A little-known Australian IT company has a data centre in Sydney that is quietly processing around $5.5 million worth of electronic transactions a day.
The company, Card Access Services (CAS), which bought the manufacturing rights to some of KeyCorp's transaction terminals late last year, is on the hunt for systems integrator partners to develop credit card and other payment systems for a range of customers.
Starting in 1987, CAS was around long before the hype of e-commerce and payment gateways, developing processing applications and a hosting service for clients as diverse as Credit Union in Western Australia to the Amateur Bee-keeping Association in NSW.
Like its clients, CAS's solutions are varied, with transaction systems like telephony in which customers punch in a postcode over the phone to receive a range of options closest to their area, and e-commerce credit card billing applications.
Neville Stanford, managing director of CAS, said the company's success is due to its ability to custom-build payment systems that other developers shy away from.
It's a skill that has seen the company land some high-profile customers, including leisure cruise operator P&O. Stanford claims one of the most challenging projects in the company's history was the development of a credit card processing solution for a P&O ship which is currently on route to Noumea.
CAS's system on board the P&O cruise ship sees passengers top up their "cruise card" using their regular credit card. The terminals on the ship relay the transaction information via satellite to P&O's office in Los Angeles, which then sends it back via satellite to CAS's data centre where it is decrypted, processed, re-encrypted and sent on to the credit card holder's bank. The transaction takes less than a few seconds and while the passenger is off to the bar, P&O has already balanced its finances.
Michael Barry, national sales manager of CAS, said the company has four main competencies: project scope/management, integration and delivery, software development and branch delivery terminals or hardware.
Going forward, Barry said CAS's focus will be partnering with systems integrators who provide and manage the LAN/WAN and enterprise software requirements of a corporate customer but do not have the experience or development skills in-house to build fully fledged transaction systems.