Payment Integration – Strategic Thinking
For many software developments, the thought process around facilitating a payment gateway integration is to simply provide a solution that satisfies the needs of their user base – or so they think. Most of the time the payment gateway integration is not a decision driven by the potential for their user partners to actually grow their user base and business.
Commonly, developments integrate with the usual gateways and hope their base is satisfied. Issues like Data Hostaging, Credit Card Declines, funding issues, lack of payment rails (especially for applications with recurring or subscription based payments) can leave the user base looking for alternatives. Client acquisition costs are are high. Handing over your user base to a payment integration solution without it having been a well thought out process can lead to frustration and a less than optimal user experience.
Considerations for a successful payment integration
- First, consider your integration as a strategic partnership. If you can’t find a payments facilitator that will help you uncover potential problems, listen and take the time to understand your business model and help generate a path that satisfies all user needs, you’re looking in the wrong place.
- Ensure your payments partner provides a well defined process for enrollment and continued support.
- Ensure your partner provides negotiated merchant accounts for your users.
- Offer a payment rail option such as ACH (eCheck). This is critical for any application that has recurring payments needs.
- Revenue share: You will never get there will the common integration strategy! Your partner should offer you a revenue share model that adds to your bottom line, while still providing excellent rates for the user base. You’re the vertical lever, and marketing has expenses. Don’t throw that lever away.
- Data Hostaging: Don’t enter into a payment integration solution where your user base can be held hostage. There are companies that simply won’t release data, and some that charge an exorbitant amount to obtain it. Do it right the first time and you will never have this worry.
- Credit Card Updater: If your application has a recurring payments or subscription based model, it’s an absolute must that your payment integration solution has access to a Credit Card Updater program. Industry average is 15% of recurring credit card transactions are declined. Don’t leave your user base out in the cold, calling customers to obtain new credit card information. Additionally, your partner should provide you with guidance for employing retry logic for any cards that don’t get updated.
Your payment gateway decision has to be considered strategically. A partnership that provides you and your users with more options and value. Don’t simply hope for the best when you can use the gateway partnership to help cement your client relationship. The right partnership can help grow your business and get your software in the hands of more users.