What is the Payments Facilitator Model?

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What is a Payments Facilitator?

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Payment facilitators have emerged to become a service in the finance industry that is revolutionising the merchant services space. A payments facilitator, otherwise known as a PayFac, essentially allows any entity to offer merchant services on a sub-merchant platform. A PayFac can then help onboard those service-providers so that they can use the master MID of the Payment Facilitator (rather than having to try and seek their own MID) as the PayFac is sponsored by the bank. 

This allows the Payment Facilitator to operate in an incredibly efficient manner, as they are able to underwrite merchants continuously as they keep on processing transactions for them. This is much preferred to underwriting the merchant upfront before the services can be carried out, as this takes much more time and can hold things up. 

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What Do Payment Facilitators Do?

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Payments Facilitators hold a number of different roles that ultimately help streamline merchant services in the payments ecosystem. The role of a Payment Facilitator typically includes:

  • Transaction Monitoring. Once the PayFac has onboarded the merchant, they become responsible for monitoring all processed transactions and ensuring that said transactions adhere to financial and governmental rules and regulations.
  • Underwriting & Onboarding. Before a PayFac can onboard a merchant, they must first vet them in order to minimise allowing any untoward merchants into the system, this is known as underwriting. Once the Payment Facilitator has underwritten the merchant and they are satisfied with the fact they will act with good faith, the PayFac can onboard the merchant.
  • Chargeback Monitoring. A chargeback occurs when a customer disputes the charges applied to their account and the bank issues their money back. When a PayFac is involved, they are responsible for the recovery of funds along with the acquiring bank and can even be liable to cover the costs if funds are unusable to be recovered from the merchant. 

 

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How Do Payment Facilitators Work in the Payments Ecosystem?

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In order for a Payments Facilitator to operate smoothly and effectively, they must work very closely with a number of key players in the payments ecosystem. It is this level of cooperation that has allowed Payment Facilitators to emerge and play such a key role in the merchant services space. These key partnerships include:

  • Submerchants. PayFac customers are more commonly called Submerchants.
  • Acquiring Banks. The merchant account where a PayFac will hold the funds will be with the acquiring bank.

Payment Processors. A PayFac will use a payment processor to authorise transactions and route these to the appropriate card network.

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For more information on how Imburse Payments can help you access the global payments ecosystem, integration-free, contact us today where our team of experts will be more than happy to answer any questions. 

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What is Auto-Reconciliation?

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Financial reconciliation compares two sets of data for fidelity and anomalies. Automatic bank reconciliation, or auto-reconciliation, is a new feature that can speed up the accounting process by aligning your financial data with your bank statement and accounting software information and recognise matching transactions for reconciliation. This means that all the relevant information is in one place, immediately synchronised, without having to manually input the figures into a spreadsheet. Essentially, auto-reconciliation can make accounting and bookkeeping a less labour-intensive chore, and easily identify areas in need of further investigation. 

According to a survey by EY, up to 59% of resources in the finance department is used to manage transaction-intensive processes. With auto-reconciliation, you can simply download your bank account information to be uploaded to the accounting software. This modernised process is secure via password access and only requires you to verify the information is correctly uploaded. This time-saving method is a great alternative to the laborious task of manual reconciliation for financial data onto an Excel document, or even with a paper and pen. Instead, auto-reconciliation will check cash outgoings and receipts to your financial records to automatically generate cash flow, income and capital statements. 

As we move towards a more cashless society, and bank transfers become easier, we end up with a greater volume of transactions to track. But more transactions means more time managing your business’s cash flow. While manual financial reconciliation is often at the mercy of human error, auto-reconciliation is an automated process that takes away the guesswork in the accounting process. Even skilled accountants will waste a lot of time with manual reconciliation as it demands a lot of administration. Auto-reconciliation can process more financial data, quicker so that your staff can use their time more efficiently. 

Reviewing the financial behaviours of the business is a great way to access potential improvements for your business’s spending habits, budgets, and future investments. For example, by reviewing the reconciliation processes, you can discover opportunities to better the quality and speed of the verification process. Auto-reconciliation enables all the relevant payment information to be compiled onto a digital payment management platform. Once the information is uploaded and formatted to the user’s specifications, you can access in-depth reporting to analyse the business’s financial performance.

With all your financial information easily assembled into one place, the accounting process can rely on advanced software to simplify the accounting process. For instance, calculating your taxes would no longer need to be an arduous process. With an automated process, you can monitor employee activity, define milestones, decrease the financial close and more. Utilising technology to establish more efficient and more effective financial management will allow you to develop and implement improved strategic procedures and focus on other areas within the business.

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Benefits of Automatic Bank Reconciliation

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Time-Saving – Auto-reconciliation is a much quicker process than manual reconciliation. It can analyse the data and compile reports to be reviewed manually, rather than inputting each piece of data from a variety of sources by hand. 

Avoids Human Error – Manual reconciliation is almost guaranteed to feature errors, particularly if there’s a large volume of transactions. Automated reconciliation is the exact figures downloaded onto accounting software, so will only require a quick manual review for formatting and unrecognised payments.

Reliable, Transparent Bookkeeping – Auto-reconciliation will ensure all account history is recorded and has a digital ‘paper trail’ with accurate, consistent records, void of human error. You will have a clear trail of exactly what has been done, when, and by who.

Minimised Fraud – With quick, accurate financial records, you can immediately identify any inconsistencies that need to be investigated. Better financial records will also aid in anti-fraud compliance.

Time Efficiency – Your staff will surely be glad to have such a dull, arduous, and lengthy task off of their plates. Instead, they can use their time more important and delegate administrative responsibility to more effective software.

Easy Access – Everyone can have access to the relevant information in a centralised location, with the data uniformly presented regardless of use, at any time in the accounting period. This is particularly advantageous to manage financial data for global operations or businesses with multiple entities.

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For more information about how you can manage your transactions with centralised payments software, get in touch with Imburse’s friendly team today.

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A B2B Payments Guide & How to Prepare for the Future

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What are B2B Payments?

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B2B payments are payments made from businesses to businesses. Unlike B2C (business to customer) or P2P (person to person), B2B payments is a faster process for issuing, receiving, and processing transactions for a more seamless cash flow. However, B2B payments are still behind B2C in terms of innovation, with regards to contactless cards, e-commerce transactions, and mobile payments. 

In 2016, nearly half of all global B2B transactions were still done on paper, in 2017, only 38% of US organisations utilised electronic invoices, and in 2018, 52% of B2B payments were done by a form of bank transfer. Although we see that B2B payments are increasingly embracing digital payment methods, it still remains more traditional than B2C and P2P. 

The most popular types of B2B payments include:

  • credit cards
  • automated clearing house payments (ACH)
  • wire transfers
  • digital payment platforms
  • paper cheques
  • cash
  • electronic funds transfers (EFT)

This can come with a range of issues. As payment methods become more diverse, this complicates the cash-application accounts receivable process. As this process complicates, businesses are turning to technological innovations for more trackable payment options. As out of date payment methods are often accompanied by:

  • wasted administrative time
  • failed payments
  • data security risks and their relative costs
  • chasing up overdue payments with clients
  • poor cash flow

But why are B2B payments lagging behind in technical innovation?

The B2B payments industry in the US was valued at $18.5 trillion in 2016 and grew to $25 trillion in 2020. The global B2B payments market was presumed to be worth $38 trillion in 2020, and in comparison PSP mobile payments amounted to $396.48 billion in 2020. So, it’s clear that the sheer size and growth rate of the B2B payments industry is a factor. This is due to the fact that B2B payments tend to be larger transactions, more frequently, and more regularly. For example, a merchant may have recurring payments for their monthly supplier shipments.

As B2B payments are reliant on two businesses, spending money is far less impulsive as there are administrative processes and more people involved than a simple P2P or B2C transaction. Because of this, the process is not instant and often needs to be bespoke to the business’s own procedures. For example, the procurement department, billing, accounts receivable, and accounts payable may all have involvement in a transaction. As a result, many businesses resist changing and updating their payment methods so as not to disrupt the workflow, and would rather maintain the manual, traditional accounting that their staff is accustomed to.

However, as payment technology advances to become more secure and accessible, more B2B organisations are adopting it into their payment methods.

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B2B Payment Trends

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Mobile Payments

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As with B2C, businesses are embracing mobile devices to manage their transactions. In the US, mobile payments saw a growth of 41% between 2018-19, and the market was set to surpass $130 billion in 2020. The convenience of mobiles to create and accept payments, particularly where the business is done ‘on-the-go’ in transportation industries, is revolutionary. As the world becomes more and more comfortable with mobile payments, the more it is welcomed into B2B payments.

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Real-Time Transactions

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Real-time payments allow businesses to make and collect transactions immediately, so there are less delay in processing transactions for B2B products and services. Since consumers can perform real-time payments, there is an expectation for B2B payments to follow suit. To enable this isn’t easy, but there is a driving demand in the B2B industry to access real-time payments networks. In a study, 52% of businesses wanted real-time payments to improve cash flow and over 40% wanted to get payments to their suppliers and workers faster. Real-time transactions can ensure B2B payments are less time-consuming and more flexible.

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Automation

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Paper cheques are virtually non-existent in B2C transactions, and many consumers have embraced digital payments to be more efficient and safer. So, the B2B industry is following suit. Digital payment platforms allow businesses to manage their transactions for a more efficient and less laborious process, and some businesses reported that automated B2B payment processes cut their invoice-to-payment time by up to 80%. Not all markets accept recurring payments online so an automated system can offer a more universal solution, so they’re a great way to organise pay-day for your employees and suppliers. An automated billing process is far more effective when accompanied by automated payment collection, which offers full transparency in pricing. This avoids the need to chase bills or adjust standing orders every time the bill fluctuates. For example, pull payments, such as direct debit, instead of push payments, which relies on the customer to manually pay, can give control back to the business.

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Secure Payments

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Digital payments are a safer and more flexible option than cash and cheques. With concerns about postal theft and fraud, using payment software means you’ll benefit from an expert team dedicated to monitor and create a secure platform to store your information. To ensure your digital B2B payments remain as secure as possible, use a secure network to send and receive payments, and track all transactions to verify the payment provider’s information. Safer payments will help you to be compliant to data protection laws such as GDPR and avoid fraud and cybertheft costs. In addition, a digital “paper trail” is usually clearer than on paper, which is a great benefit as a rise in technology has been accompanied by an increase in cybercrime.

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Simplified Bookkeeping

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Managing accounts receivable and accounts payable is a simplified process with a B2B payments solution. This avoids time-consuming, messy, manual bookkeeping that is likely to incur human error. You can also integrate bookkeeping software to automate tax filing while billing and invoicing software can also streamline operations for your business. With digital payment management platforms, you can have a secure, centralised, automated accounting system with a transparent, digital paper trail.

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Global Transactions

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Innovative financial technology, such as cloud-based payment software enables B2B payments to be easier, safer, and immediate. Cross-border payments have been a driving force for technologies within the Fintech industry, so businesses can access multiple global payment ecosystems via innovative payment software such as Imburse’s payment solution. In 2019, B2B cross-border revenues were anticipated to grow 3% annual growth rate until 2024, so there’s an increasing demand for better global transaction methods. To process international and cross-border B2B payments, you will typically need a global payments platform to serve as a second mediator to send and receive international transfers. However, the payment industry is evolving to create better access to the global market, for example, the European Union’s PSD2 regulation will ensure universal communication across the global payments process.

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Emphasis on Trusted Payments

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AI performs fraud screenings to identify discrepancies and changes in user behaviour, but when it comes to human managed processes, trust is lacking. Fear of fraud and limited trust in banks and businesses can be lessened with digitisation. Technology is seen as safer, more transparent, more convenient, and easier to manage. So, adopting this into the B2B environment can allow your business to build better supplier and client relationships, to focus on the business, not the payments. As more B2B payments take place via various digital methods, businesses that take longer to adapt may be at risk. For instance, B2C establishments that have not yet adopted card payment systems have alienated a large proportion of their potential customers and are often viewed as untrustworthy.

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The Benefits of Embracing the Future of B2B Payments

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The potential cash flow improvements of digitised B2B payments can take your business to the next level. For example, automated payments will allow you to see exactly how your business is spending money and organise your budget more efficiently. A payment software platform will help your business go a step further by providing reports, so not only are you able to analyse outgoings, but also merchant behaviour, such as late payments. This transparency allows your business much more control. 

In addition, payment software will also make it easier for merchants to pay you, rather than sending a cheque in the post. Many companies will pay for their own costs upfront, produce a product or service for a business and invoice after delivery, to then be paid late. Bank transfers mean the money is immediately accessible, so holding onto cash and cheque payments only delays and disrupts your business’s cash flow. However, going a step further to digitalise B2B payments to be automated, and even collect payments rather than wait for them to be manually sent, could see further improvements for your cash flow. 

When your cash flow is disorganised and you’re often met with late payments, it can then lead to issues paying your own bills and suppliers. Particularly when each payment comes with its own set of parameters for each supplier, such as credit and deadlines, it’s all very time-consuming. Not only is this a stressful problem, but it’s an unsustainable one. When you aren’t paid, you can’t pay your suppliers, which leads to late fees, bad supplier relationships, downsizing the business to lessen overhead costs, and being unable to invest in the future of your business. In addition, this chaos makes it really difficult to track and manage your transactions. Understanding what you’re spending your money on is a key way of improving cash flow and budgeting, which is why many businesses manage their B2B payments on cloud-based payment software.

A payment software will simplify managing payments and therefore help avoid human errors. It can also make filing taxes easier. A payment software platform is monitored and designed to be as secure as possible, so you can benefit from safer payment methods to avoid fraud. Save time and money for your business on the reduced man-hours for managing transactions and with digital payment methods, there is no need to physically post and process cheques. 

Many businesses either have an in-house accounts receivable team to validate the sale and terms of the payment. This requires a lot of work, so alternatively, businesses choose to outsource. This can be risky as it requires a certain level of trust and is also an additional cost to your business. With automation, digital payments, and accounting systems via a cloud-based payment system, this process can run efficiently without the costly, time-consuming account administration.

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Implementation and costs are often the reasons behind hesitation to embrace digital B2B payments. This is why finding bespoke, low maintenance, cost-effective solution to manage your B2B payments is advised. At Imburse we can provide just that. Get in touch with us today to find out how you can access and manage transactions with multiple global payment ecosystems, with no need for integration.

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What is Payment Initiation & How can you Benefit?

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What is payment initiation?

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A customer gives consent for a Third-Party Provider (TPP) to enact a direct bank transfer from the customer’s bank account. Payment Initiation Service Providers (PISPs) can execute these payments directly by providing the relevant login and transfer details on behalf of the customer, rather than the customer being redirected to their online banking app or an online payment gateway. This revolutionary change in the payments process is due to the open banking regulations of the EU’s Payment Services Directive (PSD2). Payment initiation means online payments are quicker, more transparent, and make certain middle-man bank fees for payment gateways obsolete. 

This process is usually utilised for direct bank transfers in the context of online trading with merchants, otherwise known as e-commerce purchases. This is a result of technology advancement being created to fulfil the need for a better and safer user experience in the payment industry.

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How does it work?

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Payment initiation occurs through programming between APIs (Application Programming Interface) rather than relying on human users. After TPP has been granted access to the customer’s chosen bank’s data, a login interface for the user’s bank is then created where the user can store the relevant bank’s credentials. Once the credentials and transaction are validated and authorised by the bank, a signature request is prompted. Usually, a single-use code is needed for the payee to finally authorise the payment, in accordance with Strong Customer Authentication (SCA).

Typically, this data is transmitted via JSON arrays, using encrypted code to relay the bank credentials and transfer requests for the customer to the bank. Rather than the longer process of requesting information from the bank, PISPs are able to simply verify their information to request an immediate direct bank transfer.

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What are the benefits?

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  • This is a more hassle-free user experience for businesses and customers. Rather than open their banking apps, type in debit card numbers, or fill out recipient accounts to submit payment.

 

  • This more technologically advanced way of relaying communications and payments means that payment flows can be greatly improved upon. 

 

  • For businesses, an easy transaction process can translate to better sales conversions. If users don’t need to leave the platform or service to complete a purchase, then they’re more likely to engage with the services and have a lower shopping cart abandonment rate.

 

  • Payment initiation allows for real-time bank transfers, instead of waiting for 24 hours for pending transfers. These transactions are also received instantly, so essentially, it’s a payment method at the moment of purchase, which makes it a much easier process for customers and businesses to settle their bills. 

 

  • This method also provides more security as payment credentials are encrypted, which further protects against fraud. The encrypted infrastructure can be tokenized to allow customers to reuse their payment information for new payment operations once payees provide their consent. Instead, they can simply authenticate the transfer with their bank directly from the merchant’s app or website.

 

  • Payment initiation is a cheap, safe, payments option. Businesses can save money by upgrading from traditional methods such as card payments and invoicing. Also, by minimising the chance of fraud, there is a reduced risk of fraudulent chargebacks. In addition, customers won’t have to input sensitive bank account information, which improves user experience and trust.

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Payment initiation has many benefits for customers and businesses in providing instant, easy, and secure online transactions. Imburse can help your business create a bespoke payment solution for your business. Get in touch with our team for more information.

 

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What are Recurring Payments? 6 Things to Consider for your Business

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What are recurring payments?

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Recurring payments, or also known as Autopay or continuous payment authority (CPAs), is in the instance a customer has authorised a retailer or merchant to collect payments for goods or services used on a regular basis from the customer’s bank account or credit card. The customer must give permission upfront and the merchant can collect any amount of money at any time if it feels its owed. Therefore, a due date must be agreed upon for the payments, although the consumer has the legal right to cancel, and retract permission for the auto-payments at any time. The company will require the long card number for this, instead of the bank account number and sort code. 

Recurring payments enables companies to sell products and services automatically, and customers to not have to worry about forgetting to pay and incurring late fees. This often means that companies and customers can predict their cash flow and budget with more accuracy. Although, recurring payments can be a nightmare if unchecked and they provide less control for the customer in comparison to direct debits. This is because you rely on the bank or retailer to take or cancel payments, whereas a direct gives you control about what goes in and out of your account, at a fixed variable price. In addition, the Direct Debit Guarantee ensures you’ll be refunded by the bank if an error occurs. If you’re considering recurring payments for your business, there are a few things you should consider:

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1. Do your research

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Be attentive when shopping for the right recurring payment platform as you’ll need a subscription provider that adheres to industry standards for payment security, such as PCI compliance (Payment Card Industry). Your platform will need to be flexible to your customer base. For example, if you receive a lot of international payments, cross-border compliance, AML and anti-fraud have established processes to protect your and your customer’s payments. There are certain regulations that will specifically apply to certain currencies when being transferred across nations so ensuring your platform is set up to receive international payments is essential.

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2. Weigh up the costs

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Recurring payments will help your business reduce expenses for bill collection efforts, as this process is automated. So not having to use staff time or hiring positions for this purpose can ensure your business isn’t wasting time or money. Being certain you will receive payments on time will also benefit the company’s budget and investment plans as you’re able to predict cash flow more accurately and successfully. However, be cautious your recurring payment system doesn’t require a complex and costly integration process to implement into your business.

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3. Consider the available payment methods

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Being flexible to the payment methods your customers want to use when shopping is an important aspect for any online merchant store. Being able to receive transactions from the basic payment methods is considered the bare minimum now. Having relationships with banks that facilitate AutoPay is the best way to go when implementing recurring payments for your subscription service.

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4. Consider your churn rate

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Churn rates are the average metric rate at which customers discontinue their business or subscription with you. A healthy rate is usually reliant on your industry and bespoke service, but for a healthy business model, your annual growth rate needs to surpass the annual churn rate. This subscription model of recurring payments can provide insights to improve your churn rate, improve conversions by encouraging customers to apply for multiple plans, and analyse your customer retention against competitors and the market standard.

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5. Weigh up the customer retention risks

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In light of churn rates, there is a risk with recurring payments to have a negative impact on customer retention. If you do implement recurring payments and find that there is a clear impact, it’s probably worth reconsidering the overall business success. A successful method for many companies is by offering up an initial free trial for customers. While some customers like the ease of recurring payments, particularly for essential, fixed price monthly bills. This enables them to rest assured their bills are paid. Additionally, due to the opportunities for higher customer retention, your business may be able to build a more loyal customer base. We advise selling cheaper products with a fixed maximum to ensure customer trust.

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6. Understand the reporting options

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Understanding your payments is always important when running a business. Without adequate reports, your business will struggle to identify growth opportunities or areas to improve. For example, churn rate and transactions will be an important measure for the success of recurring payments, so your chosen platform should include such insights. Recurring payments exist to ensure you can focus on more important things, so it’s reports should be just as efficient.

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Contact Imburse Payments to learn more about how you can make the most of your payment model and find a bespoke solution for your business. Our professional team is available to help. 

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6 Advantages of Payment SaaS

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Payment SaaS, or payment software as a service, is a cloud-based computing platform that provides users access to vendors. This is a preferred alternative to standard software installation which is the more traditional method. Accounts exist on a remote cloud network and it’s usually set up as an ongoing service where users pay as they go. SaaS is now mainstream, and in 2020 was the largest market segment within the global cloud solutions industry. So, adopting this for your payments, which is already a high-tech industry, has many advantages.

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1. Fast Access

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The transitional software installation method is an often time-consuming, complex process. So, by comparison, payment SaaS is a far more simple and quick way to access and manage your payments. You can avoid complicated configurations and lengthy integrations and instead you can access a cloud-based system within a couple of hours of an easy setup. This not only saves your hours on the installation, but the ease of the financial technology often means the software itself is adopted by your team much quicker.

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2. Cost Saving

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Payment SaaS is typically a shared or multi-tenant environment, which comes with many benefits. Rather than paying for your own system, by sharing the costs of a larger, shared software, you have access to multiple payment gateways to get the best price and lowest transaction fees. There are also no maintenance costs, so you can focus your money on scaling your use based on your unique needs. For example, a small or medium business may not be able to afford the level of technology that a shared payment SaaS platform can provide, particularly with no upfront costs. Having a service allows your business to upgrade or downgrade your use for a more flexible, risk-free experience.

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3. Compatible Updates

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As mentioned above, the flexibility of a payment SaaS provider allows your business to instantly access upgrades. As a shared service, rather than multiple companies paying for the same software, and integrating each payment gateway individually, you can all stay up to date with the payment industry. With a payment SaaS provider, you can save the time, money, and hassle of manually installing payment software updates. This means you can avoid new version discrepancies, which often leads to wasted time on complex compatibility issues.

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4. User Friendly

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A payment SaaS is a user-friendly option, with access to customer support, users can simply log on and easily control or manage their payments without issue. Reporting features with customisable features means that understanding your online payments is finally a simple, easy process. According to WePay, small businesses can improve customer satisfaction and expand their product line with payment integration. So, making the most of your payments can have a positive impact on your business performance. For example, many aspects of your account can be automated, from reporting, billing, retry failed payments and email notifications.

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5. Security

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With a payment SaaS account, your transactions will benefit from built-in security and maintain PCI compliance without requiring you to go through the complex and costly red tape by yourself. While industry-standard requirements are met, a payment SaaS will go a step further. The multi-tenant architecture provides superior performance and maintenance to ensure customer and merchant satisfaction.

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6. Flexibility

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A payment SaaS platform will provide you with a choice of payment gateways and allow you to create a bespoke service, whereby you connect to as many PSPs as your business requires. With cloud-based software, you can access your account from any location, provided you have an internet connection, and often “try before you buy’” with free trials, test software and samples. A payment SaaS can also provide flexibility in your personal plan to be non-committal with a ‘pay as you go’ payment plan, or scale your use based on the seasonality of your business transactions.

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To see how your business can benefit from a payment software as a service platform to: connect to multiple payment service providers, access global payment ecosystems, and manage all of your transactions securely, get in touch with Imburse Payments today.

 

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Guide to Payment Services Regulations

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According to the Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which was implemented to all EU member states in 2018, payment services is defined as any business activity associated with their 8 annexed types. You are likely providing a payment service if you are either:

  • An online marketplace
  • A business providing booking services.
  • A business bringing sellers and customers together.

To fully understand payment services, which is a relatively broad term as it can be used throughout many aspects of the payment ecosystem and its processes. Providers of payment services are known as a PSP.

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What is a PSP?

A PSP is a Payment Service Provider, or also known as merchant service providers. They help merchants to accept payments such as debit or credit cards and bank transfers. Businesses can collect their payments easily using a merchant account and payment gateway, provided by their PSP.

So, what is a PSP’s role in the payments industry? To allow merchants to process payments via numerous methods, a payment gateway is available 24/7 to authenticate and transfer payment information securely between groups and banks. Put plainly, a PSP adopts the latest innovations in the payments industry and allows you to manage all transactions through a single channel and configure systems accordingly, as and when new updates are made to such payment gateways. Essentially, a PSP is a third party that works with payment processors to manage the transaction process to completion.

A payment service provider does just that, provides a service. Since PSPs support multiple payment types, they can also support multiple processing and settlement currencies to make global transactions easier and more secure. For example, if a payment is made via a bank card, the transaction is first authorised by a PSP. This means that your business is able to collect the payments made to it, facilitate the technologies their potential customers choose to pay through, and saves the merchant time and effort to adapt to new payment technologies. 

Using a payment service provider means you aren’t tied to one payment network or bank, so you can integrate to multiple payment methods through one platform. This makes the payment process much easier for international and national transactions and creates an uncomplicated experience for the customer and merchant. So, you can spend your time focusing on the customer experience and core business without worrying about receiving your payments.

 

 

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Payment Service Regulations from Around the World

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PSD2 & Payment Services in the E.U.

The PSD2 was transposed into national law to make it an offence to provide payment services without the correct FCA authorisation or registration. If you’re unsure whether you qualify for this, we advise that you seek legal advice. Although, you are likely affected by these regulations if you provide payment services as part of a service package, or if your business receives money from a customer before relaying it to the seller. 

The Payment Services Directive aims to support innovation and competition in the retail payments industry, while also enhancing electric payment transaction security and customer financial data protections. This calls for payment service providers to require strong customer authentication, transaction and device monitoring, and universal, high standards of communication for incident reporting and security risks.

 

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Brexit & Payment Service Regulations in the U.K.

As the PSD2 is an industry-wide standard, and the U.K. have already had to implement many of the updated regulations set out in 2018, there is a lot of speculation about payment service regulations post Brexit. Although due to COVID-19  the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has already issued compliance delays, such as the Strong Conduct Authentication (SCA) which is now to be applied for all e-commerce card transactions in the UK by the newly revised date; 14th September 2021. From 2022, PSPs will be required to provide additional information for transfers to or from the UK in euro, such as the name and address of the payer.

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It’s assumed that moving forward, Britain, as a leader in open banking, will continue to comply with EU regulations in order to remain a global competitor and not stifle the industry’s growth opportunities. For example, Iceland has completely adopted PSD2 and eIDAS despite not being a part of the EU, and GDPR is already said to continue to apply to the UK and EU to protect customer data. Particularly as these industry standards for transaction security and digital IDs have also been adopted in markets around the world, including Canada and Latin America.

Alternatively, there is speculation that global markets will choose to adopt the UK’s already broader Open Banking standards as a blueprint. Or that we could see further adjustments to regulation in the future to incorporate payment technologies such as biometrics, which continue to prove successful.

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Payment Service Regulations in the U.S.

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There is no PSD2 equivalent in the USA, though they are governed by data protection regulations and non-regulatory industry standards such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In America, payment services are not expected to see many changes in regulations. Their current adoption of neutrality means that their industry regulation is considered by some as more durable and flexible to future financial change. Regardless of payment technology and business models, the payment services are subject to the same rules and standards governed by the (FDA).

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How Imburse can help

At Imburse, we understand the world of payments is constantly evolving, as more payment technologies are adopted, strict industry standards are not far behind.  From one-click online payments, e-wallets, and cryptocurrencies, the growing popularity of the online payment sector not only co-exists with traditional methods such as cash, payment cards, and cheques but has also begun to surpass it. At Imburse, we make the world of payments simple and keeps you up to date with compliance and security for all of your transactions. Imburse Payments allows you to connect to multiple PSPs so you can benefit from a range of global payment ecosystems from a single, secure platform. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help your business. 

 

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The Benefits of Using a Payment Gateway

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Firstly, what is a payment gateway? A payment gateway is a merchant service supplied by E-commerce applications to provide a secure method for customers to submit payment information and authorise card payments. Essentially, they instantly and securely process your payment transactions. E-commerce as an industry has seen a boom in recent years. In fact,  GroupM reported that merchants of consumer packaged goods had a 277% increase in sales for 2020. If your business is considering embracing online payments, here are the benefits of using a payment gateway and their best features explained.

The best payment gateway system will fit seamlessly into the design of your website, offering integrated debit and credit card payments with just a few clicks. Some things to consider when searching for the right payment gateway include; transaction fees, customer service support, and how well the gateways integrate. As each payment gateway offers a unique set of features, it’s important to consider which benefits are available to your business.

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Save Time

Payment gateways are the fastest way to receive card payments. This process is much quicker than manual processing and you can usually begin accepting payments within a 24hr period after setting up your payment gateway. Speedy payments are an important aspect of digital transactions and E-commerce success. Online shoppers are notorious for impulse buying, so ensuring your customers are not having to wait to make a purchase can be the difference between making a sale or not.

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User Experience

Payment gateways offer additional features to improve the real-time user experience. Typically, customers can add products directly to a shopping cart, saved bundles and add items to their favourites. Users are able to easily set up a profile and keep their payment information securely saved, so transactions can be instantaneous with a single click. For merchants, payment gateways often allow you to have full control and intercept if any problems arise. However, integrating payment gateways to your site can be a costly, lengthy process.

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Expand your Customer Base

Using a payment gateway will open up your business to a new market. Shoppers from around the world can access your store and easily make trusted transactions. Secure digital payment options are becoming essential to attract and retain customers, particularly when operating an online store. E-commerce is increasingly becoming a global market. Due to technologies like payment gateways, people are increasingly more confident with online purchases, and this gives them the freedom to source the best or cheapest products, regardless of location. Additionally, affiliate marketing partnerships is an additional feature of many payment gateways to help funnel more leads to your business.

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Secure Transactions

With a payment gateway, all payment transactions are heavily encrypted to ensure the data is protected. This will help your business meet GDPR and industry-standard requirements such as the PCI DSS compliance (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). Secure payment transactions protect the customer and merchant from potential fraud. Customers will usually use the more secure payment options, so gaining their trust to make purchases with your business should be a priority.

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Convenience

Payment gateways allow your business to collect payments 24 hours a day. This means that you can rest assured that your website can continue to process payments at all times. But this isn’t just a benefit for the merchant. As we know, online shoppers enjoy impulse purchases, so this feature allows them to place an order at any time, day or night. This creates an accommodating experience for users, particularly those who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to access a physical store during it’s set hours, particularly in times when individuals are self-isolating, or areas are under government restrictions.

 

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While payment gateways offer many benefits, choosing the right one for your business can be a bit more complex. Their user interface and customisations options can help you better manage your payments, but these features will greatly vary. Additionally, the size of your business and the number of transactions you process should also be taken into account, as some payment gateways are more suited to larger businesses and others to smaller businesses. This will usually relate to the fees of the payment gateways, as they usually charge a fixed fee per transaction. 

In our opinion, all payment gateways have major benefits, but their unique features will set them apart from others on the market. When it comes to payment solutions, we recommend blending multiple payment gateways to benefit from their unique features, customer base, and market access. For example, to accept secure payments for cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, you will require a cryptocurrency payment gateway.

Imburse can help your business take a tailored approach to payments, to better meet your business and customer needs on a global scale. Get in touch with our team to learn more about how Imburse can help you connect to, and benefit from payment gateways.

 

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