Guest Post: Six Essentials for Keeping Payment Solutions Nimble
By Naganand Jagadeesh, Vice President, Payment and Loyalty Solutions, ThoughtFocus Inc
It seems clear that the payments world will be dominated, not necessarily by the biggest providers, but by the nimblest. Payments requirements expand so rapidly and often unexpectedly that providers can get left behind if they are too heavily entrenched in one strategy that falls out of favor, or if they brook delay by trying to custom-build their own solutions under their own brand. Nimbleness will best proceed from having rapid access to tools and capabilities that enable them to quickly adapt to emerging requirements.
In the coming months and years, these will be the table stakes in payment solutions most sought after:
- Point to point encryption (P2PE) – Every company dreads having confidential payment card information floating about their environment exposing customers to fraud or subjecting the company to myriad and complex regulatory obligations. High profile breaches like MICROS and Sabre Corp have dispelled any complacency about encryption. Companies look for PSPs that can provide complete abstraction of sensitive card data for their business applications.
- Mobile Software Development Kits (SDK) – Right now, most mobile payment solutions cannot be combined with other business applications, unless the business apps themselves handle the encrypted card data and post transactions to the payment platforms. So that means working with Hardware SDKs and PSP SDKs for a full integration, which is inefficient. It also means bringing a lot of PCI scope inhouse, thus exposing the enterprise to regulatory scrutiny and compliance concerns. What’s needed instead are pre-certified mobile SDKs that come with their own hardware support, can be plugged into any device, and can translate and post the transaction for processing and receive a response – all providing complete abstraction to the business app (and keeping a good lid on the PCI scope).
- Tokenization – An additional security measure, tokenization is especially critical for businesses that keep “card on file” for recurring payments or subscriptions and for ecommerce sites with customers who value the convenience of one-click checkout. Even so, switching payment platforms does put the merchant enterprise at a huge risk of re-tokenization with a new platform.
- Level 1, 2, and 3 Capability – It is not unusual for a company to have an online presence for consumers as well as major corporate accounts and other buyers in between. Any payment solution has to accommodate all levels of pricing and security, whether the barebones information Level 1 of a consumer card purchase, or the itemized invoice information of a Level 3 of many corporate/government payments.
- Smart Routing – It seems only logical that companies would want the opportunity to send transactions dynamically to multiple destinations – either because of customer preferences, financial considerations, or competitive considerations. So it is interesting that many very large companies have already built a large measure inflexibility into their processes – inflexibility that inhibits dynamic, smart routing – and are unwilling to change. Gateway companies that are equipped to provide smart routing will benefit as primary choices if they have the other essential ingredients of a broad-spectrum payment solution.
- Multi-Platform Compatibility – As companies take on a variety of workforce models and delivery models, it stands to reason that they will be less able to dictate highly conforming device usage. So their payment solutions will have to be flexible in that regard, too – fully compatible with all leading platforms IOS, Android, Window, and OSX. The SDKs and APIs designed by PSPs will also have to cater to cross platform compatibility.
About the Author
Naganand Jagadeesh serves as ThoughtFocus’ Vice President, Payment and Loyalty Solutions. He is based in Dallas, TX. With over twenty years of overall technical experience, Naganand is a technology strategist and proactive leader with the proven ability to build strong business relationships, manage international clients and distributed delivery teams, and create strategic roadmaps. Naganand holds a Bachelor’s of Engineering Degree in Electronics and Communications from the University of Mysore, India, and an Honors Diploma in Systems Management.
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