Co-branded card platform

About BNP Paribas Personal Finance

BNP Paribas Personal Finance provides consumer finance solutions for many leading brands in the UK. With simple, effective and reliable finance solutions they help their partners to grow their business.


In the United Kingdom, BNP Paribas offers its partners co-branded Mastercards. In August 2016, they began a partnership with ASDA and IHG. BNP Paribas wanted to roll out a co-branded card platform for them including a loyalty program.


ISAAC developed a modern card platform for BNP Paribas with an integrated loyalty program, giving explicit attention to the conversion-oriented apply journey including a compact acceptance check.

"I would not recommend ISAAC to any of our competitors."


Loyality program for ASDA & IHG

With 625 stores, ASDA, which is part of Walmart, is one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK and also offers a range of financial services, among other things. One of these services is the ASDA Cashback Card, a co-branded MasterCard credit card. This is issued under the licence of BNP Paribas UK (Creation). Using this card, customers can earn cash back and shop globally, but it also enables ASDA to increase its customer loyalty.

Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) is one of BNP Paribas Personal Finance’s new partners. This is the parent company of multiple hotel chains, such as Holiday Inn, Candlewood suites, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites and many others. IHG has over 5,000 hotels and nearly 750,000 rooms in 100 countries. IHG too issues co-branded MasterCards, which is coupled to the globally successful IHG Rewards Club.

ISAAC, which has had a productive relationship with BNP Paribas for many years already, has been commissioned to develop an entirely new front-end and middleware platform for the MasterCards. This platform is equipped with white label configuration options, responsive front-ends, API technology and multi-brand / multi-platform technologies. The platform provides optimally converting application processes, Self Service access and real-time interfaces with the loyalty data of card partners. Above all, it's a scalable and robust platform for years to come.

Middleware as a supporting force

PCI-DSS is the security standard for the credit card payment industry and is a key development feature of the Self Service Portal (SSP). This includes Protected Storage of Cardholder Data and Encrypted Transmission of Cardholder Data. Encryption has been implemented even as far as the JavaScript layer, and OWASP guidelines have been followed. In the process of developing the Self-Service Portal the company utilised a message bus (IBM WebSphere MQ) and middleware based on JBoss EAP. Using this web technology, the Self Service Portal was integrated with financial ERP and CRM (mainframe) systems. The REST API was decoupled towards the front-end. The Self-Service Portal has a user-friendly and 'mobile first' dashboard enabling cardholders to organise their financial affairs online. The portal offers features such as:

  • Online card activation
  • Real-time mobile push messages
  • Online transaction access
  • Raising the credit limit
  • Transferring money
  • Changing personal details
  • Reporting a lost or stolen credit card

Integrated loyalty program

The debit and credit cards of BNP and its partners both offer a savings programme. The IHG Rewards Club MasterCard, for instance, allows its users to obtain a discount on hotel stays within the IHG group. And with the ASDA Cashback Card customers can earn cash back: cash that can be spent right away, to save on their daily shopping. Within the portal customers can see how many points or how much money they have saved. At ASDA, the portal environment is interfaced with the in-store checkout system. This way customers can not only pay directly with their earned cash back from their smartphone at any ASDA checkout, but in the personal self-service web environment, the customer is even informed about ASDA's seasonal deals. A 100% fit with the conversion objectives of both BNP and ASDA.

Optimally converting apply journey

Conversion is key to the development of apply journeys, especially with more complicated financial products like credit cards. That's why this project has been subject to extensive user tests together with the MasterCard Usability Test Lab in Leeds. Based on ISAAC prototypes, the User Experience (UX) design, the legal context within the British market, and the steps in the process were examined together with a focus group. In light of the results of this lab study, this apply journey begins with a fast, compact check with affiliated credit rating agencies. Using a minimum amount of data we check whether an applicant may run through the rest of the process. In addition, the complete range of available modern front-end technologies was used, from direct input validation to visual support of the flow, as well as, of course, optimal performance on mobile devices. This all aims to minimise the dropout rate and optimise conversion rates.

White label platform

The application processes for the co-branded cards of BNP Paribas have been designed with the idea in mind that an application should be easy, clear and fast, from any device. In addition, devices are not always online: customers use them in trains, in parks or at home on the sofa. But no data must be lost. The front-end is therefore fully responsive (scalable to each device) and developed as white label (multi-brand / multi-label). New partner brands of BNP can be set up quickly and easily based on previously realised templates. Of course an existing template can also be easily adapted in terms of design to create a unique identity for future partners.

The complete product was delivered in a content management system (CMS), allowing BNP Personal Finance to manage the content in the portal and the apply journeys fully autonomously. The CMS has a user-friendly interface, suitable for marketeers and brand owners. The CMS is also set up to allow for centralised management of multiple websites and portals. What's more, the CMS plays a key role in SEO and A/B testing. Even real-time business rules are used for this purpose. Microsites and landing pages for partners have a high throughput, while the centralised application process runs stably and reliably.


Interaction- and graphic design

Within the house-styles of ASDA and IHG, ISAAC took care of the complete design. Together with BNP Paribas, the company intensively collaborated with the various brand responsibilities of the partners in the UK. A number of modern technologies was used, such as SVG, IconFonts, KnockoutJS and charts based on Highcharts. SVG is an XML-based open file format for vector graphics. SVG graphics can be processed dynamically using JavaScript and CSS, with a super "crisp" result on (retina) screens and with fast page-loading times. At ASDA and IHG, Highcharts is used to visualise the credit balance as a dynamic, animated dashboard element. The images in this case allow you to get a better idea of the result!

Our expertise

  • Strategic positioning
  • API design
  • Self service portal
  • APIs
  • Security
  • Application management and optimization


Want to find out more about this project?
Want to find out more about this project?

I'm Rudy, Sales Consultant Finance. Together with BNP Paribas Personal Finance, I work on realizing the objectives of this project. Want to know exactly how we approach this project or how our approach can contribute to your success?