A billing system for Brunei government by Card Access Services

The Challenge

Card Access Services (CAS) has provided payment gateway and billing processing services to Australian and international businesses for more than 30 years.

The CAS payment system is available by SaaS model, and also for large businesses as licensed software, with customized modules designed for the client’s environment.

In 2012 the Brunei government engaged CAS to design and build a Treasury system so that cleared funds from its utilities departments would accurately be accrued.

In 2019 the Brunei government commissioned CAS to create One Common Billing System (OCBS) to automate a paperless e-billing and e-collections service to feed into their Treasury and the individual departments.

In the beginning of 2019, the CAS team started working on a project for the Brunei government. The customer had no clear idea of the final product, so the team started to work without formal functional requirements. It was obvious that the system should provide a lot of core functionality beyond actual payment processing. For example, initial requirements included security management, reporting, external API and so on. This already implied a lot of work, and the timeframe was very tight.

What is more, the system definitely required a user-friendly web interface, which could be created in a timely and efficient manner.

Building a User Interface (UI) from scratch with legacy products would take too much time. The CAS team searched for a development environment that provided out-of-the-box features for building UIs with in-built security and compatibility with previous database structures. During their research CAS found the CUBA Platform.

Solution

CUBA appeared to be a perfect fit for the project. First of all, CUBA covered most of the core system requirements: security management, reporting, REST API and others. With all these features the team could focus on solving business problems, instead of spending months on creating every single service from scratch.

  • Due to the uncertain requirements on the initial stages of the project, the data model had been changing very frequently. Moreover, the team had minimal experience with fast-tracked web UI development. CUBA was tested and compared with other UI environments and discovered – the efficient visual tools for data model design - they allowed CAS developers to rapidly build rich and functional user interfaces and to maintain high development speed. Thanks to these visual tools, the team completed the UI development and delivered it in a record time.

Results

The project was launched in February 2020. It was a real break-through for the Brunei government’s electronic billing & payments for the public.

The system includes a web-portal allowing people to pay bills and a point-of-sale application connected with the back-end core for attended front-counter payments.

CAS is converting the whole country’s payment system into electronic transactions making it possible to pay for electricity, water, registration, license, art gallery tickets and many other things online.

Due to the truly rapid development process CAS was flexible enough to adjust to the changing requirements for the system. The team created and got together initial prototypes very fast and had time to reconsider the requirements. The delivered product not only made payments easier for the citizens, but also helped to reduce financial losses and avoid the necessity of huge debt recovery efforts. The product delivered to the Brunei government will probably be promoted to other markets and countries as well.