At its most basic level, an integrated payments program allows your customers to accept and process card payments through your software. It is a convenience for your customers as well as an opportunity for you to earn additional revenue for your company.
Above the basics, integrated payments represent a strategic opportunity to grow your product as well as your business. Successful payment strategies do not come out of a box, but are tailored exclusively for you. They are based on your unique goals, your business needs, and the needs of your customers.
Examples of strategies include:
- Create a funding source for the development of your software
- Introduce gold, silver, bronze-type tiers of payment capabilities
- Use payments as a springboard to a maintenance program
Payment Strategies to Drive your Business
Software companies with integrated payments need to start thinking about payments differently. Think beyond just another platform capability, and consider integrated payments as a way to grow your business. But before you can do that, you need an integrated payment strategy.
Wind River has been in the payments business for over 20 years. During that time we’ve helped many software companies create custom payment strategies that produce tangible results. In fact, we’ve compiled these strategies into an eBook:
“Win the Game: Payment Strategies to Dominate the Competition”
It is a complementary eBook rich with payment strategy insights that you will find quite helpful. You can download the Win the Game eBook here.
Below are of some of the strategic highlights:
Utilizing payment revenue to pay for the development of new software enhancements.
You certainly can rely on the time frames and budget dollars in your current product roadmap to enhance your software. But that tends to be a slower process. Ideally, all or a portion of your development costs can be funded externally. One way to achieve that is to create new revenues through integrated payments.
The unique aspect of this strategy is the perpetual cycle of growth it creates for your business. For example:
- Rolling-out new features and functionality will attract more customers to your software.
- More customers mean more users of your payment capabilities, which increases volume
- Increased payment volume yields a greater revenue flow from those payments
- Greater revenues flowing in means the ability to accelerate new development
- New development leads to more customers…
This strategy is dependent on having a payment partner that has created that revenue opportunity for you.
Creating tiered versions of your software.
Graduated levels of payment capabilities, security enhancements, and efficiencies can be incorporated into tiered versions of your software. Each tier can be priced differently based on the value it brings to your customers. The richer the payment capabilities, the greater the revenue associated with that tier.
Some examples of tiered payment functions include:
1. Text to Pay
Text-to-pay allows your customers to engage their consumers by text message and give them the option to pay by simply replying to the message. Tokenizing and storing the consumers’ credit card information is a key capability behind text-to-pay, enabling the payment without needing to retype in the number to complete the transaction. It’s a quick and effective way for your customers to collect payments – which they will appreciate.
While an Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment method has been around for over 40 years, it has gained some notable momentum over the last year or so. While ACH tends to be less expensive to process, there are pluses and minuses which should be considered. These include:
- No immediate “acceptance” as with credit cards
- Payments that are rejected are more expensive and time consuming to resolve
- The recourse against disputes or fraud is different from credit cards
- The dollar amount limitation is more rigid than credit cards
Still, ACH is a payment method you should consider integrating in your solution. A recent article on the Digital Transactions website refers to it as a bona fide surge in activity. This is particularly the case in the B2B world as payment by check continues its decline.
3. Buy Now/Pay Later (BNPL)
The trend is moving toward installment payments on smaller items, such as household goods. We’re seeing some noticeable growth in Europe, Australia, and even in the US as consumers are feeling the pinch from pandemic lay-offs, furloughs, and an uncertain economic future.
E-commerce providers see it as a way to reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts on their site. Consumers see it as a way to still make purchases even though the immediate future is uncertain.
Incorporating payment capabilities into a maintenance program.
You can motivate customers to join or renew a maintenance program by associating varied payment capabilities with program participation. For example, enhanced features that eliminate the compliance certification requirement of customers may be a part of your maintenance program.
Completing the steps to compliance is a tremendous burden to many customers. So much so, that some companies have abandoned compliance efforts all together. This is leaves them at high risk of a data breach.
One of Wind River’s software partners, an order management system, recently faced a similar situation. Many of its customers were not compliant because the process was so overwhelming. This left them not only vulnerable to a breach but subject to a monthly non-compliance fee as well. Our software partner reached out to us to develop a solution that eliminated the vulnerability at the shopping cart level and created a new secure environment.
Wind River’s solution took our partner’s customers out of scope for PCI compliance, which made them very happy. It also set the stage for the creation of a new software maintenance program. Read the entire story here.
So you see, integrated payments aren’t just the ability to accept payments. They are revenue; they are growth, and they are differentiation for your business. Part of the value Wind River brings is how we work with our software partners to create the payment strategies that drive that growth. Contact us to learn more.