Walk into a departmental store, pick the right item, and just walk out of the door: no sales people and no over-the-counter payments. The transactions are recorded in the backend, and the payment for the purchased items is made through the customer’s mobile device. The world today is inching closer toward a paradigm shift where seamless transactions and superior customer experiences will be a norm. But for this transition, the key is to ensure an omnichannel payment solution with instant processing and fraud prevention mechanism is in place. Powered by an integrated payment process and cutting edge technology, Computop is accelerating the global payments transformation.
Some of the biggest businesses existing today started with a humble beginning, and Computop's journey is no different. Founded in 1997, Computop started as an online venture in a small apartment. As young entrepreneurs, Ralf Gladis, a student of Business Information Systems at a college, and Frank Arnoldt, a journalist, managed the company. Computop soon shifted its focus toward payment processing. Having achieved PCI P2PE certification for highly secured POS payments, Computop emerged as one of the forerunners in the payments processing arena. Today, the company is synonymous to global multichannel payment processing, currently operating in six countries with over 34 billion transactions in 2018.
"One of our best running products at Computop is not a payment method but a settlement file that includes financial data from all payment methods worldwide in just one single format"
According to Gladis, although merchants implement omnichannel strategies to provide a standardized user experience in retail, there is still a lack of choice in the payment industry for omnichannel payment. Payment cards are not fully convenient for online and mobile payments. Further, the diversity of global payments has made it challenging for merchants to use different POS terminals across their branches in various countries. Retailers have to implement different payment methods in nearly every country. With financial data coming from different sources, automating accounting requires integration and extensive efforts from their IT teams.
Adding to the challenges, expanding threat landscape has led to massive data breaches, exposing the vulnerability of the modern IT infrastructure in the retail industry. Trust plays a crucial factor when it comes to the evolution of payment methods, and any theft of a debit/credit card causes another blow to consumer trust.
We can see a rising demand for biometric solutions from our white label customers which are mostly banks and PSPs
"The answer to these issues lies in a combination of security, convenience, and innovation that proves why mobile wallets are becoming ever popular. Being able to pay from a smartphone helps anytime," says Gladis. "One of our best running products at Computop is not a payment method but a settlement file that includes financial data from all payment methods worldwide in just one single format," says Gladis. Instead of collecting data from numerous financial partners, merchants prefer to import the standardized Computop Settlement File (CTSF) that reduces reconciliation efforts for merchants significantly.
Computop offers standards-compliant and secure solutions in the fields of e-commerce, POS, m-commerce, and mail order/ telephone order (MOTO). To make omnichannel payment easy, Computop seamlessly integrates online, offline, and mobile payment processes in real-time. With Computop's core offering, Computop Paygate, that has become the central interface for international e-commerce merchants and at the POS. Retailers and service providers get the freedom and the flexibility to choose from over 250 payment methods, enabling them to tailor their payment options to the needs of each individual merchant, in each country. As a cloud-based solution, Computop Paygate has PCI-DSS certification and P2PE encryption that guarantees secure, seamless, and compliant, payment processing features. The solution offers local and branch-specific payment capabilities to securely process both national and international financial transactions in any market. Having a payment system with integrated fraud prevention, the solution can efficiently handle all payment transactions for all types of commerce.
Paygate supports different fraud prevention processes which include inquiring with credit agencies. In the words of Antonio Nigro, Fossil's director of Ecommerce Europe, "The automated verifications for our online pan-European market warn us in time and stop the payment process, which reduces our delinquencies. Should fraud attempts proliferate in the future, we could include additional payment options in our shop. We can always discuss our options to prevent this with Computop."
In 2018, Computop launched Paygate version 7.0 with multiple new features such as machine learning. In the latest version, static settings cannot decide if the transactions are blocked. Rather, the probability of fraud is calculated for each individual on the basis of past transactions, and a judgment is made as to whether the transaction should be executed or rejected. With the new update, Paygate can now learn more and optimize its calculations each day.
Another exciting feature of Paygate 7.0 is the inclusion of an API that empowers merchants to delete customer-related data upon the request of the customer automatically.
Transaction-related data, however, is retained anonymously for business performance analysis. The integration of geodata, which has also been made available for payments in the past, assists merchants to make a better evaluation of their transactions. The successive integration of additional external data sources provide detailed analyses, consequently optimizing merchant's payments and addressing customers' specific needs.
A Catalyst of Change
Being a global organization, Computop's customers consist of international retailers, gaming and gambling companies, travel firms, and many more that trust on Computop Paygate for seamless payment processing. Some of the biggest clients include Samsung, stilwerk, STRATO, ESCADA, SWAROVSKI, METRO, FRANKONIA, SportScheck, DocMorris, Fossil, and BIGPOINT. In an instance, a large online printing company from Europe was looking for business expansion. They needed to offer payment methods to companies in countries such as France, Spain, and the Benelux region. The payment solution also had to offer seamless integration with the company's payment and inventory management system. Computop rose to the occasion to provide a prebuilt payment module for their existing shop system. The module had efficient integration capabilities. Computop also introduced an impressive range of payment methods. The customer began to integrate credit cards and PayPal to get their international reach, but customers continued to increase and were demanding their locally preferred payment methods. The customer integrated iDEAL, an online bank transfer payment method, that covered 60 percent of the Dutch ecommerce market, through Computop Paygate. The customer also integrated giropay via Computop Paygate and was able to reach over 35 million Germans. Computop Paygate's scalability was not just useful, but their payment methods were also easy to implement. The customer continues its partnership with Computop for over seven years now.
A Future-Ready Approach
Moving forward, Gladis contemplates that as payments processing will become a more automated process, consumers expect reassurance from debit and credit cards. They will also look for the simplicity of eWallet or payment through their smartphone. Gladis and his team are aiming to promote and leverage biometric authentication for reducing fraud and increasing convenience. "We can see a rising demand for biometric solutions from our white label customers which are mostly banks and payment service providers. Biometric authentication will apply to all contactless transactions made at terminals with a mobile device, too," notes Gladis. Besides, the focus is also on the need for all new POS terminals supporting P2PE security to protect consumer card data and to preserve trust in card payments. Computop aims to enforce the interoperability of payment schemes worldwide and set standards in service for financial settlement data and reconciliation.