requirements such as those imposed by different retailer categories, such as automated fuel dispensers, fine dining and QSR environments, especially since the mobile device would present a QR code to the POS.

The Quisitive team demonstrated that it could achieve the security and compliance standards that the consortium needed and convinced the consortium to use Azure because of its Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capabilities. Within just nine months, they went from idea to release with a major retailer on Black Friday.

The article wraps up with the success story:

“So how successful is the new system? Bresnahan says the bank’s business leaders now come up with ideas to add to the ecommerce capability for retailers’ digital wallets. “Within three weeks of a request, we can take that from idea to user story, through development, through automated testing and release it into production.”

The bank now has a simple yet powerful digital model that will take the bank in the direction it wants to go for the future. And in a world where financial institutions are in the process of reducing the number of service providers in their legacy portfolio, and system integrators are losing market share, Quisitive’s business is flourishing because it understands the digital model.”

This article appears to share some details of Chase’s challenges rolling out Chase Pay after acquiring the MCX technology in March of 2017; which makes the article a fun read as long as you are willing to read between the lines.

Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group

Read the quoted story here