What ISVs and SaaS Developers Need to Know About Unified Commerce

Blog 2022

ISVs are a critical part of the payments ecosystem, primarily because they shape how the end-user interacts with merchants. That makes it critical for an ISV’s industry partners to help them deliver the best customer experience possible. Given how crucial payments are to a merchant’s business and the impact payments can have on the user experience, ISVs need an optimal payments solution that allows for the most flexibility.

They also need a partner who can provide a one-stop payments solution that’s in line with their business strategies and merchant expectations.

What are those expectations? Let’s take a look.

Merchants Expect a Unified Approach to Payments

In today’s e-commerce environment, unified commerce is a gold standard. What does that mean? Frictionless payments. How little friction? The best way to give consumers a wonderful purchasing experience is to push the payments into the background so they disappear.

The Payments Experience Has to Be Invisible

Think about how Uber has completely embedded the payment experience. You order a ride, it arrives, you get to your destination, and you get out of the car. There’s not even a ‘simple swipe’ required. Uber has your card details, so you don’t even need to touch your wallet. The payment is completely frictionless/invisible.

Amazon offers the same seamless experience. As quickly as a customer can search for a product, they can have it sent to their front door with one click. The entire process happens in seconds.

The bar has been set high for consumers. What used to be “extras” are now expectations. Read on for a few more.

Customers Want to Be Recognized

Familiarity is important to customers. If they’ve shopped with a merchant before, they expect to make a purchase without having to re-enter their customer name, address, phone number, and even their credit card information — as long as that information is secure. This puts a huge amount of pressure on ISVs.

Security Is Critical

Think about the last time you saw a website pop-up asking you whether or not you want it to track cookies. Did you choose “accept all” or only certain options? While adults are wary of sharing their personal data, most still blindly accept all. How do you set yourself apart? Establish a level of trust so you customers know they’re safe on your site. This is where tokenization comes in.

What Is Tokenization?

Tokenization is a security tactic a step beyond encryption. It doesn’t involve translation or decryption. The token acts like a poker chip, replacing sensitive data stored elsewhere and using it to retrieve that data when it arrives at its destination. And because the token is meaningless, there’s no risk of it being compromised — there’s no data to steal.

Tokenization works by substituting the primary account number (PAN) on a customer’s credit card with a token. The PAN isn’t transmitted, making the transaction more secure and reducing the risk that any data breach would result in fraudulent activity.

Tokens can be used for more than just credit card data. They’re useful to represent any type of sensitive data. ISVs need to deliver solutions that offer a full range of data security and privacy measures to make sure customer data is protected and not susceptible to fraud and hacking.

Another expectation is multiple touchpoints.

Merchants Have to Manage Multiple Touchpoints

One of the recent changes that has come about from unified commerce is the number of touchpoints through which the customer can interact with a merchant.

In the past, customers would interact primarily in-store with card-present payment solutions and on a website with card-not-present solutions. Simple.

In today’s environment, customers have a much wider range of options: Online, mobile, in app, in store, unattended, click and collect, click and go, and more. Unified commerce delivers a holistic view such that it doesn’t matter where a customer enters, the experience is the same. In that sense, the customer is the hub. You need to build the experience around the customer.

For example, a shopper is in a long queue at a retailer where they’ve shopped before. They’re waiting to purchase gifts they have in their hands, but it’s a busy day and they’ve only got so much time. To save time, the customer opens the merchant’s app on their smartphone and tries to find the same products. They can see most of what they need, but the Wi-Fi connection is a little spotty.

Then they see an unattended kiosk that has no line. So, the customer walks over to the kiosk and uses a QR code on the app to quickly sign into their account. They scan the tags on the products.

Then it’s time for payments. The customer has multiple options – they can use a credit card to swipe, dip or tap. They can use the credit card that’s already stored in their account. Or they can use Apple Pay or Google Pay on their phone.

In this example, the customer’s experience drives everything. Whether they use the app or the kiosk, it looks and feels the same. The customer doesn’t have to re-enter any information and can easily pay any way they want.

All of this is great for the customers, but it creates complexity on the backend that ISVs and SaaS developers have to make simplistic for their merchants to manage.

ISVs and SaaS Providers Aren’t Payments Experts

Unless payments are a key part of an ISV’s strategy, making sense of this new complexity is difficult. ISVs attempting to develop payment solutions in-house risk being swamped by these changing requirements, and it will only distract them from adding the most value.

Instead, they should focus their development efforts on their core business and the overall customer experience. That’s where the right payments partner can make a difference: by helping to future-proof ISVs and SaaS developers for these emerging payments technologies.

This will make payments simpler for the consumer and take the pressure off of ISVs to make the complex simple. To learn more about Payroc and our payments solution, contact one of our specialists today.