When it comes to taking payments, anything that can make the process easier and faster for both the guest and the business is worth looking into. With hotels already running a fairly complicated tech stack, integrating payments into existing software would allow the payment management process to run more efficiently, says Vijay Sondhi, CEO at NMI. To discuss this in more detail, HT spoke in depth with Sondhi on why organizations should be looking to easily collect and manage payments within their existing software platforms.
How are payments becoming an increasingly integrated part of businesses?
Payments are a central function of any business, and just as the company grows and expands its products and services, so too must payment offerings adapt and grow. Payments today must support a variety of transaction types across channels such as e-commerce, mobile and physical card, and businesses must also be flexible and adaptable to new payments technologies that emerge. Because payments software is integral to providing this flexibility to businesses, merchants are looking to integrate payments into their existing tech stacks. Linking payments to existing tech stacks will help companies prepare for the future and increase revenue by monetizing transactions and combining payments with their current systems.
What pain points do businesses often face with payments?
Many businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), have not adopted an integrated payments model for a variety of reasons. Recent data from NMI uncovered some of the pain points for SMBs when it comes to integrating payments, specifically tap to mobile and contactless payment offerings. Many SMBs cited expensive payment systems hardware and equipment (49%) as well as high transaction fees (47%) as reasons they have not switched to a new payments processing system and remain cash-only. Additionally, some merchants were concerned with system setup and onboarding as merchants often lack the software knowledge to successfully implement these systems themselves.
Partnering with an integrated payments provider can help alleviate these pain points. A payments provider will help businesses stay on top of the latest and greatest payments technologies as well as ensure the business can seamlessly implement these technologies to better serve their customers. Payment providers can also support merchants in making the onboarding and system setup of these new technologies a painless process.
How does software and payments integration help solve these pain points?
Software and payments integration can help solve these pain points by providing seamless system setup and onboarding as well as ensuring that businesses can easily implement newer payments technologies down the line. Today, integrating payments involves both the software knowledge of an independent software vendor (ISV) with the resources and expertise of a payments platform to provide merchants with complete solutions. ISVs can use their software expertise to guide merchants through setting up new systems and eliminate many of the hassles that challenge merchants during onboarding new technology systems. Additionally, with so many new payments technologies on the market, integrating payments allows merchants to more easily accept a variety of payment types across channels as they implement new offerings. This approach also consolidates everything into one solution that works across all channels, providing further adaptability and flexibility for businesses to best meet their customers' needs.
How can businesses successfully integrate payments into their software systems?
The most effective way to integrate payments into software is to look at how the specific payment offering fits into each businesses’ unique needs. For instance, an SMB might need to offer mobile payments to support their walk-in customers, while an online business must stay up to date on the latest e-commerce payments solutions to deliver the best purchasing experience to their online customers. ISVs today need to offer more flexibility than ever before when integrating payments into their current software and so they can provide more targeted, streamlined solutions. The targeted expertise of a payments platform combined with the software knowledge of an ISV offers merchants a well-rounded solution that is easily integrated into their existing tech stack. To further ensure a successful integration, merchants need their payments provider to support diverse, omnichannel payments and select the right payments-enabled ISV that can meet the specific needs of their business.
What are the short-term and long-term impacts of integrating payments and software?
Integrating payments and software will help businesses meet the needs of their customers today and well into the future. In the short term, businesses will have a more streamlined, up-to-date payments process. Partnering with ISVs alleviates pain points merchants face in onboarding due to ISVs’ familiarity with the tech and ability to walk merchants through the setup process. This approach to marrying payments to software also provides ISVs’ expertise to help with any issues that may arise as merchants get acclimated to using new payments technology.
In the long term, integrating payments will provide adaptability and scalability for growing businesses and allow merchants to easily enable transactions at any stage in their growth. Having payments already incorporated into their tech stack will allow businesses to offer new technologies such as tap to mobile, a solution that allows merchants to accept payments right on their mobile device, without the hassle of having to integrate a whole new payments system. Since the start of the pandemic, consumers have been driving the demand for new payment features and having payments already integrated gives businesses the freedom to seamlessly accept these new methods to better serve their customers’ needs.