Healthy and productive payment partnerships are a critical component of any business’s success. This is especially true for partnerships between software developers and payment service providers, given the critical role that payments play in the health of any organization.
In my role as Director of Partner Success at Paystri, I have a unique view of the mechanics of successful integrated payments partnerships. What I’ve learned is that productive partnerships hinge on two critical components – collaboration and communication. Working with a partner that embraces both collaboration and communication will create value not possible in the absence of that partnership.
In considering the pros and cons of partnering with a payment service provider, it goes without saying that the partnership must provide more pros than cons. But identifying cons can be a catalyst to reconsider legacy relationships and discover new opportunities. Here is my take on the pros of partnering with a payment service provider and the cons to have on your radar.
Pro #1: A payment service provider has (and shares) industry expertise.
The payments landscape evolves at a rapid pace. COVID-19 required businesses to embrace online and contactless payments while reimagining the role of payments within touchless customer experiences. This shift toward card-not-present commerce also opens businesses to an elevated risk of card fraud and chargebacks. Add to that the continuing consolidation of the payments industry and it can be an overwhelming landscape to navigate.
Beyond these bigger-picture challenges, there is also the mechanics of choosing the right integration solutions for your software and its clients. A true partner will assess the current climate in payments, the oncoming trends, and the advantages and disadvantages of different gateways and the scope of work required for each. They will be well versed in different options and act as subject matter experts to identify solutions that strike the right balance between time-to-market, workload, and cost.
Pro #2: A payment service provider helps grow your business.
All developers are seeking opportunities to raise awareness for their software. A true partner will promote your solution within their landscape and drive brand recognition through collaborative marketing, sales enablement, and go-to-market initiatives. Access to these additional resources can be a game-changer as businesses grapple with how to do more with less. And there is the role of revenue sharing – the extra revenue stream can be reinvested in your business to help it thrive.
Pro #3: A payment service provider helps keep your business within PCI scope.
PCI compliance applies to all businesses that accept, process, store, or transmit payment cards. The underlying set of data security standards (PCI DSS) were developed to encourage the proper handling of sensitive data and deter fraud in the card payments ecosystem.
Partnering with a payment service provider often reduces the scope of a business’s PCI compliance but does not eliminate it entirely. Regardless of a business’s scope, PCI compliance is an ongoing initiative that must be validated annually. Payment service providers work together with developers to navigate PCI DSS and ensure that you’re taking the proper steps to stay compliant.
And now it is time for the cons.
Con #1: Getting too comfortable.
All partnerships evolve over time and payment partnerships are no exception. The financial benefits of your partnership may wane, fees assessed on your clients may increase, and support levels may decline. Evaluating new payment partners might be low on the priority list when everything is humming along smoothly. However, constantly reevaluating and identifying new partners can reap tangible rewards for both your software company and its users.
Con #2: Depending on an external service team.
Payments are an extension of your overall customer experience. When your users encounter difficulties accepting payments, they will contact your partner’s service team for help. It is imperative that your partner handles these requests in a manner that aligns with the service levels you strive to deliver. Ask your partner for key metrics like average time to close tickets, call scores, and average boarding time to gain insight into your users’ experiences. And talk to your users to ensure they are receiving the level of service they deserve.
Con #3: Losing transparency.
If your partner is not providing detailed updates and reporting, you will lose transparency into the overall health of your payments program. Request a dedicated partner relationship manager so you can build a personal relationship with someone that understands the needs of your business. Meet frequently to set goals, establish success metrics, and discuss performance reporting.
At Paystri, our approach to successful partnerships is based on communication and collaboration. This includes well-informed risk management frameworks, comprehensive onboarding processes, easy access to technology, in-depth reporting, high-touch service and support, and collaboration tools for instant communication. Get in touch to learn more.