Payments integration and fraud protection with Dojo

Lawsons is one of the largest remaining family-owned builder’s merchants in the UK, and in 2022 celebrated 100 years of business. Lawsons has grown rapidly in recent years through several acquisitions, snapping up successful independents in areas like general building, timber, fencing and landscaping supplies, such as AVS Fencing & Landscaping. That acquisitional approach has seen the company more than double its sites to 38 over the last four years alone.

As Lawsons has expanded, so has the size and complexity of its technology stack. The man charged with overseeing its technology infrastructure is Stephen Younger. Having joined Lawsons in 2013 as IT Support Manager, Stephen is now the company’s Group Infrastructure Manager. “Anything connected to a plug comes my way,” he laughs.

“As the business grew, we knew an integrated payments system would help us,” he says. “We work with Kerridge Commercial Systems and had been asking them for some time about integrated payment. We were told about Dojo and really liked what it could offer. That relationship has developed brilliantly, allowing us to fully integrate our 120+ tills across the branch network.”

Integrated payments

Lawsons had previously used Cardnet to process payments. Its lack of integration made it unpopular with staff, and prone to keying errors, meaning there could be errors with reconciliation at the end of the day. Introducing Dojo has eradicated those errors, saving Lawsons a great deal of time across their various sites.

“We’ve also saved a great deal of time when taking payments at the counter,” says Stephen. “Under the previous system, it was easy to type in the incorrect amount, or the customer’s card might not be read correctly. Now it’s seamless for our staff and the customers - it’s a matter of seconds.

“And if our systems go down, we can switch to non-integrated payments and still use Dojo because of the 4G connectivity that they offer. Our people absolutely love Dojo. They’d scream if we tried to remove it.”

Overseeing almost 40 sites poses several challenges for Stephen and his team. For a long time, one of the main ones was paying separately for each site’s payment solutions. Receiving and paying so many SP payment requests each month was a headache, but Dojo and Lawsons worked together to find a fix.

“Dojo listened to us and created one standard account for the entire business. We’ve gone from paying more than 30 SPs a month to one, making things so much easier. We love Dojo because they listen to our feedback and collaborate to improve the product.”

Protecting against fraud

Unfortunately, the construction sector can be targeted by fraudsters, and large orders can leave merchants thousands of pounds out of pocket. Manual payments are particularly vulnerable to fraud, and had previously made up around 50% of Lawsons’ transactions. When dealing with regular customers, manual payments were no problem, but for new customers, it represented a real risk.

“It was a big concern,” says Stephen. “We put in a policy where new customers had to come in and pay with chip and PIN or BACS, but that wasn’t always convenient. So we worked with Dojo again to introduce an alternative that suits our business.”

That alternative is Payment Links, which lets customers make payments through a 3D Secure Banking link in just a few clicks. The payment link is initiated by Lawsons using Dojo, and then sent to the customer.

“Dojo introducing Payment Links has massively alleviated our risk of fraud. We’re pushing all of our sites to move from manual transactions to Payment Links, and we’ve got some who are taking 100% of new business payments with it, while others are at 80-90%. It’s given us the protection we needed.”

Compliance made simple

Dojo has also made PCI compliance a piece of cake. Lawsons had previously had to combine its Cardnet terminals with Blue Scorpion devices to encrypt payments and meet the necessary PCI standards.

“PCI compliance is done automatically by Dojo, so it’s not something we have to worry about anymore. Previously, it represented a lot of time and effort across the group, which we’ve been able to eradicate. It’s another great example of how Dojo simplifies things for Lawsons,” says Stephen.

Since Dojo and Lawsons were introduced, they’ve developed from a vendor-client relationship into a tight-knit partnership, working collaboratively to solve problems. The value of an integrated payment system that spans 38 sites is vast, saving the business massive amounts of time and effort. As well as being more efficient, Dojo has given Lawsons confidence that it can introduce new customers without a high threat of fraud while ensuring complexities over PCI compliance are a thing of the past.

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