3 things to look for in a provider
When it comes to payments, merchants just want them to work. They want to offer their customers the convenience of the latest payment technology without the hassle, wait, and complexity of establishing the typical merchant services account. Payment facilitation is answering the call of the merchant by simplifying the merchant payment acceptance process and evolving the consumer payment experience. By pulling together unique payment infrastructures, Payment Facilitators deliver a seamless payment experience for the consumer and a turn-key, fast on-boarding process for the sub-merchant.
For Payment Facilitators, successfully bringing this evolution in payment acceptance to the market takes finding the right partner. Below are three things to look for to make sure you partner with the right provider for your business model.
The best merchant account provider is the one that suits your business. When interviewing prospective merchant processors, asking the right questions can help you select a good match. For example, ask about their sponsor bank. The bank makes decisions about sub-merchant risk, i.e. sub- merchant business offerings. If the sponsor bank is too rigid for the demographics of your prospective merchant base, it could cause challenges with merchant on-boarding. Ask about the support of online transaction and the integration with the payment gateway you’re using. Learn more about the customer service provided including everything from operational changes to on-boarding to compliance. Be sure to also ask about access to online reporting to ensure you have clear insight into all transactional data from daily transactions to trending analysis. Speaking of transactions, find out when you can expect the funds from transactions to be deposited into your bank account, by payment type and sub-merchant.
Tools for operational efficiency
It’s no surprise that managing the infrastructure to deliver a seamless payment solution is complex. Layer on top of that the management of a growing number of sub-merchants, all using your payment solution in varying capacities, and the in-house administration of a payment solution can quickly become cumbersome. The right partner has tools in place to ease the burden of managing sub- merchants so you can remain nimble as your business grows.
The most crucial tool is robust reporting. You need visibility into the business from a payment perspective. This may include visibility from the transaction level to reconciliation. Look for a provider who can consolidate multiple brands, break out data for business units and drill down to the transaction. You also need the ability to consume data from SSR reports for details on the funds disbursed, fees charged, funds transfer failures, NOC, etc. This transactional and financial reporting and analysis provide the foundation for business insights for the purpose of streamlining costs, improving operational efficiency, managing risk and enhancing revenue.
When it comes to payouts, the right tools can tame what could otherwise become a heavy operational burden. Look for a provider that offers tools with the flexibility to customize payouts by sub-merchant to enable payment per the sub-merchant payout agreement; this will simplify the complexity of payouts and reconciliations.
The ability to board sub-merchants is your lifeline. Finding a partner with sub-merchant on-boarding tools to keep the process simple is essential. Look for a web portal and boarding APIs to simply communicate needed information like the creation of a sub-merchant ID and information related to compliance checks like MATCH Check, OFAC Check and TIN Validation.
Card network influence
In addition to tools that provide operational efficiencies, partnering with the right acquirer brings with it greater insight, and perhaps greater influence, with the card networks. A prominent acquirer will have a close relationship with the card networks and can help elevate the needs of its partners as networks evaluate future policies and mandates.
Your business is not payments, you’re an innovator that is solving a need and payment acceptance is a component of the solution you offer. When it comes to finding a fit that’s right for your culture, your payments partner needs to reflect the smarter, faster, easier attributes of an evolving payments ecosystem.