Payment service providers (PSPs) should be equipped to help online merchants choose the best payment methods for their business needs as the market gets ever more diverse, says Brendon Williamson of PayGate.
“The payments landscape has never been more volatile or complex,” says Williamson, who is PayGate’s general manager for business development. “Between the traditional web payments and mobile, it seems like there’s a new payment method on the market every week. Online retailers can quickly get overwhelmed trying to prioritise integration schedules and decide which payment products suit them best. It’s all about attracting new customers, keeping the existing ones and making the purchase process as seamless as possible”.
Many merchants have been bitten by products that are introduced with great hype but never gain significant market share, adds Williamson. “Someone launches a funky new way to pay and everybody is enthusiastic for a few months, but then it fades away. Merchants need to invest time, skills and capital to enable a new payment solution and if it never gets off the ground, that investment is lost.”
But merchants also can’t afford never to change: “New ways to pay and get paid are a fundamental part of the online realm,” says Williamson; “you can’t just ignore new payment methods. Instead, there is a series of questions you need to ask as part of an assessment process.”
For example, says Williamson, “you need to ask: Is it safe? Is it reliable? What percentage of the market will actually use it? How many of your existing customers will use it? How is that payment method backed up by support, marketing and funding for future development?”
“These are important questions, but constantly researching and assessing new payment options takes time that merchants don’t really have. Your PSP is in the best position to take the lead in doing the research and providing the advice businesses need to stay competitive.”
At PayGate, says Williamson, “we’re always scanning the market to see what new developments are out there and how they might be able to help our merchants. In the past there was a simple choice between credit cards and direct EFT, but now the customer can also choose to pay using debit cards, vouchers, virtual wallets and an array of mobile payment methods.”
Most recently, adds Williamson, “we have decided to offer the Zapper mobile payment service as well. We believe it has real potential because it offers excellent security and reliability for merchants and their customers alike, and it has very strong backing and support.”
Williamson says Paygate will continue to research and assess new payment methods as they appear. “Our goal is remain the leader in offering our clients access to the best menu of reliable, proven payment methods that will help to maximise their sales. We encourage any merchant who’s feeling unsure to contact us for advice.”