Visa Europe


Published on 10-Jan-2011

Validated on 12 Feb 2014

Visa Europe


Deployment country:
United Kingdom

Smarter Planet

Smarter Planet:
Smarter Banking


A major European payments products and services provider implements IBM WebSphere ILOG JRules at the heart of its new clearing and settlement system platform to provide a more flexible solution and faster time-to-market for new products and services

Business need:
As a major payments products and services provider for the European marketplace, Visa Europe must tailor its processing rules to meet the needs of distinct geographies and members. The company has to ensure that it is meeting regulatory requirements, but also build value into all the products and services that it provides.

Working with IBM Software Services for WebSphere, Visa Europe implemented IBM WebSphere ILOG JRules at the heart of a new clearing and settlement platform that enables Visa Europe to reach unprecedented levels of agility and quickly adapt to changing European market needs. The solution provides a rule-based decisioning repository and process to speed payments while ensuring security.

Slashes the time required to introduce policy changes or new services from months to days. Will allow business users to model pricing changes in advance and predict how a marketplace would react. This predictive ability will help Visa Europe to maintain its leadership in service innovations and provide a high level of marketing assistance to specific markets and member merchants.

- Provides significant time savings in responding to market and regulatory changes and member requests - Lowers IT maintenance costs - Accommodates increased business volume of transactions, enabling the company to drive up revenues - Allows faster introduction of product and service innovations to help maintain the company’s competitive edge


A major European payments products and services provider implements IBM WebSphere ILOG JRules at the heart of its new clearing and settlement system platform to provide a more flexible solution and faster time-to-market for new products and services

Video Transcript

IBM Smarter Planet Customer Reference

Interviewee: Justin Snoxall, VP, Visa Europe Clearing & Settlement Service

Visa Europe is the preeminent payments provider for the European market. Our vision is to become the
most trusted currency in the world.

We felt the need to respond to our customers’ needs more readily and in a more agile approach. Visa
Europe has to ensure that it’s meeting regulatory requirements, but also, we are looking to build value in
all the products and services that we provide. Meeting the demand for all of those members and for all
of those markets in addition to the regulatory change is an immense challenge.
We tackle change with change with a brand new clearing and settlement platform. At the heart of that
application is the ability to make changes more simply, more quickly, and bring products and services
faster to market.

From day one, we needed to ensure that all of our key stakeholders were involved in the program of
work that we were delivering. This took interviews of every possible stakeholder we identified upfront
that could interact with our application. That included both internal and external customers or users of
our platform. But not only did we do that on day one, we ensured they were kept along the journey
every step of the way.

We developed our platform as an iterative development. That meant that we were building pieces of the
overall solution as components as we went along. Likewise, it allowed us flexibility to identify
technological solutions. Visa Europe’s platform has to handle an excess of 500 different transaction
types. They are complex. How we process those is through the rules engine, the IBM BRMS.
But of course, a rule doesn’t mean much to a business user. The ability for our business users to
understand rules natively in their language. And then, on top of that to actually predict how some of
those rules will operate means a lot more to them. We are now identifying how do we present the
information to them, how do we make it easier for them to make the changes, but also gain the
confidence that they can make those changes without any detriment to the performance that we
maintain. Having the ability to step back from an IT point of view, as opposed to maintaining that
change, really gives us the chance to look at the road map for our platform for the future.

We are very close now to processing over six billion transactions since we went live. We have that
availability on demand, so we have capacity to grow a lot larger than that. Our ability to meet business
demand on demand has provided great benefit to our business users already. They are immensely
grateful for the fact that we can turn around their changes much quicker than we were able to in the

Where, typically, change took several months to implement. Now, we have the ability to fulfill almost
weekly changes if we so desire. We have instantly gained some wins in terms of cost to deliver that

The ability to allow our business users to model some pricing changes in advance of taking those to
production is potentially going to give them great benefit. Not only does that give them the option to see
how things will look as a “what if” sort of scenario, but likewise, we can actually predict how a
marketplace would operate as a result of some of those analytic type solutions.

We are ahead of the curve already in terms of the business case and the return on that investment.
IBM’s software is helping us meet our challenge day to day as a result of having IBM’s BRMS at the
center of our application.