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Make or Buy a 3DS Component?

Written by: Makis Gravanis

The decision to make or buy software has always been a difficult one, as each approach has both advantages and disadvantages. This holds true for those making or buying a EMV 3-D Secure (3DS) component, especially since the new version of 3DS may improve conversion rates for online purchases. On one hand, the ‘buy’ approach results in less resources needed internally, potentially reducing the capital needed and will likely represent the quickest time to market. On the other hand, a ‘make’ approach helps to better integrate with your internal systems, absorb fixed costs and enhance the protection of the intellectual property. But how can anyone decide upon making or buying a 3DS component?

At UL we have developed a framework that helps potential customers with such ‘make or buy’ dilemmas. 

Evaluate your position
The most important factor when wanting to make a deciding to ‘make or buy’ a 3DS component is to have in-depth knowledge of your own business, and in particular which impacted areas may change the current status quo. Such knowledge will help to validate the need for the discussed technology.

Afterwards, identifying the core business and architectural requirements of the component will be useful when it comes to match them with your strategic goals and existing infrastructure. The strategic value resulted from either of the two options should be taken into consideration. 

Time and cost should also not be neglected in ‘make or buy’ decisions. When buying a component the cost usually is straightforward, but does the same apply for the ‘making’ decision? An accurate cost calculation might save you from taking the wrong decision! In addition, time is money, and in both options (make or buy) timing is an important factor to consider.

Evaluate the outcome of each scenario 
After having considered all the aforementioned factors, it is time to construct possible scenarios and evaluate their impact on your business. Since different factors may affect the outcome of a scenario to varying degrees, the impact of each individual factor should be weighted accordingly. Using tools such a decision matrix, the ‘make or buy’ decision becomes more and more clear. 

The decision to ‘make or buy’ is critical one for any company facing such a dilemma. UL is the sole provider of the testing solution to the market (3DS Self Test Platform), and as such we have developed in-depth expertise and knowledge to guide you through this process and ensure the right choice is made for your company. In addition, our expertise can be put to good use dealing with the next steps in your 3DS implementation. 

In case of a ‘make’ decision, the next challenges are to choose the appropriate architecture as well as the project management of the development. Furthermore, a correct implementation of the specification will ensure a smooth approval (certification) process. If instead you decide to ‘buy’, selecting the appropriate vendor and integrating their solution into your current system architecture will likely pose some challenges. Figure 1 summarizes some of the important next steps to be considered once the ‘make or buy’ decision has been made. 
 3DS components
Figure 1 challenges of ‘make’ and ‘buy’ scenarios.


To conclude, independent from the decision to ‘make or buy’ a 3DS component, UL has the appropriate solution for you. For more information on EMV 3-D Secure please refer to our previous blogposts, webinars, white paper or contact one of our experts.