Hermes Money Transfer integration in Greece
THE BUSINESS NEED
Migration from the old system to a new more flexible system by using innovative technologies, in order to create an environment where customers can use the Western Union money transfer services safely and confidently.
CSS provided a total solution to the client, from analysis and design phase, up to implementation, testing and migration to the new system, as well as post implementation support services.
The Project lasted 22 months end-to end and a CSS team of 6 highly skilled people were involved. It was implemented in phases as follows:
The Analysis phase which lasted 8 months was based on key business user interviews and study of user manuals of the existing system. Deliverables of this phase included the “User and Business Requirements documents” per business area which were approved by the client before progressing to the design amp; implementation phase.
The Design and Implementation phase lasted 14 months.
Open source web technology was exclusively used for all modules – either addressed to external or company users. The money transfer system was designed in a way to provide scalability and high availability. All web applications were deployed in a cluster of application servers. For data high availability a cluster of 2 database server nodes was used. More specifically the implementation is based on the MVC design pattern, thus achieving total separation of the data model and presentation layer. Furthermore Java 2 Platform and MyEclipse open-source platform were used for developing code in all modules. Integration with 3rd party software was implemented mostly with the use of WEB services.
The following modules were implemented:
- Core transactional system: This is the core online money transfer module. It interfaces with the host Western Union system, and can be accessed by various money transfer channels e.g Agent module, Automatic Payment Systems, Go Cash application.
- Agent module: Complete Point of Sale functionality in order to perform and administrate the money transfer process, providing financial and risk control for all parties involved (Western Union, Agent, Customer).
- Operators’ module: This is the Agent’s Help Desk. It is a tool for monitoring transactions and assisting operators during their daily work. Various tools are provided to help the operator e.g. calculation of commissions, exchange rates and instructions for specific countries. Reporting is provided including operator’s performance reports.
- Accounting module: Accounting users can monitor the daily agent’s limit, and maintain the clearing and settlement of Worldbridge with its agents. Agent’s commissions are calculated here, and extensive reporting is provided covering the agent’s activity and accounting details. Furthermore, reconciliation with Western Union and interfacing to the company’s ERP are included.
- Administration tool: Using this tool the system administrator manages all agent’s operational, security and financial parameters. Furthermore all system parameters like look up tables, and extra features like national geographical segmentation and a massive memo sending functionality to the agents are included.
- Marketing tool: The tool consists mainly of a custom report generator tool designed specifically for this project. The user can define selection criteria and generate ad-hoc reports that can be executed either immediately or stored and executed at a later stage. Furthermore specific reports addressed to the upper management and Sales departments are included. A sales oriented geographical segmentation was specially developed for this module.
- Money transfer to a bank account application (Money To Bank service). It is integrated to the modules described above.
- Reduced Total cost of ownership: Open Source software was extensively used reducing thus the TCO. No client software installation is needed for any user internal or external. All modules are accessed through a browser.
- Extensive documentation was delivered. Extensive and detailed user manuals and functional requirements documents were produced.
- Improved Reconciliation and Risk Control was enforced, leading to a more profitable usage of available funds.
- The Marketing Tool, Money To Bank and Administration tool modules were designed from scratch, providing the users full functionality over the business areas related to these modules.
- Expandability: since rollout the following modules were smoothly added to the main system:
- Go Cash package: Go Cash cards have 3 denomination values (50 €, 100 €, 150 €) and can be purchased in various point of sales like Super Markets etc. The customer can send money through the Western Union network by making a quick phone call to the Helpdesk. A new GUI wizard was designed to assist the Worldbridge helpdesk during the customer’s call. The core transactional module was again used in order to guarantee a successful money transfer execution.
- Multicurrency conversion : The initially single currency system system was converted to a multi currency system. Database, screens and reports were redesigned in ordet os upport this new feature.
- Online Money Transfer : Web application which allows a customer to execute a money transfer from the customer’s bank account or credit card or goCash package