South Africa – You Can’t “Dispute” a Winning Hand

In the ongoing pain to try and recover from the global economic meltdown, organizations are evaluating a range of strategies that will enable them to reduce cost, improve performance and mitigate risk.

From a risk mitigation perspective, having a global location strategy that adequately plugs the gaps, combined with service specialist functions that will deliver the correct balance between cost, performance and risk are initiatives that deserve consideration. This of course assumes that a certain amount of offshoring is already taking place within your organization.

Everest Group’s 2009 research on South Africa’s readiness and capabilities to compete in BPO in the Financial Services sector strongly affirms South Africa as a key emerging offshore destination, particularly for financial services. Everest’s research confirms the large and experienced talent pool, and the narrowing of costs and availability of high quality English speakers, at a low cost.

As U.S.-based financial services institutions look to capitalize on the benefits of offshoring certain risk functions, it’s important to note that South Africa has been handling credit card dispute and chargeback services for U.S. banks and financial institutions for several years with great success. “Our South African Dispute Resolution Team is firmly established as a Global Center of Excellence, with each team member bringing years of card processing experience, gained both internationally and from within South Africa’s first world economy where most of the major banks have a presence,” stated Andrew McNair, General Manager for Merchants, a global contact center subsidiary of Dimension Data. “This context has helped emphasize South Africa’s core value proposition on quality as it differentiates itself from traditionally favored offshore destinations such as India, where many of the advisors have no personal familiarity with the product being serviced.”

There are other compelling factors for looking at South Africa to handle dispute and chargeback work. For instance, South Africa has robust and advanced technology infrastructure supported by secure links to U.S. companies’ best-in-class processing platforms to ensure optimal productivity and complimentary commercial benefits to a compelling level, even when compared to India or the Philippines. Furthermore, access to best-of-breed technology and connectivity solutions through companies like Dimension Data, adds value for clients looking for turnkey solutions.

PCI-regulated, cultural compatibility, high educational standards, English proficiency, and user affinity with products and services (especially for financial services), positions South Africa as the quality offshore alternative for U.S. companies, and as a card processing managed service destination of choice.

With the focus and attention on South Africa this summer as a result of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and proof that the country can deliver admirably on the world stage, there is no reason why South Africa can’t be the winner in delivering value based offshore payment solutions for the global dispute and chargeback industry.

To learn more about opportunities in South Africa regarding disputes and chargeback servicing, please contact Corbett Mortensen, Senior Director of Business Development, TSYS, at or +1.480.333.7934.

Andrew D. McNair
General Manager, Merchants Consulting, North America
Andrew has more than 15 years industry experience primarily within the Financial Service and Telecommunications sector, and has provided interim management and consultancy services across Europe, Australia, Africa and North America. Andrew has been with Merchants, Dimension Data’s contact centre subsidiary for 10 years, and holds responsibilities for product innovation and executive account management for U.S. clients. Currently based in Vancouver, Canada, Andrew is now driving Merchants and Dimension Data’s global capability in Managed Services.

About Merchants
Merchants is a leading customer contact solutions company with 25 years experience providing solutions to blue chip clients. Whatever the requirements, from an outsourcing project through to the building of a new contact center, Merchants tailors solutions to meet specific customer management business requirements. From communication centers in the UK, Netherlands and South Africa, Merchants also manages the outsourced customer contact operations of some of the world’s best known brands. Merchants publishes ‘The Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report’, the industry’s most respected annual global research report on industry trends.  Merchants is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dimension Data.

About Dimension Data
Present in 49 countries around the world, Dimension Data is a world-class organization that delivers technology-based business solutions to roughly 6,000 clients, including 79% of the Global Fortune 100 and 63% of the Global Fortune 500. Employing over 11,000 exceptional people, 2009 revenues exceeded $4bn USD.