CRT Insight Feature: Platform, Platform, Platform: Have the Lunatics Taken Over the Asylum?

Recognise this: You’re working with a platform that is decades out of date. You want to upgrade it, replace it, outsource it. Why? Because your customers need it and demand it.

They’re asking you to do things you can’t do. So you create a world of interfaces. Expensive interfaces. And you love them, treasure them and your IT department guard those interfaces: that bowl of complex, expensive spaghetti. They guard it with their lives, and they challenge you. You. And you can’t do anything about it, can you? Because they’re in charge. You may be MD, CCO, COO or Commercial Director, but I’m willing to bet the IT department calls the shots on your platform strategy.

 So grow a pair. Change it. Now. Take over.


But that’s all bullshit, isn’t it?


You probably have 75% redundancy on functionality. You’ve probably built in features that are, at best, “nice to have”. You’re paying a fortune to manage a system of “nice to haves”. And letting your customers down at the same time on the “must haves”. Those must haves are changing, and you’re not in the best place to satisfy them. Not with the platform you have. Can you offer flexible restriction – by site, brand, time and place? I doubt it. You need to. Can you identify waverers and possible churners before they go? I doubt it. You need to. Can you pick up fraudulent transactions in real time? I doubt it. You need to. Are you ready for the switch from card to mobile payments? I doubt it. You need to be.


You lead, IT doesn’t


IT serves you, you don’t serve IT. It may sound obvious, but it isn’t. We’re veterans of too many platform (FCMS) upgrades where the commercial strategy was bang on, but the implementation was IT-led. Which means the new platform was re-designed to look, feel, sound and work like the old platform. Perfect. Let’s invest €50m in a new old. Jobs for the boys.

Don’t do it.


What’s Going to Happen?


Actually, the fuel payments industry in Europe needs a Gold Standard. A set of common features which serve customers’ needs, save merchants money and streamline the whole transaction processing flow.

Omni-channel payments processing is emerging, the platform market is slowly consolidating. Fuel retailers are going back to their own game. Which is fuel, not Retail. And far from payments. Professional payments providers, with flexible and scalable platforms in the cloud, will dominate the space. And rightly so. They know what they’re doing, and unit processing costs are miles lower than you’re paying right now.

So what should I do?


You’ve started already. You’ve recognised the need to upgrade, replace or outsource your platform.


Now, you talk to us. We can advise you on the possible pitfalls and the bumps in the road that are coming. We’ll work with you on the decision: Upgrade? Replace? Outsource? We’ll help cost and design those scenarios and choose which is best for you. We’ll introduce you to upgraders, replacers or outsourcers – the best in the industry. 


And most of all, we’ll keep you in charge commercially. Because you never, ever let IT take over. Ever. Don’t let the lunatics take over the asylum. 


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