Fiserv racked up two keen client wins, with a large Indian bank, Bank of Baroda (BOB), and the Absa carve-out from Barclays. The Absa win is impressive because it is complicated and spans across Africa: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
Both Bank of Baroda and Absa will run with Fiserv’s FirstVision managed services solution. FirstVision supports the card-issuing lifecycle and offers open API access on a service-oriented architecture (SOA).
Bank of Baroda is a trophy client and is the third-largest bank in India, following the merger of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank. It serves 131 million customers; the government of India owns 71.6% of the paid-up equity. Mumbai-based Bank of Baroda offers Mastercard and Visa products.
While BOB is a nice win based on a large customer base, the Absa deal is complicated and illustrates FirstVIsion’s flexibility and modernization.
In 2016, Barclays decided to divest its African operations, and maintain a minority position. Barclays took a significant position in the market in 2005, and according to South African news source BusinessTech:
- The financial service provider said that a total of 270 projects had been delivered as part of the separation programme (s9c), and all technical solutions have been built.
- The separation required the replacement or rebranding of millions of assets in 12 countries, including technology solutions.
- The programme involved, among others, the largest single data and system migration in Africa as customers in nine countries were switched to a new online banking platform, improving customer experience through greater stability and upgraded user interfaces in several countries, Absa said.
- More than 1,000 branches, 10,000 ATMs, several million customer cards, as well as thousands of uniforms, signage, forms, buildings, and stationery, were rebranded. At its peak, nearly 1,300 employees and contractors were dedicated to the separation programme.
What is exciting about Africa as a card market is low credit card penetration. According to the World Bank, the 39 countries in the market only have a 4.47% penetration rate for credit cards, with a wide range of credit card penetration rates. Mauritius, a small coastal nation, has the highest rate at 24.12%, and Zimbabwe is lowest in Absa’s footprint at 1.34%. Fiserv’s FirstVision platform will likely bring innovation to the region,
Here are takeaways from the BOB and Absa conversions. Both implementations illustrate Fiserv’s global reach. BOB brings scale, and Absa is complex, with multi-national, multi-currency requirements as it converts out of Barclay.
And for FirstVision, this illustrates the potential for Fiserv’s global credit card payments platform.
Overview by Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group