webMethods Module for ISO 8583

Issue 3, 2016

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Integrate banking channels with your core banking application

Seamlessly integrate ATMs and card transactions with your core banking application using the new webMethods Module for ISO 8583.

The integration dilemma

Core banking applications are usually back-end data processing applications that include deposit account and CD account processing, loan and credit processing, interfaces to the general ledger and reporting tools. Banking channels like ATMs, Internet banking, mobile banking are add-on applications that need to integrate with the core banking application. ISO 8583 is the messaging standard used by ATMs and point-of-sale devices. Unfortunately, core banking applications don’t understand this standard. webMethods Module for ISO 8583 helps you bridge this gap and seamlessly integrate banking channels with the core banking application.

What is ISO 8583?

ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, develops and publishes international standards to ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. ISO 8583 is the messaging standard for systems that exchange electronic transactions made by cardholders using payment cards. This standard is used widely by all major networks—VISA®, MasterCard®, AMEX® and EuroPay®, for example. ISO 8583 defines a message format and a communication flow so that different systems can exchange these transaction requests and responses. 

The vast majority of transactions made at ATMs use ISO 8583 at some point in the communication chain, as do transactions made when a customer uses a card to make a payment in a store. Cardholder-originated transactions include purchase, withdrawal, deposit, refund, reversal, balance inquiry, payments and inter-account transfers. ISO 8583 also defines system-to-system messages for secure key exchanges, reconciliation of totals and other administrative purposes.

How webMethods Module for ISO 8583 helps

webMethods Module for ISO 8583 is a product layered on top of webMethods Integration Server that helps you to exchange all the cardholder-originated transactions and easily integrate them with core banking applications. The module also makes use of webMethods Trading Networks to provide many features including transaction logging and auditing, merchant specific reports, etc.

Figure 1: ISO 8583 defines the messaging standard for systems that exchange electronic transactions made by cardholders using payment cards.  


Although ISO 8583 defines a common standard, it is not typically used directly by systems or networks from VISA, Mastercard, etc. It defines many standard fields (data elements) which remain the same in all systems or networks, and leaves a few additional fields for passing network specific details. These fields are used by each network to adapt the standard for its own use with custom fields and custom usages. webMethods Module for ISO 8583 lets you customize the structure of the messages and is as easy as modifying the XML schemas.

Ready to use

For faster implementation, the module is shipped with ready-to-use document types for MasterCard, Visa, Europay, AMEX and others.

Wide variety of transport channels

ISO 8583 messages are mostly transported over TCP/IP. While TCP/IP is a popular and widely used protocol, it allows only raw data to be sent and expects the sender and receiver to mutually agree on headers, footers, content, etc. Because the industry uses many different ways to interpret and understand content, the webMethods Module for ISO 8583 comes with a wide variety of pre-defined ways to package and interpret ISO 8583 messages.

Automatic duplicate transaction identification

When used with Trading Networks, webMethods Module for ISO 8583 can automatically identify duplicate transactions. It also ensures non-repudiation of transactions and automatically archives all transactions for historical transaction analysis.

Now available

The webmethods Module 9.6 for ISO 8583 is now generally available. It supports all webMethods Integration Server platforms from version 9.6 and up. You will need webMethods Trading Networks for transaction monitoring, duplicate detection and reports.