Just over a decade ago, we witnessed a revolution in payments processing. New players had disrupted the market with innovative technology promising merchants the ability to accept digital payments globally, with one integration. Innovation in payment processing effectively focused on enabling merchants to quickly accept payments, often following a ‘one size fits all’ approach through off-the-shelf solutions.
As customer expectations, merchant needs and payment technology evolved, we now find ourselves on the cusp of another transformation. Accepting digital payments globally has gone from being a key differentiator to table stakes; and today a few payment providers can solve for this crucial merchant need. However, this is not all that payment providers can do; and the role these companies play when working with the merchants they serve, has evolved possibly as much as the payment landscape itself.
Global payments processing in the 21st century is complex, and this is one reason why the payment provider role has evolved from ‘service provider’ to ‘strategic partner’ in recent years. Merchants are starting to work in partnership with their payment partners to help drive customization and optimize the performance of their payment strategy. But why is customization key to achieving this goal?
Customization is about choice
Each business is unique so it’s paramount that their payment flow is suited to their requirements. The unique nature of a merchant can be influenced by business model but also by regulation in the countries they operate in. A digital goods business such as Netflix or Spotify will rely heavily on subscription-based billing, while a gaming operator or urban mobility company will need to be able to process microtransactions via mobile devices. Traditional eCommerce businesses selling online will need to offer all the most relevant payment methods for their target market and these can include everything from Mobile Wallets, like GooglePay and ApplePay, to buy now pay later methods such as Klarna or ClearPay. Regulation can be different depending on country or region too. All these intricacies point to sophisticated needs when it comes to offering optimal customer-centric payment experiences – and they make the case for customization.