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A payment system checklist

Payment systems are complex and no two are the same, but if you’re thinking of upgrading or changing your payment system, there are five key areas to consider with your prospective platform.


Institutions need to be able to take control of their payment system themselves. Gone are the days of budgeting 10 years’ fees to keep paying the original vendor to make every single change that the system needs. They want end-user-controlled customisation and the ability to deploy new capabilities quickly.  

In addition, it is important to be able to drill into specific components and transactions quickly and easily. Real-time transaction data is increasingly important in this regard. Companies want business-specific, real-time insight into how their systems are running. 


A single payments hub is the future of payments, as companies realise they must move away from multiple systems for different channels, payment types or business units. Instead, payment hubs can provide a centralised processing service for multiple channels and payment types. While this is not yet a reality across the industry, the future will see converged applications across issuing and acquiring, and across payment types.


The payment system – or hub as we are increasingly seeing - should be easily modified to support new channels, payment instruments and contexts. Payment systems are operating in a dynamic environment and must be able to adapt to advances such as social payments and digital wallets. At the moment, however, social and mobile commerce payments, such as online gaming, are often only supported by banks and processes through the card networks. Similarly, support is required for accepting and processing payments from a digital wallet. Although this is best supported through a current account, back-end card and merchant management should be able to handle authorisation, clearing and settlement outside of the traditional payment network.


Customers need to have a solution that can be scaled up to match growing demand. In this regard, payment systems need the agility, efficiency and transparency to adapt as business requirements dramatically increase. Today it can cost a significant amount for banks to cope with growing demand. In simple terms, customers need to be able to double capacity without doubling their spending.  

Fraud prevention

Fraud prevention (which includes security) is perhaps the most important aspect of a payment system. Payment fraud costs businesses huge sums every year, even with the significant amounts that are already incurred in stopping criminals. This means becoming more 'context-aware' – being able to identify the complexity of the customer payment need, the technology being used and the location of the customer to deliver intelligent fraud detection.

Security also includes elements like PA-DSS – which all payment systems will have.


The process of selecting a new payment system is a long and complex one, but it is certainly worth the effort to ensure that the finished product will meet all the needs of the organisation, now and in the future.



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