Voice of the Industry

Has the time to change payment partner arrived?

Tuesday 28 April 2020 10:41 CET | Editor: Vlad Macovei | Voice of the industry

Catherine Tong, Partner at STRATGranat, and Rossini Zumwalt, Co-founding Partner at STRATGranat provide insights into how to make a difference, spot innovation and respond to pressure when dealing with a payment partner

Most of us have resigned from our job at some point in our lives. Making the right decision can be a very stressful process, but equally very rewarding. Something has triggered us to take this bold action – sometimes as a result of an external event, sometimes proactively to change the course of our career path, and it is certainly a normal aspect of modern life. Although we often strive for stability to minimise fear of the unknown, as soon as we have this, we get bored and in time we fall behind or get frustrated. 

So, before we even consider how we choose the right payment partner, it is worth thinking about why change should be considered in the first place and how each of us as individuals encourages or reacts to change. Below are three areas to consider: 

Make a difference 

As humans, at some level, we want to be noticed. This is not necessarily mean being on TV or the front page of a newspaper. It could be as simple as being involved in a local fundraising activity or helping a neighbour. Being recognised for doing something positive makes us feel good. 

Often when we take on a new role, we want to make our mark. We want our new boss to feel like they made the right decision. This may be sharing your knowledge and expertise to help the business make informed decisions, bringing new ideas and solutions to the table or helping drive stronger results. As different stakeholders will want different things, it is likely that your difference will take many forms. In business though, the decisions which get noticed and recognised are the ones which have a strong financial impact. 

On the flip side, when you are in a role for a while, you need to be more aware of getting too comfortable. In this situation, the world around you will be changing and you are in danger of becoming complacent or unaware of the opportunities that are out there. Which leads us on to…… 

Spot innovation 

Are you a trend-setter or a follower? Do you want to be leading the charge on the great new thing, or would you rather follow the lead of someone else and not put yourself at risk of making a mistake? It is also likely it will involve more than your perspective to determine which category applies to you. 

In either case, go out and seek new ideas or technology. If you find you rarely leave the office, how do you keep your knowledge up to date?

Love it or hate it, the cold call from a salesperson wanting to come and see you, if carefully vetted, can also help you gain this insight. Be broad-minded. Try not to assume that you know an outcome or how things work as innovation might just surprise you. Listen more than speak is a key asset here. 

Having sustained stability will mean missing out on new thoughts and ideas for the sake of keeping the status quo. Stability can itself bring risk as others strive to “do better”. 

Respond to pressure 

External forces will also influence your motivation for change. For example, in the workplace, pressure may come from your Executive team. They may be approached by a vendor or hear about a topic and have a view on how you should react. Using this to challenge your own knowledge is important, as well as having the tools in your armoury to bring your expert perspective. 

Remembering that pressure can also come from key metric performance is also key. Looking at numbers without having the context and benchmarking can be a dangerous approach to take, so being on top of your numbers and being able to tell the story behind them is a very important skill or change may be driven by a need that will not be satisfied. 

Consider as well, the pressure you may have to buy. In any aspect of life, the primary goal of a salesperson is to sell. A sale is more likely to happen if you have a good personal connection with that individual. This, in turn, could mean that the basis of your decision is the people you interact with, rather than the solution being offered.

Once you have decided that change is needed, consider the traps we can all fall into when making decisions – considering sunk costs, confirming evidence for your idea, inaccurate forecasting for example. Especially when evaluating different options, unconscious bias can scupper making the right choice. 

Ultimately, who knows whether any decision is the “right” decision. In addition, this will likely vary depending on the context you are considering it in, and true consensus, even alignment, is a bit of an enigma. Taking a broad perspective, knowing what problem you are trying to solve, and understanding the pros and cons under consideration are good starting points to ensure you ultimately help move onwards and upwards. 

In the payment world, some questions worth asking yourself are: 

• How long have we had our current suppliers? 

• What is the performance so far – good, bad or unknown? 

• What are their product and/or service strengths and weaknesses? 

• How do I start to learn and adapt to the latest industry trends? 

• Who are the new or innovating players in the marketplace? 

• How are these players different? 

• What are the industry benchmarks and how do I compare? 

Conducting and starting with this simple assessment will help set you on the right path to determine the next action for you. But what next? You should definitely connect with your payment peers, attend an industry network event, read this The Paypers` Guide, and if you’re still unsure, there’s always the option of an RFP. Whatever that might be – it must NOT be “status quo”.

This editorial is also featured in our Who's Who in Payments 2020 – Complete Overview of Key Payment Providers, a report presenting a comprehensive overview of the key solution providers in the payments space, as well as educational insights into the size of the market and the development of the payments ecosystem.

About Catherine Tong

With over 20 years’ experience, while at PwC, Tesco and Accertify, Catherine is now an independent fraud, risk and payment specialist with STRATGranat. Previous projects include complex fraud investigations, Global internal audit programs, and setting up and managing ecommerce fraud and payment teams. She has also served as a European Board member for the MRC and is currently an Ambassador for the European Women in Payments associations. 

About Rossini Zumwalt

Rossini defined payment and risk strategy, and led a global team in eCommerce and Treasury for over 20 years, at Symantec-Norton, Emergent Payments and now, sharing leading practices with merchants and solution providers as a co-founding partner at STRATGranat and sharing her experiences. She served as Global Board and European Board Chair for the MRC.

About STRATGranat

STRATGranat aims to be the Payment sector service company. It supports fast growing Payment sector companies with a very horizontal portfolio of 100 packaged services, Strategic, Operational or HR related. Its credibility is based on 25 experts with more than 15 years of experience in their fields, who have worked for 100 tier-1 companies. 


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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce