Distra unveils payments platform

Source: Distra

Distra, a payments software provider at the center of the transformation in global payments, released an innovative platform, running on Cisco Unified Computing System, that helps financial services firms not only respond, but move forward in capturing a larger portion of the more transformational payments process consumers and merchants are demanding without having to replace their mission critical systems

Huge waves of change are rippling through the financial services world, with payments, a market that traditionally contributes close to $1trillion and nearly a third of bank revenues leading the charge. Financial institutions approach traditional payments in a siloed manner, with outdated technology models comprised of proprietary systems and software that have reached their limitations. The capabilities delivered by these environments struggle to address new market demands for agile real-time payment transactions, integrated channels and a data rich exchange of information.

Today, payment transactions need to be more flexible and sophisticated, carrying data about items purchased, calculating real-time discounts, splitting payments over several accounts, including loyalty points, returning targeted sales offers and adapting the latest fraud prevention and regulations - all in real time. In the payments market, a huge number of influences are colliding creating unique challenges as well as huge financial opportunities. Many agile financial institutions are looking to respond to these market needs for dynamic payment-related activity in the midst of growing compliance requirements.

For example, financial institutions are challenged by the nimble new payments models presented by non-traditional providers. It's not other retail banks and payment processors that traditional financial services providers need to fear - it is the technology company that has built a competitive new offering, unencumbered by the shackles of legacy technology, that is meeting the needs of the more technologically savvy and informed consumer.

It's under this perspective that Distra announce a new Comprehensive Payments solution, Distra's flagship Universal Payments Platform (UPP) solution which runs on Cisco's Unified Computing System as a part of a Vblock™ Infrastructure package. Unlike traditional x86 systems, Cisco Unified Computing System includes features that increase virtualization effectiveness, enable fully stateless computing for increased mobility, deliver standards- based management using open XML, and includes a policy based provisioning model that fully abstracts underlying hardware. This enables institutions to rapidly and cost effectively transition across converging IT environments and cloud-based models, while dramatically reducing the risk of these projects.

The Vblock Infrastructure Platform is manufactured by the Virtual Computing Environment Company formed by Cisco and EMC, with investments from VMware and Intel. Vblock is the industry's first completely integrated, tested, and validated IT infrastructure offering that combines best-in-class virtualization, networking, computing, storage, and management technologies with end-to-end vendor accountability. Vblock supports a broad range of operating systems and applications that enable customers to rapidly migrate existing applications to a virtualized environment.

"There is a growing need to bridge the gap between the established payments networks and the exciting new models emerging through the transformation of the payments industry," said Distra CEO Mike Aston. "The challenge is to provide a solution that can operate at the levels of reliability, scalability, and performance demanded by the established networks and yet exhibits the openness, agility, and cost profile of these new emerging opportunities. This benchmark shows that our joint Comprehensive Payment solution running on Vblock can meet this challenge. It incorporates the Distra Universal Payments Platform, a proven solution being used by major clients in Australia, Asia, and Europe and shortly to be adopted by a major client in the United States."

Speed and Performance at a Fifth of the Cost

This solution was recently tested by Distra to the highest levels of speed and performance,, while simultaneously adding a new nimbleness to a payments processor's structure that never existed before.

The recent test eclipsed previous speed and reliability benchmarks by 150 percent and demonstrated sustained performance of more than 3,000 payment transactions per second and low message latency of less than 150 milliseconds. But, more importantly, the agile, pure Java, real-time nature of Distra's UPP allows an organization to cast off the shackles of legacy technologies and handle the market demands for value-added data with the payments, the next generation of requirements from consumers and merchants. In addition, because this approach is unencumbered by the proprietary software and technology of the past, payment processors are able to address these growing needs at a fifth of the current model's cost.

In addition, the benchmarking study, which was conducted for a major United States financial services organization, answers the call for a Comprehensive Payments solution that meets the industry's need for adaptable performance delivered on significantly lower cost platforms than today's legacy systems.

The exceptional performance of the Distra running on Cisco UCS solution strengthens the case for financial institutions to invest in proven SOA-based modular technology as a cost-effective way to migrate from rigid legacy models to a highly adaptive 'new world' payments environment. The study also demonstrated the performance and reliability of the integrated solution under the worst case conditions within a virtualized environment -which can help customers accelerate the adoption of cloud-based computing models that dramatically reduce the cost of IT, while improving customer time to market.

In addition, as data security fears now span all levels of the payments value chain: government, suppliers, retailers, consumers, this solution helps organizations maintain strong compliance programs in a rapidly evolving regulatory environment. 

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