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Mergers & Acquisitions

We support our clients in the implementation of their integration strategy by taking into account HR issues at each stage of the process from a legal, organisational, managerial and cultural point of view.

Success Story: Banking – Providing solutions for Debit & Credit cards

We have worked with one of Ireland’s largest banks across a range of issues related to cards and card issuing. These have transcended all of our areas of expertise, from strategy design to project implementation.

The merger of two Card-Issuing Businesses

Banks that operate in different jurisdictions with a variety of offers can face problems in the finance sector with overall management and consolidation of systems. We designed and implemented a plan to merge the different card issuing businesses that operated in Ireland and the UK.

Merging these businesses has considerable sensitivities. These were linked to a potential redeployment of staff and a clear ‘change management’ message needed to be developed and delivered. In addition, there were significant regulatory requirements from the UK’s Financial Services Authority that had to be adhered to. A further consideration was to ensure no tax issues arose from the merger.

We led the entire merger project and designed a strategy and execution plan to migrate all functions into a single card issuing business with the skills and capacity to support all markets. We also ensured there was no customer impact during the migration. At the end of 10 months, the project was fully completed with a seamless transition from a customer and stakeholder point of view.

Design of Debit Card Strategy 

The domestic debit card in Ireland, the Laser card, had reached the end of its life and therefore Irish retail banks were each considering their future debit card strategy. We mobilised a cross-functional team, representing all stakeholders in the debit card business and developed an understanding of the key high-level business requirements, including emergency payments technologies and trends.

The outcome was a business case, setting out the proposed business and technology solution, the costs and projected revenues from moving to the new one, and the commercial incentives which were negotiated with the shortlisted candidates.  This business case was backed up with an implementation proposal and a road map on how to deliver the solution.  The whole process was run and completed within 6 months and formed the basis of the signed-off investment proposition for the bank’s new debit card strategy.

Implementation of Debit Card Programme

Our client had to migrate almost 2 million debit cards, across 3 jurisdictions (Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK) to a new Visa Debit card, standardise all card functionality to a common template across all markets, introduce new payment technology on the cards and to customers to support Contactless payments, put in place an outsourced services agreement with a new international card processor as part of the outsourcing arrangement, build the outsourced platform with integration to key internal Bank systems, update and streamline business processes to be aligned with the new product and processing platform, train all customer-facing staff in contact centres and retail branch networks in the new product features, and complete the entire migration of the card base before the end of 2013 when the legacy processing platform support expired.

The programme achieved all of its key milestones, a number of which had significant financial consequences and incentives to hit and bring the new propositions to market early.  The programme completed its last phase on time.  The bank now has a card processing platform that is common to both debit and credit cards, is scalable and cost-effective, and has a better support model which does not rely on in-house individuals to deliver.