For independent software vendors (ISVs), offering a best-in-class payments solution is no longer a differentiator — it is a requirement.
But there’s a difference between merely integrating payment capabilities and executing them well. Too often, ISVs compose a payments solution by packaging multiple integrations into a single offering with results that can be more burdensome than expected. Rather than providing an easy-to-use, seamless global payments experience, they end up disrupting customers, leading to a negative brand perception and churn.
Integrating payments the right way starts with the ability to onboard customers efficiently. The customer experience begins at onboarding and is make-or-break for solution adoption and customer satisfaction.
3 Common Pitfalls in Payments Onboarding
Onboarding merchants to accept payments is complex and without the right solution, your customers can experience significant friction. Here are the top 3 stumbling blocks we see:
- A frustrating user experience: A number of integration missteps can lead to frustration for your customers. Remember: Your payments partner is an extension of your team. You don’t want to choose one that forces your customers to participate in too many interactions or that turns the onboarding experience into an anxiety-inducing application process. That only results in an incohesive, jarring and unnecessarily painful experience. This can be remedied by looking for a payments partner that focuses on customer service and support.
- Complications caused by geography: Too often, ISVs choose a payment solution that caters to a single region. Then they add additional vendors as they or their customers service additional locations. Rather than connecting with one payment solution per geography and attempting to onboard your customers to each based on their payments requirements, a single integration that accounts for regional operations within onboarding could make things easier for your customers and developers.
- Compliance headaches: Managing compliance during onboarding can be a major concern. The best global payments partners should help you and your customers start off right by running Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures almost instantaneously or performing them for you. And be sure to choose a GDPR-compliant payment solution to avoid problems if you’re onboarding any European merchants.
What ISV Customers Need from Payments Onboarding
As an ISV, customers are your focus. Adding or expanding payments capabilities should never interfere with your customer experience. The right payments partner will care for your customers the same way you do and provide careful service that meets customers’ need and avoids potential roadblocks.
The common pitfalls examined above aren’t a secret. In fact, they’re the main reason onboarding to payments is so often frustrating for ISVs and their customers. However, much of this can be alleviated through clear communication.
You need a partner that will communicate well both with your business and with your customers — after all, they are an extension of you. Expectations, deadlines and costs should be easily understood, and none of the parties involved should experience surprises.
Your payments partner should provide well-defined answers to these questions, providing insights into how they will communicate with your customers:
- What will your customers need to do in order to onboard with payments on your platform?
- What information will your customers have to provide about their buyers? About their business? Do you, the ISV, already have some of that information and can facilitate?
- How will your customers interact with the payment partner’s brand?
You may even want to white label your integrated payments. The look and feel of the interactions your customers have with your brand are almost as important as the content, quantity and frequency of those interactions. White labeling your payments solution allows you to keeps the experience seamless for your customers.
Speed and Ease
Automated onboarding can guarantee your platform gets all the payments information it requires with little effort from customers. That both minimizes interactions and offers onboarding speed and ease.
Choosing a payments integration that facilitates automated onboarding is a sure bet for an experience win. Via an API, you can pass information about your customer to the payment provider without making any additional requests to your customer outside of a form. You simply collect the typical KYC information and send that data to your partner for automated underwriting and approval, completely bypassing the drudge of customer onboarding. Your customer just has to accept the Terms & Conditions and then receives their merchant credentials from your team. With minimal friction, they’re up and running with the ability to process transactions.
The purpose of automated onboarding is to streamline the process for your customers and your team. But a payments platform should not add tech debt and reduce your developers’ bandwidth — speed and ease matter internally, too.
While automated onboarding can be essential for speed to market, it might not be for every customer or even every ISV. You may want to be able to provide a higher level of service to key customers, for example, or perhaps account for applications outside your platform.
Identifying a payments partner that has the flexibility to ultimately give customers what they want is paramount. For many ISVs, automation can provide the right customer experience by minimizing interactions and interruptions. For others (perhaps you’re an ISV that onboards one significant customer each month), you may want to offer white-glove treatment during onboarding — the right payments partner can do that, too.
The Ideal Approach to Payments Onboarding
Any ISV serving its customers well knows how important payments are. To get in the game, you have three options: become a PayFac yourself, combine numerous payment solutions together to introduce a poor customer and employee experience, or find the single best integrations partner — one that can meet all your customers’ payments requirements while offering a premium customer experience.
When you’re looking for that single integration, be sure to consider how your partner will help you onboard new customers.
Don’t forget: The purpose of getting into payments is to remain competitive, and customer satisfaction and retention are key. Everything that happens during payments onboarding should serve those needs. Find a payments partner that can provide a fast, frictionless and purposeful experience for your customers, and you’ll have found the right partner.