Universal Payment Gateway

Black Pepper's work inspired and instilled a great sense of pride in the team, and an awareness in the business of the importance of QA. The belief in the code is now so strong, it is giving the momentum and confidence for sales to now sell. Thank you Black Pepper!

Stephen Drewett
Board Member, Universal Payment Gateway


UPG are a UK based, payment services provider with a unique and flexible approach to global payments. Their multi-channel solution is designed to make it easier for retailers to reach international markets and accept a variety of local payment types in doing so.

Business Problem and Objectives

A small company with a big vision for growth, in 2016 UPG completed the successful acquisition of a Berlin based payments company PayCo. They quickly identified a need to improve the quality assurance processes and review PayCo’s, security, resilience and scalability. After a short selection process UPG chose Black Pepper for a 5 day engagement to facilitate this activity.

UPG explained their four key aspirations: Stable and predictive releases to facilitate easily deployable new product features, greater efficiencies of their Berlin based resource, better confidence of clients and within the team and higher levels of security, scalability and resilience.

Black Pepper commenced the project with a 3 day on site evaluation of all processes and practices. This involved talking to the existing team, understanding their challenges and a full review of the code base and test processes.

During the following 2 days Black Pepper produced an actionable list, identifying any imminent risks, quick wins and mapping out some longer term more strategic objectives for UPG's consideration.

A document was delivered to the client ahead of a meeting in which the findings and
recommendation were presented.

UPG then asked if Black Pepper could accompany their Management team to Berlin and present the same findings to their newly acquired German team and run some subsequent workshops to action the quick wins described in the document.

Black Pepper spent a week on site in Berlin working with the UPG team to create an improved QA Strategy and reviewing better ways of managing security, scalability and resilience.


Following Black Pepper’s work with UPG they shared some performance improvement KPIs that
were recently presented to the board:

➢ StartTransaction call reduced from 1,300 milliseconds to 100 milliseconds
➢ Number of concurrent transactions increased from 15 to 70
➢ 95% of all requests handled under 500 milliseconds

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