Published October 7, 2021
As the payments landscape continues to change with the increasing ways consumers can pay—particularly digitally, the transformation goes much deeper including how businesses view the value of payment providers. Providing a solution for processing payments is certainly still a welcome reprieve but now there’s a greater emphasis on the “business outcomes” payment providers can deliver.
That need for support is being driven by businesses’ increasing desire to protect thin margins in an uncertain world by focusing on the higher value part of their business operations. And more and more business owners are tired of wasting resources on handling payments themselves.
Owners and operators have seen their share of needing to make changes over the last year and a half (even before the pandemic). From putting curbside service in place for the first time to strengthening their online shopping to accepting contactless digital-first payments and transforming their brick-and-mortar layout to meet consumer safety-first preferences, the adjustments have been taxing. And for many business owners investing in more technology helped them make all those changes and more, but data from a recent WePay study shows that owners and operators are still having payment struggles.
Payment stats from the survey include:
A couple of the key insights from the study include “small businesses want integrated payments” and 77 percent of businesses bringing in more than one million per year would consider partnering with an independent software vendor.
And what they really need to be looking for is a payment provider with an end-to-end solution. Why? Because of the security, simplicity and innovation it delivers—and the way it increases their ability to go to market quickly with new technology as needed (like accepting new payment types)—all from one source that consolidates costs with seamless “one-stop” management.
Put simply, end-to-end payment providers run every aspect of your payments from start to finish—and that’s no small feat. While your customers may think the payment begins and ends when they tap their card on your NFC enabled POS, they’re only seeing a tiny fraction of what’s really involved in payment processing. And that’s just what business owners want—it should be simple and easy for your customers, butcustomers but making payments seamless for them doesn’t have to be a burden for you.
With end-to-end payment processing, every step is continuously managed with no down time which secures your customers’ payments and greatly reduces any bumps along the payment cycle. And, going back to the business outcomes that payment providers bring, an end-to-end provider also delivers comprehensive reporting to help protect, manage and grow your business.
Payments are a complex part of your business—taking a look at the various aspects of payments is all you need to do to understand that. Here’s a peek at many of them:
Payment gateway: This acts like a bridge between merchants and customers. When a customer makes an online purchase, information is exchanged between their bank accounts and your merchant account. The payment gateway software communicates back and forth between sellers, buyers and financial institutions, eventually determining whether to accept or decline the transaction.
Payment processor: The entity that authorizes transactions, transmits transaction data to clear and settle the transactions for the merchant; in other words, the payment service that actually processes the payments with the card brands
Issuer – (Card Issuing Bank) The bank or financial institution that issued the buyers credit or debit card or other digital payment method
Acquirers – (Merchant Acquiring Bank) The bank or financial institution that holds the merchant account and settles the approved transactions
Merchant Account – The type of bank account needed for a business to accept and process card brand payments through credit or debit cards
Card brand association – Visa/Mastercard/Discover/American Express
Mobile payments and digital wallets – With their traditional wallet at home, customers use their phones to make payments
Other aspects include the hardware (PIN Pads), payment applications, and fraud management tools.
Some them have already briefly mentioned, but end-to-end payment processing brings many benefits to businesses with the largest being the support it brings to help you grow yours. Others include:
Increased innovation to get to market faster. Integrations with your software systems, and technology like a REST API, support endless additional integrations making it easy for to adjust as the payments industry evolves. That makes it much easier to handle the payments your customers want to use and how they want to use them.
Handle an increased volume of transactions. With constant management, less downtimes, and reduced slow payments, your business can handle more payments and that leads to more revenue.
Increase the security of payments. A tokenization process reduces the risk of fraud and identity theft combined with greater visibility and management at every step of the payment cycle.
Provide better customer service. One of the most important parts of any customer service is simply being able to pay and enjoy or use whatever your customers buy. When you fool proof your payment system with 24/7 availability, making it as simple and quick as possible for your customers to pay, you’ll have them coming back again and again.
All payments, one provider makes it easier. Simplifying makes business and life easier so rather than having multiple partners or ways of managing payments, there’s only one source you need to call.
Save time, spend it on other parts of your business. When you and your other staff members don’t have to manage your payment systems or attend to problems when they come up—which also happen less frequently with an end-to-end provider—you can focus on other areas of your business.
Gain more visibility. With comprehensive single-sourced payment reports it’s easier to access data that you can use to make improvements to your business.
Flexibility for an omnichannel experience. Your customers will get the same experience in every one of your channels—whether that’s on a mobile POS, online, or in your store.
Just like forming any good partnership, you’ll want to look for the basics—will they be that responsive, dedicated service provider who you know you can count on particularly in the worst of times? And finding an established, trusted technology leader will greatly increase your chances of partnering with a true end-to-end payment provider—they aren’t that easy to find, actually.
As the world continues to adjust to big changes and businesses need to pivot quickly, knowing your payment system has the support to make those adjustments can be a key differentiator. With your customers securely paying however they want to while you’re able to focus on other parts of your business like needing to make changes to your brick-and-mortar layout, your business is poised for growth—without the burden of managing payments.