Cloud-Native Card Payment Platform Adapts Easily to New Payment Methods and Standards

Cognizant Digital Engineering contributes to innovative, secure, reliable and most flexible, client-built, modern payment network platform.

Swiping a credit or debit card to pay for purchases may soon seem old-fashioned. The number of people using mobile wallets for “contactless payment” is expected to reach the one billion mark in 2019. During China’s “Single’s Day” in 2018—the world’s largest one-day shopping event—60% of shoppers paid with a fingerprint scan or by taking a selfie. Settlement is changing, too: Real-time payments (RTP) give individuals and businesses access to funds when they’re transferred rather than several days later. 


To stay out in front of the changing payments landscape, our client, a multinational financial services company, launched a multi-year program to modernize its payment network. The goals: Deliver an exceptional customer experience.  Work better with new payment methods like mobile wallets and tokenization, which strengthens security by replacing the credit card number with a number generated by an algorithm. Support real-time payments. Make it simpler to expand into new countries. And use analytics to improve risk underwriting, realtime fraud detection and targeted offer management. 

The old mainframe application had reached capacity, and made it very difficult to add country-specific features. To become more nimble, the client needed a cloud-native payment platform which would take the existing legacy platform and modernize it into a reactive microservices architecture. 


The client engaged us to support the efforts to design and build the platform. To start, we formed three pods (self-contained teams with 6-8 people) in the U.S. and India. At some points during the project we scaled to up to 14 pods. Some pods focus on platform build out; others focus on technical framework development as well as non functional requirements. We coordinate the activities of the pods using Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe).

To make sure the code accomplishes what the business needs, we follow Agile processes such as Behavior Driven Development (BDD). To meet the industry’s stringent security requirements, the platform built always encrypts certain types of code, stores secrets such as certificates and system passwords in secure vaults, and encrypts authentication tokens as they travel over the network. 


New features have been rolled out on a continuous basis since since introducing the minimum viable product (MVP) in early 2019. New capabilities and features are ongoing, and the platform offers the ability to expand to new market geographies, while being flexible to adapt to each unique set of regulatory and compliance requirements for each respective territory. In a series of run tests, the platform experienced several positive outcomes including: 

  • Improved user experience. Payments are approved in almost immediately—less than one-tenth the time it takes to blink. The microservices behind the scenes communicate with each other in few microseconds.
  • High availability. The new platform delivers industry standard availability.
  • Faster pace of innovation. The microservices architecture enables the client to introduce new capabilities faster—including country-specific features and support for new payment methods. Modules for Authentication, Settlement and Dispute can be reused for future services.
  • Value-added services based on analytics. Our client can now offer analytics to its merchant customers for targeted marketing campaigns and other decisions.

With the new cloud-native payment network platform, our client is in position to continue leading the industry in agility, performance, scalability, security and value-added services like data insights. Cognizant Digital Engineering is excited to continue the momentum of this collaboration and looks forward to working on new capabilities and features. 


  • This multinational financial services company envisioned a fully digital payments network
  • The old monolithic application, which ran on a mainframe, had reached capacity and made it very difficult to add country-specific features.
  • Cognizant Digital Engineering contributed to cloud-native platform based on modular, reusable microservices
  • The platform approves or denies transactions very quickly—in part because microservices communicate with each other seamlessly
  • The platform is expected to have highly availability
  • Now the company can quickly adapt to rapidly changing payment methods, customer expectations and regulations
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