At Global Payments Integrated, our business development (BD) team approaches and consults with independent software vendors (ISVs) to find integrated payment solutions that benefit their merchants and their bottom line.
We are excited to feature our senior director of business development, Kevin Thompson. Kevin has over a decade of experience in payments and leads our team of BD managers. We ask him how he helps address the challenges and misconceptions ISVs have about payment integrations.
Q: Give us a summary of your career in payments.
Kevin: I've been in the payments industry for 11 years, focusing specifically on strategic partnerships and ISV integrations. My career in payments has been similar to the industry as a whole. I've been through 5 different mergers and acquisitions, which has created positive consolidation within our organization and industry-wide. I've watched Global Payments become the worldwide leader in embedded commerce solutions that allow vertical market software providers to enhance their payment solutions and experiences.
Q: What does your day-to-day look like as a senior director of business development?
Kevin: It's busy, but very fun. I enjoy spending most of my day engaging with software companies and private equity firms to help identify and solve unique, sometimes complex, embedded commerce strategies. We have successful partnerships in over 100 verticals and each vertical presents a new, fun challenge.
It’s exciting to be able to bridge software/payment technologies with economics and go-to-market strategies. Not many people get to do all of these things.
Q: Tell us about your management style. How do you help your team build trust with ISVs?
Kevin: I love leading teams. It's rewarding to watch my team members grow, succeed, and see them have fun doing it. But I also love getting into the weeds with them, which has led me to have a very hands-on management style.
In terms of building trust with partners: this is the most important aspect of our success. I think this is evident by how many times we tell prospects, "I don't think we are the best fit for what you are looking for."
We do not get rewarded for “signing” partners– we only benefit when our partners launch and execute a successful payment strategy. We build trust by listening, understanding their needs, and developing a well-documented business plan together. I want to understand what it feels like to be a stakeholder of the partner's organization before recommending a solution or partnership model.
We talk to most of our partners every week, sometimes every day, and these partnerships typically last decades. If we can't build trust during the early stages, then we probably shouldn't work together.
Q: What are common challenges that ISVs face when integrating payments?
Kevin: It's challenging for ISVs to filter out the noise. The industry is convoluted and competitive. Every payments company is going to tell you that they are the greatest. Fortunately for ISVs, we are starting to see the real players elevate to the top, making it difficult for even "tier 2" payments companies to remain relevant.
ISVs also face challenges in truly understanding payment providers' economic opportunities and proposals. If any partner, vendor, or business tells you that they are the cheapest or will "give you everything for free," then that should be an immediate red flag.
Q: What misconceptions do ISVs have about payment integrations and payment processing?
Kevin: Some ISVs oversimplify the payments industry. You can't just build a payments integration and think customers will come. Every software solution offers integrated payments. How or why is yours different? Every competitor can undercut your price, so how do ISVs prevent payments from becoming a commodity? Also, payments can be risky, especially for an ISV that thinks becoming a full-blown payment facilitator (payfac) is a smart idea.
On the other hand, ISVs often overestimate the development lift of revamping their payments strategy. It doesn't have to be difficult! We've had ISVs integrate our embedded commerce suite including card present, eCommerce, text-to-pay, eStatements, consumer financing, and more– in as little as two weeks.
Q: How does Global Payments Integrated differentiate itself from competitors regarding the integration process, product offerings, and resources available to partners?
Kevin: Even though Global Payments is one of the largest payment processors in the world, we do much more than that.
We are the largest card issuer in North America and have one of the industry's most robust accounts payable APIs and invoice automation platforms. This allows an ISV to help their merchants accept payments while also helping them handle their payables. We call this “money in, money out”. In turn, this doubles the revenue potential for our strategic ISV partners.
Global Payments is also the industry leader in payroll solutions with one of the most popular platforms for merchants with 10 to 250 employees. This is available to our ISV partners to fully embed, partially integrate, or offer standalone.
Resources are a key differentiator. Each one of our partners receives a dedicated team to implement, execute, and support our co-sale motions and joint objectives. This includes dedicated developers, marketing, support, and sales. The emphasis on sales is that we have 1,400 sales professionals ranging from inbound sales, outbound, enterprise, mid-market, and outside/field sales. We likely have a regional sales rep within 10 miles of all merchant locations in North America.
Q: What payment functionalities should a modern ISV be offering today?
Kevin: Every ISV, regardless of vertical, should already have a robust consumer engagement solution that offers text-to-pay, invoicing, SMS payment reminders, propensity to pay analytics, and alternative payment options such as financing, Venmo, Paypal, and crypto. But most ISVs have to outsource these solutions to 3-4 different vendors. That’s a challenge we’ve solved for.
Q: What payment trends will be popular with ISVs in 2022?
Kevin: I like what Apple is doing with near field communications (NFC) payment acceptance on their new devices and latest iOS platform. It allows a merchant to easily use their Apple device to take NFC payments, and it is one step towards eliminating the need for unnecessary hardware and terminals. We are certifying this technology on our platform.
The other trend is the consolidation of vendors and partners. I mentioned some of this above. I recently spoke with a healthcare ISV that had separate partners for integrated payments, patient financing, patient engagement, patient statements, their phone system, payroll, accounts payable automation, and business lending. That's eight partners! Global Payments replaces all eight with a single proprietary relationship.
Q: What excites you the most about the future of payments?
Kevin: Nobody is doing what Global Payments is doing today. Since we are more than just a payments company, we give ISVs the option to consolidate several of their vendors, which excites me. But what excites me the most is that the customer experience is driving payment technology. We are all experiencing this as consumers today and I like that more than anything.
Our Business Development team is ready to help ISVs integrate a payment solution that best suits their software and their clients’ needs. Contact us today to get started.