Choosing the right payment orchestration platform is not for the faint of heart. And no wonder: switching from a payment platform is often quite painstaking due to the enormous amount of data processed and stored inside the software making the move almost
impossible (or at least extremely expensive and time-consuming). Thus, it's crucial to choose it right the first time.
So, how do you choose a payment platform with the vast variety of tools available right now? By taking your time, checking out the case studies, consulting with the payment experts, and studying both local and international requirements your business has
to comply with.
In this article, we'll do all four. We'll help you clearly see what software among those on your radar is the best fit for you if you want to launch a PSP, for instance, in Saudi Arabia and walk you step by step from choosing the software provider to deploying
Choosing and deploying a cloud-based payment orchestration platform
- Gathering data to better understand the local context.
Before even choosing a payment software provider, you need to gather all the data to understand the customers' expectations, requirements of the financial authorities in your region, and the local financial landscape. These answers will help you better structure
your expectations for the potential provider.
- Customer expectations: Understanding their financial habits.
If you follow our advice, you’re likely find out that 58 percent of Middle Eastern
consumers prefer digital payment methods with only 10 percent choosing cash. Moreover, a steady flow of new payment players in the
region showed that this trend will grow even further in the foreseeable future. Add to it the growing trust and strengthening loyalty of an average consumer to local fintech and tech companies - and you're getting a close-in look at your customer's expectations.
Gathering this information is vital as it helps you collect all the payment methods and preferences your target audience has - and then offer them exactly what they want and even more.
- Local regulations.
Legal requirements are the single most dreadful issue every payment service provider-to-be faces. We recommend consulting with a local legal professional not to miss anything in this regard as failure to comply with local requirements can cost you your business.
The legal landscape in the Middle East is quite unique meaning that anyone willing to become a payment service provider in Saudi Arabia has to comply with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) regulations requiring payment service providers to host the
payment processing information on servers within the country.
SAMA doesn't limit your choice to local providers only but they do complicate your search. Deploying a payments orchestration platform on servers within a country calls for cloud-based infrastructure and a customized payment solution which can be both hard
to find and expensive.
- Choosing a provider.
While to become a payment service provider in Saudi Arabia, you have to deploy the software on local servers, you should know that the choice of providers deploying payment software on clients' servers isn't that big. Why? Because it’s a pretty big project
to tackle, hence not many service providers offer this type of setup.
With this being said, we want to point out that even so, there are a few options to choose from. Some of them are industry giants, hence they’re a lot more expensive, while others are smaller yet just as experienced and effective and, most importantly, more
affordable. Consider your options, shop around, even attend an open Demo if they offer one and make an informed decision.
- Setting up the payment system.
If you think that since the provider's chosen, the rest will be just a piece of cake, hold your horses. Setting up payment software on dedicated servers is quite time-consuming. If you're searching for a solution that would allow you to set up and get going
fast, this might be a problem.
The good news is that smaller service providers might be willing to cook up a customizable solution for you. Unfortunately, the bigger players won't have that flexibility to meet you halfway.
So, if you want to start working right away, consider talking to the PSP of your choice and ask them to provider a custom-made solution for the time being. With it, you’ll be able to obtain the SAMA certification by starting working on the SaaS version of the
platform using a hosting server and further transition to an on-premise setup.
If your service provider agrees to this setup, it’s time to start looking at different deployment solutions.
- Choosing a deployment solution.
Now, you have to make a tough expert decision. You have to either choose a server provider or consider a cloud-based infrastructure.
Our advice: always consult with a payment and a tech professional when deciding on this. Here are two things you need to remember when in doubt:
- Going with the cloud infrastructure might be considered riskier than choosing physical servers;
- However, it allows you to save a ton on server purchase, maintenance, and development.
An in-depth analysis of Saudi Arabian hosting servers and cloud providers we conducted made us realize that cloud infrastructure is often the way to go. Not only will it cut the cost of the development and maintenance by times but also make the software compliant
with our software.
Check with your payment service provider whether their payment solution can be installed in any cloud in terms of code and technical specifications.
Since there's no AWS available for the region, two following options can be considered: Alibaba Cloud and Oracle Cloud. Examine the technological features of the two as well as the quality of the clouds’ support, and compare their technical characteristics
- Deploying the payment system to the cloud infrastructure.
Say, you went with Oracle. Its infrastructure isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. It's rather a set of complementary cloud services needed to migrate, build, and run an IT system.
However, if it fits meets your business needs and the technical specifications of the system you want to deploy, here's how to go about it. If your payment service provider agreed to help you set up a temporary access to their SaaS payment orchestration platform,
once you choose the server provider, they’ll have to swiftly migrate all the existing infrastructure to the cloud leaving this move invisible to the active customers.
Once moved, the infrastructure has to be:
- Tested for any technical issues to avoid customer disappointment;
- Brought up to PCI DSS standards - the highest standard of online payment security mandatory for those who want to run an uninterrupted payment business and keep their data 100% secure at all times;
- Fine-tuned to the specific needs of each business.
It’s your turn now
If you’re thinking of launching a payment system in Saudi Arabia, this guide will help you navigate through the specifics of the region and start a payment system step by step.