Transaction Junction’s newly developed switch provides flexibility and agility to better service customers across a multitude of verticals.

When a customer makes a purchase from a point of sale (PoS) device at a retailer, they seldom consider the business-enablement platform that provides the link between themselves, the retailer and the bank facilitating the transaction. However, this platform is vital to ensuring that such a payment can be processed rapidly and accurately, and that the customer can obtain their product, while the retailer receives its money.

As the providers of omnichannel payments across channels on a single platform, Transaction Junction offers an end-to-end transaction processing solution to retailers which meets all their payment requirements in what is a digitally transforming environment.

To this end, says Lester Sonemann, head of product at Transaction Junction, the company recently built its own in-house switch that is designed to handle the processing of newer payment types, providing the flexibility required in this digital era.

The company’s name for this switch is ‘Imbeko’, which is a Xhosa term that means ‘respect’ – a phrase Transaction Junction feels exudes the qualities of reliability and integrity, and which ties directly to the respect accorded the proper management of vital financial transactions.

“This was no trivial exercise,” he says, suggesting that Transaction Junction vowed it would never build its own switch.  “However, the benefit of this undertaking in a year that has seen Transaction Junction process in excess of two billion transactions has really showcased how our investment in technology has allowed us to break free from the shackles of older, more restrictive technologies.”  Sonemann adds, “Firmly positioning ourselves as a FinTech, driving value to our customers means that time and technology can simply no longer be seen as inhibitors to innovation and our ability to deliver.”

“When you reach the point where your decisions around what you can and cannot do as a business are dictated to you by your technology supplier, you also reach the point where you can no longer define yourself as an innovative service provider,” he says.

By building its own switch, Transaction Junction now has the flexibility to innovate on demand. This is a far more agile approach, Sonemann explains, than having to wait for a third party to undertake the required development and testing.

“It means we are able to add more functionality, fix bugs as they are discovered and not be accountable to any third-party provider. This level of agility has helped us to attract customers across a multitude of verticals,” he says.

“Economically it is beneficial, enabling us to contain costs, as we are not subject to price increases from third parties. This, in turn, benefits our customers, as we are no longer passing on price increases to them.”

Sonemann adds that the new switch gives Transaction Junction the capability to drive transactions from their point of origin rapidly through to the relevant financial institution, enhancing the speed of these transactions and reducing the number that are declined.

“Our switch offers a third component to the transaction process, as it also provides an end-to-end reconciliation service that balances your debits and credits and provides full reporting thereafter.”

“You can describe this switch as the ‘brain’ behind what we do. It is the central point from which multiple channels of engagement operate and it manages the integrity of the transaction, understands what rules must be applied, where the transaction must go to, and even where it may require additional information before fulfilment can take place,” adds Sonemann.

“The modern world is becoming increasingly fluid. Having access to an adaptive and flexible framework that allows us to plug new technologies and approaches into an existing context has positioned us perfectly to bridge the gap between where we have come from and where we are planning to go.”

Architecturally, Imbeko allows Transaction Junction to extend the availability of services seamlessly and without incurring exorbitant licensing or restrictive hosting requirements.

“The fact that we can now do everything ourselves, with no constraints and far greater agility and flexibility, means we are in control of our destiny. This level of control means that our customers can rest assured that their transactions will be processed rapidly, effectively and accurately,” he concludes.