Navigating Payment Processor Transition
The City Of Winnipeg Case Study

Overview of the Client’s Organization

The City of Winnipeg is a major metropolitan center in Canada, responsible for a range of services including parking, permits, and other municipal services. These services utilize card-on-file and tokenization to facilitate business processes and maintain cardholder security and PCI compliance.

Parameters of the Issue

The City faced a substantial challenge when they decided to switch payment processors. This change required a rapid and secure migration of cardholder data across multiple departments, each with distinct Merchant IDs. The urgency of this transition was underscored by the need to maintain continuous service without compromising security.

Technical Description

The migration involved transferring data from several thousand cards-on-file from three original vaults to new ones, necessitating a complex mirroring process. The original payment processor provided the data in a proprietary flat-file format, whereas the new processor required API-based data input, creating a need for bespoke data mapping.

Or, to put it more in layman’s terms, the two payment processors operated on incompatible systems, requiring a specialized solution to translate and migrate data from one to the other seamlessly.

City of Winnipeg Datatel Case Study

Unidentified Hurdles by the Merchant

Several unforeseen complications arose during our consultation:

  • Incompatible processes between the two processors presented significant transfer inefficiencies.
  • The original processor’s unconventional file format posed a challenge for standard migration practices.
  • The City’s limited understanding of token migration processes required additional guidance.
  • The migration demanded a PCI Level 1 Service Provider, which the City was not equipped to handle internally.
  • The anticipated process duration with the destination processor was over six months.
  • There was a lack of clarity on the migration steps, requirements, and dependencies, as neither processor offered a detailed migration plan or project management support.

Recommendations and Actions

To address the challenges described above, Datatel’s approach involved:

  • Providing an end-to-end migration plan based on our experience.
  • Offering the City detailed guidance on interfacing with the originating payment processor, including what to expect in terms of process and timelines.
  • Coordinating with the destination payment processor to ensure a smooth and secure data transfer.
  • Utilizing ‘FinGear’, Datatel’s proprietary solution for rapid and secure token migration, to swiftly move the data once it was available from the originating processor.
  • Assisting the City with a data mapping blueprint, ensuring they were informed about the data they would receive and how to map it to the new system.
  • Completing the project in under 15 business days, significantly less than the typical timeline, due to our systematic and guided approach.

“The entire token

migration project

completed in

under four weeks

from its


Impacts and Results for the Client

The City of Winnipeg’s collaboration with Datatel resulted in a significant impact on its operations, particularly in the transition to a new payment processing system. By adopting Datatel’s recommended approach, the city experienced numerous benefits:

A dramatic reduction in both effort and time required for migration, with the entire token migration project completed in under four weeks from its initiation. This rapid execution was a notable departure from industry norms, where similar projects often span several months.

Minimized project risk through the employment of Datatel’s comprehensive solution, including the use of ‘FinGear. This allowed for the migration to be completed within hours after receiving the token extraction file, thereby enabling the City to maintain uninterrupted service delivery.

The ability to efficiently transition to the new payment processing partnership without any prolonged delays, leading to the prompt activation of their new system. This transition enabled the City to begin processing transactions through the new system much faster than anticipated, avoiding the typical delays and complexities often associated with such transitions.

The project provided flexibility to municipal resources by avoiding a lengthy migration project.

The City of Winnipeg quickly leveraged its new payment processing partnership, providing a smooth experience for its administration and citizens.


The success of this project is not only a testament to the technical prowess of Datatel’s solutions but also highlights our commitment to client empowerment. The City of Winnipeg was able to quickly capitalize on the benefits of their new payment processing relationship, ensuring a seamless experience for both the administration and the citizens it serves. This swift and efficient transition, facilitated by our comprehensive migration strategy, demonstrates Datatel’s ability to empower clients with efficient, risk-minimized solutions tailored to their specific needs.

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