Owning the Customer Experience:
Why Control Matters
Payments strategy has become a key business consideration for every software company, business management platform and digital marketplace. As you map out your company’s payments strategy, customer experience should be at the heart of your decision. To fully realize the potential of controlling and monetizing an embedded payments solution, its essential to take a customer-centric approach. And to get an understanding of this evaluation, first realize that customer experience is a two-sided coin.
The operational side is your internal user-experience as the software company leveraging the payment tools - it’s where you assess if becoming a payment facilitator or partnering with a payments company makes sense for your business and your customers. The experience your company has as a “customer” includes the level of control you have over payments functions and the ease of integration you feel between the various pieces of the payments puzzle (e.g. acquiring banks, card brands, merchants, etc). Control of payments functions allows your brand to provide a better customer experience for the second side of the coin: your merchants or customers.
Think of this from the point-of-view of your customers interacting with your brand and the “payments” within your software. Because there are several models for software payments that range from fully outsourced, to partner integration and payment facilitation, the ultimate experience for your customers can vary greatly. Let’s dive deeper.
Completely outsourcing payments can be a clunky process for your customers - you and your brand become bystanders which can result in your customers interacting directly with merchant acquirers, ISOs or other payments companies. Although the business risk is quite low, so is your revenue potential AND you give up control of the customer experience.
At the other end of the spectrum is payment facilitation: owning and managing the entire customer experience, keeping your brand front and center. Being in control means you’re able to create your brand’s payment experience, optimizing the experience for your merchants and their customers. And with this, you have the ability to plan customization strategically and precisely, driving when and where you weave your brand into the overall experience. Even if this sounds ideal, becoming a payment facilitator comes with significant considerations and maintaining brand integrity and controlling the customer experience is only one of them.
As a payment facilitator, you have complete autonomy. You control the front-end and back-end operations such as service, payment processing, fraud mitigation and reporting. This will enable you to create your own payments brand, enhance your level of service to your customers and maximize your revenue from payments.
And now there are a handful of payments companies who are their own facilitators and can offer a hybrid solution to software companies: the fully white-labeled and fully controlled branded payments experience, without the management and ownership of the associated risk. Between these providers the differences for customer experience can come down to the existence of dynamic and custom features, as well as speed to market.
Let’s take the customer experience further and walk through each individual component.
Onboarding – your customers (or sub-merchants) see your branded application form and you control the enrollment process. You have some flexibility with application fields and where the application itself lives.
Risk, security and compliance – you have access to a full suite of tools for controlling risk and regulatory compliance with a full view into your portfolio of customers (or sub-merchants). Select payments partners give advanced capabilities for group-level rules creation and decisioning.
Portal – your payment solution is white-labeled so your brand is visible to you and your merchants. Payment facilitators, merchants, divisions and sub-merchants can view applicable information within the hierarchical structure.
Funding – you control the options for payouts including split payments, push to card and ACH.
Business Insights – you have control over seeing real-time business information including transactions, P&L, income, costs and fees. You also have control of reporting views by user type (i.e. facilitator, referrer, merchant view).
Knowing what model is right for your business requires guidance from a payments company that is an expert in all payment integration and facilitation models and can consult with you for your specific needs.
In the end, remember that control over the customer experience is key to your company’s payments strategy: tailoring your embedded payments solution to your business and having your brand prominent can be a big value proposition for your software offering.
Payrix is an API-first platform that provides customers end-to-end control of your branded experience with full white-labeled user interface – for you, your platform and your sub-merchants.
Payrix offers a fully progressive technology platform that allows software company to crawl or walk before they run.
The Payrix Launch option provides a quick-start intro to white-label with moderate revenue potential and no risk, no regulatory burden or technology investment.
As you get more comfortable with payments, Payrix Pro is our hybrid solution that provides more branding options and a payment facilitation-like experience without you holding the risk. Whether you’re looking to grow beyond Launch, or working toward payment facilitation but wanting to monetize payments more immediately, this model provides a sweet spot between revenue and risk.
And finally, Payrix Enterprise is our full-fledged payment facilitator solution, with a best-in-class tech stack where you fully own your brand’s payment experience, as well as the risk. Although the technology investment is a little higher, your revenue potential is maximized.
Talk to us if you’re interested in finding out how to take control of your payment experience to optimize revenue for maximum growth.