What is your attitude to change of accommodation? Are you OK with moving to a new place? Of course, everything depends on your particular situation. Living in a cozy little apartment or in a place where you grew up might feel comfortable for a time. However, at some point you realize that you need to move elsewhere. The place might be too small or too old. Or you need to move to another neighborhood, closer to where you work. You really cannot do much to improve these things. Unless you move to another place. And in such a situation the most plausible option might be, indeed, to step outside your comfort zone.
If you are a company that accepts electronic payments, you might face similar problems. Only your “accommodation” is the payment platform you rely on. In fact, a lot of already-established businesses are still using mainframe systems. They serve as comfort zones of a kind. But, at the same time, they have their limitations which start to show sooner or later. So the time comes when the best thing to do is to replace the presently used legacy payment platform with a modern one.
The task of legacy system replacement is strategically important. All the company’s operations are built around the presently used platform. All the data is stored in it. So, migration to the new solution should be as swift and smooth as possible.
Here are the key strategic steps to be taken when you finally decide to replace a legacy system.
- Prepare PCI compliant environment. Install your new payment management software into it. The rule applies to both hosted (cloud-based) and in-house solutions.
- Optimize processor integrations. Your legacy system is integrated with multiple processors. Now it is time to prioritize among these integrations. Will you need all of them after you move to the new solution? How many merchants use the services of this or that processor? What are the respective transaction volumes processed? It might turn out that some integrations have to be sunset.
- Optimize front-end system integrations. Your current payment gateway is, probably, integrated with multiple front-end systems. These include point-of-sale (POS), customer relationship management (CRM) and any systems that submit transactions to the platform. Just like with processors, you have to prioritize. If you decide to re-integrate some front-end to the new solution, you can follow one of the two conceptual options. Either you use the standards of the new system, or you develop an emulator of the old one.
- Analyze existing business processes. These are the processes associated with merchant life-cycle. They include on-boarding, underwriting, funding, reconciliation, settlement, chargeback handling, reporting, and others. You need to have a clear vision of how these processes are going to be handled in the new system.
- Migrate the data. This step is, probably, one of the most important ones. Just like we explained above, there are loads of data stored in your legacy system. These, primarily, include merchant data (MIDs etc) and transaction data. If your business is a subscription-based one, then you also need to store payment schedules and subscription plans. And as part of card data storage you, probably, need to store tokens. How are all these data going to be migrated to and stored in the new system? You need to find a clear answer to this question.
- Prepare for PCI audit. Yes, just like the first step, the last one is about PCI compliance. How exactly will migration to the new system influence your PCI status? The best thing to find out is to consult a PCI auditor or expert. And keep in mind: PCI standard updates are on the way!
Of course, these are just the basic conceptual steps. However, they are based on the experience of many companies that successfully replaced their legacy systems. Now they are enjoying the benefits and freedom of their respective new solutions.
If you are seriously considering the prospect of switching to the new solution, feel free to consult our experts at unipaygateway.com regarding your particular case. They already helped many businesses through the process.