XiPay – The Paymetric Payment Card Acceptance System
The Big Problems
The biggest problem with processing payment cards (processing credit cards, debit cards & corporate buying cards) with SAP, is the integration with the payment card gateway or the bank. If you plan to develop your own, it takes many months of development. Then the interface needs to be certified by the financial institution to meet certain standards (different for different banks). At the end of the day, you now have this custom interface that needs to be maintained each time there is a change in the requirements. The question you need to ask yourself is: What is my core business? Do I really want to be in software development?The second issue is that SAP only provides a framework for payment card processing. While fairly comprehensive, there are some notable gaps. I will just mention one here. If an order is placed without a credit card and processed through to billing, there is no standard way in SAP to pay for the invoice by credit card after the fact.
Find a third party company that specializes in payment card processing and integration into SAP. There are several of them, but the market leader (they have approximately 80% of the market) is Paymetric. The company has been in that space for over 10 years and has a few very sharp individuals at the helm. They offer 2 main products:
- XiPay - Payment Card Processing
- XiSecure - New Product that handles Payment Card Tokens (discussed in another article)
History of the XiPay Solution
XiPay has come a long way. I first saw it in 2002 and then it was just a collection of SAP programs designed to address the gaps within SAP. So they were attempting to address the second problem with the SAP functionality, namely, the functionality gaps. You still had to develop your own interface with the bank.
I next saw it in 2007 and it now offered a fairly comprehensive solution. It now also comprised of a separate server that took care of the interfaces with a slew of different payment processors and banks. To activate an interface with your bank or payment card processor, you needed to add that banks software "cartridge" and make a few configuration settings. A pretty elegant design. That solved the biggest problem described in the first paragraph.
In the latter part of 2007, the payment card industry introduces a set of new data security standards (discussed in a previous article) that had to be complied with if you wanted to process payment with credit cards. This PCI Compliance changed the face of the payment card industry much the same as SOX changed the face of businesses several years ago.Fast forward to 2010. One of the results of the PCI Compliance and accompanying annual Audit is that it now makes sense to process (and store) the payment card information off-site and off your systems. This saw the introduction of XiPay On Demand, a SAAS solution that replaces the on-site server solution.
What does it give you?
One big plus of the on demand solution, I think, is that it gets rid of the XiPay server that you need to maintain at your site (in practice, this was at least 2 servers, 1 for your development and QA environment and 1 for your production environment). It was fairly specialized and I found that despite spending time with the Paymetric technical resource, our Basis person (who was good), still had to schedule time with Paymetric anytime an installation or patch had to be applied. This created several delays in our implementation.
With the introduction of the on demand solution, instead of having to support about 1000 customers server installations, paymetric now only has to support one. And all the clients hook into this server.
With the XiPay On Demand solution, that technical maintenance aspect goes away, allowing you to focus on your core business again.An additional benefit is that the PCI Compliance aspect becomes less as Paymetric is now responsible for maintaining PCI compliance on the way to the payment processor and bank.
If you also implement a payment card token system, such as XiSecure (discussed in an upcoming article), the PCI Compliance become even less of an issue.
The paymetric XiPay solution simplifies your payment card processing in your SAP implementation and the on demand aspect provide some real advantages on an on-going basis.
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