Once you’ve determined that becoming a payment facilitator is a viable route for your company, the journey begins. Becoming a payment facilitator is about a lot more than “adding on” payments.
To maximize your investment, you must align your business model with your payments strategy. This will allow you to:
- Streamline your customer experience
- Negotiate better rates with partners
- Collect the most revenue
But the process to become a payment facilitator is not easy, especially if you’re new to payments. It’s both time and capital intensive. While there isn’t a single way to structure your payments strategy, there are smart and risky approaches you can take.
Avoid the risks associated with making this journey alone Getting started hinges on your relationship with an acquiring processor. They sponsor you and underwrite your business as a payment facilitator. Reaching an agreement is not an easy road, though.
They will scrutinize over your business plan and if they feel as though you’re not up to the challenge, they’ll deny contracting with you. At that point, your dreams of becoming a payment facilitator will be on hold, and it’s very difficult to get back on their good graces.
We’ve developed a 360 degree approach to guide you through this process and avoid the risks associated with making this journey alone.
Align your Business: Your payments strategy is unique to you. By embedding payments into your software, you’ve not just added in this additional feature. You’ve changed your product into a more seamless experience that delivers greater value to your sub-merchants and their customers.
Compliance: Compliance ensures that cardholder information is protected. The rules are perpetually evolving and have unique requirements for every industry. Compliance needs to be a company-wide effort to ensure your product delivers the necessary security for cardholders.
Technology: This is where your benefits as a payment facilitator really get to shine. It’s important to design a functional portal for sub-merchants and cardholders to interact with one another seamlessly. The back-end is complex, so it’s important to first understand the experience you want to create.
Legal: Securing all your agreements with partner organizations, and for sub-merchants, ensures that your business is protected. The credit card networks require an understanding of a lengthy 1,000 page legal agreement. Without a thorough understanding of this complexity, your partners are likely going to have the upper hand in negotiating agreement details.
Payments Operations “The Big 3”: As a payment facilitator, you have to be able to efficiently onboard new sub-merchants, settle cardholder payments, and provide quick reporting. This is a new function for your business that will require additional personnel support.
Go-to-market strategy: Payment facilitation changes your approach to new customers because you’ve increased your value to them. You’re now an entire business solution, rather than just a static software with limited capabilities.
To Build, or to buy – that is the question Depending on your appetite to handle the compliance regulations, and the operational overhead of processing payments, some companies may elect to partner with an existing payment facilitator. This limits your revenue growth opportunities but still allows you to control the customer experience without as much new responsibility.