Navigating the Complexities of Payments Transformation for Banks

Blog· 3min April 24, 2023

Discover how banks can successfully navigate the complexities of payments transformation by debunking common myths and focusing on customer-centric solutions. Read our insightful guide today.

As the banking industry evolves, payment solutions have become a focal point for both challenges and opportunities. With the advent of new technologies such as cloud computing, increased regulatory measures like DORA and the recent SEPA Instant mandate, as well as the entry of new competitors, the landscape has become increasingly complex. Financial institutions must overcome these challenges and seize opportunities by debunking common myths and misconceptions that can impede progress and hinder innovation.

Turning Regulatory Compliance into Opportunities

Contrary to popular belief, regulatory compliance should not be the sole end goal of payments transformation. As regulators and central banks worldwide continue to scrutinise innovation and competition, banks must learn how to capitalise on regulatory measures to offer more advanced customer propositions.

Regulatory compliance, while crucial, should be viewed as an opportunity to drive value and improve customer outcomes. By keeping customer needs at the forefront of compliance efforts, banks can ensure that payment solutions support the broader processes and activities in a customer's life. Furthermore, it is essential to engage internal staff in an organization's transformation journey, as a legacy mindset can be more detrimental than legacy systems.

Unlocking Profitability in Payments

The notion that payments cannot be profitable in a digital world is another myth that needs to be dispelled. While payments may be considered the 'plumbing' or 'rails' of the broader transaction business, banks must identify areas where they can differentiate themselves and add value to their offerings.  

To enhance profitability, banks need to ‘go beyond the payment’ and look at how they can personalise and offer value-added services that can cater to the evolving needs of their customers that might have previously been serviced outside of their banking relationship. By incorporating these services, financial institutions can differentiate themselves in a competitive market, capitalise on new revenue streams, and importantly increase the stickiness and number of touch points any single transaction and customer has with them that in the long run will help drive customer loyalty. Here are just a few examples of what these services could include:

Integrated Cash Management Solutions: Banks can offer comprehensive cash management services that combine payments, receivables, and liquidity management in a single platform. By providing real-time visibility and control over cash flows, banks can help businesses optimise their working capital.

Cross-Border Payments and Foreign Exchange Services: As businesses continue to expand globally, the demand for fast, cost-effective cross-border payment solutions and foreign exchange services is increasing. Banks can offer advanced cross-border payment solutions with real-time exchange rates and transparent pricing to attract customers.

Data Analytics and Reporting: Fraud prevention is a key area for this. Banks can provide businesses with advanced data analytics and reporting tools to monitor and analyze their payment activities.

To achieve profitability, banks should invest in data strategies and value-added services while lowering costs through streamlined business practices and optimized technology investments. By exploring revenue from previously untapped areas, such as data and value-added services, banks can create profitable payment solutions.

Embracing the Power of Cloud Technology

Some may argue that cloud technology is too risky for the payments industry, but this is another misconception that must be debunked. Cloud services have matured over the years, offering fine-tuned security features that often surpass those of on-premise IT infrastructure.

Banks can adopt a strategic approach to cloud migration, without the need for a complete "rip and replace" of their existing infrastructure. By carefully selecting which parts of the payment workflow to move to the cloud first, banks can minimise disruption and optimise the benefits of cloud technology.

For example, a bank may choose to migrate its fraud detection and prevention systems to the cloud initially. This would allow the bank to leverage the advanced machine learning and data processing capabilities of cloud-based services, resulting in more effective and efficient fraud management. As the bank gains confidence in the cloud technology, it can gradually move other components of the payment workflow, such as transaction processing and reconciliation, to the cloud.

By taking a strategic approach to cloud migration, banks can mitigate risks, reduce costs, and enhance the performance and scalability of their payment solutions, ultimately delivering better services to their clients.

5-Step Guide to Planning a Cloud Migration for Corporate Banks

Assess and Strategise: Begin by conducting a thorough assessment of your existing legacy payment systems, infrastructure, and business processes. Identify the key components that would benefit the most from cloud migration, and consider the potential cost savings, performance improvements, and scalability advantages. Develop a clear strategy outlining the objectives, scope, and timeline for the cloud migration project.

Select the Right Cloud Solution: Evaluate various cloud service providers and their offerings to determine the best fit for your bank's needs. Consider factors such as security, compliance, data privacy, and integration capabilities with existing systems. Select a cloud solution that aligns with your bank's strategic objectives and provides the necessary tools and features to support your payment workflows.

Design a Cloud Migration Roadmap: Create a detailed roadmap outlining the steps and milestones for your cloud migration journey. Prioritize the migration of components that offer the most significant benefits and are least disruptive to your bank's operations. Plan for a phased migration to minimize risks and ensure a smooth transition. Allocate resources, set timelines, and establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure progress and success.

Implement and Test: Collaborate with your chosen cloud service provider to execute the migration plan. Migrate components in a controlled manner, ensuring that all necessary data is securely transferred and that system integrations are functional. Test the migrated components thoroughly to ensure they meet performance expectations, and address any issues or discrepancies that arise.

Monitor and Optimise: Once the migration is complete, continuously monitor the performance of your cloud-based payment systems. Collect data on KPIs, such as system uptime, transaction processing times, and customer satisfaction. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and optimise your cloud-based payment systems accordingly. Regularly review and update your cloud strategy to ensure it remains aligned with your bank's evolving needs and objectives.

Redefining Outsourcing and In-House Solutions

The industry often treats outsourcing and in-house solutions as a binary decision, but this is an outdated approach. Technological advancements and evolving business requirements have created a more nuanced landscape where both options can coexist.

The key to navigating outsourcing lies in understanding your organisation's strategy and current standing. Recognising the importance of payments as a primary touchpoint with customers and a source of valuable data is crucial. A well-thought-out approach to cloud migration is also essential, with a focus on micro-services, scalability, and long-term cost reduction rather than just short-term savings.

When considering outsourcing, banks should select commodity or less integrated areas that are easy to outsource, manage risk by starting small, and view the initial steps as part of a more extensive journey.


As the banking industry moves forward with payments transformation, it is critical to avoid buzzwords and focus on how payment solutions can genuinely support customers. By debunking common myths and misconceptions, banks can navigate the complexities of the payment landscape and create innovative, profitable, and customer-centric solutions.