The learning path is one of increasing complexity, with building blocks to construct the ISO 8583 knowledge, and practical exercises and quizzes to keep students engaged. The complete course contains 22 practical exercises for the guided parsing and analysis of many messages.
The ISO8583 Module 1 course starts with the big picture: the non-technical, high-level information. Then students start their journey into the technical aspects of ISO 8583 with an overview of how messages are structured, followed by a course on Message Type Identifiers and explanations on transaction flows.
The module finishes with a high-level view of how EMV and contactless transactions work, as well as how online PIN is processed.
The ISO8583 Module 2 course starts with by some technical fundamentals; this is to ensure that students have a solid IT base for ISO 8583, and is supplemented with practical exercises.
The module then covers bitmaps and length and format indicators. Those courses are supplemented with practical exercises so that students can apply those concepts.
The journey continues with an in-depth review of all the ISO 8583 data elements, looking at the 1987 and 1993 norms and at how they are used in practice in the industry. This is also supplemented with practical exercises, to help students grasp how those data elements are structured. The capstone of this review is a course on message parsing, where students learn how to extract information from a raw ISO 8583 message, and perform parsing themselves. And the in-depth journey on ISO 8583 finishes with explanations on data element presence in messages.
The ISO8583 Module 3 course zooms out of the low-level structure of ISO 8583, and teaches students how to perform analyses of individual messages, starting with network management messages, really focusing on authorization request messages, and also looking at authorization advice, financial messages, and reversals. Practical exercises with many different transaction samples are provided to help the student construct real experience on message analysis.
The course then zooms out once more, and looks at the transactions from end to end. It follows ISO 8583 messages as they are generated by a payment terminal all the way to their authorization by a card issuer, going through the different message conversion processes, where the student can see the data elements that are converted, removed and added as the message is processed by each actor of the payment chain and potentially changes version of ISO 8583. Magstripe and contactless magstripe are covered.
The ISO8583 Module 4 course looks at contact EMV and contactless EMV transactions from end to end. It follows ISO 8583 messages as they are generated by a payment terminal all the way to their authorization by a card issuer, going through the different message conversion processes, where the student can see the data elements that are converted, removed and added as the message is processed by each actor of the payment chain and potentially changes version of ISO 8583.
The course then focuses on online PIN, where the student can see the hidden complexity that surrounds online PIN, follow a full end-to-end online PIN transaction with the different HSM calls, and learn how dynamic key exchange is handled by the different systems.
The course concludes on the difference between brand compliance and certification, how they work and what is expected by the brands.