FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monzo, a startup bank based in London, that has been granted a UK banking license ‘with restrictions’ less than 18 months after formation, has chosen Global Processing Services (GPS) as their processor. GPS is the market leading processor for both established emerging payments companies and the most innovative Fintech businesses; a PCI-DSS Level 1 Service Provider accredited globally by Visa and MasterCard, GPS offers a global solution with access to banking schemes such as BACS and SEPA. GPS built and accredited its processing platform between 2007 and 2009 and from 2010 onwards, GPS began to market its processing platform to third party programme managers through Europe and now services clients throughout Europe, the Middle East, Australasia, Canada and the USA. At the core of the GPS transaction-processing platform is a flexible and robust payment-processing application. A distinguishing feature of the GPS platform is its flexibility, the GPS solution facilitates multi-level parameter based configuration and control over practically every aspect of a prepaid, debit or credit scheme, enabling our clients to develop tailored, innovative, differentiated programs which meet all compliance requirements. Suresh Vaghjiani, Managing Director (EMEA) of GPS comments, “It has been great working with Monzo as they continue to push the boundaries in the banking space to showcase the capabilities of our platform to the mass market.” Monzo will offer a bank account managed entirely via a smartphone app, without branches. Unlike rivals, Monzo’s approach has been to launch to beta testers early and iterate quickly. With their existing prepaid debit card scheme, Monzo is already helping almost 80,000 users manage their budgets through a simple smartphone app, with real-time push notifications whenever they spend, transaction data that helps them understand where and what they’ve spent, and fee-free travel abroad. Demand has been high for the startup bank’s prepaid scheme, with over 200,000 people now signed up to their list. Monzo is hoping that beta testers will be queuing up to switch bank account when they launch current accounts in early 2017, after the restrictions are lifted. Tom Blomfield, who previously founded GoCardless, the UK’s largest Direct Debit processor, is now the youngest CEO of a bank in the UK, having turned 31 just one day after the licence was granted. “This is how the banking market changes, not with 800 page reviews from public bodies like the CMA, but with technology bringing new ideas to the table. We’re creating something that will completely revolutionise the way people think about their money. The bank for people that hate banks – and let’s face it, that’s just about everyone – is officially a bank! “ Tom added, “It’s a huge milestone, and one that we couldn’t have reached without the help of our thousands of supporters.”
Sales & Marketing Manager
Global Processing Services (GPS) was founded in 2007 by the owners of Flex-e-Vouchers Limited (FEV). FEV was one of the pioneers of prepaid Programme management in the UK, having launched their first open-loop prepaid product in 2005. This was the first open-loop prepaid mall gift card in Europe and was the first prepaid card scheme of any kind for both the processor, Nomad Software, (now FIS in the UK) and the issuing bank, Newcastle Building Society (now Wirecard Solutions in the UK).
The founders of FEV decided to launch a second business, GPS. This decision arose principally from the limitations and weaknesses that FEV had experienced in using the Nomad Software processing platform to manage a prepaid business that was issuing in excess of 1 million cards per annum. FEV had branched into other areas of prepaid such as payroll and sub-prime banking solutions, and believed strongly that the processing platform was constraining growth for the programme management business, both in terms of its flexibility and general platform robustness. Using the experience gained from owning and operating one of the UK’s successful prepaid pioneers, GPS set about the task of building a processing platform from the ground up, focused solely on the particular needs of the prepaid business segment.
GPS built and accredited its processing platform between 2007 and 2009. The platform was initially MasterCard only (specifically Maestro) with products being added over the course of the following 2 years, i.e. MasterCard, Visa, contactless, virtual, etc. Recent additions include Visa credit certification, Visa payWave, fraud monitoring, real time data feeds, MasterCard RePower and multi-currency functionality. In 2009, FEV migrated its prepaid portfolio from FIS to GPS. From 2010 onwards, GPS began to market its processing platform to third party programme managers through Europe; and in 2013 the decision was made to break into the US market that began with rebranding the company and having the official launch in early 2014 at the APEX conference in Las Vegas.
At the core of the GPS transaction processing platform is an industry-leading, flexible and robust payment-processing application. Within the primary centre all key servers operate with hot backups making it highly resilient. We also operate a second disaster recovery datacentre which runs on an Active/Active basis with the primary datacentre so that in the event of a catastrophic failure of the primary centre (fire, flood, etc.), the secondary centre would automatically take over all processing.
The platform is virtualised and fully scalable with capacity being effectively unlimited. At the current time the platform runs at approximately 20% of capacity with the existing hardware configuration. By using an open architecture and the Cloud, the core application can support seamless integration with other GPS modules and third-party systems, giving clients real-time access to a range of channels and interfaces. This approach also facilitates the rapid deployment of technology and updates, whilst maintaining PCI DSS level-1 security standards.
The key distinguishing feature of the GPS platform is the configurability and flexibility that is passed to the programme manager. GPS recognises that prepaid programmes focussing on different sectors or demographic groups, or operated with multiple partners, will all have different needs. The flexibility to meet these needs is delivered via a hierarchy that provides for multi-level parameter-based configuration and control over all elements of the programme construct including: load sources; spend transaction types; value, velocity and volume limits; fees; transaction padding by MCC and for FX; and selective authorisation. This hierarchy and the multi-level control enable programmes for reporting and financial control to be organised efficiently. The platform delivers the flexibility needed for quickly and simply building or modifying programmes and products to meet business demands.
GPS’s programme managers are using one of the most robust processing platforms globally, which ensures their programmes are always online and functioning correctly. Since 2012 the platform has achieving 100% uptime for web services and authorisations. Ensuring our clients are able to stay competitive in the market place the development of the platform needs to stay current and we are currently working on MasterCard credit certification, Host Card Emulation, 3D Secure, Visa Fastpay and enhanced multi-currency.
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