Payment gateways are the unsung workhorses of retail sales. This technology sits between the store—either brick-and-mortar or online—and the banks that handle transactions. The gateway takes in buyers’ credit cards and authorizes payment so purchases can be made.
It is also often invisible to shoppers since commerce sites tend to “white label” technology from third parties to appear as an integral part of the online store.
AsiaPay is a major player in this category both in its home city of Hong Kong, where 60% of merchants use its services, as well as in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Its technology links merchants in 15 countries with the largest banks in Asia, Europe, Australia and Great Britain.
Last year, the company managed more than 40 million transactions, a number that is expected to grow this year and beyond.
To support its business customers and to protect the important data fueling their businesses, AsiaPay turned to Oracle Autonomous Database, which incorporates cutting-edge self-driving and machine learning capabilities. Oracle Autonomous Database automates its own software updates and patches, eliminating error-prone manual processes, freeing up AsiaPay’s personnel to focus on higher-value tasks.
Oracle Autonomous Database uses advanced machine learning to “watch” data to spot anomalies that could indicate security risks and then remediate them before they cause problems.
Fierce competition in the payment market requires that AsiaPay analyze lots of data to keep improving services. And the types of data will grow: A new version of the gateway will ingest data from internet of things devices including smart phones and tablets. In some cases that means taking in 100 different categories of data per device.”
“Oracle Autonomous Database has been key to helping us do this,” said Issac Leung, senior IT manager at AsiaPay. “The platform has freed our IT team from the cumbersome data management tasks such as database patching, tuning, indexing, etc.; and given us new insight on how we can provide customers with additional data and new consulting services and insights so that they can also better understand their markets and make better business decisions. It’s been a win-win all around.”
Fast and secure data handling is a key requirement, but so is the speed and transparency of the consumer experience. Payment gateways have to make payments incredibly easy, at the risk of losing business.
Recent research has shown that a large majority of shoppers (87% in one study) say they abandon their planned purchase if the checkout process is too difficult. A smaller-but-still healthy majority—55%—of those shoppers go even farther, saying they won’t return to any site that caused them to abandon their shopping cart in process.
Analyst Kieran Hines, head of industries at London-based research firm Ovum, backs up that contention.
“For merchants, there is an over-riding priority to make the payment process as friction-free as possible to minimize the risk of cart abandonment,” he said.
Companies like AsiaPay enable this freedom by offering a wide variety of payment options allowing customers to use the payment mechanism of their choice.
“Gateways such as AsiaPay must continually drive operational efficiencies as well as create new value-added services that go beyond payment acceptance,” Hines added.
Oracle Autonomous Database and associated analytics tools will enable providers like AsiaPay to stay ahead in this tough game.