All the world’s a market, and merchants and clients are merely players; they have their bills and payments and their preferences to collect and pay. If Shakespeare were alive now, he’d be selling his books and merchandise online and he’d provide multiple payment options for his customers, too, because he could.
The internet has opened a myriad of ways for people to do business. Buying and selling across borders are common as access and convenience improved. Payment methods too evolved with fintech innovations and customer demands for more painless, secured and cost-effective ways to pay.
Merchants seeking to grow their business, locally and globally, will need to provide more choices for customers in the form of alternative payment methods (APMs). Current fintech offerings have broadened their ability and scope, supported by open banking legislation and initiatives. Credit and debit cards are not the only options available to make on-the-spot and recurrent payments.
Any form of payment that isn’t cash or credit card issued by a central bank can be categorised as an APM, such as eWallets, bank transfers, mobile payments and prepaid cards. Direct debits, doing transactions from one bank account to another, have capabilities that match – or are better than – cards, such as higher visibility of payment journey, automated foreign exchange, and lower transaction fees.
These four companies offer a glimpse into how businesses welcome their customers to pay how they want.
This global fintech is disrupting the payments industry. A leader in account-to-account payments, GoCardless is making it easy to collect both recurring and one-off payments directly from customers’ bank accounts. Their payments network serves over 65,000 businesses worldwide, from small businesses to multinationals, including DocuSign, The Guardian, Deputy, Siteminder and 9MSM.
GoCardless’ global bank debit network, open banking functionality, and cloud-based technology makes it easy for businesses to collect subscriptions, invoices, and instalments. Their merchants see reduced costs in transaction fees, reduction in churn, increased cash flow, and have even eliminated manual payment admin thanks to the company’s automated system. Using API integrations, they connect directly into leading accounting and billing platforms, with over 300 payment ecosystem partners, including Recurly, Xero, Salesforce Billing, Chargebee and Zuora, offering a plug-and-play experience for merchants and seamless payment experience for their merchant’s customers.
With credit card preference declining, GoCardless is focused on developing the best account-to-account payment options so merchants can better serve their customers. Payment preference varies from country to country and service to service; by offering customers their preferred way to pay it can increase conversion, improve customer loyalty, and ultimately reduce churn.
Open banking has kicked off around the world, and GoCardless will introduce features built directly into its platform to take advantage of it. They have already launched Instant Bank Pay in the UK and will launch a product built on the Australian New Payments Platform (NPP) in 2022 that will rival credit cards.
This e-commerce platform began in 2006, Ottawa, Canada, to help people create and run their online stores. By 2021, it has around 2.6 million online stores worldwide, generating over $314 billion in sales. Having a reach of 175 countries, Shopify offers two ways to process payments: its own built-in Shopify Payments and third party payment gateways.
Shopify Payments accept credit cards and other popular payment methods available in the customer’s country. Customers choose from a list of payment services to complete their purchase. Shopify partners with over 100 payment gateways making it easier for its online retailers and customers to do business.
Shopify’s suite of services applies offline too. Its comprehensive retail point-of-sale (POS) functionality and hardware are available online and in physical locations. It has apps that are compatible across mobile operating systems, so the retailers and customers are not limited by their devices and can enjoy their shopping.
Named the largest processing and payments company globally in 2019, FIS was founded in 1968 in Florida, USA. It is known for its fintech innovations offering solutions for the merchant, banking and capital market. It processes approximately 75 billion transactions around the globe, amounting to $9 trillion.
Its Worldpay product portfolio alone supports one million merchants across 146 countries. It offers more than 300 payment gateways in 126 currencies. FIS aims to fuel more innovative commerce around the world and gives the ability for businesses to expand globally by benefiting from its single point of integration for seamless payments and acceptance while also reducing fraud.
FIS simplifies the payment experience by “accepting traditional and alternative payment types anywhere, any time, on any device and across channels”.
The subscription economy grows in strength with a better billing ecosystem. Recurly is a driver of subscription billing innovation. It started in San Francisco in 2009 with a goal to streamline recurring billing and invoicing functions for businesses. The company forecasts over $7 billion a year in transaction volume, building on significant growth within the US and growing customer base overseas, which currently stands at 17%. The global subscription-based industry is worth almost $228 billion in 2021.
Recurly’s all-in-one subscription management and billing platform support over a dozen gateways to cater to its subscribers’ preferences. For example, it integrates with direct debit industry leader GoCardless to serve major markets worldwide, which has an appetite for bank-to-bank transactions. Its partners include Amazon Pay, Bambora, Paypal and Stripe, and it counts many high-volume subscription businesses from SaaS and media companies to healthcare and education industries as its clients.
*Some of the companies featured on this article are commercial partners of Tech Wire Asia
To read more about payments: