We are living and working in unprecedented times and many businesses are being affected in a way we could never have foreseen. Many companies now have, perhaps for the first time, part or all of their staff working remotely from home or on reduced hours.
With this new ‘normal’ way of working, we have had an influx of enquiries from businesses using on-premise payment processing solutions, asking how cloud-based alternatives can better match their requirements for remote worker policies, and how we can help them protect and ensure continuity of their payment procedures.
Unlike most of our competitors in the payments market, paygate offers both on-premise as well as cloud solutions and we’re working closely with our own on-premise customers to support them during these extraordinary times. With the shift to employees having to work from home, on-premise software presents its own unique set of challenges but we have the tools, resources and expertise at the ready to help, and if necessary, switch over easily to a cloud solution.
So why move from on-premise to cloud solutions? In this first blog, I’m focusing on the benefits of cloud software when it comes to the most important thing of all, payment security. And I’ll explain how hosted solutions open up so many opportunities for simpler, faster procedures to save you man-hours and reduce risk.
In a nutshell, cloud solutions provide many benefits to your business, your processes and your staff by removing risk and responsibilities away from you. On-premise software sits on your own infrastructure whereas a cloud solution is hosted on our private or shared infrastructure. This means you no longer have to procure, fund and maintain space in your environment, and you do away with the burden of ensuring your solution is updated every time a new release is issued because all of that is done centrally by your provider.
So, you’re assured that you are always using the latest and greatest product version with the best functionality and security features.
Then there’s the issue of accessibility. What happens if your staff are unable to get to the office, or the office itself is not accessible? What if your IT resource is depleted or maxed out with, say, a big project? How do you protect your payment schedules and keep them on track, secure and on time?
Cloud solutions are designed to be resilient – paygate guarantees 99.5% uptime – and are backed by failover and hardware replication. This ensures you’ll always have access to the software no matter what and, it negates the need for additional business continuity and disaster recovery provision and the cost that comes with that.
So far so good. What are the benefits beyond that? Well, this is where it gets interesting.
Security is at the forefront of everyone’s mind when it comes to payments – and this is where cloud solutions come into their own.
Using cloud-based services means some or all of your payment procedures can be automated, to whatever extent you choose; whether it’s simple workflows to automatically action payment signing, approving and submitting, or completely lights-out processing with no human interaction at all.
Processes such as file import, bank data validation, signing, approval and submission can all be moved to an automatic process, reducing the risk of human error, streamlining actions and avoiding delays.
Processing payments via a cloud solution enables you to remove smartcards from the signing process; the benefit of this is you no longer need card readers, drivers and Gemalto signing software. Cloud software introduces ‘smarter’ alternatives to smartcards, such as our hosted HSM (Hardware Security Module) which is an easy way to sign payments without the challenges that smartcards present, with no configuration, hardware or hosting required.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is used to secure your payment procedures and grant user access only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence to the authentication mechanism. This can be provided using a one-time-PIN via an SMS which once input, authenticates the payments safely and securely. This can also be achieved using USB tokens.
Another layer of security is provided at payment file level with functionality that immediately encrypts source files and automatically uploads them into the processing solution, protecting files and data integrity at every stage of the process.
The paygate platform offers zero risk from on-premise infrastructure failure and with disaster recovery built-in as standard, you get complete piece of mind. Access to the platform is tightly controlled with the help of IP address whitelist/blacklisting, a security feature used for limiting and controlling access only to trusted users. This allows you to create lists of trusted IP addresses or IP ranges from which your users can access the paygate cloud solution.