We asked Bethan Cowper, AVP, Market Development & Business Support at Compass Plus, to give an insight into why we commissioned an in depth report into our open development payments platform, TranzAxis, with internationally renowned payments specialists, PayX.
Q: Why did we commission PayX to do an independent review of our technology?
A: It’s a reasonable question, after all, PayX is one of a number of analyst agencies that publish vendor comparisons. If we look at it from that perspective, we can also add the question: why have a review when your technology is already reviewed regularly in these comparison reports? Both are good questions and I will try to answer them as best I can.
Let’s get the main reason out the way first. We did this because we want to be better. We continuously and tirelessly invest into the research and development of our platforms, but sometimes an outsider view is exactly what you need to get a fresh perspective. We asked for what we call a ‘warts and all’ review, we wanted to know everything and for PayX to hold no punches.
Our second reason for commissioning PayX, and probably our biggest hurdle, is to truly understand how we differentiate from the competition from an external perspective. When everyone is saying the same thing, but not all words are weighted equal or necessarily held to the same quality of definition, how do we demonstrate our strengths? There is a difference between a platform with some capability for customisation and a platform inherently developed with customisation at its core. A literal SDK in its entirety. There is flexible, and then there is flexible. I could give a million examples here, but let’s say it’s an RFI tick box affair and we can all pretty much offer the same thing function-wise, how can we determine or demonstrate that the technology still differentiates beyond a simple function? That, yes, we can provide X, go ahead and tick that box! But we can provide it very quickly, very efficiently and easily, at very little cost or vendor independently, depending on requirements. But yes sure, we offer X. So it was great for PayX to get a more extensive view behind the curtain and see what is behind that tick box answer. And for them to then tell us that we should be shouting from the rafters about our capabilities, that what we consider as standard internally, the industry doesn’t.
Finally, we chose PayX because they are PayX. Independent, internationally renowned, respected, and as a firm that carries out vendor comparisons, unequivocally aware that sometimes comparing vendors is like comparing apples with oranges, depending on the FI’s requirements. That some companies want the biggest, the most well-known supplier, whilst others want the supplier that fits the best technologically, or has the best reputation for project delivery, offers the most vendor independence or the quickest development queues. There is no right or wrong answer, and that is why they separate their bi-annual report out by company technological capability and customer review.
Q: What did we find out?
A: Well, the results are in the report and I would highly suggest that you read it. However, in a nutshell, the results really drove home the fact that whilst there are a lot of different software vendors out there, with very different drivers and objectives, our place amongst them isn’t as the biggest or the one that shouts the loudest with the healthiest marketing budget. But as an extremely competent and experienced technology provider, we are technology first and as such, our greatest asset is our people. And wonderfully, although I probably shouldn’t say this publically, if anything, we’re a bit too accommodating to our customers' demands. But that’s the problem when you have a technology platform that was built for innovation. When you can do anything, the difficulty becomes knowing when to rein it in. Anyway, I hope I have piqued your interest and that you download the report. Enjoy!