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WHAT TO ASK WHEN EVALUATING AN API-DRIVEN PAYMENTS PROVIDER

What to Ask when Evaluating an API-Driven Payments Provider

March 27, 2024

Given the powerful business benefits of adding a payment tool to any digital platform, it’s no surprise that many fintechs and other service providers are looking to bring payments functionality to their offerings. 

For such firms, choosing the right payment provider to support that capability is critical. But with so many options, how does a business find the right payment partner to support its unique needs and business goals–and power the growth and innovation needed to continually evolve and remain competitive over the long term?

To help get this crucial decision right, here are 4 key questions to ask when evaluating a payments provider:

What are the integration capabilities? 

The rise of embedded finance is breaking down traditional barriers between payments and other digital channels and platforms–and driving consumer demand and expectation for contextual commerce experiences. To meet this need, payment providers must be able to support the easy and flexible integration of payments capabilities into a wide variety of digital environments via application programming interfaces (APIs). Using APIs, payment functionality can be seamlessly embedded into e-commerce platforms, customer relationship management platforms, accounting software and other highly relevant channels. This integration offers enhanced utility and convenience to end-users and additional revenue streams, acquisition and customer engagement benefits for providers. 

How scalable is it?

A payment provider must be able to support a business’s growth by scaling up its ability to process higher transaction volumes, handle additional complexity and underpin new products as a business’s payments capabilities expand. With real-time payment processing expected to boom over the coming years, it’s especially critical for providers to be able to support transactions 24/7, with minimal downtime. To remain future-proof, providers also must be compatible with the growing variety of payment channels and clearing and settlement mechanisms, including card payments, Automated Clearing House (ACH), Real-Time Payments (RTP), FedNow and blockchain/digital currency transactions.  

How Banks Should Prepare for Ramp Up in Real-Time Payments

How robust is the data reporting?

Payment data is power. The transactions running through digital platforms and channels can serve as a trove of actionable insights into customer activity, behavior and preferences–insights which can be leveraged to tailor offers, improve user experience, deepen engagement and boost customer lifetime value. But harnessing the full transformative potential of data requires clear and deep visibility into the payments activity taking place over a platform. That’s why it’s important to select a payments provider with robust reporting and analytics offerings. Customizable, dynamic dashboards, data visualization, multi-source aggregation, portability and automation are among the must-have tools to transform payment data into useful business intelligence.

How secure and compliant is it?

None of the above factors mean a thing if a payment provider can’t ensure transactions and data are handled with a high degree of security and compliance. With fraudsters targeting new digital payment channels with ever more-sophisticated methods, effective risk management must combine a highly strategic anti-fraud approach with proactive, dynamic tech and tactics to stay ahead of the bad guys. Deploying cutting-edge identity verification, transaction monitoring and dispute tracking functions can mitigate losses due to fraud while ensuring a frictionless transaction experience for customers. Adherence to the latest data security standards, such as ISO 20022 and PCI DSS, also is a must to ensure continued compliance as the digital payments landscape continues to evolve.

Learn more about rolling out payments with the Card Launching 101 guide.

Contact us to find out how Galileo’s payments platform can power growth for your business.

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