Interswitch case study:
Driving business expansion across Africa

Goals

  • To improve business and operational efficiency by building a unified platform
  • To develop and launch innovative products and services in short timeframes, as well as increase the speed and efficiency of onboarding new banks
  • To further strenthen its Verve payment network brand
  • To boost presence across the continent

Outcomes

  • Replaced Interswitch's two separate card management systems with one flexible modern in-house payments platform; migrated major bank customers
  • Developed and launched Verve revolving credit cards in collaboration with Sterling Bank of Nigeria
  • Expanded its business in markets across Africa (including Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Ghana)
  • Enabled banks to be onboarded in a matter of days

Overview

Interswitch, Africa’s leading integrated payments and digital commerce company, embarked on a major strategic project to expand its payments processing business across the continent. In order to turn these ambitious growth plans into a reality, Interswitch identified the need to replace its two separate card management systems (CMS) with one in-house payments platform. Its previous legacy systems were difficult and costly to maintain, and the ability to make modifications and enhancements had become increasingly challenging. Following a rigorous selection process, Interswitch chose to migrate its entire credit card processing business to the award-winning, open development payments platform TranzAxis, from Compass Plus Technologies.

Compass Plus Technologies completed the extensive multi-phased project fully remotely, whilst navigating various Covid-19 restrictions. Today, Interswitch’s major bank customers are using TranzAxis for Visa and Mastercard credit card issuance. This major overhaul also helped the processor to further expand its Verve brand, leading to the launch of a new revolving credit card product in collaboration with Sterling Bank of Nigeria.

Objectives

Interswitch’s overall mission is to create technology solutions that connect and empower individuals, businesses, and communities in Africa. As an established processor with major bank customers, living up-to its mission and maintaining its reputation as a leading processing centre is no mean feat. Due to ambitious goals and rapid growth, Interswitch was forced to look beyond the previous incumbent vendors and re-evaluate its core infrastructure. Not only was Interswitch faced with an inefficient onboarding process, it was unable to meet its customer’s demands in bringing innovative products to market quickly.

Following the full reassessment of its payments technology stack, it became clear that the best route forward would be to invest and migrate to a modern, forward-thinking platform if it was to continue delivering on its company mission.

In order to overcome the limitations of the legacy platforms, Interswitch underwent a thorough selection process and chose to migrate its entire credit card business to TranzAxis.

Solution

Interswitch selected Compass Plus Technologies as its partner for this significant migration project due to its vast experience in delivering extensive modernisation projects and migrations from over 30 global card management platforms. The major project saw Interswitch replace its two incumbent card management systems with TranzAxis. By utilising TranzAxis, Interswitch can rely on its extensive API capabilities for seamless integration, which not only aids new market entry by facilitating integration with multiple third-parties, such as e-commerce providers and perso bureaus, but also streamlines onboarding and improves time-to-market. 

Results

The complex multi-phased migration of Interswitch’s credit card processing business to TranzAxis was delivered fully remotely, all whilst navigating Covid-19 restrictions. Since going live, Interswitch has so far deployed TranzAxis in Kenya and Nigeria, with plans for localised instances in additional countries such as Uganda and Ghana – tailored to meet local regulatory requirements.

The new platform has enabled Interswitch to:

  • Migrate all major issuing customers to TranzAxis to manage their credit card business under Visa and 
    Mastercard brands
  • Increase the efficiency and speed at which banks are onboarded with one FI boarded in just a matter of days
  • Expand its Verve brand by launching the first Verve revolving credit card product in collaboration with Sterling Bank of Nigeria
  • Enhance the services offered to banks by providing the ability to customise credit card products and set up new rules to meet the regulatory requirements in each country
  • Expand its technology hubs domiciled in Nairobi, Kenya, providing the capability to process transactions and onboard new banks across Africa, with localised instances for each country carefully tailored to meet each FI’s unique needs

“…this partnership with Compass Plus Technologies aligns with our commitment to making payments easy and convenient. Migrating our card processes to the TranzAxis platform will allow us to further improve our service offerings as we remain focused on providing cutting-edge solutions that optimise service delivery.” – Akeem Lawal, Managing Director, Payment Processing and Switching (Interswitch Purepay)

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