Financial Services Company Integrates Legacy System With the Web
Synovus is a financial services holding company, providing integrated services in banking, financial management, insurance, mortgage and leasing. In addition, the company offers electronic payment services through TSYS, one of the world's leading providers of payment processing systems.
Fulfilling a Legal Requirement
TSYS, an affiliate of Synovus, is the largest processor of international payments made by credit, debit, commercial, stored-value and retail cards, touching more than 11 billion transactions per year. When TSYS finished building its stored-value platform, Synovus was in the process of setting up one of its affiliates as an online-only bank.
To bring awareness to the online bank, the company intended to sell a stored-value card--a personalized gift card that could be used for any event or occasion, such as an anniversary, wedding or birthday--on its Web site.The online bank had the card Visa-branded so it could be used anywhere a Visa card was accepted, and TSYS planned to fulfill card production, send personal mailers and process all the card's transactions.
About a month before the online bank and stored-value card were scheduled to go live, a Synovus legal requirement was brought to light: In order to sell a stored-value card online, the company needed to provide an online banking statement for every card sold, essentially giving customers access to their last month's billing statement online.
To fulfill this requirement, the bank's developers needed to access TSYS' 3270-mainframe computers, which is where TSYS stored all its transaction information. The company had to find a way to pull the data it needed from TSYS' legacy computers and, using its ColdFusion platform, present the information to the end-user in the form of an online bank statement.
Uncovering the Solution
Keeping their one-month deadline in mind, the company's development team decided that a product that offered real-time integration between mainframe computers and a Web interface would be their best solution. Through their research, the team identified three options, and, after reviewing each, ultimately chose Screensurfer for its Web-to-host integration capabilities
"Screensurfer offered the quickest possible turnaround we could get,at half the price of its competitors," said David Mize, Director of System and Application Integration at Synovus. "Further, its functionality is straightforward and simple. We downloaded the product, set it up and had it running in less than one month.We were very impressed!"
Using Screensurfer, Synovus completed its online venture ahead of schedule, saving them a myriad of last-minute headaches. In fact, Screensurfer made integrating the data from TSYS' mainframe computers with the bank's Web site so easy, the company took Synovus' legal requirement a step further. In addition to offering customers their last month's billing statement online, the company also presented customers with their current balances, current posted transactions and statements from the last twelve months. Furthermore, Screensurfer allowed the company to pull this data and present it to the end-user in a matter of seconds. The result was increased accessibility and flexibility for the customer--a powerful testament to the company's commitment to customer service.
"Web users do not want to wait a long time," said Will Chitwood,a Systems Integration Consultant at Synovus. "With Screensurfer in place, the customer could log in and have their statement in just three to four seconds!"
Building On Its Web-to-Host Success
Synovus continues to support the stored-value card as a companion to other bank services and as a standalone product. With Screensurfer, customers can have access to all their past and present statements at the click of a mouse.
In addition to the stored-value card, Synovus has found another use for Screensurfer. Using the product's HTML emulation, Synovus' 38 affiliate banks are able to speed the process of ordering checks. Acting as a direct line to the check manufacturer, Screensurfer takes each customer's request, pulls the data from the printer's mainframe computers, and brings the confirmation back to the appropriate bank's Web site.
Endorsing a Smart Investment
Based on its successful implementation of Screensurfer, the Synovus team confirms that Screensurfer was a smart investment for its legacy integration needs.
"Screensurfer's low overhead and straightforward functionality have made integrating our mainframe data with the Web easy," said Mize. "We have been very impressed with Screensurfer's capabilities and are happy we now can offer our customers more online options."
After years of service, the original mainframe application was migrated to a modern platform and the Screensurfer application was retired after providing exceptional ROI.