This isn't exactly a payments biz issue, but how prepared are we for a pandemic? This comes to mind because of the new coronavirus that began in China and, as of the latest news reports, has killed 170 people and infected more than 7,700 worldwide. In addition to the tragic loss of life, this could do grave harm to the global economy, or at least big parts of it, if this is not contained.
I work in customer service. My job doesn't involve travel, but others in our company have been to China to explore VAR and new vendor partnerships. As if horrific hurricanes and fires of recent years weren't enough already! How do we keep our heads and help the companies that provide our livelihood remain viable should an all-hand-on-deck health crisis occur?
Cameron Holtz, Customer Service Rep
As a payments industry trade publication, we do not have expertise in public health or global disaster prevention and relief. One organization that does have this expertise is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provides information and resources for responding to public health emergencies.
That said, we published "Delivering more than payments amid disaster," in our Jan. 8, 2018 issue, following what was at the time a record year for natural disasters. The article describes the escalating number and severity of catastrophes that have occurred, and how ISOs, service providers and merchant level salespeople have extended aid to numerous merchants in harm's way. It also offers suggestions, such as building up cash reserves to mitigate the effects of calamities that temporarily interrupt normal business functions. Such tips can apply in many types of disasters. Also, we can't foresee what's coming in the future, but we do know that strong relationships are central to helping individuals and communities come through cataclysms and move forward with as many resources intact as possible.
Do you feel you, your company and the payments community are prepared for unexpected negative events? Are there steps we, as a community, should take? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember to share news of your professional milestones at email@example.com.
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