March 12, 2019
Written by
James Davis
Written by James Davis
Senior Technical Writer at United Thinkers

Author of the Paylosophy blog, a veteran writer, and a stock analyst with extensive knowledge and experience in the financial services industry that allows me to cover the latest payment industry news, developments, and insights. Read more

Reviewed by
Kathrine Pensatori
Product Specialist at United Thinkers

Product specialist with more than 10 years of experience in the Payment Processing Industry. I help payment facilitators and PSPs solve their various payment processing issues. Read more

“The Better Foot Before”: a Key to Legacy System Replacement

Imagine, you’ve invited your friends home for dinner and decided to surprise them with some gourmet cooking masterpiece. However, at a certain point in the process of cooking, you realize that you’ve confused the sequence of ingredients from the recipe. Or you simply forgot to add something at the right time, and now it is already too late. So, you have to start all over again or just call the nearest catering service and ask them to bring whatever they have. The same is with legacy system replacement.

People and companies that decide to replace their legacy payment systems often find themselves in similar situations. Some forget about critically important things, others violate the sequence of steps, while many simply do not know what to start with.

Imagine an organization using a legacy system. The system has integrations with many banks and processors. A lot of merchant, transactions, and other data stores in the system. The rules, implemented in the system, are not always trivial. People, who designed them, might no longer be working with the company.  At the same time, it is obvious that people have to replace a system with a new one. So, the company needs an efficient way to migrate to a new solution.

Switching to a modern payment gateway

6 steps for successful legacy system replacement are as follows.

  • Prepare PCI compliant environment to install your software into.
  • Set up existing integrations with banks and processors.
  • Integrate software with front-end systems (POS systems, CRM systems, etc).
  • Optimize business processes to merchant life-cycle. These include onboarding, funding, reconciliation, settlement, reporting, chargeback handling, etc.
  • Develop clear strategies for data migration. The data includes merchant data, transaction data, tokens, recurring billing data, etc.
  • Get ready (i.e. compile all the documentation) for PCI audit. Preferably, you should record all the necessary procedures at the initial development phase.

These are just the general conceptual steps, of course. For each company, the “recipe” will be slightly different. As Shakespeare’s King John said, “…make haste; the better foot before…” Well, there is no particular need to “make haste” (unless you are really short of time). But “the better foot before”, is, definitely, the advice to follow, when you are planning to cook something special, repair your accommodation, or replace your legacy payment management system.

Useful articles to help you: