The online credit card processing experience is no longer limited to a singular payment channel. Instead, the modern business ecosystem relies on technology that can incorporate integrated payments.
The on-demand economy that has sprouted up across the merchant services ecosystem has spurred the need for better, faster, more flexible payment methods. Quickly, the integrated payments market became part of the online credit card processing world. But what makes them so popular? And what does this mean for the modern business model?
To help you gain a better understanding of integrated payments and how it relates to what type of online credit card processing businesses need to offer to attract today’s digital-first consumer base, we’ve broken down what you need to know about this evolving industry.
What Exactly are Integrated Payments?
For most businesses today, the concept of integrated payments might seem like a natural extension of payment processing. Integrated payments, however, is much more complex than meets the eye.
Technology advancements have spurred the growth of payment enablement companies focused on integrating each aspect of payment processing into one simple gateway experience. At the core of this is the partnerships that are able to exist between businesses and payment companies that provide this experience. But it hasn’t always been so easy.
Before integrated payments were the norm, merchants needing to process payments would have to do so in batches, which was only possible after receiving a report from their payment transaction provider. This required a lot of manual work and complicated the accounting side of payments, not to mention creating a greater chance for errors, including an increased chance for account reconciliation issues when managing online credit card processing transactions.
Enter integrated payments, the solution that has made online credit card processing more dynamic for both businesses and consumers. This transformation allows transaction data across multiple digital channels to quickly and seamlessly integrated into a business’ payment and accounting software without having to engage with manual processes. It also helps businesses onboard the types of diverse payment choice customers expect today.
Integrated payments have also paved the way for the API economy, which has advanced the capabilities of web and mobile payment gateways for businesses needing more sophisticated online credit card processing. This has also provided businesses the ability to fully customize their payments experience within their online and mobile applications and software. This has simplified the online credit card processing for business and streamlined e-commerce customer interactions.
Why Online Credit Card Payment Processing Needs Integrated Payments Experiences
Gone are the days when a business can rely on a single channel to reach their customers. Today, shoppers expect more out of their online experiences. Whether it’s faster, more dynamic web pages that allow them to seamlessly navigate their own shopping journies or a streamlined mobile web experience, consumers are driven by digital experiences that put their needs first. Businesses must adapt their online credit card processing systems to match this demand.
Integrated payments provide a better customer experience, but they also enhance business’ payment practices. Since transaction activity is automated without any manual intervention, this saves time and money. Integrated payments also provide a greater accuracy for online credit card processing. Businesses no longer need to fear to have repetitive transaction entries, calculation mistakes, or invoice errors. Integrated payments provide a holistic view of your businesses daily transactions so you can have better visibility into your revenue streams.
Regardless of how fast a business’ online credit card processing model evolves, one thing must always be kept in mind: Customer payment preferences change quickly. Integrated payments experiences allow businesses the ability to accept more than just credit cards. The transformation has paved way for mobile payments, gift cards, digital payment networks such as PayPal, etc. Since transaction data is coming from multiple sources, and more channels, integrated payments seamlessly merges the necessary information into a business’ accounting software.
Why Integrated Payments are a key Piece of the Online Credit Card Processing Puzzle
Integrated payments have been gaining popularity as quickly as the digital e-commerce ecosystem has taken over the market. With a greater need to adapt to customers who choose to engage more online, businesses needing to stay up with the trends must rely on a payments processing and gateway partner equipped to meet that demand.
Payments, e-commerce, and online shopping have become increasingly complex. This has spurred the need for systems that can merge all of a business’ daily needs into one, simply-to-integrate platform. Instead of relying on one system to process payments, one to reconcile transactions, and one to manage accounting and revenue flow, integrated payments can bring a streamlined structure to your entire online credit card processing platform. Since transaction data is settled in near real-time, this can provide businesses better transparency into their own operational finances so they can quickly adjust as needed.
Prior to integrated payments being a norm, businesses needing to manage online credit card processing were forced to rely on fragmented systems that weren’t fast or accurate enough to meet the demands of today’s evolving business ecosystem. Now, online credit card processing no longer has to be reliant on old legacy payment and accounting systems; integrated payment solutions have married business’ diverse needs into one comprehensive platform.
How Businesses Can Diversify Their Online Credit Card Processing Offerings
Most modern business today understand the need to offer digital shopping experiences. Customers expect businesses to cater to how they like to do business and not the other way around. By leveraging an integrated payments experience, this can enhance the number of ways a business can offer online credit card processing. Thanks to the ever-evolving digital ecosystem, there are many diverse methods that a business can use to integrate more dynamic experiences into their online credit card processing.
Enhancing E-Commerce Sites
The first, and most obvious, place online credit card processing can be offered is through an e-commerce site. This is the first step in providing your customers with the ability to pay for items online. The right payment enablement partner will have the tools necessary to provide a simple and secure online payment processing across your site.
What businesses should look for when considering how online credit card processing fits into their plans is to determine how, when and why consumers use their e-commerce site. Since most of your customers will want an online option, having a simple payments processing and gateway solution integrated into your e-commerce site it’s the first step in showing your customers you can meet their needs. It also provides a natural place to power your online credit card processing.
Delivering a Mobile Experience
Online, however, is no longer restricted to shoppers using a computer. Mobile and tablet are quickly gaining more of the e-commerce spend, which means businesses need to have the right tools to allow for customers to pay quickly and easily across any device. Integrating mobile payment processing allows your business to accept payments anytime, anywhere, and on almost any mobile device. The only thing businesses have to do is have the right payment enablement partner to onboard that online credit card processing solution.
Beyond just online, integrating an online credit card processing system that is equipped to work with mobile payments can help businesses better merge their online and offline needs. For example, relying on an all-in-one mobile point-of-sale that can accept diverse types of payments (magstripe, EMV, contactless and mobile) can better connect the different parts of your business. This can streamline your payments processing and help improve cash flow across your accounting software. That’s a win-win for any business.
Increasingly, customers are turning toward both mobile web and mobile app experience to engage with business. Thanks to today’s integrated payments abilities, it’s easier than ever to incorporate online credit card processing to a mobile web or app experience. Being mobile-friendly indicates that your business is aligned with the times, which gives your customers another reason to consider doing business with you.
The Rising API Economy
Another method to integrate online credit card processing is via an API. Payment API solutions can make your business run smoother and faster by helping businesses integrate the types of tools necessary to onboard better online credit card processing. A payments API offering provides secure integration, instant on-boarding, and flexible funding for greater control over key aspects of the payment experience. This helps businesses power their online credit card processing payments in a modern, flexible environment that can easily adapt over time.
Having a payment API provides control over the entire experience (from end-to-end). On the customer side of the equation, using a payment API to integrate a better online credit card process can deliver the built-in flexibility needed to meet their evolving demands.
The right payment API-based solution also comes with the security measures required to process payments online in today’s breach-filled world. Relying on an online credit card processing system that is PCI compliant, for example, will process payments securely, regardless of the type of payment. This includes tokenizing payment methods for recurring or subscription services.
Driving Loyalty with Subscription Billing
Subscription billing is another method to offer online credit card processing. This allows your business to payment processing without any interruption to your products or services. Businesses can build a better foundation by integrating recurring billing options into their online credit card processing. This ensures invoices are always paid and customers are continually served by your business on a regular basis. This is one core way online credit card processing can actually serve as a loyalty tool.
Recurring subscription payments also provides your business with a method to offer hassle-free, hands-off payments methods for your customers. This builds trust and helps streamline your online credit card processing needs — while increasing operational efficiencies and reducing operating costs. This can help improve cash flow by automating and streamlining your online credit card processing needs.
The Big Picture: Why the Right Online Credit Card Processing Partner Matters
Thanks to integrated payments technology, there are endless methods for businesses to onboard online credit card processing. The problem most are left with is there are simply too many choices in the market. Like all things in business, not all solutions are created equal.
When determining which online credit card processing partner is right for you, you must choose one the can deliver the type of flexibility modern businesses need today to meet the evolving needs of their customers. This means you’ll want to choose a business that can deliver online credit card processing from end-to-end, including the many products and software solutions that can enable the type of consumer payment experiences mentioned above.
Whether you’re a new business looking to grow, or an established business needing a payments partner who can provide you with a more dynamic online credit card processing experience, Payline is built with flexibility and scalability in mind. Payline offers the market’s latest technology in a simple and affordable method to help your business focus on what matters most: serving your customers and growing your bottom line.
Anna Kragie is a content contributor for Payline Data. She previously wrote for PYMNTS.com, as a Sr. Content Producer, where she focused on financial services and payments innovation, fraud and security, emerging payments, and FinTech news, research and thought-leadership content across the payments industry.