And there we have it: following a government directive, Credorax’s offices in Israel were shut down last week, with all our employees working remotely. Our center in Malta has switched to remote work, ready for a state-mandated curfew at any moment.

There was little drama. There were certainly no announcements to the tune of “dear customer, to ensure continuous service, we now wash hands and follow guidelines.” Management made decisions ahead of the curve, executing on our well-tested business continuity plan in one day instead of three – a week before workplace restrictions were introduced by the authorities. 

And I’m proud to say things simply worked.

It is as if our IT systems and HR policies were designed for a global outbreak of an acute respiratory virus. 

In fact, our HR policies were designed to let our people maintain their work-life balance even if they are the first line of support for a 24/7/365 payment processing system. And our processing systems were designed for unattended redundancy so that the first line of support has some breathing space while they work on incident response.

Reasonable and consistent business

Each design decision was simple to make. We just had to be reasonable and consistent. These guiding principles provided us with a recipe for ensuring business continuity:

Place data centers in different continents closer to major internet backbone hubs – this makes API response times much faster. 

Build remote monitoring and control systems and implement multiple layers of redundancy – a necessary investment if you are 4000 kilometers away from your nearest customer-facing server.

Give everyone a laptop, never a desktop. Maybe they need their one-day-a-week at home to crunch the backlog. Or maybe they will not forget an action item if they can carry a computer into a meeting room. Either way, it pays off despite the cost of securing the endpoint.

Give the team leads the freedom to operate. Every manager must know their compliance, but otherwise, let them organize processes as they see fit.

Consistently and constantly improve processes, keep pushing for operational excellence, be financially sound, service the market – and in doing so, become flexible and adaptive.

Last but not least: avoid indecisiveness and confusion.

Simple, not easy, and certainly not cheap, and it worked.

It worked before COVID-19 started. We run at “five nines” uptime for many years and are one of the fastest-growing acquirers in Europe with one of the fastest transaction handling times in the world. 

It works just as well now.

Of course, we follow plans and procedures. We confirmed the business continuity of our vendors, stopped business travel, shifted meetings to online video calls as it all unfolded. Hygiene was never an issue, but we reminded the team of it anyway. 

We have certainly learned our lessons from executing the business continuity plan. Indeed, employees had to come and pick up their monitors to be more comfortable, so we will now issue personal LCD screens for new hires to take home from day one. We even stocked up on hand sanitizer gel in time to have it branded and were able to ship face masks to our Chinese office when they experienced a shortage earlier in the year. 

We didn’t foresee the toilet paper thing, though, but to our defense, it defies reason and logic.  

In times of uncertainty like the ones we are experiencing now, we all have our moments of doubt and worry. However, for us at Credorax, this global crisis was not a major challenge.

Our services continue uninterrupted and without deterioration. 

And, by the way, that includes the onboarding of new customers continue to our rock-solid smart payment services, with one of the lowest decline rates in the market. 

We’re just postponing the dinner and the handshakes. 

To learn more about our business continuity or how we can help you with yours, contact us at