The flexibility and agility that a processor and hardware agnostic payments partner provides are key in the post-pandemic era, especially for independent software vendors (ISVs). Since early 2020, businesses have devoted time and resources to reimagining their operations – including the payments piece – to align with health and safety measures and changing consumer behaviors.
Furthermore, change and uncertainty aren’t over. Businesses face continual challenges as their customers attempt a return to brick-and-mortar stores looking for safe, contactless payments while still providing online ordering and pickup or delivery to accommodate some consumers’ new habits. It’s never been more important to find a payments partner that understands the importance of a business’ ability to adapt to change.
You’ve probably seen dozens of articles on how to choose a payments partner, including advising you to focus on feature set, omnichannel functionality, PCI compliance, and ease of integration. However, when you vet partners today, make sure they check these three boxes as well
Giving your users payments hardware options has always been a plus. Instead of locking your clients into using specific types of devices – at specific price points – a hardware-agnostic payments partner will give them the freedom to choose devices with the features that best support their workflows and that best align with their budgets.
Merchants see value in the freedom to choose devices, such as mobile point of sale (POS), smart card readers, PIN pads with keypads, touchscreen, or signature capture, or any combination that suits their needs. But a hardware-agnostic payments partner can deliver even more value in the post-COVID-19 era.
The intersection of manufacturing and supply chain disruptions with increased demand for computing chips to meet consumer demand for new devices is resulting in a shortage of payment devices. When you work with a hardware-agnostic payments partner, your clients have more choice and are less likely to have to put their plans on hold to accept payments in new ways because one vendor can’t fill orders
Lock-in isn’t only detrimental when it comes to hardware. If your payments partner only works with a few payment processors – or even one – your clients will have little control over the processing fees they pay. Payment processors set fees in different ways. Some charge a flat fee; others charge fees based on an interchange or interchange plus basis. While the difference may look small – perhaps a percentage point or less per transaction – those differences add up and can mean that your users are paying thousands more in payment processing fees per year than they’d have to.
Although saving costs, especially when many businesses are in recovery following lockdowns and restrictions, there’s another compelling reason to free your clients from payment processor lock-in. The payments space has seen a great deal of merger and acquisition activity over the past decade – and as new payment methods and Fintech offerings emerge, it’s likely to continue. M&A can change offerings, customer service, pricing, and more, and the payment processor your client chooses today may not be the one they prefer to use next year. Make sure if they use your software with integrated payments that they retain the ability to choose the processor that’s best for their business.
Your payments partners’ approach to doing business won’t only impact your clients’ ability to provide the experiences their customers expect and control costs. It also impacts yours.
A truly beneficial relationship with a payments company will give you the ability to white-label payment services and provide them under your brand. With a white-labeled solution, the payment gateway will display only your company’s name, logo and other brand elements. Payments partners committed to allowing you to elevate your brand – not theirs – will also use generic payment descriptors of statements and reporting.
White-labeling also gives you a way to differentiate your business, positioning your business as a software and payments provider, key capabilities your clients need to run their businesses.
A Smart Partnership
If you offer POS or business management software, integrated payments have become an essential factor in providing competitive solutions. But merely integrating any payment platform isn’t adequate.
Form a smart partnership that will benefit you and your clients. A processor- and hardware-agnostic payments company gives you and your users choice and gives you more control over how you build your brand.
To learn more about how software developers can have greater freedom to operate optimally and profitably, contact NMI today.