Enhancing communication adaptability between payment card processing networks

Adnan Noor Mian, Abdul Hameed, Muhammad Umar Khayyam, Farooq Ahmed, Roberto Beraldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Financial organizations communicate with each other using ISO 8583 or its derivatives to complete the request and response cycle of card originated transactions originated from an ATM, POS, or the web. ISO 8583 is a broad standard. Its implementations slightly vary due to the flexibility available within the standard. This paper discusses the problem of adaptability of communication between payment card transaction processing entities due to this flexibility. We first provide an overview of different variations in ISO 8583 implementations and identify the interoperability issue based on our industry experience. We then propose a solution and suggest a way to standardize different implementations so that one organization can communicate with another without or with minimal changes in software. The suggestion is based on the exchange of meta data indicating how the target system is interpreting the header fields during the communication process.Finally, we discuss the benefits of the solution in which the vendors could not only avail the customization flexibility provided by ISO8583 but also ensure that their implementation of the standard is interoperable with others. This reduces the cost of interconnectivity with other partners when a network wants to expands its business.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7060519
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Communications Magazine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2015


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