Automation and Innovation Are Paving the Way for Digital Payments of the Future
Over the last decade, the rise of Software as a Service (SaaS) has disrupted the payments industry and forced businesses to rethink how they invest in technology to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Payment processing used to be a separate buying decision for businesses, where a business owner selected a bank or merchant acquirer for processing payments, and then entirely separate systems for running day-to-day operations. More recently, small to midsized businesses (SMBs) increasingly look for software which enables both business automation and payments, so the market has adapted to meet this demand, via software companies that also act as payment facilitators (Payfacs), and payments providers using independent software vendors to sell their services. This shift has been most clear to see across the U.S., yet outside of the U.S. market, this trend is only just emerging.
The good news is that software has transformed the potential of payments for businesses by being more deeply embedded in the fabric of an organization and its workflows than ever before. Companies no longer need to deal with multiple providers and reconciliations day-to-day, or all those multivendor challenges that typically cost companies both time and money. However, as these solutions have evolved, so have our expectations. Now businesses are also looking for the technologies to help them grow faster — which is why GrowthTech has arrived — and why it’s here to stay.
More than just SaaS and embedded payments, GrowthTech takes that powerful combination one step further by helping companies rapidly accelerate growth. Through smart apps and insightful platforms, GrowthTech is helping businesses to find and obtain new customers though data focused on buying patterns and behaviors; to retain customers and grow existing spend through engagement and loyalty tools; and ultimately to create those lasting communities of customers which will propel their business to greater success.
So, What’s Next?
The payments industry is heading rapidly towards more integrated systems, embedded in verticalized business management software. As subscription business models expand into more segments of retail, companies need diverse solutions which can cater to recurring payments alongside the point of sale. We’ve seen internationally that consumers prefer to use alternative payment methods over credit cards. From buy now, pay later options rising in the U.S. to debit continuing to grow internationally in comparison to credit, using the right SaaS solutions, SMBs have a huge opportunity to diversify their payment acceptance capabilities to deliver on the needs of both one-off and recurring customers.
Evolving to Better Meet Client and Consumer Needs
The pandemic caused a shift to digital-first operations across a variety of sectors, but opportunities for digitization remain, even in face-to-face service industries like hospitality, home services, healthcare, and education. While apps are mainly used by larger enterprise companies, SMBs can now also use them to make new strides in connecting with their customers. If the pandemic has taught us one thing it’s this: if the option to connect with others in person is eliminated, then having a virtual means of engaging with your community is essential. This is how SMBs will continue to grow in a sustainable and long-term way.
By using technology tailored to specific verticals, companies can meet more nuanced needs of their customers. There are general business management software products that businesses can choose right off the shelf, but these won't work as a blanket fix for all industries. For instance, if you run a childcare center, you’ll need software that supports local regulations, health and safety policies, subsidies, and many other industry-specific features. If you run a fitness studio, you’ll need software that supports real-time capacity management and spot bookings. When investing in automation and payments, it pays to use technology specifically tailored to your sector.
The Bottom Line?
The next evolution of payments is using GrowthTech: bespoke solutions that allow SMBs to leverage enterprise-grade technology, at an accessible price point, with all the emerging innovative features needed to stay agile in today’s competitive market — whether that’s tools to generate demand or improve CRM; data analytics and reporting dashboards for making better business decisions; or apps that deliver real-time consumer engagement. Automated operations, seamless payments, and GrowthTech are no longer only for the big-league players. Now there are tools to help every type of business, no matter the size, to succeed.
Floris de Kort is CEO of Xplor Technologies, which offers enterprise-grade SaaS solutions and a global, cloud-based payment processing platform for SMBs.
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Floris de Kort is an international fintech leader with over 20 years of experience in SaaS and payments. As CEO of Xplor Technologies, Floris is passionate about investing in people and culture, and has a strong track record of making companies amazing places to work by building great teams. Xplor offers enterprise-grade SaaS solutions and a global, cloud-based payment processing platform for SMBs in fast-growing ‘everyday life’ verticals: Childcare & Education, Fitness & Wellbeing, Field Services and Personal Services.