The last few posts have compared integrated payments to the Game of Life board game we all played as kids. The path you choose dictates your experiences – good or bad. There are many different roads you may choose when integrating payments in software platforms. Two very common ones are: 1) Support multiple payment processors in an effort to give your customers their choice of providers; and 2) Carefully select one preferred provider and steer your customers to that partner. The latter can streamline your efforts and reap greater rewards for both you and your customers.
The impacts to your business can be huge, depending on your course. The multi-provider road can be a bumpy ride – riddled with the mounting expenses of integrating with multiple payment partners, the high cost of poor customer experience, and the dismal payment revenue yield. The preferred provider course can be just as bumpy, which is why you need to choose carefully.
If you find yourself traversing some pretty rugged payment terrain, never fear — there’s an exit ramp just ahead!
If you’re currently supporting multiple payment integrations, you may think backtracking your path, undoing existing vendor relationships, and starting all over again with a single provider is a long, drawn-out journey. In reality, it can be quite the opposite. Depending on your payment partner, it can be just a quick trip down the road. Maybe even just a few blocks.
There are many landmarks that can guide you on your journey to selecting a preferred payment partner. It’s important to look for these signs because if you don’t see them, you may not be selecting the optimal partner, and you can find yourself looking for another exit ramp in the near future.
Below is a list of questions to consider as you navigate toward choosing a preferred payment partner.
Does the provider support a payment gateway(s) that you have already integrated within your software?
If so, it is very likely that no new development will be necessary, which is great news for you and your customers.
Is the provider offering to work with you on a payment strategy?
You wouldn’t go to market without a firm product strategy in place for your software, so why would you move forward with payments without creating a solid strategy? Your core competency is your software, not necessarily payments. Having a payments partner that will leverage its expertise to work with you on creating your payment strategy sets you on a path to greater success.
Does the provider create synergies that lead to payment revenue opportunities?
If they do not, immediately remove them from your list. Enabling payments through your software should always lead to added revenue. Do not accept anything less.
Does the provider true act like your Payments Department?
Payments are the lifeblood of your customers so you need to make sure support is available any time any payment related question or issue arises – 24/7. Check the provider’s customer retention rate. It should be greater than 90%. Also check their Net Promoter Score (NPS). It should be 30 or higher. If they don’t have one or don’t even know what NPS is, move on.
Does the provider offer a proof of concept to demonstrate its value?
A good payment partner understands there may be a little trepidation about transitioning to a single provider. The best way to overcome that anxiety is to prove their worth to you with a small sample set of customers.
I have found that announcing to customers that you are making the transition to a new, preferred payment partner is often well received when bundled with other software enhancements such as: a new release, platform upgrades, moving from on premise to SaaS, or as a complement to new features that you’re launching.
That said, if you’re on a knobby payments path, the sooner you get off that road, the better for your business and your customers’ business. It’s never too late to take that exit ramp.