Does your software platform enable payments for your clients? You could be missing an opportunity.

These days, many software companies are looking for ways to not only add new revenue streams but also gain a competitive edge over their competitors. These organizations, often referred to as Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), could be missing out on one such opportunity that might already exist within their customer base.

Meanwhile, direct business customers that accept electronic payments from their customers (both via credit, debit card and ACH) are looking to their software providers for a more efficient and secure payment process. These merchants are increasingly leaning on their ISVs and payment providers to build customized payment integration solutions tailored to their individual vertical. This demand has resulted in the blending of how payment technology is conceived and delivered to businesses.

Five Integrated Payment Models

In the current environment of payment integration, there are five ways that I see ISVs interacting with providers to incorporate payments within their software. Each approach varies based on several factors, primarily related to user experience of the merchant as well as which roles are managed by the ISV and payment processor, but they can also include differences based on client sales, on-boarding and ongoing support experience. These models are ordered by the increasing revenue opportunity they offer the software provider.

  • Agnostic Model – Roughly 50 percent of the software platforms with a payments use-case fall into this category. These applications allow their clients to interface with any payment provider while generating no revenue for the platform.
  • Referral Model – Platforms that allow the freedom and flexibility to choose a provider but may refer their clients to one or a few preferred vendors. The provider begins to generate a revenue stream but still leverages a payment processor for key user experiences such as sales and ongoing support.
  • Shared-Sales Model – Some software companies leverage one exclusive provider to power payments within their platform, so their clients receive a streamlined and consistent experience related to payments. Many aspects of the payment product are shared between the software company and payment provider while increasing the opportunity for revenue.
  • White Label Model – Software companies that want a large amount of control over the payment processing within their application choose to put their own brand around a processing solution. This option allows for significant control, more involvement and a high revenue potential.
  • ISO Model – Some platforms want to be their own payment processor. This process means ultimate control over every aspect of payment processing within your application, but the greatest amount of revenue upside also means regulatory compliance and risk that could be unfamiliar.

With all of this in mind, how would you classify your software platform today? What do your customers say about their payment interaction with your software?

By moving downstream to a different model, do you think your organization could potentially capitalize on unrealized revenue, or do you see a payment integration use-case that would allow you to create a new revenue stream?

If you’d like to learn more, Wind River Financial recently took a more comprehensive view of these models in a white paper titled, “The Current State of Integrated Payments, A Convergence of Software User Experience and Electronic Payments.” Once you’ve had a chance to read through it, feel free to reach out to me and I’d be happy to discuss these strategies with you further.

*This article was originally published on LinkedIn on February 27, 2018*

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