For banks and FIs ready to upgrade their payments platforms to maintain pace with customer demand, it can appear that ‘rip and replace’ is the only option.
Of course, full system replacement has its benefits; an ‘off the shelf’ solution will typically be better supported, better suited to future innovation and easier to implement as a result of standardised processes and training – but it’s not the only available route.
Is doing nothing an option? Yes, but it’s expensive. Total cost of ownership is already high – and it will rise as support costs continue to increase and the specialist skills needed to keep these legacy payments systems functioning become scarce.
Enhancing your payments technology – the benefits and pitfalls
The main benefit of course, is cost. Short-term, capex spend on enhancement, rather than replacement, is lower. Of course, over time, as more of the system is replaced, the costs will stack up, but a staged approach will help to spread investment over time.
Lowering the risks associated with a wholesale switchover is another factor – albeit an unfounded concern if choosing an appropriate, proven platform, stepping into the unknown with wholly new technology can feel like open heart surgery. Taking things a step at a time and introducing new, enhanced services one-by-one can help to calm the nerves of the risk-averse.
The final benefit is time – though the most intuitive new payments platforms can be deployed within just weeks, under an enhancement strategy, individual new applications can be implemented swiftly, meaning a payments system can be more competitive in an even shorter timescale.
So far, so good. But it’s important to note that despite enhancement being a highly credible and cost effective option should wholesale replacement be out of the question, success depends entirely on the quality of implementation.
Just as maintaining a legacy platform can be challenging if the skills to support it are unavailable, so too can an enhancement strategy create problems if it isn’t handled by experts. If enhancement is your chosen route, it’s critical that your chosen vendor has a proven record of similar projects and years of experience in upgrading complex legacy architecture.
With the right expertise, legacy technology can continue to be maintained and supported, as newer, more innovative applications are added. ‘Evolution’, in the right hands, can be a streamlined, secure process.
Is your payments technology suitable for enhancement?
The key to determining whether enhancement or replacement is the best option for you is to assess the value remaining in your legacy technology.
Ask these questions:
- Will your payments platform continue to deliver genuine ROI?
- Is it flexible enough to continue to compete, while remaining affordable?
- Will the skills be there to continue to maintain it long term?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, you may be better advised to consider replacement.
If you are thinking about upgrading your digital payments technology, read the latest guide from BPC first.
In ‘Evolution or Revolution? Choosing the right path for your legacy payments solution’ we bring clarity to the options around systems replacement. With checklists, a detailed cost/ benefits analysis of enhancement vs replacement and suggested roadmaps for implementation, it’s a comprehensive handbook for anyone who has made the decision to migrate from their legacy technology.