If you’re like most people, you made a New Year’s resolution or two at the beginning of 2019. But did any of them involve your business? Chris Yurko, director of business development at First American Payment Systems, says now is a good time to also take inventory of your ISV business to look for areas that need improvement — and one area you definitely need to evaluate is integrated payment partnerships.
Yurko suggests these five integrated payment resolutions that can help you get on the right track for 2019:
1. Lose partnerships that aren’t the right fit
This resolution may represent the biggest investment of time and resources to accomplish, but it also promises the biggest payoff. Yurko says if you’re continuing to partner with a payments company because you’ve gone through the integration process and you have a history with them — but not because it’s the best fit for your application — it’s time for a change. Continuing to partner with a company that isn’t providing your customers with the services or functionality they need will ultimately hinder your business growth.
2. Trim down client attrition
Yurko says it’s also important to evaluate your integrated payments partners based on the service they provide to your customers. “The main reason ISVs lose clients is poor customer service,” Yurko says. Take stock of whether your clients get the help they need with technical questions, managing various types of payment, or dealing with payment fraud. “If restaurant owners pick up the phone and call for service and get put on hold or can’t get the answer they need, that’s why they switch solution providers,” he says.
3. Treat yourself and your clients to more sophisticated tech tools
Resolutions you’ll stick with can’t only be about work. They also have to include an element of reward. Yurko says 2019 can be the year that you treat your clients to new integrated payments tools that give them — and you — more functionality, efficiency, and ease of use.
One example is automatically updating cards on file to save time and reduce the number of credit card declines for businesses that use recurring billing. Also look for features such as EMV, fraud protection, automation, and easy-to-read reporting.
Yurko, who works with businesses in the death care industry, says these features make a big impact on the level of service those clients can provide.
“They’re the best customer service providers you’ll ever meet,” says Yurko, “and they need to trust who they’re working with.” He says seamless payment integration with management software is vital so they can make experiences for their customers as smooth as possible during a sensitive time.
He also points out that businesses in this industry, like those in many others, are looking for ways to move beyond legacy processes and provide their clients with greater conveniences. “About 90 percent of preplanning happens during funerals,” says Yurko. “They need technology that makes it easier for consumers to use websites to make arrangements, plan, and set up payments at other, more convenient times.”
4. Take a stress-free attitude toward integration
Yurko concedes that partnering with a new payments company means going through the integration process. “It’s the main reason ISVs don’t want to switch,” he says. But he adds that the right partner can make integration relatively painless by providing help from a dedicated team, clear documentation, a main point of contact for one-on-one assistance, and working with you to develop realistic timelines.
5. Gain greater revenue share
Just about any business owner will resolve to earn more revenue this year, but revenues from working with an integrated payments partner need to match your expectations when you sign your contract. “You should see results,” says Yurko, “Look for revenue share that moves the needle without affecting your clients’ rate — or you can pass savings on to your clients.”
He says once you are up and running with a new partner, make sure you have the tools you need to monitor your account. “It should be just as easy for you to look at 600 clients and see your revenue as it is for a merchant to look at their statement,” Yurko comments.
Yurko points out that whether in our personal lives or in business, we’re rarely motivated to keep our resolutions unless we hold ourselves accountable to someone — or in this case to a business partner. “You need people to support you, and you’ll get it with the right integrated payments partner that’s the best fit,” he says. “Big resolutions take a big commitment but if you have the right partner, you can do it.”