When it comes to payment solutions, there is no one size fits all remedy for businesses. Be it regulations, legacy architecture, varying product builds, or key objectives – a multitude of factors must be considered to ensure the technology deployed adds value for customers and businesses.

Core systems are, of course, key to the success of any organisation. Older legacy infrastructure needs to be phased out for businesses to reap the benefits of effective and smooth-running core systems. Ideally, new core systems will be built from scratch, but an integrated approach where firms use a mix of custom-built and subscription-based options can also be effective. 

While companies can manage certain elements in-house, they need to assess where outsourced support is needed, and plug the gaps with relevant external expertise. Identifying pressing challenges and working with the right technology partner to either build or buy the solutions required is essential for success. 

Southeast Asia’s digital economy is driving payment evolution

Making sense of priorities and options

Payment providers looking to deploy new and more impactful solutions, should start by clearly defining their end goals. Two common yet critical considerations when deciding what type of systems to buy or build are speed and business value. As organisations rationalise their infrastructure and processes accordingly, some may choose to incorporate technologies and products in a bespoke manner to fit their needs. 

By using customer data, firms can identify customer preferences and the gaps in service that need filling. This enables a very specific set of system requirements to be created, which can then be used to guide the development of new infrastructure.  If an organisation wanted to improve their real-time digital purchasing and billings processes, they could consult consumer data to work out which types of functions are preferred – for example, QR codes or bank transfers could be added to existing payment methods. 

On the other hand, there are also many ready-to-go solutions able to meet the needs of payments providers as customer demands continue to evolve. Various software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions or cloud-native platforms can  help with more efficient deployment and data integration across different business lines. 

While the latter may provide a quick and easy fix to the problems at hand, it seldom gives the control the providers get from customising use cases, creating new solutions around existing technology or even setting parameters for risk management. At the same time, companies who build their own solutions also get to retain their intellectual property, which can help them carve a competitive edge against other market players. Ultimately, the pros and cons of buying or building must be carefully weighed before a decision is made. 

Navigating the landscape 

APAC continues to lead the charge for digital payments, with 88% of consumers in the region having adopted technologies such as mobile wallets, QR codes, or other forms of digital payments during the past year. Organisations across the region have had to adapt accordingly, and it is paramount that they remain dynamic and continue to keep up with consumer preferences by offering alternative digital payment options. 

Organisations should also be aware of the cultural nuances between different countries and regions and how this impacts consumer behaviour. For example, Singaporean consumers do not frequently use e-wallets, preferring real-time payment solutions such as PayNow. On the flipside, e-wallets are very popular in countries like Indonesia. In order to scale effectively, payment providers that operate regionally need to provide flexible offerings that cater to the most popular types of digital payments in each of their markets. 

Finally, payment providers must also build adaptability into their product roadmaps to factor in any changes to the local regulatory or compliance landscapes – such agility will enable organisations to avoid payment disruption in the event of legislative changes. 

The best of both worlds 

With the rise of e-commerce and digital payments, organisations will need to deliver quick, flexible and scalable solutions in order to unlock a more seamless customer service, diversify revenue and stay on top of regulatory compliance. Payment systems now need to work effortlessly across multiple markets if organisations are to expand successfully. 

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for payment providers to stay ahead. Companies need to decide on how they will organise their infrastructure based on specific business needs and how they aim to value-add to customer experiences through differentiated payment options.

It is important that providers identify the strengths and weaknesses of their technology systems, analyse their capabilities, and decide how they can buy or build to be better. As they scale and require increasingly distinct and unique solutions, leaders must identify the right technology partners to work with, should additional support and expertise be required. Whether solutions are bought or built, providers need to leverage on the benefits of both where they see fit as consumer payment demands continue to shift.

This article titled “Buy vs. build: a payment provider’s path to resilient solutions” was authored by Adrian Bugaian, Delivery Partner, Endava.

About the author

Adrian has 15+ years of experience in the IT industry and started his career in the Banking space. He joined Endava in 2007, quickly moved to a managerial role, and then further up to the position of Delivery Partner for some of the biggest Payments companies in the fintech world. Since 2017, he has been working on providing innovative solutions for Trading and Exchange platforms in the Asian market, being a strong pillar for Endava’s expansion in the region. If Adrian were to summarise his life so far: made in the USSR, grown in Eastern Europe, matured in the Square Mile, inspired by Marina Bay.