Coronavirus, business continuity and keeping your payments on track

As the threat around coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease continues to escalate in the UK, we continue to follow and monitor the official Government advice to ensure we’re doing all we can to protect both our staff and service delivery to our customers.

Along with Jonas Software centralised support service, we are following Government advice via the Department of Health & Social Care and Public Health England (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public)

Our statement sets out the business continuity measures we’re taking to manage the impact of the coronavirus and COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Frequently asked questions on the impact of coronavirus on business payments

 

We’re all having to adapt to new ways of living and working during this global crisis.  The unprecedented measures being introduced to contain the spread of coronavirus is affecting almost every business across the UK.  How might that impact your business continuity around payment processing?

Here are some commonly asked questions about coronavirus in relation to the paygate service and payment processing in general.

 

Is my paygate service affected by coronavirus?

Due to the nature of the services we provide for our customers, business continuity is built into the paygate solution.  That’s because it’s cloud-based and accessed via UK Tier 3 datacentres with high availability, data replication and rapid failover capability. The ability for our services to operate essentially without any manual intervention means there is low risk of operational disruption for our customers.

 

What about paygate staff?

We have always had the capability for our staff to work from home as part of our flexible working and family-friendly policies.  Right now, all our team is working from home in line with current official advice.

We are fully able to continue to provide the paygate service as usual and provide the normal high levels of customer service.  That includes carrying out disaster recovery services for our customers if required, giving you full peace of mind.

 

Do you have any staff in other affected countries?

No, all our services are provided, maintained and supported by our UK-based team.

 

What if my own staff are affected by the virus or working from home?

While the paygate cloud solution affords low risk of disruption to our customers’ ability to continue processing payments in the current situation, your ability to protect processing functions is at greater risk if you’re using an on-premise payment solution.

Unlike a cloud solution that is fully maintained by the provider, an on-premise solution puts more responsibility on you and your own company resources to keep the software up-to-date, secure and accessible.

 

What can I do to protect my payment procedures?

If you’re using on-premise processing software, there are several things you need to consider:

  • How will your staff access the paygate platform if they’re working away from the office
  • What about your process for signing, approving and submitting payments if your staff are working from home or off sick?
  • What if the smartcard holder is away, or is working from home and has left the smartcard and/or smartcard reader at the office?
  • Who looks after the server/infrastructure that hosts the on-premise solution in the absence of the IT team?

Of course, these factors apply to any disruption scenarios, not just the current coronavirus threat.

A cloud solution not only addresses these issues and reduces risk, it also allows you to enable a more automated – or even a completely lights-out – payment process.

A good place to start is to swap risk-prone smartcards with a cloud-based signing method; this not only increases process security but saves you time and simplifies your procedures.  It also provides the essential capability you need when you’re ready to introduce automated workflows for even greater efficiency.

 

What should I do now if I’m using an on-premise solution?

There may be specific reasons why your organisation has chosen to use an on-premise payment solution, whether that’s paygate or any other solution.

We recommend that you regularly review your procedural arrangements to make sure on-premise is still the most secure and appropriate option for you.  This is particularly relevant now amid the ongoing potential threat to operations from coronavirus.

You need to be particularly cautious if you’re using smartcards with your on-premise software as these may be blocked when accessing a payment product using VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure), rendering smartcard use unreliable in this situation.  Like other Bacs approved solution providers, we’re not allowed to supply smartcard reader software which means we’d be unable to help with any issue relating to smartcard use.

 

How can paygate help me protect my payment schedule?

We routinely provide contingency planning advice to our customers as part of our customer support service.

Even if you’re not currently a paygate customer, with our decades of industry-wide knowledge and highly experienced technical and support teams, we are best placed to provide a comprehensive, reliable and independent review of your payment procedures, contingency planning and disaster recovery provision.

 

Want to know more?  We’re here to help.

To find out more about how we’re managing the impact of coronavirus, or to review your own contingency measures, email us at advice@paygate.uk