2023 Payment Trends to Fuel ISV Business Growth

Here are seven payments monetization opportunities ISVs should consider implementing in 2023 to fuel business growth.

payment-processing

Payments provide independent software vendors with tremendous value by generating new ongoing revenue streams, improving security and enhancing customer experience leading to greater lifetime value. Here are seven payments monetization opportunities ISVs should consider implementing in 2023 to fuel business growth.

Embedded Payments & Embedded Finance

Embedded payments, where ISVs directly facilitate payments within their software to create a seamless customer journey from acquisition to purchase, is rapidly growing. ISVs not currently taking advantage of embedded payments should consider making this initiative a top priority as their first foray into payments.

Embedded finance is a relatively newer development, enabling ISVs to add consumer financial services offerings beyond payments as part of a unified customer experience. With the reality of third-party access to consumer banking, transaction and other financial data through open banking, ISVs now have the opportunity to integrate and monetize a wide variety of financial services into their platforms, including deposit accounts, loans, credit and debit card issuing, installment purchase programs, insurance and more.

Buy now pay later (BNPL) is the most common embedded finance offering to emerge so far. However, a plethora of fintech innovations on the near horizon will enable ISVs to serve customers in novel, unexpected ways.

Real-Time Payments

Real-time payments facilitate immediate 24/7 transfer and settlement of value between consumers, businesses and financial institutions, resulting in better payment journeys.

You’re probably most familiar with person-to-person real-time payments being made via apps like PayPal, Venmo and Zelle, but there’s real opportunity for ISVs to start incorporating real-time payments into software today.

Bank-owned The Clearing House Payments Co.’s RTP instant-payment network has been operational since 2017 and today reaches more than 61 percent of U.S. demand deposit accounts. The Federal Reserve’s competitive FedNow instant-payment network pilot expects to launch to the masses mid-2023 and pick up steam rapidly.

Real-time payments deliver value in a number of ways. First, they provide immediate funds availability for improved business liquidity and financial control. They also provide better two-way communication by connecting actual payments with payment data like instant payment confirmations and settlement notifications. Real-time payments are also irrefutable; once payments are received, they cannot be taken back, reclaimed or returned via disputes and chargebacks. And real-time payments can be cheaper than credit, debit or ACH transactions—RTP currently charges 4.5 cents per payment. FedNow states they will initially match RTP but may end up pricing more aggressively as competition between the networks heats up.

Mobile Wallet Payments

Fewer consumers are carrying physical wallets and using physical cards as they discover the convenience of mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayPal, Samsung Pay and more.

Mobile wallets address consumer demand for safety, speed and convenience, with tap-and-go functionality for in-store purchasing and minimal friction checkout using an email address and password for m-commerce and e-commerce mobile wallet purchasing. Loyalty and other merchant focused programs can easily be integrated to mobile wallets, providing consumers with additional value beyond ease and simplicity.

eMarketer projects that by 2025, the number of people using mobile wallets will exceed more than 50 percent of U.S. smartphone users or 125 million people. Further, Worldpay reports that despite lagging behind global averages in mobile wallet adoption, nearly 30 percent of U.S. e-commerce transactions are already made via mobile wallets.

For ISVs, getting on the mobile wallet bandwagon gives customers more ways to pay which directly correlates to more sales transactions and revenues.

Payments Data Security & Protection

For most companies, it’s not if a data breach will happen, but when. And it usually happens more than once.

IBM reports that the cost of a data breach in the United States has surged 13 percent the past two years to an average of $9.44 million per incident. In addition to the immediate monetary costs related to fraud, fines, penalties and settlements, a data breach can damage brand reputation and significantly reduce customer confidence. This can have a catastrophic effect on company revenues, the ability to compete successfully, and even the ability to continue operating.

Having a strong payments security, protection and response program in place is critical for ISV success. Much care and due diligence should be applied when evaluating third-party vendor partnerships for data security and fraud detection and monitoring software.

Omnichannel Payments

Since the pandemic began, integrated omnichannel payments are not just a nice to have but a critical must. Customers are demanding to interact and pay whenever and however they want, using point-of-sale terminals, mobile phones, tablets, computers; via email, text, quick response (QR) code; and more.

Omnichannel capabilities help ISVs soar by 1) Expanding reach to drive more sales, 2) Delivering seamless consistent buying experiences across all channels to stand out from the competition, 3) Making it easy for customers to shop and pay to build long-lasting relationships, and 4) Improving efficiencies with consolidated data and reporting to save time and money.

Cross-Border Payments

Cross-border payments refer to international transactions involving individuals, companies, banks or settlement institutions operating in at least two different countries.

International transactions are far more complex than domestic U.S. payments. Often, multiple banks are involved in the transfer of funds from one country to another, attracting significant bank fees at each payment gateway. Also, exchange rates between different currencies and local taxes for each country add to the complexity.

Some of the most common cross-border payment methods include bank transfers, credit card payments and alternative payment methods such as mobile wallets and real-time payments.

Historically, banks have monopolized cross-border payments, but new entrants are gaining traction with innovative technology and business models that provide access to cross-border payment services that are as efficient and safe as familiar U.S. payments services.

For ISVs interested in growing by expanding internationally, it’s wise to partner with a payments provider that has the capabilities and expertise to operate and accept payments in countries on their expansion roadmaps.

Cryptocurrency Payments

The recent FTX implosion and cascade of crypto company collapses has put the cryptocurrency ecosystem into a state of turmoil. As a result, regulators and investors are likely to increase pressure on crypto entities to 1) Disclose more information about the condition of their balance sheets, 2) Safeguard customer assets, 3) Limit investment asset concentration, and 4) Conduct meticulous risk assessments among crypto market partners.

Even with all the volatility, forward-thinking ISVs have a unique opportunity to explore partnerships with reputable companies for crypto acceptance. Although it will likely take a while before gaining significant traction, the time is now to begin thinking about being a first-mover pioneer or whether it makes sense to take a more cautionary follower approach. 

Riaz Ladha

Riaz Ladha is currently the senior vice president of integrated payments and strategy for omnichannel fintech provider Valor PayTech overseeing strategic payments. He previously served as vice president of industry relations for the Electronic Transactions Association and vice president of enterprise business for NMI’s North American ISV, banking and unattended channels. He can be reached at riaz@valorpaytech.com.


Riaz Ladha

Riaz Ladha is currently the senior vice president of integrated payments and strategy for omnichannel fintech provider Valor PayTech overseeing strategic payments. He previously served as vice president of industry relations for the Electronic Transactions Association and vice president of enterprise business for NMI’s North American ISV, banking and unattended channels. He can be reached at riaz@valorpaytech.com.