The winners in the payment industry will be…
Who will be the leaders in the payment industry at the end of 2023? Would you be confident in making a prediction? Will a new fintech be able to outperform the banks and reduce reliance on the banking industry?
It’s a question difficult to answer precisely. There are so many new players entering the payment industry that identifying the winners and losers is as risky as betting on the horses. You’ll maybe have some success but never enough to be totally assured.
However, what’s more interesting is to examine the culture and ingredients of success. What will companies need either to defend themselves against new competition or to disrupt the industry and capture market share? On this subject we can be more certain, and we have some clear views on what the winners will look like.
How the winners will operate
At Renovite, we have been speaking with technologists around the world, and have gained a detailed understanding of the problems they face. This has helped us to build a system which overcomes many of the challenges faced by innovators developing new propositions. And it’s the rapid development of new propositions which we believe will separate the industry’s winners and strugglers.
Why is that? At present, agile organisations are able to develop highly refined offerings which appeal to specific segments in the market. This means they can develop partnerships and offers, move into a market for a fixed amount of time if required, and then switch the offer off.
For example, we know some organisations that are targeting next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing. This will have a once-in-a-generation impact on transaction volumes for that particular city. These organisations are looking to launch a new service, partnering with a sponsor. If this is to be developed on legacy technology, it might require a massive system change involving considerable cost and risk. However, modern technology enables rapid innovation, testing and closure at much lower cost and risk levels.
Orchestration and regulation
This rapid innovation is made possible through orchestration. With this approach you define new the new service using incremental rules rather than in code, run it for a defined period, then finally delete the rules. You can take advantage of revenue opportunities more easily.
However, this is not just applicable to time-bound offers. Orchestration facilitates ‘Continuous Integration – Continuous Delivery’ - a method of building solutions based on Agile methodology. One of the problems for organisations managing payments with legacy technology is that they can’t adopt Agile methodology. This is particularly prevalent in the regulated world of payments where you must re-certify systems when the code changes.
One way around this is to embed business functionality in rules instead of code to implement services without triggering the need for certification. We have deliberately taken this approach of orchestration through rules to deliver this capability for accelerated deployment of new services. Certification windows are typically a significant milestone of any change project.
Orchestration and profitability
The benefits of orchestration are the same from a commercial perspective. Orchestration allows you to capitalise on new ideas quickly and beat the competition to new revenue streams. Instead of a planned software development project which could take many months, you launch new services by adding rules to an orchestration engine. This means you are first to market, can develop a new service more quickly and take advantage of opportunities, without risking your existing services by modifying the software.
Barriers preventing Agile processes and transaction orchestration
The barriers to changing banking technology are very familiar to us. People are used to their existing technology as it is reliable, scalable and doesn’t fall over. Proprietary hardware solutions mean that applications recover from failures, so you don’t lose any transactions. These are critical functions, and you have to be able to rely on them. These platforms and the legacy applications engineered to exploit themselves provide a level of comfort and familiarity to organisations.
However, we know from experience that the transition to cloud-based systems is not as complicated as may people fear. You can achieve the same levels of reliability, scalability and availability through cloud-native systems utilising containerisation. You obtain the same benefit as a fault tolerant platform or a mainframe but can exploit new business opportunities more easily.
If you want to learn more, we regularly run forums discussing the approach financial institutions are taking to improve their capability and competitive advantage. If you want to join us, then email me at email@example.com