The market for independent software vendors (ISVs) is getting pretty crowded: the industry may grow to as many as 1 million unique ISVs within the next decade. As a result, global payments and capabilities are vital for ISVs because they enable providers to support companies in multiple geographies as well as to differentiate their offering.
Global Payments: Powerful, But Challenging
Global payment processing can dramatically increase a software platform’s potential customer base. Platforms that can onboard and serve international clients as seamlessly as local clients gain immediate access to a much broader market. This is a powerful way to capture new customers in new regions, not to mention offers an enormous leg up on the competition. Global payments capabilities are a powerful distinguishing factor between providers. Any ISV that can offer its clients cost-effective international payments will cement its position as a valuable, essential platform.
Software vendors have traditionally viewed scaling globally as complex and expensive because of the cost of technical debt. The challenges of complex APIs, international onboarding, and international regulations and payment facilitator compliance can be burdensome for any platform. On top of that, most ISVs would need to source additional partners to meet their expanding global payments needs.
Many local or regional payment solutions can only offer transactions in a few currencies or provide limited payment types outside their favored region. Because these payment providers can’t process international payments efficiently without a local network in each region, they charge high cross-border fees. Local processors also typically offer limited versions of their gateways in foreign regions, often without key features, like fraud protection.
The Costs of Adding New Partners
Sourcing additional payments partners comes with its own slew of costs: each new partner added to the stack charges new fees and requires the integration of new software.
The more integrations a software vendor adds to manage payments, the more technical debt it accrues, including the cost of ongoing management and the time required to roll out upgrades to numerous technologies. An ISV would need to do this work for every new region or country it chooses.
Platforms also need to consider associated challenges, like how to onboard clients in different regions or how to ensure that the new partner they choose will keep them fully compliant with local, regional and international payment regulations, taxes and more.
These challenges lead many platforms to postpone or ignore global payments, despite the market’s enormous potential. But the reality is that for both platforms and the customers they support, global payments are becoming necessary for growth — ISVs must offer integrated international payment capabilities to stay competitive.
The Answer? A Single Global Payment Solution
To capitalize on this growth potential, software vendors need to find a comprehensive global payment solution that solves for the challenges of international payments, rather than cobbling together numerous providers. Even platforms that aren’t currently planning for global expansion should prioritize comprehensive payments to avoid limiting themselves in the future.
ISVs should look for one payments partner that addresses the following 6 key needs:
1. One Integration, Endless Benefits
A solution that offers one simple integration for global payments brings enormous cost benefits. With only one integration to maintain, platforms can reduce:
- System complexity
- Technical debt
- Maintenance costs
One integration can help you save significant money. This reduction in costs leads to increased margins for both the platforms and their merchants.
2. Easy International Onboarding
A single integration simplifies management of global payments by consolidating all operations in a central platform. This makes it much easier to onboard clients, no matter where they are. Ideally, the global payments provider should even assist with onboarding or managing it for the ISV.
3. Handles Compliance
ISVs should choose a global payment partner that will handle all the international regulations and compliance issues, so they never have to worry about the intricacies of international regulations. The right partner will have enough experience and expertise in global payments to remove the complexity of international transactions.
4. Built with Global Payments Expertise
Vendors should look for a payments partner that offers a complete solution. Many regional payments providers are unable to do this, and offer truncated versions of their services internationally. A solution that specializes in global payments will also be properly equipped to handle the complexities of launching in a new region and provide strategic support to vendors looking to grow.
5. Robust Support
To be truly successful, ISVs should look for a partner that offers robust support for multiple aspects of integrating global payments into your platform, including technical support, go-to-market support, reporting and more. You want to know that if you or one of your merchants encounters an issue, you can get a real response from a real person. Access to extensive reporting will allow you and your merchants to optimize payments as well.
6. Value-Add for Your Customers
Any global payments solution should also add immediate value to the platform with powerful new features for merchants, such as simple cross-border payments, fraud prevention and more. The most effective global payment solutions should assist merchants by reducing their costs, improving their conversions and enabling them to sell anywhere without risk.
Bonus Benefits for Platforms
These features comprise the core functionality needed for a truly comprehensive global payments solution, but they are not the only benefits an ISV can expect. Some payment partnerships will actually generate net new income for vendors, even beyond the income from a wider client base. For instance, a sophisticated partner can help ISVs find new ways to monetize their customer base, as well as offer a revenue-share model so that ISVs profit from integrating payments.
A Partner that Handles Payments for You
ISVs should look for a global payments solution that allows them to focus on what they do well: their software. When done correctly, payments should be seamless and worry-free.