The pandemic has made clear the imperatives that payments companies face. We explore how Google Cloud can help organizations become faster, scale, and innovate.

In a year of constant disruption, with little stability or reliability, businesses can be forgiven for wanting to cling to outdated payments systems that functioned well enough to keep them afloat. Even with a “free pass”, it’s likely that there were several pairs of human hands bailing out the boat and covering for technical inefficiencies – and seeing performance dip in the process.

Simply put, reliance on legacy systems isn’t sustainable. Companies looking to thrive in the post-pandemic landscape need to have the payments tools to do so and increasingly that means embracing new technology. The trend toward digitization has been occurring for some time now, but 2020 saw a great escalation of this — both from a public and a corporate standpoint. 

A Data-Driven World

Between contactless checkout and omnichannel retail, consumers have come to expect digital payments. But growth in online transactions is creating too much data and operational burden for most old systems to bear. Even if a system can currently process this volume, it will likely struggle as the business grows.

Increasingly, payments teams are turning to cloud technology to alleviate some of the strain on their legacy systems and free up critical employee resources. Google Cloud, a leader in the space, is equipped to handle a vast amount of merchant acquisition through BigQuery, its serverless data warehouse. The platform is quickly becoming a favorite of the FinTech and payments market, as the cloud enables businesses to free themselves from on-premises software.

This is critical for businesses hoping to scale in 2021. Operational disruption last year revealed how important continuity is. This can be hard to guarantee with an on-site legacy system that wasn’t designed to handle the data demands of 2021, as well as staff who work remotely. With cloud software, payments teams gain access to a robust support solution that can run multiple programs at once, giving them the green light to expand without fear of outage; Google Cloud Platform reports 99.95% reliability in uptime.

Software that Supports Scaling and Security

Growth is a standard business metric, but it’s tied to the ability to work quickly and innovate even faster – something existing infrastructure tools can struggle to accommodate. When companies are forced to deploy manpower to make up for shortcomings in technology, they divert valuable resources away from critical decision-making and ideation.

By implementing the support of a cloud solution like Google Cloud, companies relieve the need for extra employee cover. High-performance computing can calculate and simulate risk at scale, in real-time, or on-demand, using AI technology to train data models within hours not weeks. Meanwhile, teams can focus on establishing additional value for their customers and responding to these newly identified trends in the marketplace. Businesses are freed to become proactive in their strategy instead of reactive to problems.

Payments teams can apply this same approach to security. While all companies will likely have a system in place, individual security updates across multiple technologies can disrupt workflows; without them, there is an increased risk of breach. With Google Cloud, there is a guarantee of certification against the most rigorous global security and privacy standards, from ISO/IEC 27001 to Japan FISC and PCI DSS.

The Cloud’s Recipe for Success

Going above and beyond is something that Google Cloud aims to provide across multiple areas, particularly in regards to data. Google Cloud works with businesses in more than 150 countries, meaning that its analytics solutions have been honed on a considerable amount of data; payments companies can exchange and monetize historical and real-time market datasets, and leverage these analytics services for their own quantitative research.

When a company integrates with Google Cloud, it also gains access to its well-known suite of business products, such as Google Workspace, Google My Business, and Google Ads. This provides users with a unified platform from which to manage internal strategy; most legacy infrastructures require a series of solutions to be integrated separately. This encourages greater collaboration between units; one Cloud customer reported 80 hours of saved time for a single project, just through the use of these shared tools.

Investing in Your Financial Future

Payments companies today function as a gatekeeper between consumers and most paid-for services, which means there is considerable opportunity to create multiple successful customer experiences across industries. But this requires the bandwidth and support to innovate. The payments companies that will succeed in this new environment are the ones that will be willing – and capable – of responding to new consumer needs. Right now, that means bringing digitization to payments, likely through cloud support.

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