Choosing a meal in a pub. Booking a nursery place for a child. Getting a ticket for the theatre. What is it that will turn any of these actions into a commercial transaction? It’s paying for it, of course. Yet for many software providers, choosing the right payment partner can be very challenging. There is a dizzying array of functionality, configurations, capabilities, and pricing models which can make a difference in terms of the payment experience and conversion.
Unfortunately, if you’re building a software platform, then lack of knowledge and transparency related to these topics will mean you are the one who ultimately pays the price. As a software provider, you will want to choose a partner who is more than simply a payment processor. A partner who has your best interest at heart and will flex to help you to be more competitive and win more customers, whilst keeping development costs to a minimum.
So here is a brief beginners’ guide to the most important things a software provider needs to know, to ensure you choose the payment model that’s right for your platform, right for your customers, and right for your business.
The inside story
A B2B2C platform has a range of payment models to choose from. Some work independently of your platform, some work alongside, and some are integrated but require the platform to be in the payment flow – typically settling funds to the platform’s customers via BACS. Some have automated boarding processes and others do not; whilst some combine the gateway and merchant account and others have partnerships. Pay360’s Evolve payment platform provides automated boarding, a payment gateway and settlement all in one package – via Pay360 built APIs.
This has several major benefits for your customers’ businesses and for yours.
Control the customer experience
For your customers, Pay360 Evolve simplifies and accelerates onboarding because no third party – such as a payment processor – is involved. It can all be completed in minutes, and all through you. For you, it means you maintain control throughout the whole onboarding process – strengthening your customer relationships and reducing the risk of customers dropping out before they are fully onboarded. In addition, because settlement occurs directly with your customers, you make life easier for your accounting teams by removing the costly burden of administration. You can also relinquish most PCI compliance activities.
Offering the consumer a choice
A payment gateway is the mechanism for accepting and authorising online payments, in real time. For the end user, the gateway is essentially the form they see when they enter their name and card details to make a payment.
For the end user’s convenience, it’s important that, for example, the model offers the capability to accept payment through a comprehensive range of methods – such as credit and debit cards, PayPal and Apple Pay. You should also consider adopting emerging payment methods such as Open Banking and BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later), and payment via messaging apps.
Strong security features which will help to minimise the risk of fraud are essential. PCI Level 1 compliance is a regulatory requirement, but while some payment models are compliant, others expect you or your customer to take on this responsibility. There are also other security measures – such as Point-to-Point Encryption and Payment Application Data Security – which provide valuable additional protection and are features of the most secure models.
Whose money is it anyway?
Different models charge different fees and charge them in different ways: some complex and some simple. Will those fees allow your business to realise the margins it needs? Will you earn revenue for every transaction processed? Will settlement be fast or slow? Are you involved in the flow of funds? And will the payment model provider work with you in the long-term, to help you optimise and monetise your payments service to drive growth?
Adding an integrated payments service allows you to further monetise your platform. With the right service in place, every successful transaction can contribute to your bottom line, with a revenue share which your payments partner should provide. After all, your success is their success.
If you would like to know more about how Pay360 Evolve could work with your software, why not give Bart Leonard, Head of Sales, a call on 07740 530479 or email email@example.com
And that’s one more thing to look out for. Does the payment model you’re considering offer you a truly personalised service?