Digital payments are key to a business’s growth. Unfortunately, many businesses struggle with a patchwork of digital payment providers they’ve put together to meet all their needs. The required maintenance leads to technical debt and reduced margins, impeding a company’s growth.
Taking a more strategic approach to payments, however, allows businesses to keep up with innovation in payment technology and their evolving needs while still providing a seamless, positive experience for customers. Leaders should be sure to align their digital payments with corporate strategy to support overall growth goals.
A new report from Gartner® discusses four main areas you need to consider to ensure you’re choosing the right digital payments vendor:
Customer experience isn’t always the first thing a business considers when evaluating digital payment vendor options, but it should be near (or at) the top of the list. The customer’s experience with your payment checkout can impact their opinion of your brand or even lead to checkout abandonment.
The right digital commerce payments vendor will provide the options your customers are looking for, such as being able to pay in their local currency or with a preferred payment method, like Buy Now, Pay Later. Buyers’ expectations have changed radically over the last few years, and businesses must choose a digital payments vendor that will help them keep pace with current and future changing expectations.
Finance & Cost
Understanding the finances attached to your digital commerce payment vendor is not just about how much you’ll pay in fees (although fees, especially associated with cross-border payments, is something to note). Different operating policies and procedures can affect your profits and bottom line. How payment vendors operate can even impact your cash flow and how quickly you can access your funds after a transaction. For some companies, this might not be a concern — but for others, steady cash flow is critical.
It’s also important to understand a potential vendor’s pricing model in detail so you know you’re getting the most value for your payments. There isn’t one pricing model that makes sense for every single business; it depends on your business size, the number and types of transactions, and more.
Part of a holistic, integrated digital payments strategy is understanding how well a digital commerce payment vendor can integrate into your current operations. Your digital payments can’t be fully integrated into your business’ overall growth strategy if they can’t integrate fully into your current tech stack, provide a payment API integration that your development team is comfortable working with, or give you access to the data you need to understand the return on your investment.
Consider your operational needs as you choose the members of your payments vendor buying team. You need to include representatives from operations, IT, executive management, customer support, accounting, product, website and any other teams that touch digital payments so that you can ensure each aspect of the chosen vendor’s services can integrate seamlessly into your company’s current operations.
The final piece of the digital commerce payments vendor puzzle is merchant experience. Before selecting a vendor, merchants need to ensure they’re choosing a digital payments partner that will actively support their payments strategy — not just onboard them and leave them to their own devices.
Continued support from your vendor, fraud prevention, data security, and the tools to understand and improve your payments ROI are critical for a positive merchant-vendor relationship. Digital payments can be extraordinarily complex, especially when it comes to things like chargeback management , price adjustments, returns and reconciliation. If a vendor does nothing more than process a payment, you won’t get all the value you can from your investment.
To learn more about how to evaluate potential digital commerce payments vendors, download the Gartner® full report, “12 Key Questions to Ask When Selecting a Digital Commerce Payment Vendor .”
Gartner, 12 Key Questions to Ask When Selecting a Digital Commerce Payment Vendor, Dayna Radbill, Refreshed 3 March 2023, Published 10 November 2021. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.