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an awesome disruptive transformation

Paul van den Berg, Head of Operations Swiss-German Region · May 07, 2023

Itecor is proud to be part of an awesome disruptive transformation


our client

At the start of the transformation, our client, a leading Swiss payment card issuer, was managing around 1.4 million credit cards for its client base, which consisted predominantly of cantonal, private and retail banks.


the start of the transformation

To expand its market, our client planned a strategic move into the retail market.

A cobranding project was launched with one of Switzerland’s largest retailers, which owned a proprietary loyalty and payment card, usable only within the retailer’s eco-system.

One in ten Swiss people were in possession of this card, approximately 800,000 cards. The project migrated these end customers using an opt-out strategy onto the new product: a worldwide accepted credit card, which enabled the card holder to collect loyalty points everywhere he goes. The smooth transformation for the end customer was facilitated by a 3 months parallel phase, in which the old and new products co-existed, posing a huge challenge for the transformation of the client’s IT systems.

In addition to the migration of existing customers, a completely new onboarding solution was developed for new business.

The company managing the previous loyalty card solution was fully absorbed. This and the completely new structure and mindset of the card holders base meant a huge cultural transformation for our client. Indeed, the move into the retail market brought about many new functionalities, such as digitization of loyalty and discount coupons and special offers, introduction of insurance products and the payment for promoted items in interest-free installments. These posed additional challenges for the IT and operations.

Last but not least our client made sure to leverage on the project by not creating just a tailor-made solution for this specific client but rather an open retail platform. This allows an easier integration with future retail clients; a move that soon would prove to be very important.


itecor’s role

Itecor is proud to have been a huge contribution to the highly successful entry into the retail and loyalty market for our client, which increased its card volume by 150%.

Itecor was mainly in charge of the testing of this strategic, high visibility project. Activities included creating the overall quality strategy, test management, test engineering and test execution.

As part of the test activities, Itecor managed a so-called Friends & Family test phase, where selected participants got to try out the new product before go live in a real production setting (including the migration and onboarding process). Up to 250 participants took part in this extensive test phase spanning several months. A “dream job”: credit and loyalty card testers!

In addition, Itecor took over the Product Owner role of the IT stream in the agile project, as well as some of the application management.

the second part of the transformation

To continue its expansion into the retail market, our client launched a strategic project with one of the two largest supermarket chains in Switzerland. Due to the success of the previous project, Itecor was asked to be part of the dream team, with the same role and responsibilities (testing and PO). You don’t change a winning team…

In a market dominated mainly by 2 players, the supermarket chain concerned is de facto very well known in Switzerland, so the launch of this new customer loyalty product had a huge visibility on the market with huge media coverage, TV spots, newspaper campaigns, social networks, etc…. To make it simple, the tight deadline of the project was fixed due to contractual obligations. Since now an opt-in strategy was chosen, the client had little control over the volume of end customers applying for the new product. It was therefore of utmost importance the IT systems be able to process the estimated peak volumes.. We were therefore also chosen to manage a performance testing campaign to ensure that even if all customers applied for a new card it would not be a problem.

The scope of this project was even more ambitious: to launch a new product that would disrupt the Swiss credit card market, not only by offering very competitive conditions, but also by completely digitising the process of changing or creating an end customer account, going from a normal card application process of one week to 5 minutes. In short, allowing a consumer to get a card in 5 minutes and use it to make those purchases… This was only possible by completely digitising the inboarding process.

In this instant issuance process, the cardholder can therefore apply for and use (via mobile payment) a new credit card, additionally personalised with his or her own photo, within 5 minutes. The physical card is sent by post in the following days

This revolutionary on-boarding process posed many technological challenges for the IT department. To give you an idea, the following elements must be able to take place in real time during the instant issue process:

  • Real-time ID verification of the card holder with scan and selfie
  • Validation of the loyalty number
  • Credit scoring of the card holder
  • Address verification and proof of residence
  • Black list / money laundering / fraud check
  • Picture validation

One of many elements, all pictures uploaded by the card holders must adhere to the guidelines set by the credit card scheme. The difficulty lies in distinguishing for example a harmless picture of someone hiking in the mountains with a summit cross and a swiss flag in the background, from religious and nationalistic symbols banned on credit cards…

The Friends and Family Test phase for this project, completely managed by Itecor, was even more extensive, with 1’000 participants.

The go live was announced by a large media campaign and under the watchful eye of the press.

We are very proud, thanks to the trusting relationship with our client, to have been involved in this project and to have been able to share in its full success. To give a general idea, the total number of new credit cards issued will again increase by several million in the next two years.

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