Theres no doubt that the payment industry has gone through significant changes over the last few years. The implementation of stringent federal regulations presents a number of challenges for payment processors. And with increasing instances of frauds and disputes, merchants and customers alike are expecting payment service providers to ramp up in terms of security measures, yet still make transacting easy for them.
Its not a surprise, then, that payment service providers are striving for greater efficiencies, increased automation and robust fraud-control measures. Yet the complexity of the new regulatory environment, coupled with the roller coaster ride of the market, means that quick-fix strategies arent the answer. Instead, savvy payment service providers are looking to drive business transformation initiatives.
Clearly, the concept of transformation isnt an idea to be taken lightly, especially in the banking and payments business. Transformational initiatives require time-tested expertise and specialized focus. Thats why many payment providers are seeking outside help, often by partnering with a reliable Business Process Management outsourcing (BPM) vendor.
While there are many BPM vendors, choosing the right one to partner with calls for some careful thought.
Often, payment providers tend to look at the larger, more established BPM houses. However, unless a payment provider is driving huge volumes, they end up receiving very little management attention from the larger vendors. Getting urgent needs or issues addressed becomes an ongoing challenge, and changing to another vendor involves enormous cost and effort.
When selecting a BPM vendor, its important to identify a true partner, not simply a vendor. A true partner is one that is lean, eager to engage, and has the right attitude, meaning they will work hard to ensure that your company achieves success with transformational initiatives.
Key qualities to look for in a BPM include the ability to analyse business operations and advise on the optimal path to meet business goals. The BPM partner should have clearly laid out processes and tools to understand and analyse key business metrics, technology, platforms and infrastructure. They should also be able to conduct a detailed operational analysis, including organizational structure, functions, processes and regulatory requirements.
A good BPM partner will perform a review of efficiency and effectiveness measures of process performance, and use industry benchmarking to help identify the gaps that need to be managed. The partner should be able to define current process challenges and identify existing initiatives in place to address them.
Importantly, a good BPM partner should be able to prioritize actions based on highest impact and the investment required.
The partner should also have the competency to design solutions and define a detailed implementation plan. Based on the detailed understanding of priorities and current status, a BPM partner should be able to recommend an optimal mix of technology, process and outsourcing initiatives. It is critical that the BPM plans according to their customers organizational culture, and personalizes the engagement model so that they meet the exact customer requirements.
A good BPM partner will define a detailed solution for prioritized areas, using a phased-in approach that balances benefit and risk.
During the solution design and implementation, the partner should be able to define key process improvement metrics as a part of the implementation plan.
A partner should also have the capability to implement the solution with zero surprises. After defining the implementation plan, the BPM partner should be able to execute it with zero surprises to the client. While doing so, the partner should focus on process excellence and improvement.
During the course of the engagement, there should be a very strong governance, communication and escalation framework, along with a strong accountability and a metrics-driven culture. The partner management team needs to be accessible and visibly active during the course of the implementation--a key component to ensuring the success of the initiative.
Clearly, identifying the right BPM partner requires thought and research. Choosing the correct partner can make all the difference in truly driving transformation at your business.
Ramachandran Ariyur is a Pune, India-based senior vice president and head of sales and marketing at SLK Global.