Nowhere to hide

1 Sep 2019| 5 min read

How will banks react when their payments back office truly becomes their front office?


In the old world, payments processing was hidden behind multi-day / multi-hour payment cycles, tech puzzles and heavily manual processes. Batch overnight and next day processing were the norm.

Unfortunately the world has moved on, and at pace. The once hidden backoffice is becoming more and more visible to the extent that it is now front and centre.
In the new world customers have full visibility of exactly where their payments are - and how they’re behaving - at exactly the same time as their payment tech providers through their API.

As providers of critical payments infrastructure to regulated businesses who move money in real-time for thousands, if not millions of end customers, the performance of our platform is always top of mind. There’s no hiding and honestly, I think it’s liberating.
The importance of payments tech, its stability, its availability, its capability and its ability to change and adapt at pace is only increasing, and rapidly.

Because there’s no time spent trying to hide, it’s all about getting it right as often as possible and showing customers the reality. Being ahead of them wherever possible, being ready to highlight issues and work together - with partners, customers, schemes - whoever it takes to fix issues and move forwards.

It’s about investing the time – first time – to develop the product in its fully releasable form. It’s about high levels of service management, ongoing operational support as an integral part of that product delivery and definitely not viewing these areas of service as an afterthought owned by some anonymous “operations team”.

It’s about understanding that just because it’s not broken, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be fixed.

It’s about technology as intelligence. Using your understanding of your technology and your platform’s behaviour to know when something just might be broken or under strain.

It’s about combining a tech first approach with a ridiculous understanding and expectation of how the product should work. And catching it, investigating it and fixing the product when it doesn’t.

It’s about continually evolving what’s interesting or concerning as your products, your customers and your platform grows.

But most fundamentally of all it’s about your people – the team of customer operations, incident managers and devops engineers - who are vested enough in who you are as an organisation, your product, your customers and what it is you’re trying to achieve that they’ll take Saturday afternoon interruptions and middle of the night Wednesday wakeups in their stride and sign up to do it all again the next day (after a few well deserved hours of sleep of course).

Gone are the days of selling unfounded promises and a pretence of stability and reliability. In today’s connected and transparent payments world it’s all about demonstrating your stats and realising that there is no place to hide – and that feels really good!


Eimear O'Connor Chief Operating Officer @ Form3 Eimear leads operations and project delivery at Form3. She joined from Barclays where she was Retail and Commercial Director for Pingit.

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