Powering the payments industry: How to prep for peak season


Steve Jobs said it best: simple can be harder than complex. He wasn’t talking about payment systems or about preparing for peak trading seasons. But his wisdom still applies.

At PPRO, our local payments partners and customers are gearing up for peak trading during the holiday season. It kicks off with the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival timed to coincide with Singles’ Day in China, continues through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and winds down after the start of the new year.

This year, we’re doing things a little differently. We’re lifting the lid to show you how all the million puzzle pieces fit together to create a simple, seamless experience for our customers. And their merchant customers. (See, we told you it was complicated!)

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

In truth, we’re always preparing for peak season. The preparations never really start or stop. They’re an ongoing part of business-as-usual development and maintenance year-round.

We work with some of the largest acquirers and payment service providers (PSPs) worldwide. We support their tier-one global merchants; high-volume retail, services, travel, digital goods, and ticketing clients. We’re used to seeing high and sudden spikes in volume, and we’re prepared to handle them.

But some local payment method (LPM) partners may not be used to such spikes; they can be up to 3-4 times their normal volumes. So over the summer, we ramp up both our internal and external preparations.

  • Testing — we re-test all our connections with LPM partners and internet service providers. This ensures every component has a back-up and we avoid single points of failure.
  • Freezes — we freeze technical developments ahead of 11.11 and do not integrate to new customers to minimise bugs.
  • Maintenance — we request that LPM partners, sub-schemes, and bank partners minimise their own maintenance to maximise up-time during peak season.
  • Expanding system limits and capacity (if necessary) — we ensure that our LPM partners can process a certain number of transactions per second and heavy traffic arriving in waves. This means checking, amongst other things, firewall/load balancers and related systems, distributed denial of service (DDOS) protection settings, and whitelisting IPs and failover IPs.
  • Mobile — we work with LPM partners to optimise mobile checkout solutions to improve customer experience and conversion.
  • Marketing — we run joint campaigns with LPM partners to encourage awareness and sales during 11.11 and other online shopping events.
  • Refunds — we’ve built refund functionality for some local payment methods that do not have it natively. This means hassle-free refunds on selected bank transfer ‘push’ payments.

Taking on complexity so clients don’t have to

Nothing happens in payments that doesn’t involve multiple parties working across different parts of a network ecosystem. It’s a dance with many steps and many dancers, complicated by each LPM’s policies, procedures and protocols.

Luckily for PPRO, making the complex simple is just what we do. It’s in our bones. PPRO processes, collects, reconciles and refunds all via one contract and through one integration.

For more information or to discuss your particular local payment requirements, email