Every business partnership, every recruitment, and every investment is geared towards simplifying the process to free the internal team from additional day-to-day operations that consume lots of time and energy to engage and focus on the business’s overall growth and strategy.
When partnering with payment processors, banks aspire to offer a seamless experience to their customers while spending minimal time, money, and effort. Therefore, the first step is evaluating your options to find the right payment processing partner.
With plenty of options in the sea, how do you pick the right fish that aligns with your bank’s needs, goals, and models?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you find the best payment processing option for your bank so you can reap the benefits of lasting partnerships without regret and interruptions:
Stage 1: Prioritization
Define Your Goals and Needs
Before scouring the internet for the best payment provider company, outline your bank’s requirements. Think about your customers, types of transactions, the frequency and volume of transactions, currencies, payment methods, and other integral requirements for you. For example, several banks prefer branding customization. Also, defining your budget and deadline will help you narrow down the list of providers who align with your goals.
Understand Customer Requirements
Analyze customer behavior to understand their payment preferences and needs.
The adoption of ACH processing is increasing year over year. A Nacha report reveals that the total value of ACH payments increased by at least $1 trillion in 2022. So conducting thorough research is essential.
Assess Current Payment Processing Capabilities
Analyze your current payment processing system. Is there anything your customers complain about or need help with? What is your infrastructure, including hardware, software, and process?
Evaluate the status of transactions processed, processing times, and security measures. Determine if your current payment processing solution meets your bank’s needs and identify the gaps.
Stage 2: Evaluation
Conduct Thorough Research
Once you have outlined your bank’s must-haves and good-to-have requirements, current status, gaps, budget, and timeline, it’s time to evaluate payment processors in the market and eliminate those providers that do not fit your criteria.
Glance through their onboarding process, pricing structure, processing fees, payment methods, and customer support. What solutions do they offer? Here’s a list of common popular payment methods and solutions that you must consider:
- Hosted Payments
- IVR Payments
- ACH Processing
- Credit Card Processing
- Email Invoicing
- Virtual Terminal
- PCI Scope
Assess Vendor Qualifications and Capabilities
Evaluate Industry Experience and Reputation
Now that you have narrowed your list, it is time to assess the provider’s experience, reputation, financial stability, and customer support capabilities. Check if they have any prior experience in your industry and seek people who can support their claims. Additionally, look for Nacha-Preferred partners.
Assess the Payment Processors’s Customer Service
Ensure that they offer a reliable, responsive, and helpful support team. Do they offer training and materials for easy adoption? What happens when the gateway goes down? Will they be available and resolve it on priority?
Compare the Provider’s Fees
Payment processing fees can vary widely depending on several factors. Do not hesitate to ask questions about the costs involved. Ensure there are no hidden fees. Compare the transaction fees, installation, monthly, and other fees.
Evaluate the Provider’s Security Measures
A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study revealed that fraud losses in 2021 increased by 70% over 2020, with a total loss of $5.8 billion. A slight security error can cause distrust among your customers and damage your bank’s reputation. Ensure they offer robust security measures to protect against fraud and data breaches.
Evaluate the Provider’s Integration Capabilities
A payment processing solution must integrate seamlessly with your existing systems. Would you need additional plugins, apps, systems, or installations? Will they take care of it all, and how will the charges vary? Sales executives will gladly give you a detailed overview of their process.
Evaluate the Provider’s Solution Compliance Standards
Payment processing is subject to various compliance standards and regulations. See if they are PCI-Compliant and have the necessary certification.
After finalizing your service provider decision, create a contract with clear terms and conditions to protect your bank’s interests. In fact, 88% hope for increased levels of collaboration to build lasting relationships, so clearly communicate your interests. Most providers are open and willing to negotiate, so do not take up the first offer and negotiate a contract to reach a mutually beneficial deal.
Conduct Pilot Tests
A common mistake that banks and businesses make is not conducting pilot tests. Pilot tests ensure that you avoid and address as many errors as possible before going live so you do not disappoint your customers.
Here are a few other common mistakes to avoid when evaluating payment processors:
- Rushing the Decision-Making Process: Take the time to research, evaluate, and test potential vendors before deciding.
- Thinking About Immediate Results: Failing to consider long-term implications can divert you from your ultimate goal of partnering with a vendor who aligns with your bank’s future goals and growth plans.
- Prioritizing Cost: Relying solely on price as the primary selection criteria without considering other factors such as vendor reputation and service quality may end up costlier than the alternative options.
Stage 3: Implementation
What comes after you finalize the provider, sign contracts, and start working?
Implementing payment processing solutions effectively!
Educate Your Internal Team and Stakeholders
Communicate effectively with all stakeholders, including internal teams, customers, sales executives, and partners, about the transition, about the changes, and educate them about features and functionalities so they can effectively use it. Train your customer support team on how to troubleshoot common issues that may arise while using the payment processing solution.
Communicate with Your Customers
When you implement the launch, educate and train your customers so they are not lost. For instance, if you have moved from several payment providers to a single hosted payment gateway that accepts ACH payments, mobile payments, and credit and debit cards in one place, you must inform and help your customers with the process.
Make them understand the need and benefits of the new system for a happier and smoother transition and adoption.
Monitor Performance Metrics
While third-party solution providers like iCheckGateway.com build solutions that take care of present and future needs while building solutions, you must keep track of performance metrics such as transaction volume, processing times, success rates, cost, revenue, customer satisfaction, and efficiency to identify areas of improvement and build a better system.
Maintain a Help Desk
While you may already have a supportive help desk, ensure your team is responsive, active, and well-trained with the updated system to assist customers effectively with product adoption. Additionally, manage a dedicated directory of support resources, materials, and personnel your customers can connect with for any issues for smooth functioning and customer satisfaction.
Reach Out to iCG Experts
Evaluating payment processing options effectively will pay off in the long run by providing your customers with a reliable and efficient payment experience. A little time spent evaluating ahead can save you much time and energy later and offer a smooth workflow with better results.