Telltale Signs of a Great Payments Partner

Blog 2022

Regardless of what industry your merchant software serves, how you integrate payments can significantly impact the perceived value of your solution. Payments play a starring role in the customer experience – especially with younger populations – and they directly relate to your revenue generation.

Other than determining which payment options you want and need to offer your customers; payment processing should be an afterthought. Your focus should be on selling to and serving your merchant customers and, of course, growth.

That’s why it’s so important to choose the right payments processing partner.

Telltale Signs of a Great Payments Partner

ISVs and merchants need a payments gateway partner that gives them the freedom to adapt to innovation and grow with their merchants. There are several signs that you’ve made the right choice. Let’s start with the bare minimum:

PCI Compliance Is Table Stakes

In order to process any credit card data, a business has to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and that compliance must be validated yearly. It involves 12 areas, including firewall configuration, password management, secure storage, and data encryption.

Every payments processor or gateway offers PCI compliance (or they should). The question is: How much of the heavy lifting do you have to do to maintain compliance?

The best payments partner will handle all of it for you.

You’ve got enough on your plate. Let your payments gateway handle PCI compliance.

Another somewhat standard feature to look for is the ability to process across payment types and mediums.

The Future of Payments Is Omnichannel

Customers have become accustomed to shopping where it’s most convenient for them. If they’re shopping online, they likely browse on their laptops or tablets and make purchases on their smartphones. Thanks to the pandemic, channels like buy online, pick up in store and alternative payment options like buy now, pay later and installments have become wildly popular. Within storefronts, merchants offer a range of devices, from contactless to swipe and dip options.

Your merchants need to offer some or all these channels. And your solution will require less support and overhead if all those channels are funneled through one relationship.

Yes, omnichannel payments is another example of bare minimum standards for the best payments partner. However, a superior partner will handle all of that for you through a single interface. Why should you spin that many plates? That’s your payments partner’s job.

This brings us to one of the features that isn’t always so standard.

Flexibility Is Where It’s At

Your merchant clients are in business to be profitable. That means they have to morph and change — adapt to market and industry needs. If your solution can’t shift with those changes, merchants will find software that will. Your payments partner can help.

The best gateway partner will provide payments processing for any channel at any time and be able to change those channels as your needs change. That type of flexibility is critical now and will be even more important with further innovation.

When it comes to flexibility, you want Pandora’s box and a gateway that manages all of it for you.

Part of that management involves security.

Fraud Prevention Should Be Part of the Solution

ISVs should partner with a payments gateway that has fraud controls across the board, including card-not-present, digital wallets, and mobile orders. The last several years have accelerated online shopping, and criminals have upped their game to perpetrate more fraud than ever before.

Merchants need reassurance that your solution won’t put their businesses or their customers’ data at risk. Fraud prevention is just one of many elements that fall into the customer experience.

Customer Experience Is Key

If there’s one thing that can kill a customer’s shopping experience, it’s friction. Friction in the payments space refers to anything that makes it harder for the customer to spend their money: Limited payment options, having to re-enter information, complicated checkout pages, and declined payments.

The less friction inherent to your merchant solution, the more likely their customers will complete their buying journey. That means more revenue for you and your merchants.

What do frictionless payments look like?

  • Pay your way with multiple payment options (hello, omnichannel)
  • Mobile and social apps
  • Contactless EMV
  • Self-service kiosks

These are just some of the capabilities your payments gateway should offer.

And that customer experience applies to your merchants as well. A great payments gateway has RESTful API for easy integration and a host of other APIs for a variety of functions. Simple and seamless are what you’re looking for in a partner.

Ultimately, you’re looking for a payments partner that delivers a return on your investment.

Where’s the ROI?

The biggest focus of your payments gateway partner search should be on where you can find the most value. Since most ISVs are viewed as a utility that merchants need to do business, your ability to build in pricing and value that is easily digestible is critical. If you can show a merchant what it costs to handle payments and it’s highly competitive, you go from being a utility to delivering value they can’t find anywhere else.

When it comes to value, simple pricing is huge. Neither you nor your merchants want or need to be nickeled and dimed for every new feature or functionality. Those new features should be part of the plan and the value of working with you. A payments gateway that takes the same approach will allow you to roll out new functionality without having to pass along costs.

Where Can You Add Value at No Cost?

Firstly, look at points of acceptance, or the ways you accept payments. Your payments partner should offer a variety of options, including FSA or HSA cards, virtual terminals, and hosted payments pages. Whether you opt to use or offer these options, having them available in your back pocket is invaluable to deliver at no extra cost.

Another example is device types in brick-and-mortar stores. A superior payments gateway will allow you to switch from one device type or manufacturer to another without so much as the need to track shipping. As technology evolves, upgrading your merchant payments should be seamless.

Think about how you handle processing costs. Did you know that Payroc offers flexible pricing programs where ISVs can position their solutions featured by zero-cost payment processing? This type of program is rare in the industry but gives you the upper hand when competing with other solution providers.

We also offer Level 3 processing that allows for discounted interchange fees for business-to-business transactions. By setting up those transactions with default data, you and your merchant clients can qualify for discounted interchange fees, drastically reducing costs.

The primary goal in searching for a payments partner is to find one that will support your business over the long term.

A Partner for Growth

Regardless of where your merchants are located now, the future is global and your solution should be poised to expand into other states, regions, and even countries. The question is whether your payments partner can grow with you. A great gateway partner will have the transparency to scale from what you need today to whatever the future of technology holds. You need to know that your solution won’t require a platform change in three, five, or seven years.

The definition of “customer experience” continues to shift, further expanding what merchants need to do to satisfy shoppers’ needs. Your solutions should have the type of reporting and data analytics to gather customer feedback at the point of sale and relaying it back to the merchant in a digestible format.

There’s no doubt that the future of payments is shifting. Your payments gateway partner should do more than just react to those shifts – it should be leading the way and ensuring that your solution’s payments services are ahead of the curve.

Download, Checklist for Choosing the Best Payments Partner, to get started with your payment partner evaluation.