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Modernizing the US Card Processing Platforms: Stories of Digital Transformation

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26 June 2022

Abstract

In 2019, the global cards and payments processing landscape was transformed by a series of mega-mergers between FIS and Worldpay, Fiserv and First Data, and Global Payments and TSYS. For each company, these events acted as a catalyst to accelerate investment into modernizing and enhancing their card processing technologies and capabilities. This is the story of those efforts by FIS, Fiserv, and TSYS to transform their US card issuer processing platforms:

  • FIS Payments One
  • Fiserv Optis
  • TSYS Issuer Processing Platform

Given their size and rich history, the traditional processors are sometimes dismissively referred to as “legacy dinosaurs.” Yet, we know from our regular conversations with them that they have not been standing still; they have been busy transforming themselves and have been successful at winning deals with traditional issuers as well as fintechs. Our desire for deeper understanding of the “why, what, and how” of those transformation efforts has been the main reason for this research.

At the heart of the report are three in-depth profiles describing the transformation around FIS Payments One, Fiserv Optis, and TSYS Issuer Processing Platform. While each provider follows a unique strategy, looking across all three of them, five themes emerge that help understand the drivers, the approach, and the focus of those transformation efforts - see figure below.

Neither of the three firms is done yet and all will continue to invest into further enhancing and modernizing their platforms. If you are in the market for new capabilities related to card issuing, don’t dismiss FIS, Fiserv, and TSYS as “legacy players.” Find out more about how they have been transforming in recent years, and you may be positively surprised.