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Thanks to the rapid pace of innovation and advances in payments technology, staying ahead of competitors in an increasingly demanding environment is crucial for the success of your business clients.

The fastest and easiest way to bring payment solutions to your business customers is to partner with an experienced, innovative payments company. It enables you to offer your clients the latest payment solutions and emerging technology, whether it’s contactless (“tap and pay”), services that optimize the cost of payment acceptance, or advanced security solutions that extend peace of mind and ease the difficult task of validating and maintaining PCI DSS compliance.

Compounding this is the pressure to bring better solutions to your business customers quickly and stay ahead of the competition while expanding sales channels organically. It’s important to find a partner model that fits your financial institution’s culture and growth strategy.

Whether you are a community and regional bank or a credit union, choosing the right payments partner is key to winning new business clients and retaining existing ones.

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 customers

There are many ways to offer payment solutions, depending on your client’s specific needs and goals. If your client wants to integrate payments into their existing solution, your payments partner can provide them with multiple integration options including direct certification, semi-integrated connectivity, and gateway solutions that allow them to leverage existing third-party solutions and maximize their ROI.

Depending on the level of integration your clients require, you can rely on your payments partner to provide tools for a tailored solution.

These include flexible APIs, a robust developer portal, and the ability to easily integrate with gateways, shopping carts and mobile apps.

Flexible partner programs give your business customers the opportunity for greater growth and increased profitability.

2. Optimized payment acceptance & funding

Solutions that help businesses control the costs of payment acceptance 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 business customers can provide cardholders with peace of mind by implementing PIN-based transaction authorization and card validation instead of the less-secure signature debit. In addition to lowering costs, PIN debit decreases chargebacks related to “friendly fraud.” Not only is this an easy way to save money, it’s clearly what the market is demanding.

Another solution is Commercial Card Optimization, which helps your business customers —especially those in B2B and B2G segments— reduce the interchange rates associated with accepting certain types of 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 your client accepts a large volume of purchasing cards, in the form of business cards or corporate cards, be sure to recommend Level II or Level III interchange programs.

While it’s important your partner provides your clients with ways to save on payment acceptance costs, it’s equally important for businesses to receive their funds as quickly as possible. Be sure to ask about same-day funding options and how your business customers can take advantage of accelerated and consolidated funding cycles.

3. World-class service & 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 satisfy your business customers. 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 partner incubation, 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 business customers?
  • State-of-the-art boarding tools - does the partner offer easy onboarding for merchants, including tablet-based e-signatures and online applications?
  • Comprehensive reporting tools - what tools does the partner offer both you and your business 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 & 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 evolving payment strategies for businesses of all sizes.

Some partners offer more than the essentials, with value-added services (VAS) that can help business owners meet strategic goals – such as growing their business and reaching untapped markets. A partner with global reach can help your clients grow and uncover new revenue opportunities by enabling online payment acceptance around the world. Access to a dedicated tele-sales team well-versed in payments industry best practices can support lead generation efforts, including outbound campaigns. Empower your business 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 your business customers a competitive advantage, alerting them to industry trends based on cardholder expectations. For example, in the restaurant industry, this can mean insights that lead them 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 clients expedite patient payments while adhering to HIPAA compliance and data security standards.

The bottom line: your bottom line.

Whether you’re interested in a co-branded or while-labeled solution, it’s important to find a partner that will offer payment expertise backed by responsive service, so you can focus on what you do best – deliver superior financial services.

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