November 6, 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

Migrating to a New Payment Processor

What does the word migration mean to you? Huns led by Attila or Mongols led by Genghis Khan sweeping through the continent? The exodus of the Jews from Egypt? American pioneers moving westwards? Are Mormons moving to Utah to escape persecution on religious grounds? Millions of people changing their homelands in search of a better life? Well, in the world of merchant services, migration to a new payment processor is a common thing.

Based on this, the process of migration, usually, involves several basic steps. However, the issue of migration is especially relevant for large-size merchants, payment facilitators, and payment service providers.

The 3 major reasons for migration to a new payment processor are as follows.

  • Your current processor is reluctant to lower your processing fees. Even if your processing volume has grown to a significant level. So, the right thing to do is try to partner with a new processor willing to offer better terms.
  • Your current processor relies on a legacy payment platform. The platform has its limitations. As a result, it cannot fulfill the new business needs of your company. It is incapable of supporting some particular functions you need so much. It simply lacks the necessary logic. So, you start looking for a new processing partner that can offer the functionality you need.
  • Payment processing companies decide to merge with or acquire other processors. Let’s say, your current processor becomes an initiator/subject of such merger/acquisition. In such a case, some additional effort might be required from you to harmonize your operations with the newly emerged processing partner.

Moreover, there are particular types of data and functions that you will definitely, need to migrate.

Here are 6 conceptual steps you might need to follow to migrate to the new payment processor smoothly.

  • Merchant data. These include MIDs, transaction settlement times, and other merchant-specific information. All your merchants should be moved to the new processor’s platform and configured. Some merchants might be reluctant to be moved. Well, in this case, you can use some emulators. Or terminate your relationships with these merchants. Or leave these merchants alone and still allow the current processor to handle their transactions. Everything depends on how important a particular merchant relationship is to you.
  • Operations related to merchant life-cycle. These include merchant on-boarding, balance reconciliation, transaction settlement, batch and real-time transaction processing, chargeback handling, reporting, and others. Each of these functions usually calls for some specific integration efforts.
  • Transaction data. In particular, transaction data storage is essential for reporting and statistical purposes. Based on these data, you can track your processing activity. And, more important, you can define processing patterns. These can provide the basis for future activity optimization. In this regard, we should mention the migration of BIN-files. These allow you to determine the types of cards your merchants accept most frequently. Also, using BIN files, you can reduce future transaction decline rates.
  • Recurring billing schedules. If you or your sub-merchants are involved in the subscription-based business, then this point is extremely important.
  • Account updater logic. This point is essential for (again) recurring billing and declined transaction recycling.
  • Tokens. Your PCI compliance status depends on your particular business arrangement. It third parties (processor, acquirer, payment gateway) handle all card data for you. Maybe you are lucky enough to stay completely out of PCI scope. But, if you do store credit card numbers, you have to use tokenization. So, in this case, migration of the tokens is an essential part of the data migration process.
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Switching to a new payment processor

Of course, these are just the basics. Your “journey” to the new payment processor might be a tiresome one. And instead of hoping for the Red Sea to only part before you, it is better to devise a clear migration strategy. Otherwise, you might get stuck somewhere along the way, like the pioneers in the Sierra Nevada.

Are you seriously considering the prospect of a migration to the new payment processor? Tell us your story; describe your situation to our payment experts at unipaygateway.com. They already helped many companies like yours to migrate to new processors smoothly and seamlessly. So, most probably, you will get the advice and help you need.

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