Strategic Payments & Selecting the Right Partner

Selecting a partner to permit payments in your software can be an easy decision or it can be a difficult one. Most of us, simply because it’s human nature, will go for the easy decision. The decision is usually around the best rates and fees. Sometimes it’s about the relationship with the payments company or how quickly they can get merchants up and running.  Many software developers select a number of payments vendors then simply let merchants decide

While not always the easy route, some due diligence when selecting a payment provider makes a lot of sense. After all, at the end of the day, the ability to accept payments is the most basic function for a successful business. If the payments integrated into your solution don’t meet the business’ needs, it reflects on you.

Here are a few considerations…

Features & Functions
A payments integration is no longer about accepting credit and debit. Technologies, often centered on catering to how customers wish to pay, are key. Does your partner offer a mobile solution? Payment portals? Are there NFC options? Can you service repeat and recurring payment models? Is the reporting robust? There are many considerations when ensuring your software can continue to grow with an evolving payments industry.

Are payments in the system visible and accessible? Can you reach a dedicated account representative when needed? Are pricing and the payments process spelled out in an intuitive, understandable fashion? You should be able to see all pertinent information related to your account and your customers’ payment information.

Payments security has arguably been the industry’s top priority for the past decade. PCI compliance, QIR requirements, tokenization, encryption, in-scope, out-of-scope, EMV – security has become a complex alphabet soup of mandates and best practices. The right payments partner will not only be able to offer the best methods for safeguarding data, but they should be able to offer expert consultation.

Is the payments company familiar with your industry? Can they service your customers for payment related issues (so you don’t have to)? When you or your merchant needs help, are you comfortable there’s a knowledgeable representative on the other end of the phone? Your payments company, if truly a partner, will understand your needs.

Clearly, this is not an exhaustive list, but it gives you something to think about beyond saving basis points. Always do your homework when making an important partnership decision like payments; you won’t regret it.