Choosing whether cloud-based or on-premises secure payment solutions are best for your business is dependent on many factors; the size of your business, the way you communicate with your customers, the level of IT expertise in your organisation, and the extent to which you want to future-proof your contact center should all be taken into consideration.

To help out those wondering which is the best fit for them, we’ve taken a look at the pros and cons of both and how to choose between them.

How large is your contact center?

Of course, when choosing systems and solutions, finding out which option is most cost-effective is often at the top of most businesses’ list of concerns. To that end, it’s important to look at the size of your contact center and assess whether it would cost you more or less to purchase and run your own equipment and software. In big, single-site contact centers that have a large number of agents dealing with customers over the phone for example, it can be more cost-effective to own and run your own equipment and solutions. However in smaller contact centers where bulk-buying savings are smaller, it may be more cost effective to pay a third-party to manage cloud-based payment solutions for you than it will be to purchase and run your own systems.

Where are you based?

Equipment requirements are also a huge factor when it comes to contact centers with multiple locations. Once you need to start re-routing services between centers in different locations, the cost-effectiveness of running your own solutions is lessened as you’ll need to purchase and install expensive routing and networking systems. Cloud-based solutions are a far more effective option for multi-location centres as all payments can be handled and processed via the same system from any location.

How do you communicate with your customers?

If you’re running a contact center where agents communicate with customers solely via telephone, it can be more cost-effective to own and run your own secure telephone payment system. However nowadays organizations are moving ever more towards omni-channel solutions as the needs and preferences of customers diversify and shift towards the digital. If you need to be able to take payments both over the phone and online, a cloud-based solution automatically becomes your best option as it covers all bases.

What are your plans for the future?

Ensuring your business is future-ready is part of any good sustainable business plan. Once you’ve settled on a solution, changing the way you take payments can be time-consuming and costly so you’ll want to be sure that your chosen option will work for your center into the future as well. When it comes to future-proofing, cloud-based solutions are not easily beaten. On-premises solutions are costly and time-consuming to update, whereas updating cloud-based solutions is as easy as downloading new software or updating your contract to offer new services with the click of a button. As mentioned before, omni-channel solutions also look set to become increasingly popular as customers become ever more digital-minded; opting for a cloud-based solution will give you the ability to make these changes without having to purchase new equipment or oversee large and costly on-premises system overhauls.

How secure do you need to be?

Of course, above all other concerns, the security of your payment solutions should be paramount. For single-site contact centers, on-premises solutions can be the most secure option as all of your customers’ sensitive data is held in one system that cannot be accessed remotely. However once you need to start networking between centers in different locations or taking payments over different channels, cloud-based solutions become your most secure option. A third party cloud-based solution will take care of all security compliance for you, which also makes them the most preferable option for smaller businesses or contact centers who don’t want the responsibility of purchasing and running systems secure enough to safely handle personal data.

At PCI Pal, we offer a platform agnostic PCI compliance solution that scales to be exceptionally reliable across multiple locations through cloud-based technology. If you are considering your options around on-premises and cloud-based solutions to meet the requirements of PCI DSS, get in touch with our team for advice.