Traditionally, retailers and service providers have managed their own payment systems, accepting the associated resource and skills headaches as part of the territory. However, in-house management of payment switches is not always the best or most profitable route, as they cannot be assured of optimal system performance.
While payment gateways keep retailers and banks in business, they are often not managed in a way that delivers optimal performance. When managed in-house, the system tends to be managed reactively rather than proactively and is heavily reliant on a limited pool of skilled resources.
These are specialist skills and they are in desperately short supply. When companies manage their own payment gateways, they often have only a small team doing so, and if somebody resigns, there could be a three to six month hiatus before they have a sufficiently skilled resource in place again. Plus, with limited resources, it becomes difficult to deliver 24/7 support.
Another problem associated with the staff skills shortage is that a great deal of the team’s time is focused on managing the system reactively and thus these staff are not proactively analysing trends in order to reduce the risk of down time or resolve recurring problems.
Down time is something everybody tries to avoid, but it happens. If a system cannot be restored immediately, a company is unable to process transactions and loses money. For a large retail chain processing in the region of 30 transactions a second, any downtime is a significant amount of revenue lost.
Outsourcing switch management to payment solution experts allows companies to focus on their core business, and ensure that the professionals handle the payment switch management.
Managed service outsourcing is a growing trend across many industries for good reason. It not only gives businesses access to a broad range of expert skills but an entire solution of unique industry specific processes; intellectual property and, proprietary tools; 24/7 support and assurance of performance.
This kind of company needs the services of a broad range of technical, regulatory and financial experts to deliver a wide range of switch management services, support and monitoring to partners. This allows them to ensure optimal performance of their systems by managing them proactively and intelligently and providing the interpretation of system events back to the business while taking care of the everyday issues in the environment.
Proactive management demands on-going monitoring and evaluation, to assess payment trends and prevent potential problems before they occur. System audits can also be provided to determine whether they are sufficiently stable and future proof.
The biggest benefits of outsourcing switching management are continuity, proactive management; growth management with intelligent feedback to the business, and that local companies have deep insights into the local needs and environment. A growing number of companies are looking to benefit from outsourced switch management in South Africa.