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Most banks want to migrate to modern card systems – but success requires fresh thinking

As a recent report reveals virtually every European bank wants to upgrade their card IT platforms for a digital future, Valdis Janovs outlines the concerns that prevent them from taking action.

Valdis Janovs / October 26, 2023

Earlier this year, Tietoevry Banking undertook a comprehensive survey of European banks which revealed that 19 in 20 (96%) wanted to migrate to cloud for modern, more capable card platforms.

This echoes the findings of research we published in 2022 stating that three-quarters of European banks intended to outsource some or all of their card business over the next five years to overcome outdated systems.Taken alone, these findings are no surprise at a time when the 90 cents in every Euro of bank IT spend goes on maintaining legacy systems (1 rather than new systems that enable better customer service and greater product innovation. One might well ask why more banks haven’t yet taken the plunge and updated their systems

“Although a huge majority of banks know change is needed, fewer than a third are currently engaged in the migration process.”

Seems that the sentiment is that of reaching a turning point – but not (yet) turning. The current situation gets more complicated when you consider that some systems are now so outdated they are not API-ready, or sometimes not ready to scale for rapid growth in transaction volumes – or even to qualify for certifications such as PCI DSS v4.0 compliance. And all this at a time when competition from BNPL providers such as Klarna or Afterpay or tech giants such as Amazon and X (Twitter) is rising fast.

Our 2023 survey reveals why banks are not making the switch to new systems with sufficient urgency. They are most concerned at their own lack of internal capacity (54.8%) and the risk of projects over-running (61.3%), as well as other internal factors that suggest that working with an external partner with the right experience is a crucial success factor for any card technology migration.

The survey also outlines approaches banks should take to deliver new card systems in a secure, fast and cost-effective manner. Although a huge majority of banks recognize the need to change, fewer than one-third are actually engaged in that process. Data from our exclusive research shows these concerns include the risk of operational interruption (48.4%), a lack of internal capacity (54.8%) and worries about project over-runs (61.3%).

As a new report says almost two-thirds of banks are looking to migrate to more secure and flexible modern card platforms, we believe banks should be thinking about the strategic implications and risks of not taking action.

To learn more about the right card system migration strategy for your bank, download the report now Options for change: migrating to modern card payment platform  and  New Cards as SaaS report – the future of payments outsourcing | Tietoevry

[1] See “The Cost of Legacy Technologies for Banks” at:

Valdis Janovs
Head of Instant, Retail Payments and Cards


Valdis Janovs

Head of Instant, Retail Payments and Cards

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