As fintech and related tech trends continue to disrupt the payments industry, businesses must rethink their payments integration strategies to ensure better privacy and security, improved ROI, and superior customer experience for customers who pay via their websites.
For every business with an online presence, the ability to accept payments remains a critical differentiating factor.
With developments in fintech, the growth of e-commerce and the popularization of mobile and electronic payments, businesses that offer choice, simplicity, security, and faster transactions during checkout stand to make serious gains over the competition.
For many businesses, however, integrating payments is a complex and stressful affair that most business owners would rather not deal with. Consequently, many businesses are missing out on the benefits that come with a well-integrated payments system, with most finding it hard to achieve ROI after making large investments in such systems.
And as cybercrime, fraud and other payments-related challenges continue to unsettle the payments industry, businesses must change the way they approach payments integration. Here are three key things you must keep in mind when looking to accept payments through your website.
1. Future-proofing for advances in fintech
For the past couple of years, fintech innovations have been bulldozing their way into the payments sub-sector, giving rise to e-wallets, P2P payment platforms, mobile payments, and other innovative solutions along the way. These new payment solutions will drive in excess of $4 trillion in online retail sales by 2020, making the digital world the next frontier for modern business.
As digital payments continue to grow, there’s every indication that more disruption is yet to come. Advances in fintech are bringing in customers who don’t use credit and debit cards, bank accounts, checks and other features of traditional financial systems, which means your business must be prepared to interact with this new age of digital natives when they come calling.
Consider whether the payments gateway you’re going with will be capable of supporting cryptocurrencies, blockchain technologies, in-browser payments and other alternative modes of payment. They should also be familiar with region-specific laws and regulations that touch on fintech and payments, especially if you’re planning to accept payments from international customers.
These measures will go a long way in helping your business accept alternative payments in future.
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2. Weighing your integration options
On paper, getting paid online often feels as simple as slapping a payment form on your website and watching the cash roll in. In reality, however, blunders during the actual integration can leave your business vulnerable to online vandals and poor customer experience during checkout, which is why you need to tread carefully when tackling the technical elements of payments integration for your business.
That said, your integration options will largely depend on your business setup. For instance, if you’re running or planning to run an online shop via Magento, PrestaShop, or similar third-party e-commerce platforms, integrating payments can be as simple as integrating a plugin with a ready-made payments API into your website.
However, if your integration needs run a little deeper than a preconfigured shopping platform, you’ll have to choose between an off-site/hosted payment form from your payments partner and a customized API solution that integrates the payment gateway into a custom-built form on your site.
While each of these integration methods has its pros and cons, an integrated payments API on your site is the best option if you’re hoping to cut down on cart abandonment and double down on conversions. By keeping your customers on your website during checkout, you’ll also help boost customer experience and increase the number of return customers who will be more comfortable when paying on your website.
And even with all the technicalities involved, there are still ways you can improve your chances of success with on-site integration and the confusing bundles of code that come with APIs.
If you’re dealing with an in-house or third-party team of integration developers, make use of application performance monitoring (APM) tools and project management platforms such as Trello and Asana to help you understand and keep tabs on the integration, especially if you’re a non-techie.
3. Cross-platform availability
Last year, a study by the Harvard Business Review found that omnichannel customers spent at least 10 percent more in purchases at online shops compared to single-channel customers, leading to higher conversion rates for businesses that were visible across multiple channels.
That success, however, depends on how well a business can seamlessly accept payment across these multiple platforms. Your integrated payments solution should provide customers with a diverse range of simple and secure payment options on platforms beyond your website, including on mobile devices and at your physical store.
To get the most out of this omnichannel opportunity, go with a payment service provider (PSP) that provides multiple payment options under one roof, including mobile payments, e-wallets, and the ability to accept credit cards on every platform your business has a presence.
Going with one PSP helps you reduce the workload associated with managing different payment channels while providing valuable data from these channels that can be used for personalized marketing strategies, thus reducing cart abandonment and boosting conversion rates.
Even though payments integration often comes off as a technical and complex process, your primary goal should be to make payments as simple and secure for your customers as possible while making sure your profits aren’t taken up by exorbitant processing fees, chargebacks, and losses related to fraud.