Operational resilience has become a top priority in these unprecedented and uncertain times, especially for payments companies that face increasing pressures to meet changing customer expectations. Here’s how Google Cloud Platform can help organizations build a resilient organization.
The cloud is the bedrock of digital payment solutions and provides agility and resiliency into the core infrastructure. The pandemic has only hastened the ushering in of a greater shift to digital, including virtual work environments and other novel ways of doing business. It has shifted priorities for payments companies toward digital transformation and the modernization of infrastructure and applications, enabling organizations to adapt to the customized digital experiences customers expect and scale to meet demand.
Digital transformation also serves to support other high-priority initiatives that have been bumped to the surface as a result of the pandemic. The shift toward ecommerce and online payments has accelerated rapidly as people seek remote, touch-free ways to pay. The ability to provide digital and mobile payment services and solutions along with omnichannel experiences and support has made digital transformation an imperative.
Resilience via Business Continuity
Financial service providers are facing a reckoning as legacy systems and applications in the back and front office, along with supporting infrastructure, struggle to withstand the pressures that every business has faced in the wake of the pandemic. These unprecedented times have driven certain issues to the forefront, including how to manage a remote workforce and keep up with increasing demand on digital channels.
Many companies faced a trial by fire when it came to remote access at the onset of the pandemic when lockdowns forced teams to work remotely. The ability for the workforce to access data, applications, and networks from outside of the office raised security and data storage questions for organizations across the board.
The ability to reduce or eliminate manual processes also came into question as payments and other companies sought to digitize processes. Automation of highly repetitive and certain administrative tasks was also an important factor, though many organizations found that they were hamstrung by legacy systems and applications that bungled opportunities to streamline systems across the enterprise.
Business continuity has become paramount in these uncertain times, highlighting the importance of digital transformation. Not only does modernization help payments companies weather the storm, but it’s foundational to scaling, meeting new customer needs, and innovating.
Meeting Evolving Customer Expectations
Customer needs and expectations have shifted dramatically. It’s estimated that the pandemic accelerated the digitization of the payments industry by two to three years as droves of consumers moved to ecommerce and online channels. In addition to ecommerce and mcommerce continuing to eclipse brick-and-mortar retail, consumers are leaning into digital peer-to-peer (P2P) payment options when exchanging funds with friends and family. Mobile proximity payments also saw a large bump in 2020, with more major wallets adding more users and volume accelerating to $131.36 billion.
Customers view digital channels as the “new normal”, which means payments organizations must not only adapt to these evolving needs but also be preparing for whatever the “next normal” may be. At a minimum, this means the seamless delivery of omnichannel, personalized, secure, and convenient digital payment options.
The shift in the payments landscape has made the need for digital transformation immediate. Yet payments companies must also consider the total cost of ownership, resource constraints, and talent constraints when it comes to embarking on a digital transformation journey. In addition to business continuity, organizations are looking for agility, efficiency, resiliency, and the ability to continue serving customers — no matter what — as the cornerstone to these initiatives.
Google Cloud Platform for a Resilient Future
A well-executed migration to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) can enable payments companies to strengthen operational resilience in unique ways. GCP’s infrastructure and operating model provides the scale and robustness that boosts resilience and its products and support can help payments organizations manage operational risks. Specifically, GCP helps payments companies:
- Design cybersecurity from the ground up — organizations can secure the environments from the Google Cloud data analytics and Security Command while also leveraging encryption by default, the Titan security chip, and high-scale DOS defenses.
- Decouple employees and customers from physical premises — organizations can leverage Google Workspace for best-in-class workforce collaboration while also implementing zero-trust based remote access, removing the need for complex VPNs.
- Maintain substitutability, portability, and survivability — if, for any reason, third parties are unable to provide contracted services, organizations can use the open cloud to solve for these situations and achieve operational resilience.
Leveraging GCP helps payments organizations achieve operational resilience while also serving as the foundation for scaling and innovating. Operational resilience is critical in the financial services sector, and organizations are well-advised to make it a priority in 2021.