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Why organizations are not developing payment acceptance in-house

Historically, integrating payments in a POS system was relatively easy. The basic requirements were to read a payment card’s magnetic stripe, format a message and send it to the processor. The required level of expertise was relatively limited. Many retailers and VARs were coding this functionality themselves in their POS systems. The payment logic was simple and almost never changed.
This was before. Now, the world has changed. Today, processors, retailers and VARs, including large organizations with deep-pockets, rely on a payment middleware from EMV experts such as ACCEO Tender Retail to implement the payment logic at the point-of-sale. Why?

The accelerated evolution

The situation described above does not exist anymore. The last 10 years have seen the acceleration of the changes in the payment industry:

  • New core payment technologies and innovations are deployed on a regular basis: EMV chip-cards, contactless payments, e-wallets, mobile payments, etc.
  • The payment networks are constantly developing new payment methods, new standards and best practices. Security standards are also evolving and merchants must make sure their payment acceptance solution is up-to-date and secure.
  • New payment devices (card readers, PIN pads, signature capture devices, etc.) are also regularly introduced by the manufacturers.

Merchants need to be able to adapt rapidly. There is a constant pressure on the development teams to keep up with the latest innovations and regulatory mandates. A payment solution is never done: maintenance costs are constant and significant.

With thousands of merchants in wide variety of verticals, and over 25 years of evolution, the ACCEO Tender Retail solution already supports a very broad range of functionality. New features are constantly added as they appear in the market. This ensures merchants and partners that our solution is always at the forefront of the latest advances affecting the payment industry.

The cost of compliance

While in the past, some connectivity tests with a processor were sufficient before going live in production, today’s compliance obligations require systematic and rigorous testing.

Because of the complexity of the EMV chip-cards and contactless technologies, card networks now require a formal certification process to be followed. Those tests are performed in addition to the traditional processor certification and are required after any change is made to the payment application, e.g. new card reader or PIN pad, change of processor, new payment method, etc.

Payment applications also need to comply with PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) requirements. For solution providers, the standard is called PA-DSS, and covers areas such as software architecture and development process. Each payment solution must be subjected to a formal certification process.

Responding to the compliance challenge requires a level of expertise and a rigorous development process that organizations will try to avoid as much as possible, especially when this is not part of their core business.

ACCEO Tender Retail solutions are certified for PA-DSS. When required, we go through all required certification tests with any one of the numerous processors supported. This includes not only the processors’ own requirements, but also the payment networks’ EMV, contactless and other requirements.

The freedom of choice

When a retailer decides to make some changes related to payment acceptance – e.g. introduce a gift card, select a new processor, start accepting EMV and contactless cards – he or she always does so for financial reasons. The business case for such a change would not make sense if it was to require long and costly software development projects, and significantly impact the retailer’s POS infrastructure.

ACCEO empowers retailers with a freedom of choice, by simplifying the implementation of such changes. Obviously, those changes will still have some operational impacts for the retailer, but from a technological point of view, they will essentially involve configuration changes or middleware software updates.

ACCEO Tender Retail already support all major US and Canadian processors, payment methods and payment devices. ACCEO Tender Retail’s remote management module also simplifies the centralized configuration management and software updates.

Conclusion

ACCEO Tender Retail’s partners, who have taken the time to explore the business case for building an in-house payment solution that addresses EMV, have all come to the same conclusion:

  • This is a complex, costly and time consuming undertaking.
  • With a feature-rich and robust solution such as ACCEO Tender Retail, why re-invent the wheel?
  • An in-house solution can never be as complete in terms of flexibility and functionality. This stems from the rich and continuous market information that is derived from ACCEO Tender Retail’s industry leading partner network.

So as a final word of caution: Before embarking on a project that will consume enormous resources and have a profound impact on your organization, we encourage you to speak to the payment experts at ACCEO for the proper guidance. This will ensure you make an informed decision that will create the highest value for your organization.

Article written by Joey Vaccaro, Vice President Business Development and Strategic Alliances, ACCEO Solutions

 

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