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Small business growth and processing hiccups go hand in hand

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New businesses often try to keep payments simple. They do some research and choose a popular vendor, mostly because the founders are familiar with it.

But as the business grows the issues become more complex, such as how to acquire more customers globally and sell via new sales channels. That leads businesses to research alternative payment processors.

This scenario isn’t unusual. It’s actually a good thing, because it means the business is growing and is outgrowing the plug-and-play payment partner model. There are plenty of payment processors out there, and the next ones should be one the business will never outgrow.
“Not enough payment methods” is one of the most common reasons for cart abandonment, so it only makes sense that a solution should support as many payment methods as possible. No matter where the small business’ customers are located, they’ll want a payment type they’re familiar with, which will increase your conversions.

However, certain providers are hamstrung in terms of what they can offer. While some payment processors support more payment methods than most fall short of a full menu, particularly when it comes to meeting the needs of overseas customers.

SMBs also need a reliable partner for payment strategies and expertise. The complexities of managing an online business increase as it grows. Payments, in particular, can play an integral role in reaching growth goals, but without the right strategy in place customers could start to flee.

With many payment processor vendors, there isn’t a dedicated support system to rely on for advice. In some cases, they may even put up roadblocks to success.

Marketplaces, for instance, have experienced account freezes and even business shutdowns in response to compliance infractions identified too late. Instances like these occur because customers don’t have a “partner” looking out for them. Today, more so than ever, it’s critical for merchants to find a payment partner that understands their individual payment needs in order to implement a payment strategy that is customized to their unique business goals.

Global expansion is natural for most e-commerce businesses, but global payment processing is not the forte of all payment processors. For instance, payment partners with only one bank connection will struggle to process international transactions successfully.

If the number of transactions a business is conducting monthly has been growing in leaps and bounds, that’s good, but most out-of-the-box payment tools’ flat blended rate doesn’t factor in different costs across all payment types (for example, it doesn’t account for the added savings for debit cards, which are less expensive to process). And even if you wanted to ask about allowances for debit card payments, there’s no one to ask.

If the above sounds familiar, look for a payment partner who has a more flexible payment structure that accommodates varying costs by payment type. More important, look for a partner that picks up the phone when you call the support line for help with these issues.

If a business is unhappy with its payment partner it may be researching a lot of different payment processors. Before switching it’s extremely important to perform an “A/B” test before committing to a vendor.

Depending on the business, there are several ways to compare options. If there are two different websites or landing pages, connect each of them to a different payment processor. The same could be done with different products, SKUs, or customer areas (international vs. domestic). Whether it’s one month or six months, we bet there will be a difference.

Making the switch to a new payment partner is never easy but following the steps above can help simplify the process dramatically. At the end of the day, people don’t start businesses to become experts in the intricacies of the e-commerce market and the technology that goes with it. Working with a payment processor that understands this can have an immediate and dramatic impact on e-commerce strategy, and more important the bottom line.

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