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What You Should Be Looking for in an ISV Payments Partner

By: Ronald De Bos
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Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) are increasingly looking to integrate payment solutions into their software offerings to streamline the user experience, boost revenue, and unlock new growth opportunities.

Choosing the right payment partner can be a complex decision with significant implications for your business. This guide outlines key factors to consider when selecting an ISV payments partner, ensuring smooth integration and a foundation for long-term success.

Why partner with an ISV payments provider?

It’s important to understand how an ISV payments partnership can support your business. Four of the key benefits they can offer are:

  1. Boosted Revenue: Generate recurring revenue through agent, referral, or ISO partnerships.
  2. Enhanced User Experience: Offer seamless, one-page checkout within your software.
  3. Top-Notch Security: Leverage tokenization and other measures to protect sensitive data.
  4. Increased Efficiency: Automate record-keeping and expedite payouts for merchants.

Understanding your needs from an ISV payments partner

Before doing any research into partner comparisons, it’s crucial to take a step back and clearly define your specific needs. Key things to be aware of include:

  • Your Target Industry: Does your software cater to a particular industry with unique payment requirements? If so, you’ll need to make sure you choose a partner with experience and expertise in your field.
  • Your Customer Payment Needs: What payment methods are essential for your users? Look for a partner offering comprehensive support for credit cards and debit cards, Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments, e-wallets, and alternative options like cryptocurrency.
  • The Complexity of Integration: Will the integration involve a simple Application Programming Interface (API) connection or require deeper customization? Assess your development resources and choose a partner based on their integration flexibility.
  • Your Compliance Requirements: Ensure your chosen partner meets all relevant regulatory and data security standards, including Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance.

5 essential considerations for choosing an ISV payments partner

Once you’re confident you have your requirements at hand, it’s time to start the search. But make sure to keep these five priorities in mind.

1. Fees and Revenue Sharing

Ensure transparency and clarity in fee structures and revenue-sharing models, considering factors like processing volumes and pricing. If offered a revenue-sharing program, make sure that you fully understand the terms and potential rewards before signing up.

Do your due diligence on the complete fee structure, including transaction fees, monthly charges, and potential hidden costs. Knowledge of this can help negotiate flexible contracts that accommodate growth and allow for adjustment as your business needs evolve.

It’s also worth noting that if an ISV partner can leverage an existing partnership with a sponsor bank, this can significantly reduce costs.

2. Business and User Support

Select a partner with comprehensive support offerings, including technical support, go-to-market assistance, and user support options. Assess their onboarding process and support structure to ensure you’re guaranteed seamless integration and go-live.

24/7 support is a valuable bonus, but as well as being ‘always-on’ for support, ensure it’s reliable and responsive for both you and your users. On the business side, look for an offer of dedicated account management, as this will ensure consistent communication and ongoing support for your specific needs.

3. Supported Payment Methods

Ensure the solution caters to your users’ preferences, including credit cards, contactless payments, digital wallets, and wearables.

Consider future scalability as well. Does the partner offer a variety of payment solutions to cater to diverse user needs and geographical locations?

Reviewing their commitment to introducing new technologies and integrating with emerging payment methods will help you assess their ability to tailor solutions to your specific software and industry requirements.

4. Technology, Platform and Integration

Look for an all-in-one platform enabling omni-channel payments (in-store and online) with robust Software Developer Kits (SDK), and support for smooth integration. Key criteria include the simplicity and security of their processes as well as the standard of their documentation.

Prioritize a partner with flexible and easy-to-use APIs that can help streamline payment integration regardless of your chosen method. Assess the technical support they offer and their willingness to guide your team and evaluate features like cross-border payments, fraud prevention, reporting, and customer engagement tools based on your specific needs and user base.

Ensure the platform can handle your projected growth and future needs without performance limitations. Access to robust reporting and analytics tools is crucial for monitoring this – as well as transactions, managing fees, and gaining insights into user behavior.

5. Security and Compliance

Prioritize a partner with PCI-validated solutions like tokenization and encryption to guarantee robust data security for you and your users. It’s important that they offer a smooth and efficient onboarding process for merchants, including risk-management capabilities.

Verify the partner’s active PCI DSS compliance and their procedures for protecting sensitive payment data. Also, make sure to evaluate their processes for mitigating chargebacks, fraud, and other financial risks.

Finally, look for additional security certifications that demonstrate their commitment to data security and fraud prevention.

ISV Payments Partners: Additional Considerations

By carefully considering the above factors, you can select an ISV payments partner that empowers your business to deliver a superior payment experience, enhance user satisfaction, and unlock new revenue streams.

Other aspects of ISV payment partnerships to be mindful of in your search include:

  • Industry Reputation: Research the partner’s reputation within your industry and among the ISV community.
  • Client Testimonials: Seek feedback from other ISVs using their services to gain practical insights.
  • Open Communication: Ensure open and transparent communication throughout the evaluation and partnership process.

Building a Successful ISV Payments Partnership

Choosing the right ISV payments partner is crucial for your software’s success and user satisfaction. By thoroughly evaluating potential partners based on the outlined criteria, you can establish a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship that fuels your business growth.

Remember, effective communication, ongoing collaboration, and a shared commitment to innovation are key to unlocking the full potential of your partnership.

Contact us today to learn more about ecommerce payment solutions and make sure to visit our Resources hub for regular industry insights.