The PALPAY router is the main component used for interfacing with electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) terminals. It is responsible for routing POS messages to the PALPAY platform or POS servers, depending on the transaction type. It is a powerful routing engine that is capable of processing hundreds of messages per second, and is capable of handling several types of connectivity options used by POS terminals (GPRS, Dial-up, Ethernet). Moreover, it is responsible for connection management with thousands of POS terminals, message encryption and decryption, and message integrity validation.
The PALPAY host controls transaction flow and processing. It is the principal component that integrates with bank interfaces, telecommunications services, and other third party vendors. It ensures routing, authorization and authentication of transaction messages, as well as routing between the front-end systems, local service providers, vendors, credit card processor, banks, information systems, service providers’ information systems (e-commerce, private merchant networks, etc.) as well as ATM and POS servers.
The PALPAY Host uses cutting-edge technologies in communication and message exchange. It is built using service-oriented architecture that allows for the interoperability of the system components, and adds a large amount of flexibility for adding new services, and quickly integrating with new vendors.
PALPAY Web Server
The PALPAY web server hosts the PHP web applications used by merchants, end-users, dealer employees, and the PALPAY support team. It hosts the PALPAY Payment Gateway which offers a large variety of PALPAY services in a fast, secure, and easy-to-use interface. Merchants and end-users can top-up their prepaid cellular phones, buy electronic vouchers, and pay their bills through this web application. Moreover, the web server can generate a variety of useful reports that detail every transaction performed, whether it was from the web, mobile, POS, or another interface, as well as allow for previewing and printing of previous bills.
Merchants who have prepaid cellular top-ups and other similar electronic voucher distribution (EVD) services can credit their PALPAY accounts using the web interface in two different methods:
1. Adding credit through dealer employees—through this method, PALPAY merchants can request to add credit to their balance from a dealer employee, who logs in to the web application and credits the merchant’s account in a few clicks. This interface also provides the dealer employee with a powerful search functionality that can easily locate the desired merchant.
2. Adding credit directly through a bank account—using this method, merchants can credit their PALPAY balance directly from their bank accounts, without calling the dealer and without physical cash exchanges. To ensure security, this functionality requires the use of a PIN number.
The web application is designed to allow for multiple users to be linked to the same merchant account. This means that a merchant can give a different login for each of his employees, from which they can operate while using the same merchant’s account. Also, these users can be given custom permissions based on their role, such as to view only certain reports or to issue only certain transactions.
The web application also includes an administration section used by the PALPAY support team. This section manages users’ creation, login credentials, status, roles and permissions, and to process cancellation requests sent by merchants. This section also includes a screen for creating and publishing announcements.
Finally, the web server also hosts a mobile web application designed for use on smartphones, PDAs, gadgets and other handheld devices. This interface is a lightweight version of the web application optimized to be used on small screens, taking into consideration the cost of GPRS data rates, and the amount of KBs required to perform a single transaction. This interface is widely used by dealer employees who are always in the field and use handheld devices to accomplish their daily tasks.
PALPAY Logging and Monitoring Service
The PALPAY logging and monitoring service is an integral part of the PALPAY host. It consists of a separate MSSQL server database that logs every transaction processed by the PALPAY host in addition to all XML messages exchanged between the PALPAY host server and third party systems.
The logging and monitoring service also provides a user interface that is used by second-level support to check transaction flow timing, from the moment it was received from the merchant terminal to the moment it was processed and delivered back to the terminal. It also helps the IT team to check the latency in the system and any extra communication delay unaccounted for in the various parts of the system, the database, and hosting process itself. It is a very useful tool used for identifying any bottlenecks in the system.
PALPAY Back-Office is deployed using Oracle Application Server 10g and provides an integrated, standards-based software platform that allows organizations of all sizes to be more responsive to changing business requirements. It provides all the middleware services you need to deploy and manage applications and web services, deliver personalized applications through enterprise portals and mobile devices, provide real-time business intelligence, integrate applications, and automate business processes. It is optimized to take full advantage of cluster computing and enterprise grid deployment architectures.
Through its friendly user interface, Back-Office provides end users with the capability to perform tasks in a secure, easy and fast way. Back-Office has the flexibility to define a merchant with one or more branches and various terminals within each branch (POS, PC, Mobile, etc.) End users can be divided into four groups (System Administrators, Support Team, Vendors and Distributors), each with predefined roles and privileges.
End user tasks can be summarized as follows:
• Manage users’ accounts and privileges
• Manage access roles
• Define new vendors, distributors and their accounts
• Define global system parameters
• Generate performance reports
• Monitor system performance
• Define new merchants and their accounts
• Generate reports
• Make distributor deposits
• Define distributors’ commissions
• Upload encrypted scratch codes
• Generate financial, monitoring and performance reports
• Make merchant deposits
• Cancel merchant deposits
• Define special commissions
• Manage distributor representatives (account definition, linked merchants, deposit limits, etc.)
PALPAY uses the latest release of Oracle Database 11g, Release 2, which enables IT professionals to deliver more information with higher quality of service, make more-efficient use of their budgets, and reduce the risk of change in datacenters. By deploying Oracle Database 11g Release 2 as their data management foundation, organizations can utilize the full power of the world’s leading database to:
• Reduce server costs by a factor of 5
• Reduce storage requirements by a factor of 10
• Improve mission-critical system performance by a factor of 10
• Increase DBA and developer productivity by a factor of 2
• Maximize availability and eliminate idle redundancy
• Maximize security and enable compliance
• Simplify their overall IT software portfolio
Advanced multi-operator POS application with dual language support (English and
Arabic) for both the display and printer.
Note: for the detailed description of the POS application and its features please refer the POS application manuals.
PALPAY USSD Gateway (Optional)
A fully functional USSD gateway capable of handling up to 700 USSD transactions per second. It allows the PALPAY platform to deliver its services to merchants and end customers through mobile phones using USSD messages, and can be installed either at the telecommunications company or at the processor.
PALPAY Webaccess Merchant and Client
An advanced, comprehensive, web-based, cloud application that allows merchants to initiate transactions wherever they are, easily and securely. Available on the web and through mobile WAP.
PALPAY Webaccess Distributor Representative and Employees
An advanced, comprehensive, web-based, cloud application that allows telecommunications company representatives and employees to initiate all related transactions at merchant sites on their mobile phones using GPRS, 3G or Mobile WAP.
Online Banking API
A secured web service API to integrate all PALPAY transactions on the online banking software of any bank, thereby allowing banks to offer PALPAY services to their clients through their own online banking systems.
Bank ATM API
A secured web service API or a TCP/IP ISO8583-based API that allows banks to integrate their ATM’s with PALPAY services, thereby allowing banks to offer PALPAY services to their clients through their own ATM network.
PALPAY 3rd party Interfaces and Protocols
All interfaces needed to communicate with third party systems including operator systems, banks, and utility companies are available in TCP/IP and HTTP(S) services.
Merchant Advertisements and Announcements
This important module allows system operators to communicate with merchants through their POS machines.
System operators can communicate with merchants using this communication module in Back-Office. By selecting a merchant, a group of merchants, or merchants in a particular city or region, the system operator can insert advertisements or announcements to these specific merchants. The message also can be sent to all merchants.
Criteria available for merchant advertisements and announcements are:
• Selections for the merchants, including city, region, and type of business
• Number of times per day to send the advertisement
• Start and end date for the advertisement
For example, since the operator has the ability to specify the number of times each advertisement will be sent on the merchant POS per day and its distribution, supermarket merchants working different shifts can ensure that all their employees see the announcement.
The same module is available for web users with larger space available for text and pictures.
Batch Import Tool
This tool is supplied to distributors with PALPAY host software. It takes the file sent by the provider of the activation codes and imports it into PALPAY distributor host’s database. It allows the file to be examined, loaded or deleted before finally activating the content of this file in the PALPAY distributor database.
Enjazat is an optional Help Desk CRM tool that incorporates out-of-the-box integration with the PALPAY platform, specifically with the alerts and notifications sent from within the hosting process for failed and/or suspicious cases.
When there is a failure or any issue that is considered critical, a new support ticket is automatically opened and assigned to the support team to help them follow up and resolve the issue as fast and efficiently as possible. This software is also used by PALPAY employees to help them manage the workflow of tasks and projects opened in the system along with other team members and departments in the organization.
Enjazat also helps manage PALPAY’s interactions with merchants, customers, and sales prospects by integrating with PALPAY’s core database, and keeping record of all interactions with merchants and customers, in addition to relevant POS information.
2-PALPAY PIN Encryption Tool
This PC-based application is used to encrypt the PIN codes generated by different voucher production systems and formatting/storing them in a secure way to be sent or uploaded to the PALPAY platform. This tool utilizes high security measures such as PIN batches with unique 256-bit AES encryption.