Over the last couple of years i have been busy renovating our house. It was on the market in a pretty bad state, but i loved it. I had ideas about this, that and the other and knew that i could make it our home. But the renovation is not the focus of this post, rather the boiler. As i look back on the thought process that led to the purchase, the installation and some of the subsequent problems we experienced with the boiler, i started to realise the amazing similarities with payments. See what you think…
1. Build a Payment Solution that is Fit for Purpose
As the physical building work started to draw to a close, the builder and i started thinking about what to do for a boiler. We discussed the options:
- Keeping the existing boiler knowing that it would struggle to support the extra rooms, but it would probably cope for a couple of years
- Upgrade the existing boiler (which we think was at least 30 years old) by connecting it to a tank, which again would improve somethings but the boiler would probably not be able to handle the additional capacity and would likely only survive a year
- Replace the old boiler with a new modern boiler that would be able to support the extra rooms, and would last at last another 10 years (more on this later)
There are so many innovative boilers on the market right now, it is unreal!
2. Payments System should Plan for the Future
Based on the above options, i opted for a new boiler since i didnt want the hassle of changing the boiler again in a few years. Also, since the house design had changed we would have had to move the old boiler anyway and given its age the move would probably have damaged it. Sound familiar, check out this post about legacy systems.
The boiler was one part of a much bigger development, but we needed to plan and understand the requirements and the future uses so that we could make the right decision.
3. Understand the terms, conditions and deadlines
While the building work was going on, i found it pretty stressful trying to manage everything and sometimes forgot to do stuff. One of the things that i forgot to do was to register the boiler in time for a free extended warranty/guarantee period. I was kicking myself later when we discovered a leak….
Often in payments schemes we dont take time to understand the details – in this age of increased cyber attacks (just to take one example) this could be really dangerous
4. Payments Security is Paramount
About 3 months after the boiler was fitted we noticed a small leak on the kitchen ceiling. It turns out the plumber had used quick fit pipes, which easily clip into one another allowing the job to be completely relatively quickly. Sometimes if the pipes are not fitted correctly the pressure can cause the pipes to become loose and even worse undone. That’s exactly what happened above our kitchen ceiling and we were left with a mess that we had to clear up.
Ensure security in your payments system, otherwise it will only be a matter of time before a weakness is identified and exploited
5. Monitor your Payments System(s) for Vulnerabilities
About a year later we had another incident. It was very similar to the above, but this time we couldn’t find the leak. But we knew there was a leak because the heating pressure gauge on the boiler was reading zero. As soon as we topped up the pressure, it dropped immediately.
Monitor your system so you understand what is going on within the system, and the status of each payment. Which leads to the next lesson…
6. Understand your Payments Process Architecture
Since i couldn’t see any leaks in the house, it led me to conclude that the leak was on the ground floor. But the problem was that i couldn’t remember exactly how and where the heating pipes had been laid from the boiler to the heaters. In order to find the leak we had to guess and randomly break some tiles in the hope that the pipes would be near by and provide some clues about to location of the leak
7. Payments Processing – User Experience
One of the key lessons that my boiler taught me about payments was that actually its not about the boiler, it is about the whole experience that the boiler provides. The heating, the hot water, no leaks (!!) and the ability to run 2 showers with constant and full pressure – hehehe!
It’s only when the boiler breaks, that you realise the importance of the services it delivers to the household. We all know the fallout when a payment is not processed, or if a payment system breaksdown.
8. Seamless and Frictionless Payments Processing
To be honest, I don’t like getting involved with anything related to the boiler. The boiler should heat the house and keep the water warm – I want it to do its job without needing to worry about the inner workings of the boiler. Payment processing should be the same.
9. Call the Payments experts
My boiler experiences have taught me a few things about plumbing, but i am by no means an expert. I don’t have the time, or the desire, to know about the boiler and will happily call the experts. As long as they don’t charge me an arm and a leg
Similarly with payments the landscape is constantly changing and you need to pull in the right people with the right skillsets to get the most out of your particular payment requirements.
10. 24/7 Payments Support
I now have annual support for my boiler, if i have a problem i can call a number and an engineer will hopefully fix the issue. Sound familiar….? 🙂