Business owners are often surprised by what’s involved in setting up a merchant account for payment processing. While some decide to use numerous vendors to provide a processing gateway, platform, settlement services and equipment, it isn’t the most efficient strategy. In the long run, working with an end-to-end payment technology company can save time and money, reduce headaches, better serve your customers, and help keep pace with an ever-changing marketplace. Here are eight reasons why you should partner with an end-to-end processing provider:
Gain Flexibility Tailored to Your Needs
By offering a full suite of payment processing equipment and solutions, end-to-end payment technology providers can meet a merchant’s needs at every stage of their development. This includes enabling them to easily exchange outdated equipment or add equipment for a mobile or online solution as they grow. In addition, some end-to-end payment technology companies offer integrated payment solutions for point-of-sale (POS) software or even full POS hardware and systems to help businesses and restaurants track inventory, manage their employees, optimize operations and better serve customers.
Evolve With Customer Trends
We're in a consumer-driven economy, which forces merchants to continually adapt to the needs and preferences of their customers. Today’s consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to shop online or to pay using a digital wallet, and end-to-end processing providers can ensure that merchants have the tools and payment equipment in place to stay current with these trends as well as industry mandates.
Save Time and Get Paid Fast
Seeking out multiple vendors to ensure that your customers are able to safely and conveniently pay by credit is time consuming. More importantly, involving several companies in the payment process — each with their own workflow and procedures — can delay the time it takes for merchants to get paid. This differs from end-to-end payment technology companies, which can improve a merchant’s cash flow by offering next-day or even same-day funding.
Save Money and Keep Data Secure
The primary reason most savvy business owners decide to go with an end-to-end provider is cost. Choosing to involve multiple independent parties in the payment processing chain increases operating expenses, which are passed on to merchants. Additionally, the more “middle” vendors involved in the payment processing chain, the greater the number of times sensitive data changes hands. This inevitably increases the vulnerability to fraud. When a problem occurs, it can be difficult to identify exactly where things broke down within an extensive chain of vendors. However, when one company is handling transactions, sensitive data passes through fewer possible points of failure, thus making fraud less likely.
Know Your Support Team
By using a single company to handle every facet of transaction processing, businesses benefit from dealing with one team to walk them through the risk and underwriting process, approve them as a client, and board them to a processing system. As time goes on that same team can provide valuable customer support as well as assist with settlement issues and chargeback management. Having to call multiple parties when problems arise delays resolution times, whereas calling one number can get a merchant’s payment system back up quickly.
As a result of greater operational efficiency, some end-to-end payment technology companies are able to offer gift cards, loyalty programs, email marketing, and “push” or SMS/text marketing to draw customers into a merchant’s business. These revenue-growing perks can be delivered separately or in conjunction with POS systems. Some payment technology companies also offer solutions to help merchants get set up on social media, monitor online reviews, and track competitors.
Access Consolidated Reporting
An end-to-end payment technology company makes it easy for merchants to access data in one place and keep track of all transactions. If merchants have multiple locations or multiple sales channels, they can review all transactions to better manage inventory and overall business performance. More cohesive reporting helps merchants optimize their business, while also enabling them to avoid the headaches of tracking down data for chargeback disputes.
Enrich Customer Experience
By being able to easily track customer payments, merchants can learn about customer behavior and anticipate future purchases. With added layers of reporting, business owners can also set up customer profiles, which in turn can be used to generate marketing offers, promotions and loyalty programs that influence buying behavior and increase revenue. With everything available from a comprehensive payment services provider, merchants can improve their customer experience and increase customer loyalty.
Each business owner needs to evaluate what's best for their company. For those looking to save money on processing payments, increase revenue, improve customer loyalty, and remove the hassle of maintaining multiple vendors, an end-to-end payment technology company is an ideal solution.
Zavida Mangaru is the executive vice president of product strategy and innovation at NorthAmerican Bancard.
Related story: The Benefits of Cloud-Based POS Systems