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“As a result of the services we provide to the bank, we had to undergo regulatory due diligence - they had a look at SalesForce and Synatic and they both passed with flying colours.” - David Reynders CTO

Merchant Capital

File transfer and data exchange made easy with Synatic

Business Situation

Merchant Capital required a solution to solve its file transfer and data exchange challenges.

Merchant Capital, an alternative provider of working capital for small and medium entrepreneurs, has partnered with Synatic to solve its file transfer and data exchange challenges. Synatic solves complex data challenges with predefined solutions and a simple low code environment without expensive resources.

The challenge

Merchant Capital offers short term loans to small retailers and needs to process collections each day. These collections are typically processed by file exchange and files need to be generated and sent off to the recipient. The responses then need to be picked up and processed into Salesforce.
Merchant Capital CTO David Reynders says they are a SalesForce house using it as the CRM system as well as their production system. "SalesForce has a fundamental weakness when it comes to creating files and SFTP, it's just really not good at that."

The Solution

"Once I had the data model within SalesForce, Synatic enabled me with very little configuration to generate, send and receive and parse transaction files. It offered a very low cost of implementation, relative to coding, testing, deploying, managing, code versioning etc," he explains.

He says it only took two weeks to implement and get the first file out whereas it would have taken them many weeks of coding and deploying and debugging. "Now, if we have to make changes to a file format, we can make a change in a matter of hours or a day or two and the bottleneck is never us, always the other side because they have a less flexible ETL tool."

Reynders says it was one of the key enablers as they grew the business, to embrace other forms of daily collections. "We could ask Synatic to create records based on business logic - so we put some of our business logic inside Synatic instead of having to code it in SalesForce. It meant we were more agile in our ability to modify and extend our processes because we had another way of doing things through Synatic."

Merchant Capital started off with a propriety collection mechanism for Standard Bank but then moved to a debit order collection solution. They then built a completely different product for the bank, one that required intense file exchange for reporting purposes, marketing campaigns and for regulatory compliance.

"We were able to use Synatic to build files in different formats in order to exchange the data between us and the bank, it was extremely easy. It's been a key enabler in our ability to innovate along with our partners," he adds.

Advantages

Without Synatic it would have been extremely difficult for Merchant Capital to launch its products into the market. It would have taken several times as long and it would have added to the risk of its ability to deliver.

"The biggest benefit is Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) because the implementation time is low and the flexibility is high. The business impact of that is that we are able to work with partners quickly, we are able to work with many of them, and we are able to be agile to the point where we are never the bottleneck when it comes to data exchange and that's a strategic business advantage," he explains.

Service

"Something I ascribe enormous value to is a supplier that actually cares whether their product works. The way I evaluate that is when I encounter an issue and I tell them about it, how long it takes them to sort it out. Synatic has been amazing on two dimensions - fixing issues when they arise and their willingness to help. Their turnaround time is amazing and it felt as if I was the only client, this is the amount of attention I received," he adds.

"Also, when our processes reached their functionality limits and we required enhancements, they were developed and released instantaneously. I have never felt constrained by the existing functionality within Synatic largely due to their willingness to help with enhancements and extensive functionality. Synatic is committed to making sure its solutions work and is always willing to work after hours and weekends to resolve issues. Their support is fantastic," says Reynders.

Cost

Reynders says because they engaged with Synatic from the beginning, they didn’t do a comparative analysis. "But I estimate that an alternative could cost up to 20 times more."

Compliance

"As a result of the services we provide to the bank and the fact that we are custodians of some of their data, we have had to undergo regulatory compliance due diligence - they had a look at SalesForce and Synatic and they both passed with flying colours," he says.

Reynders says the system is always up and they have no infrastructure requirements. "The way it's been built, we had no problem with compliance requirements."

The future

He says there was always a misconception that APIs would replace file exchange. The reality however is that most banking systems are still setup to exchange files for non real-time data exchange. "The ability to send and receive files and automatically pull them into your production environment is a fundamental feature if you want to operate in a connected or integrated environment."

"I view Synatic as a fundamental component of our offering into the future because we operate in an integrated environment and it means our turnaround times with partners is shorter than theirs, which ultimately means we are able to offer better service and maintain high levels of service delivery," he concludes.

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