Following the recent MoneyMatrix launch at ICE 2017 in London, Sandra Barton delivers an in-depth interview to SBC News readers about the new PCI DSS Level 1 MFSA Regulated Payment Service that offers a holistic approach to payment and risk management.
SBC News: Hi Sandra, great to interview you. Can you detail to SBC readers what an industry tailor-made payment service such as MoneyMatrix entails for clients and users?
Hello, thank you for the opportunity to speak about MoneyMatrix.
The concept behind MoneyMatrix is a simple one, we want to make payment processing simple, user friendly and accessible to everyone. Payment processing is a critical part of any business strategy an operator needs to implement and there are many variables in deciding who to partner with for payment processing. A first consideration is whether to outsource or maintain in-house development and operations as there are pros and cons to each model, but MoneyMatrix was designed to remove the significant overhead, cost and improve speed to market versus an in-house solution.
Our platform has been designed to support all types of merchants, whether a merchant is new to the industry and looking for a fully managed service, or a merchant who doesn’t want to have to deal with multiple companies to achieve the payment portfolio they desire, or a merchant who does not want to have to support the technical or PCI Compliance overhead within their business – we can help in each case. MoneyMatrix has partnered with a multitude of payment, fraud and KYC vendors and is in the position to offer operators a single contract and a single integration solution to access all content, which will massively reduce any operators overhead and accelerate the speed to market time of any operator on our platform.
Our platform already has over 100 solutions covering international markets available for clients to choose from. Gambling being quite a specialized market, localization is the key to success in market entry and that is particularly relevant for payment processing. The more localized solutions an operator can offer, the greater their likelihood of success within that market. Customers like to use solutions they are familiar with and which they trust. Our MoneyMatrix product can provide that localized content, as well as traditional card processing, to our clients from our growing portfolio of solutions with a development team purely focused on this task.
We also understand that being a cash based business, fraud management is paramount and therefore we have integrated fraud systems with AI capability to help merchants mitigate risks whilst minimizing the impact on genuine customers with unnecessary manual reviews, which also requires teams of analysts, another business cost. Knowing Your Customer is becoming a mandatory requirement in many jurisdictions and we see this becoming standard for the industry, so we also incorporated electronic KYC into our platform which can be controlled via our rules engine to ensure merchants can comply with any regulatory and/or 4th Directive AML requirements. We will continue to integrate best of breed technologies in our platform to ensure our clients have a multitude of options catering to their needs.
As well as the points mentioned above there are many other features which make MoneyMatrix a holistic platform, ideally tailored for the gambling sector. We want to have a partnership with our merchants and our business objective is to help clients achieve their objectives by providing the right content and information to grow their business operations.
SBC News: As project lead, can you detail the development of MoneyMatrix, from its initial conception through to its planning and testing than onto its product launch?
I joined MoneyMatrix just over 2 years ago and EveryMatrix already had a payment processing solution within its existing platform which they wished to retire and build a complete new business based around payment processing. I had been working in the gambling sector for quite some time at that point and had a few ideas on what kind of system I would want if I were a Payments Manager. I had many years working with a number of different systems and applications during my career and each had its pros and cons, so I thought about all of the features I would like to have, and how they would work or could be utilized by various people involved in the day to day management of payment processing, from which I created a list of key features the system should have. Once I had my key features list, I set about creating the user stories for the various components which would make up each feature I felt the system should encompass.
We hired our development team and started with a proof of concept to ensure the approach and technologies that would support our objectives. We chose a few key features to develop and a couple of vendors to integrate, and within 6 months we had our prototype. Obviously very rudimentary, but it was a working system. We then started developing in earnest and building our new back office applications to plan our roadmap for the next 18 months. We started with our card processing, tokenization and storage vault first as we wanted to have those PCI Certified, and I am pleased to say we passed our first audit with flying colors.
Concurrent to building the back-office applications, we were also integrating all the existing vendors from the old system, as well as integrating some new ones. We did our first production deployment mid-2016, which then allowed us to test our processing capability with our test merchant and from there we have continued to develop the offering to subsequently launch MoneyMatrix officially at ICE 2017. I have lots of ideas, so our roadmap for feature development is quite long, which I see as a positive element, but I am also looking forward to the feedback of our clients so we can improve the product even more.
SBC News: Assessing current industry payment services, where are they lacking in terms of servicing client operations and processes?
For me, I think it is important to work in partnership with our clients, to understand their businesses, their aspirations and what is important for them in terms of payment processing. I think it’s important to deliver the tools they need to manage their businesses cost efficiently and effectively and to provide in-depth reporting and analysis to assist them in growing their business operations and share with them opportunities to develop even further.
I would like to help clients optimize their processing and increase their sales opportunities. For me, this is what is currently lacking from the payment service industry. The emphasis is on selling the solution, not whether that solution is the right fit for your business model – the industry can definitely improve in this area. Also, the industry is not interested in helping clients optimize their payment roadmaps – each individual company is selling a product which requires separate negotiations, integrations, maintenance etc. With MoneyMatrix, we have turned this approach on its head – we take care of all of that for our clients, and they only need to interface with one provider – MoneyMatrix – to meet all their needs.
We want MoneyMatrix to be different, we want to make payment processing simple and straightforward. We intend to use our knowledge, tools and expertise to support our partners and give them the information they need to be able to make data driven decisions to push their businesses forward.
SBC News: Should payment processing be handled by industry platform providers who service key functions such as system capabilities, player reporting, CRM functionalities, etc.?
To be completely honest, this is a business decision for operators, but of course MoneyMatrix has been built with all the functionalities we know operators will want and more; plus, we have a host of new features coming soon. I think it’s important for operators to evaluate their business needs and look at all options before deciding either way.
As I said at the beginning of the interview there are always pros and cons to both approaches and operators should be fully conversant with their current and future business needs to make the right decision for their businesses. In-house solutions require a significant investment in terms of people, technology, PCI Compliance, and experience in managing payments and fraud. The payment processing universe is so diverse that it’s easy for an operator to think: ‘I’ll just integrate a few solutions and get up and running’, but managing a payment portfolio is a lot more sophisticated than that and it requires investment in experienced staff who understand what they are looking at, to quickly assess and respond to what’s going on. Experienced fraud and payment professionals are not cheap to employ for a good reason; it takes years to accumulate the wealth of knowledge to be able to run a solid fraud and payments team.
Couple this with the development overhead, hardware/cloud services cost, annual PCI Audit costs, vendor account management, etc., coming to a provider such as MoneyMatrix makes a lot of sense. Even if you have an existing system or team, MoneyMatrix could still be integrated into your platform, and with our portfolio of solutions this could be an option to free up an operator’s valuable development resources which can then be re-deployed elsewhere within the business.
With our ability to link key services such as fraud and KYC, an operator can increase the volume of automation thereby making significant savings in the number of resources they need to hire, another significant plus. There are lots of options for operators now, whereas in the past we had to do everything ourselves because there were no other solutions, now there are operators who can reap immediate benefits from solution providers like MoneyMatrix.
SBC News: Finally, following its initial launch, how do you see MoneyMatrix growing as an EveryMatrix service?
MoneyMatrix is not just an EveryMatrix service, we are a licensed regulated financial institution within our own right with the ability to provide payment processing to any merchant operating within the E-commerce space. This is an important point to make, because whilst we are proud of our association with EveryMatrix, we want operators to know that they do not have to be EveryMatrix customers in-order to be a MoneyMatrix customer.
That said, we have benefited from having EveryMatrix as a partner as it allows us to look closely at what is happening within the gaming space, the current challenges, and design our product and business units to target those pain points. I think we have a fantastic opportunity to create something unique and whilst our initial focus may be gambling, we know this product has value outside the sector and we can help merchants achieve online success without having the considerable burden of negotiating, developing or manually managing their payment processing.
The gambling industry is ahead of the curve in understanding the benefits of localization, linking fraud and KYC at a transactional level, as well as utilizing customer preference to leverage sales conversions – MoneyMatrix can deliver this knowledge and expertise to all its partners.
Ultimately, we need to ‘walk the walk’ not just ‘talk the talk’ but if we keep moving on the trajectory I am setting for this company, I have no doubts the sky is the limit for us. Our core objective is to make payments simple and we are on the right path to achieve this.
The original version of this article has been published by SBC News on March 27, 2017 under the title Sandra Barton – EveryMatrix: Bringing MoneyMatrix to market.