But the cloud of 2022 is not the same cloud from a decade ago. Cloud computing has become the requisite technology foundation across every industry, providing better access to data, dynamic scale, built-in security, and agile capabilities that drive new features and innovations. Traditional solutions simply can’t keep up.
In my experience speaking with Google Cloud’s financial services customers, there are five key ways cloud platforms help companies deliver differentiated payment experiences:
1. Providing resilient, fast infrastructure that can scale at speed. Migrating to the cloud puts flexible, scalable cloud architectures and technologies, such as containers and microservices, within reach, allowing teams to quickly and securely build new applications quickly. Cloud-based architectures and data modernization can save millions of dollars annually that would otherwise be spent on on-premises hardware, software, and licensing costs.
2. Unlocking data to identify new opportunities. Cloud platforms are helping the payments ecosystem centralize and organize their data, facilitating near real-time data consumption to identify monetization opportunities, such as personalized offers or new product development. Transitioning to data cloud platforms can also satisfy critical use cases, such as compliance reporting, intelligent fraud detection, and transaction risk management. Gartner predicts that organizations that promote data sharing will outperform their peers on most business value metrics by 2023.
3. Applying AI and machine learning. Cloud opens the door to advanced analytics and AI that allow payment processors to dive deep into their data and uncover fresh insights. Most cloud providers also enable payments firms to leverage cutting-edge AI models at speed and scale so they can derive insights and make decisions instantaneously on the enormous amounts of transactional data they process.
4. Managing risk and compliance. Providers must strike a balance between faster payment processing and the careful management of data collection, data use, and mitigation of potential fraud or improper disclosure. Data privacy is a service baked into cloud platforms, providing rigorous data policies, rich compliance reporting, and high-performance risk simulation. It also gives payments companies complete control of their data with transparency around where their data is stored and allows them to operate in both localized and distributed ways depending on data sovereignty requirements.
5. Protecting sensitive customer data. Doubts around cloud security are dissipating as trust in service providers very much depends on their ability to deliver the very best security. The cloud offers multi-layered security with identity management, network security, and threat detection and response offerings that rival most in-house solutions. Increasingly, cloud capabilities are also helping to drive even more secure payments features, such as credit card tokenization to protect data during online transactions.
Building the future generation of payments on the cloud
Ultimately, all this boils down to enabling companies to actively drive disruption, not fall victim to it. Cloud systems for payments offer the flexible architecture and technology solutions needed to continuously iterate, improve, and respond to customer needs.
Revolut, a London-based neobank, is a prime example of how payments providers can disrupt things differently, scaling at speed while maintaining stability and security.
Revolut is one of the fastest-growing “money apps” in the world, gaining 15 million active users and incorporating up to 50 apps on its platform since launching in the UK in 2015. But it became obvious its initial cloud infrastructure would eventually be overwhelmed, underscoring the need to build a new environment that could deliver the scalability, reliability, and security to support its rapid growth.
Revolut’s new core cloud infrastructure, built on Google Cloud, balanced ease of use, automated deployment, and most critically, control over its security, particularly ensuring its multi-terabyte databases remain highly secure. The cloud has been key to enabling Revolut’s success and growth. This allowed Revolut to offer customers more innovative ways to manage their money without having to compromise on security.
These examples also serve as a reminder that it’s not just traditional financial services institutions operating on legacy systems who benefit from embracing new technologies like cloud. Even fintech companies who have grown up in physical data centers or newcomers operating partially in the cloud are at risk of falling behind the pace of the payment journey if they don’t take steps now.
Be the next digital disruptor
The day is coming when waiting in line to pay will become obsolete and payments will be completely seamless. Imagine pulling into a gas station and the transaction for you will be filling up the tank. In this new reality, you’ll be able to go to a store, grab what you want, and walk back out without even carrying your wallet out of the house. Your smart fridge already allows you to reorder groceries or even recognize that you need new milk every five days—and order it for you. And there’s the question of whether you’ll be paying in dollars, Euros, yen, Bitcoin, Ethereum, or some other alternative currency.
Is your business ready?
Payment providers have an opportunity now that didn’t exist in the last decade to predict and anticipate what customers want and simultaneously reinvent themselves. Cloud technology and capabilities will enable the payments industry to make decisions and play an active role in reshaping the future of the payment landscape.