10 reasons to have TMS manufacturer independence

Merchants and deployers of payment systems no longer need to be reliant on terminal manufacturers for the systems that administer their estate of payment terminals. Specialist payment software supplier STS has launched PayOp to provide merchants, PSPs, ISOs and acquirers with manufacturer independence. This approach offers significant advantages at the same time as additional operational capabilities.

1.     Access to lower cost and the best terminals

If you are not restricted solely to terminals from a single manufacturer then significant savings can be made when purchasing devices. You can also select the strongest POS models for each operating environment, which helps as no vendor has the strongest model in each terminal category.

2.     Improved negotiating position

Having control of your own TMS strengthens your negotiating hand when purchasing or reordering terminals. Manufacturers will understand that they no longer hold as much control and that you can switch supplier more easily. Achieving even a small price reduction on each device quickly amounts to big cost savings.

3.     Pick and Mix estate

A manufacturer neutral TMS allows you to run terminals from multiple suppliers concurrently. This delivers cost savings and is particularly beneficial in this era of increased M&A activity. It also allows terminals to be replaced in a phased manner dependent on actual usage and condition. The concern of needing to introduce another TMS was why many merchants and service providers were previously put off operating a pick and mix estate.

4.     Operational efficiency

Businesses always try to avoid running duplicate systems as they know that this introduces complexity, inefficiencies, increases risk and adds cost. Operating multiple TMS also increases administrative effort and the need for specialist employee skills and training.

5.     Advanced capabilities

Manufacturer supplied TMS tend to handle the basic needs of initial deployment but lack advanced and smart features like real-time analytics, asset tracking, chain of custody, scheduling and in delivering insightful management information. Next generation TMS offer extra capabilities and are designed to ensure payment systems always keep working.

6.     Choice of implementation model

Terminal owners should be allowed to choose who manages their terminal estate and devolve certain responsibilities as desired. They may wish to run the TMS in-house or outsource operational management. They may also have preferences for on-premise, cloud or software as a service deployment models. All of these options are available if you pick an independent TMS.

7.     Local market functionality

International terminal manufacturers have to try and ensure their TMS meets the needs of a global client base. This inevitably leads to compromises needing to be made and support for local market needs being overlooked or delayed. These functionality gaps can result in business inefficiencies or require the costly development of work arounds.

8.     Non-Core product

Hardware development continues to be the main focus and skillset of terminal manufacturers. Naturally software products take a lower priority for them, leading to limited attention and resources being invested in operational toolsets like a TMS.

9.     Proactive maintenance

An advanced TMS allows proactive intervention to be undertaken ensuring system downtime is avoided. Receiving terminal performance data in realtime coupled with the delivery of timely notification of issues enables proactivity and improved customer service. Terminal manufacturers are more focussed on installation rather than on-going terminal operation.

10.   Future enhancements

Device manufacturers are reluctant developers of TMS. Their TMS offerings tend to be an afterthought, lack enhancements and a clear product roadmap.

For all of these reasons merchants, PSPs, acquirers and ISOs are encouraged to consider investing in a TMS system that has been developed by an independent payments software specialist like STS rather than a hardware device manufacturer. This will achieve cost savings, improved customer service and business efficiencies. You will also benefit from new advanced capabilities beyond the scope of a traditional TMS.

Friday, September 22, 2017