By: Steven Velasquez, Head of Partner Business Development for Elavon
Four partner program features that improve your bottom line
Thanks to the rapid pace of innovation and advances in technology, staying ahead of competitors in an increasingly demanding environment is crucial for the success of any business.
The fastest and easiest way to bring your solution to market is to partner with an experienced, innovative payments technology company. It enables you to keep up with the latest trends, whether it’s contactless (“tap and pay”) technology, services that optimize the cost of payments, or advanced security solutions that extend peace of mind and ease the arduous task of validating and maintaining PCI DSS compliance.
Compounding this is the pressure to bring better solutions to market quickly and stay ahead of the competition while expanding sales channels organically. It’s important to find a partner model that fits your business now while being able to scale for the future.
Programs to drive success
Let’s take a closer look at four key considerations to ensure a faster go-to-market implementation that results in an immediate and positive impact on your bottom line.
1. Programs built to fit your business
There are many ways to offer customers payment acceptance, depending on your business’s specific needs and goals. If you want to integrate payments into your existing solution, choose a partner that provides you with multiple integration options including direct certification, semi-integrated connectivity, and gateway solutions that allow you to leverage existing third-party solutions and maximize your ROI.
Depending on the level of integration you require, you’ll want to look for tools that allow you to create a tailored solution. These include flexible APIs, a robust developer portal, and the ability to easily integrate with gateways, shopping carts and mobile apps.
When it comes to how you earn money, consider partners that offer a tiered revenue-share approach that enables you to select what is best for your business now, while offering an array of options as your business goals change or mature.
Flexible partner programs give you more opportunity for greater growth and increased profitability.
2. Optimized payment acceptance and funding
Solutions that help businesses control the costs of payment processing while providing a better experience for their customers are in demand. Ask your payments partner what type of programs they offer. One win-win solution that helps save money is Debit Optimization. Your customers can provide cardholders with peace of mind by implementing PIN-based authentication and validation instead of a less-reliable signature debit authorization. In addition to lowering costs, PIN debit cardholder authorization decreases chargebacks related to “friendly fraud.”
Another solution is Commercial Card Optimization, which helps you and your customers —especially those in B2B and B2G segments— reduce the interchange fees associated with accepting certain types of business and commercial credit cards. Your payments partner should offer solutions that enrich transactions with Level II and Level III data elements, thereby optimizing available interchange rates where applicable.
Validate that there are no upfront costs to participate in a commercial card optimization program. If you accept a large volume of purchasing cards, in the form of business cards or corporate cards, be sure to look at Level II or Level III interchange programs.
While it’s important your partner provides you with ways to save on payment acceptance costs, it’s equally important for your customers to receive their funds as quickly as possible. Be sure to ask about same-day funding options and how your customers can take advantage of accelerated and consolidated funding cycles.
3. World-class service and support
Many payments partners claim great revenue-sharing programs and cost-saving solutions. But it takes world-class customer service teams and partner support systems to help you attract and retain business. When evaluating payments partners, ask about the following service and support areas to ensure they are committed to your success:
- Custom training and support: Does the partner offer incubator, premier services, partner sales support and dedicated portfolio managers?
- 100% in-house, North American-based support: Does the partner outsource or offshore their support services? How does that impact your brand promise?
- State-of-the-art boarding tools: Does the partner offer easy onboarding, including tablet-based e-signatures and online click-to-agree applications?
- Comprehensive reporting tools: What tools does the partner offer both you and your customers? Are they intuitive and easy to use? Can your customers go online to self-service?
- Bonus and residuals structure: What type of bonus and residuals programs does the partner offer?
4. Financial strength, stability, and reach
Choosing a payments provider can be challenging. That’s why it’s important to select a strong, experienced and financially stable company that helps you achieve new levels of success. Solutions should grow and adapt with changing consumer demand and constantly evolving payment technologies. Your partner should be agile enough to respond to your evolving payment strategy as your business grows.
Some partners offer more than the essentials, with value-added services (VAS) that can help you meet strategic goals – such as growing your business and reaching untapped markets. A partner with global reach can help you grow and uncover new revenue opportunities by enabling online payment acceptance around the world. Access to a dedicated telesales team well-versed in payments industry best practices can support lead generation efforts, including outbound campaigns. Empower your customers with powerful analytical tools that provide actionable data to improve business operations and measure KPIs.
Another valuable tool is in-house vertical expertise. A dedicated team with in-depth knowledge of a wide array of segments can give you a competitive advantage, alerting you to industry trends based on cardholder demands. For example, in the restaurant industry, this can mean insights that lead you to offer alternative payment methods such as digital wallets including Apple Pay and Google Pay, or payments initiated via QR codes. In the healthcare industry, this can mean helping your customers expedite patient payments while adhering to HIPAA compliance standards.
The bottom line: your bottom line
Whether you’re interested in becoming a referral partner, ISO or integrating payments technology into your platform, it’s important to find a partner that will offer payment expertise backed by responsive service, so you can focus on expanding your business capabilities, increasing your revenue potential and empowering your customers to do more.
Elavon is the innovative, secure and global partner for your payments needs, whether your customers transact online, via mobile or in person. Backed by the strength and stability of U.S. Bank, recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the most ethical companies in the world, we process payments for over 1.3 million customers worldwide and more than 1,000 partners.
It’s easy to get started. Our state-of-the art boarding tools include tablet-based e-signatures and online “click to agree” applications to get you and your customers up and running quickly, accelerating your speed to revenue. Experience the difference that our 97% merchant approval rate and customized training and support deliver to help you succeed.
You’ll also benefit from accelerated and consolidated funding, fast and simple customer onboarding, and custom campaign and sales support that generate new leads and revenue streams. Our 24/7/365 multi-lingual customer support is always there to help.