5 Must-Have Payment Features for SaaS Companies

A consistent, connected experience has become table stakes for merchants and customers alike. And that means software providers need to incorporate the features that create a seamless experience into their applications. You may have read the Walker study that said customer experience will overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator by 2020. That’s now just a few short months away. There’s a reason businesses are taking note; investing in CX initiatives has the potential to double revenue. SaaS companies, in particular, are expected to benefit with a potential increase in revenue of $1 billion. How?

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There’s a barrage of information online about smart solutions, apps and technologies that promise to help business owners solve their problems and drive more connected experiences for their customers. The ability to accept payments, pay bills and employees and keep the lights on and the doors open is critical to business owners’ success. SaaS companies that provide an integrated payments infrastructure with a full suite of solutions will be in high demand and have the potential to be a one-stop shop for their customers.

Seamlessly embedded payment processing helps businesses drive more revenue and customer loyalty​

It also allows SaaS companies to offer a more connected experience for merchants and their customers and increases the value of their software, especially if their integrated payments offer the following key features.

PAYMENT FEATURE: STREAMLINED ONBOARDING AND UNDERWRITING

Benefit: Allows merchants to begin using your software and accept payments in minutes, not days

Onboarding a new merchant account is complex. New merchants need to go through an underwriting process so acquirers can ensure they are compliant with governmental regulations, determine creditworthiness, and complete the activation process. At the same time, acquirers need to aggregate, analyze and manage extensive amounts of data.

For many acquirers, this process can take up to five business days. In an age of instant gratification, though, this timeframe simply isn’t acceptable. Merchants want the ability to sign up and start accepting payments within a few minutes — not days. It’s very similar to how consumers want instant approval when they apply for a credit card.

PRO TIP:

Fast, client-focused onboarding is no longer a brand differentiator, it’s an expectation. If you want to stand out, you need to deliver a frictionless onboarding experience. Look for a solution that streamlines onboarding, automates the underwriting process and allows you to seamlessly embed payments onboarding into your existing account setup process.

Payment Feature: Tokenization for Card-on-File

Benefit: Simplifies recurring payments

Tokenization allows businesses to securely run recurring payments, such as subscription billing, and ad hoc card-not-present payments, such as over-the-phone and in-app payments. It can also be used for other types of recurring payments, such as subscription-based club fees or recurring plan payments. For example, a winery management software platform might use tokenization to simplify monthly payments for its wine club. A book store management solution might use it for book club payments, and a dry-cleaning business might use tokenization to enable fast checkouts.

PRO TIP:

Look for a payment processor that offers Account Updater. This is a feature of tokenization that helps businesses save money on lost sales from expired cards and reduces time and money spent chasing down updated information.

Payment Feature: Mobile Payments

Benefit: Enables merchants to accept payments virtually anywhere

According to Worldpay’s 2018 Global Payment Report the use of mobile payments is set to surpass credit cards and cash in 2022, becoming the second most common payment method after debit cards. It’s no wonder that merchants have started embracing mobile as part of their regular payment offerings. Not only is it simple to set up and familiar to use, but mobile payments allow merchants the flexibility to expand their business whenever and wherever they dream up, even in non-traditional spaces such as pop-up stores and parking lots.

PRO TIP:

Mobile payments allow merchants to serve customers more efficiently, improving their overall customer experience. If your merchants don’t accept mobile payments yet, they’ll need to soon. By 2021, U.S. in-store mobile payments are forecast to reach $128 billion.

Payment Feature: Reporting API

Benefit: Improves end-user experience and increases average customer value

More than 70% of ISVs include reporting and analytics in their software as a basis to differentiate their products and develop competitive advantage, according to a recent survey by Aberdeen Group. A robust reporting API can also improve a subscription software company’s bottom line. SaaS companies can charge over $500 more per user for an edition that includes advanced analytics, compared to one that offers only basic reporting.

An embedded analytics solution that integrates seamlessly into your existing applications provides your merchants with a simplified, consistent experience. Better yet, eliminating the need for multiple tools results in faster, deeper insights.​

PRO TIP:

A reporting API embeds into the app’s UI, so ISVs aren’t required to build something from scratch to make it look customized to their business.

Payment Feature: PCI-Validated P2PE enabled payment devices

Benefit: Reduces your customers’ compliance burden

Reducing PCI-scope benefits both software providers and merchants. PCI-Validated Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) protects sensitive cardholder data as it moves through the transaction process. It does so by encrypting the data when a consumer enters their credit or debit card into the payment device. PCI-Validated P2PE meets the rigorous standards of the PCI Council and significantly reduces PCI scope for businesses. P2PE allows ISVs to implement secure payments into their applications and provide added value to merchants and their customers.

PRO TIP:

PCI-Validated P2PE meets a higher standard by the PCI Council and gives businesses access to the shortest questionnaire.

Working with a payments provider that offers all five of these features creates value for your merchants and drives loyalty for your software platform. Want to learn which payment integration model is best for your unique business? Get in touch with us to learn more.

About Author

Juan Pablo Espinosa

Juan Pablo Espinosa

Senior Product Manager - Quest Payment Gateway

Juan Pablo develops products for Clearent’s Quest Payment Gateway. He has 7 years of experience in product management and entrepreneurship. He enjoys reading books about product development and business. In his spare time, he spends time with his wife and friends, and plays sports like soccer and tennis.

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