The 5 Hidden Costs Of NOT Switching Payment Gateway Providers

Written by: Andrea Feinberg

One thing you must absolutely demand from any payment gateway provider is pricing transparency. Whether they charge a percentage of your sales or a fixed monthly fee, you should expect 100% predictability and no nasty surprises.

Unfortunately, the same isn’t true when it comes to the losses you incur by sticking with a gateway provider you outgrew some time ago. If your gateway provider is no longer the right fit for your business, these losses will be well and truly hidden from view.

After all, it’s hard to miss what you’ve never had – and if you’ve never had a frictionless checkout process, global reach with local acquiring, and absolutely zero downtime, then a wavering decline rate, frequent check-out abandonments and occasional server down time down won’t seem too bad.

The 5 Hidden Costs of NOT Switching Payment Gateway Providers

A lack of human support

This is perhaps the most well-hidden cost of an underperforming payment gateway provider.

Most providers provide detailed documentation, but that’s no substitute for a dedicated support team who are ready to answer questions.

Your tech people are experts in their field. They’re highly motivated problem solvers, but sometimes it’s just quicker and simpler for them to call up and ask for advice.

Having access to senior level technical support that’s available when you need it will not only reduce trouble-shooting time, it will enable in-house tech teams to extract the maximum value from your gateway solution.

Unnecessary declines

Unless you’re closely tracking declines, it’s not easy to quantify just how much they’re costing you. There may not be a specific figure to keep you awake at night but you could still be missing out on revenue if your declines remain unnecessarily high.

For example, if your current provider doesn’t support global payments through local acquiring, offer mobile optimised payments, and provide a customisable, frictionless check-out, it’s safe to say your decline rates are unnecessarily high.

Your next payment gateway provider will be able to advise you on reducing your decline rate easily and should be 100% transparent about their own costs too. They should also be able to advise quite quickly on whether you’re facing any hidden fees or costs based on your current statement.

Even if you’re not sure it’s time to switch, it may be time to take a detailed look at your decline rates to identify unnecessary losses.

Platform downtime

Costs incurred by platform downtime don’t just occur while your gateway is offline. They’re a recurring loss. As well as measurable losses, you need to factor in first time visitors who abandon their purchase and subscription renewals that lapse within the overall cost of platform downtime.

Choosing a gateway provider with a hot-hot tech stack – namely, a server configuration with intelligent failover where the backup is always on – means you don’t just minimise downtime, you erase it completely.

That’s a 100% reduction in lost sales from downtime, plus a 100% reduction in time spent dealing with server failure.

Compare the time required to implement a new payment gateway, which in BlueSnap’s case can be as little as two days, to the hidden cost of direct and associated losses to see the benefits.

How much of your time is it worth investing to completely eradicate platform downtime from your list of worries?

Check-out friction

The hidden cost of check-out friction needn’t stay hidden forever.

If you take a look at the User Flow and Exit Page reports in Google Analytics you’ll be able to easily identify the point at which your customers abandon their journey. If you’re seeing a lot of abandonments on the check-out page, there’s a high chance this is a user experience issue.

A lot of payment gateway providers, while allowing branding and some customisation, still force an out-of-the-box solution on their merchants. This effectively results in a wide range of customers, with differing habits and expectations, using different devices, being funnelled through the same checkout process.

You can reduce check-out friction by switching to a provider that offers a truly custom user experience. Nobody knows your customers better than you, so why entrust their experience to a one size fits all solution?

Reconciliation issues

Another recurring hidden cost. Complicated reconciliation processes put a drain on your finance department. Some gateway providers do a great job of making reconciliation easy and quick, enabling an almost automated process through a dedicated API. Others provide basic summary data which finance teams then need to export and interrogate.

If your current payment gateway provider does the basics well but either falls short when it comes to reporting, or charges an extra fee for detailed, user-friendly reports, this is a cost burden and a source of monthly stress for your team. You also need to account for the period of time during which you don’t have access to the latest sales data and customer trends.

Opting for a gateway partner that delivers a robust analytics package as standard, eliminates headaches, cuts costs and saves time.

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