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Case Study

American Express

First ever American Express proprietary EMV contactless cards implementation.


The Assignment



Consulting Smart Ltd was selected to provide thought leadership into the development of a Contactless Card Rollout Strategy and then to Program Manage the development of contactless capability and deployment to UK consumers. This was to be the first-ever EMV contactless card implementation of its kind for American Express globally. In addition to deployment in the UK, Consulting Smart was also tasked with mentoring other markets including Australia / New Zealand, Canada and Singapore in their own contactless deployments.





Transport for London - Oyster Card

Our Involvement

Our Senior Contactless Payments Consultant was assigned to lead the development of a deployment strategy and was then selected by the client to continue with the program management of the UK contactless card rollout.



Our Approach

Our Consultant worked with the client’s UK Products and Technologies teams to develop a rollout strategy that maximized market optimization opportunities whilst efficiently managing costs. At the time contactless payments were emerging and not mature so Merchant Acceptance was a contributing factor to the rollout strategy, along with product types, geography, card expiry and consumer demand. An additional challenge was the need to remain with the existing card personalisation vendor who at the time could not meet the client’s need for a DDA-capable dual interface card, so our Consultant created the first-ever two-vendor card production model in Financial Services.

Our Consultant then leads the technologies, operations and marketing teams to deploy dual interface cards to all qualifying customers for each of the participating product types



Our Clients Results

The contactless capability was implemented to time under budget and seen as the flagship example of deploying EVM cards with the increased authentication method DDA, and has been replicated as a “Best Practice” in many markets since. Consulting Smart Ltd has secured several subsequent assignments with the client and is now considered a Trusted Provider.




Skills & Experience Used

  • · Strategic analysis
  • · Commercial awareness
  • · Stakeholder Management
  • · Thought leadership
  • · Intelligence gathering
  • · Industry expertise
  • · Program Management
  • · Requirements Gathering
  • · Vendor Management


“We engaged with Consulting Smart Ltd for almost 3 years at the American Express European Operations Head Quarters in Brighton during a period of significant expansion of the Card portfolio by moving into the Credit Card market thus attracting a younger demographic.

Consulting Smart’s role was to deliver the first stand-alone UK specific Credit Card (UK Blue) from business requirements gathering through to implementation. Timeframes were aggressive and expectations were high. Consulting Smarts Ltd, with their deep knowledge of the payment cards industry, brought a fun, hard working, professional and rigor. This resulted in superb handling of key stakeholder expectations and delivery of the “UK Blue Card” a product that outperformed all management and consumer expectations in the first 12 months and continues to be an important product for American Express. I would welcome the opportunity to work with Steve and the guys at Consulting Smart Ltd in the future.”



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