26 November 2014

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Neil Gray - SWIFT

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Payments strategies 2015-2020-2030

Payments systems visions, strategies, trends, pilots, forecasting, and planning for the short-, medium-, and far-term.

Yeah, another acronym KYV

31 March 2014  |  1307 views  |  0

We have all heard about KYC, Know Your Customer and KYB, Know your Bank but it’s emerging that, particularly in the Corporates world, KYV, Know Your Vendor is just as important. 

For Corporates, the process of selecting a reliable, honourable, and committed vendor partner who not only has an in-depth understanding of their requirements and their in-house IT environment, but is also able to deliver technology solutions that meet their needs, can sometimes prove to be a real challenge. Of course the clearer the Corporate is able to be in describing its IT set up and requirements, the easier it will be for the vendor-partner to respond to an RFP and questions, and the easier the corporate will generally find it to weed out the good, from the less good, and the bad.

Whilst there are clearly many examples of very strong, robust and successful Corporate/vendor relationships it seems that there are some valuable points that could usefully be taken intoconsideration when embarking on any vendor selection process.In the world of financial services technology, particularly in the payments technology sector, people buy from people.  We rely on our colleagues, peers, suppliers, vendors – so many people make the business world go round and when it comes to buying, we like to feel we know who we are buying from and in that way feel a little more assured that we can trust our decision to place critical business processes into the hands of another.

Reputation is paramount to sustained success and nothing tarnishes the reputation of a vendor faster than failure to deliver on a promise.

I have come across some interesting questions being asked by Corporates that would seem could be useful for anyone seeking the right vendor fit for their technology requirements.  See what you think…

Does the technology vendor invest appropriately in their own systems, technology, people, processes – what is their own level of research and development investment?  -- demonstrates a commitment to their business and their customers.

Does the vendor use their own technology for similar in-house functions?  -- demonstrates the product is highly regarded and fit for purpose.

If they have acquired other technologies/vendors do they integrate these new businesses and the associated technologies into a single, coherent business or is it a variety of individual entities operating “as you were” under the acquiring company name?  -- demonstrates a cohesive organisation structure and clearer lines of communication.

It’s one thing to advise others to invest in making their IT infrastructure “state-of-the-art” but how well placed is the vendor and can they advise from a position of strength in this regard? – demonstrates they live by their own advice.

Training and development for customers is necessary – how much training and development is invested by the vendor in their own people? – demonstrates a commitment to excellence.

Innovation – is it lip service and marketing hype or is the vendor actively engaged in industry initiatives that continue to push the boundaries and seek to understand how to maximise innovation for the benefit of their Corporate customers? – demonstrates forward thinking and openness to new ideas.

Financial strength and risk mitigation – is your vendor able to demonstrate that there is substance to their business not just one or two extremely capable people but that there is a depth of skills, experience and expertise.  Do they retain good people and have a core of loyal employees? – your business depends on the vendor’s products or solutions, so you will want to be sure this is not misplaced confidence and you are minimising your risk.

There is much talk of KYC – Know Your Customer, KYB – Know Your Bank but really it’s just as important that you KYV – Know Your Vendor!  

 

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Neil Gray

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Senior Manager Corporates Business EMEA

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SWIFT

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