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First Active

First Active was the largest Building Society in Ireland until it de-mutualised in October 1998 to become a bank.
With assets under management of €8.3 billion and a total of €5.7 billion in customer loans and advances, First Active serves it customers through a network of 53 branches throughout Ireland.
In addition, First Active provides secured and unsecured personal loans and also a wide range of insurance and assurance products.
First Active is now a member of the Royal Bank of Scotland group.

"netvoyager has demonstrated the ability to develop quality software, which exceeds requirements, on
time and within budget. I would recommend netvoyager to any company looking for an excellent
development team to work with.”

Brian Hallahan, Project Manager
First Active
Reducing Costs while Maintaining Competitive Edge

First Active was in the process of implementing a strategic objective to convert to “cashless” branches. The goal was to divert low-value transactions away from the costly branch channel allowing staff to focus on revenue enhancing activities. At the same time, it was launching an innovative new mortgage product for which marketing had identified that the target demographic would demand an Internet service.

Product Launch Date Required Rapid Delivery

The launch date for the Current Account Mortgage (CAM) product was February 2003. In October 2002, netvoyager proposed an aggressive plan to deliver an Online offering for CAM in time for the product launch.Because of our ongoing relationship with First Active and the proven capability of our Internet platform in other customer implementations, in the delivery of the Branch channel First Active accepted the proposal. We began work in November 2002 and the system was live in February 2003.

An additional phase to deliver extended features was contracted and completed in Q4 2004.

Lower Cost of Ownership

Another compelling factor for First Active was that netvoyager could provide a secure Online offering whilst keeping down the cost of ownership. This was because netvoyager had already invested in the underlying technology required to support an online offering. Each customised solution is built upon a solid foundation that addresses core elements that in turn can influence the success of the solution.

Customer Flexibility

netvoyager Internet banking software differentiates itself by delivering flexible, sophisticated online functionality that addresses specific organisational needs and objectives. It is this agility of design combined with expert knowledge of the Internet banking arena that ensured higher levels of customer satisfaction across all stakeholders within First Active including IT, Marketing, Customer Services and Legal.

The comprehensive range of customer features delivered includes:


  • Consolidated account view across multiple customer numbers.
  • Support for varied account types e.g. current account, mortgage account, savings, etc.
  • Access to six-month transaction history with sophisticated search options including date range, transaction type and amount.
  • Easy access to help and terms and conditions.


  • Process internal and third party funds transfers.
  • Self-service addition of transfer and bill-pay mandates.
  • Schedule future-dated transfers and bill payments.


  • Protection for customers by applying a combination of transfer limits, including daily limits, product limits and transaction limits.
  • Secure PIN generation and maintenance.
  • Random security questions.
  • Full encryption of security information.
Cost-effective Administration

In addition to the functionality provided for First Active customers, netvoyager also provided an administration tool for Customer Service staff to securely manage the Online channel. It was important that First Active be able to provide a responsive service to the new channel cost effectively.

  • A configurable, web-based workflow process that verifies and enables registered users in the call centre.
  • Automatic generation of authorisation letters and printing of secure PIN mailers.
  • Full audit trail of user and administrator activity.
  • Enhanced user maintenance, including expired and invalid user management, PIN maintenance and purging of inactive users.
  • Adherence to corporate standards in terms of security and graphical look and feel.

Independently Verified Security

  • Security was a primary concern for First Active and they employed security consultants RITS, to verify the system before it was launched. The second phase was again verified, this time by ESPION, who are appointed by the RBS group.
  • RITS ensures ISO 17799/ BS 7799 compliance.
  • Automatic lock out of users and IP addresses after a specified number of failed log-ins.
  • Challenge/response user identification and authentication using system generated PIN.
  • Randomised challenge/response questions for added security e.g. mother’s maiden name.
  • Re-entry of security information for monetary transfers.
  • Implementation of SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), an industry standard encryption protocol.
  • Use of a tiered architecture allows business rules to be implemented on an internal application server rather than the web server thus protected behind the organisation firewall.
  • All messages between the web and application server are encrypted using an RC4 serial cipher.
Site last updated on March 20, 2008