While often fun, predicting the future can be risky for individuals and companies that focus their resources and investments on the wrong initiatives. We believe business leaders can find inspiration in the words of Malcolm X: "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."
This article explores four business trends that will help Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and software developers choose a suitable payments partner to increase their chances of successfully monetizing embedded payments.
Trend #1: Omnicommerce Experiences
Omnicommerce—also known as omnichannel payments—refers to a business’s ability to use one solution platform to accept payments from customers any way they choose to pay: in-person, online, curbside, in a shopping cart, email/postal invoices, over the phone, on a mobile device, or as part of recurring payments or subscription plans.
People prefer when businesses provide a consistent customer payment experience across all channels. Nine out of 10 consumers want and increasingly expect omnichannel service. In-person transactions still make up 80% of retail purchases. However, many software providers embed payments into online and digital experiences only because enabling in-person payment acceptance requires understanding terminal features, integration and connectivity methods, and data security impacts. Businesses are interested in working with software companies that help them connect with consumers wherever they are in the commerce journey.
Payment preferences will continue to evolve. A focused, agile, and nimble partner with a dynamic product roadmap can help ISVs quickly introduce features aligned with consumer behaviors. Further, an experienced omnichannel payments partner can help ISVs, and their customers, better understand the financial and operational impacts of new payment acceptance practices. For example, in 2020, the Covid pandemic accelerated the adoption of service methods, including delivery, curbside, and Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS). The convenience of these methods means they are likely to stay around, which, while pleasing customers, can translate to higher transaction fees and increased fraud for the business. Work with an experienced payments partner that has solutions to help reduce risk and costs.
Trend #2: Reputation Management
Successful ISVs have worked hard to build customer trust by delivering reliable software backed by outstanding service. The last thing a software provider needs is to spend time and energy embedding payments into their software, only to learn that the provider they chose delivers a substandard experience for their business clients. The result is a ripple effect that reflects poorly on the ISV, leading to brand damage and attrition.
Thousands of payment providers and payment facilitators in the US are vying for access to your customers through your software and relationships. The best way to avoid reputational damage is to partner with companies that align with your values, culture, and go-to-market approach. Everyone has a great pitch, so it’s imperative to do your homework. The good news is that the internet provides a quick way to determine if the providers under consideration are ethical and likely to live up to their promises.
Measuring a company’s reputation is best done by reading reviews from actual customers or from experts who closely follow the payments industry and can provide insights benchmarked against industry norms. While every company will have some negative reviews, you should be able to discern a pattern in comments related to customer support, ethical practices, and ease of doing business. Start by simply searching “company name” and “customer reviews” (or “employee reviews”) in your favorite browser. Additionally, you can visit sites, including Merchant Maverick, Capterra, Trustpilot, G2 and Glassdoor, to look up reviews about providers.
Trend #3: Data Management and Analysis
Most people agree that data is vital to driving business improvements, but collecting data just for the sake of it can leave you drowning in a sea of information. While gathering as much data as possible sounds appealing, it’s only helpful if you have the right tools to organize and analyze everything collected. The goal is to glean insights that define and drive actionable improvements to the business.
A significant amount of data is collected when accepting payments, from sensitive card credentials to customer demographics and purchase preferences. The challenge for ISVs and their payment partners is to leverage that data to improve the customer experience by, for example, reducing the number of clicks required to make a purchase or making it easy to buy online and return in-store. Uber has figured out how to make payments invisible, and consumers will reward businesses that follow their lead.
The bottom line is that intelligent data management is no longer a "nice to have" but a requirement to improve the commerce experience and evolve with industry norms constantly.
Trend #4: Meaningful Partnerships
True partnerships create a solution that is better than the individual parts. A critical growth strategy for many ISVs involves integrations with complementary business solutions that promise to help win new business, deepen customer relationships, generate additional revenue and increase lifetime value. However, without a data-driven conversion strategy and an engaged payments partner, all that many ISVs end up with is provider logos on websites and brochures. The anticipated new revenue stream never materializes.
Difficulties abound for software companies when a behemoth bank or payments platform purchases its fintech partner. Nimbleness is often lost as these companies try to navigate bloated organizations filled with red tape and competing priorities.
A full-service partnership program provides ISVs, developers, and their customers with a robust, turnkey embedded payments solution backed by high-touch services. Modern APIs create a superior developer experience, while high-touch sales and marketing programs increase customer attachment rates. The right partner invests in helping you retain customers by providing direct support from real people for any help needed.
How PayJunction Can Help
Selling and supporting omnichannel payments requires specialized knowledge. Our embedded payments model is a 3-way partnership—PayJunction, software provider, merchant—where we team up with ISVs to deliver best-in-class software and services that better serve customers’ needs.