How to Assess Payment Integrations

Add value or become irrelevant. This simple-yet-important truth is applicable across industries and business models — including platform-based businesses.

Integrating payments into your software helps you add value for your customers with innovative solutions such as payment forms, subscription billing, invoicing, and even payroll. These solutions make your platform more powerful — and therefore more attractive to your customers.

For many platform developers, the big question isn’t whether to include payment functionality, but rather, which payment provider to choose among the many players in the market.

When assessing your options, it’s important to focus on the factors that are most important to your business. Here are some questions that can help you zero in on these factors and make an informed choice.

Implementation and Integration

Payments may not be your area of expertise, but you want to be able to build our your payment capabilities efficiently, with minimal fuss.

Do they have a team that is able to help you with integration?
If a payment provider is unable to ensure a smooth process for integrating payments into your platform, it doesn’t bode well for what’s to come. That’s why you should be looking for a payment partner with a team to help you complete the integration process within days and get to market faster. You want a team that knows their stuff and already speaks your language, so that you don’t waste time explaining yourself.

What kind of resources and expertise do they have?
Integrating is a whole lot easier once you understand how the payment platform works. The first step is thorough documentation, which should contain easy tools for developers, including a comprehensive suite of RESTful APIs and SDKs. This will minimize the amount of backend work that needs to be done for your team to get payments up and running.

What is their guaranteed uptime?
If payment functionality on your platform goes down, your customers will no doubt be unhappy about the potential loss of sales. To mitigate this risk, you should be seeking a commitment of 99.99% uptime from your payment provider.

Data Security

Data security is a critical issue in this era of hacks and data breaches. You need a payment integration that embraces the highest security standards and solutions to protect every transaction and piece of data.

Can you collect credit card data from your end users and have it bypass your server?
The short answer is yes. Any payment provider worth their salt will offer a solution that keeps sensitive card data from touching your server. Why is this so important? Because any business that receives payments via credit card must be PCI compliant.

What tools can help you encrypt sensitive user data and keep it safe?
You want to know that all of your customers’ payment details are protected. Tools like tokenization can help. This way, even if your platform is hacked, the would-be fraudsters won’t be able to decipher the encrypted data.

Testing

When you take payment capabilities live on your platform, you need to be confident that you are providing your customers with a glitch-free service. To do so, you need a payment integration that enables thorough testing.

Do they enable you to perform high fidelity tests on your payment integration before deployment?
To ensure full compatibility, look for a payment integration with a comprehensive test environment. Integration tests will help your developers in the build process and are also useful for QA.

The Right Payment Integration for Your Business

You likely have a clear understanding of how payment integration can benefit your platform and help you add value for your customers. What may be less clear is how to choose the payment solution that will best meet your needs.

Addressing this challenge becomes easier when you focus on the factors that matter most to your business, such as ease of integration, risk considerations, and testing capabilities. Knowing what to ask when assessing payment integrations can help ensure that your final choice will satisfy you and your end customers.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / nd3000

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