After Black Friday and it’s cousin -Cyber Monday, we can all agree that everything else is a blur till the end of the year. Don’t worry your Employers aren’t reading this :).
But for a lot of companies, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! ( insert Andy Williams lyrics somewhere). This is because in those few weeks, companies in the E-commerce ecosystem record their highest revenue for the year.
Companies are in the Ecommerce range from the manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, Malls, logistics companies and our focus for today — payment processing Companies. People find it easier to order, pay for and deliver gifts to loved ones way ahead of their family reunions because online payments has made this possible.
If you work with a company in this space, you’ll notice a few things at this time of the year:
- Increased Spending leading to a lot of transactions.
- Increased fraud attempts, fraud reports, and chargebacks.
- Increased Customer complaints and Support Tickets.
- Increased Server incidents due to overprocessing and capacity issues.
So how should Payment processors prep, to rake in as much as possible?
A. Capacity Sizing:
Online transactions need a lot of processing power because they need real-time responses. This has impact on your servers. If your business has grown during the year, then you can assume you’ll have more transactions this year end compared to the previous. You’ll need to check that you have enough space on your HDD/SSD. You’ll also need to check your server processor to see if the application counters are tuned properly. Don’t forget database administration as well- what needs to be archived, indexed or re-indexed.
B. Beef up your Support:
Another thing to be aware of is the increased support incidences; issues with Card payments, impatient customers making last minute decision on gifts or people generally trying to take advantage of the mouth-watering discounts. Here are some ideas
- Self-service – Customers should be able to figure out what is happening by themselves. Explore updating FAQs on your website, provide somewhere for customers to check status of payments after sometime and also consider using chat bots for support.
- Make it easy for your Support team to investigate transactions by without depending too much on Back-office Ops. This might involve providing read-only access to some Transaction status tables etc. A lot of times telling the customer what is wrong without necessarily resolving it goes a long way.
- Support Time-table: This one brings back a lot of memories for me. Please remember that your staff might have scheduled their vacation around this time. Draw a timetable to make sure someone is available, provide additional incentive if you have to. Communicate this to your partners to increase their confidence.
C. Check your Fraud Rules:
It goes without saying that fraud incidences will be on the increase. This is a time to crosscheck your rules. Have you added any new feature or product without updating the fraud rules to cover them? Also check your Card/Account limits for your products. Security and Ease of use are on different sides of the table in Payments, but a discussion with your risk team will help create a balance.
D. Check in with your Partners :
Sometimes your business depends on partners for some of these things outlined above. Check in with them and be up to date with their plans to support you during this period. Ensure you have numbers of staff you can reach if need be. Also ensure your hot or warm DR sites are available. We’ll prefer to quickly pray that no event will make us fail over to a DR site, but it is better to be ready than sorry.
If you’ve read this far, I trust you’ve found this useful. If you work in a Fintech company, I’ll like to hear how you prep for high-transaction periods in the comments. Take care and stay safe.