3 Ways to Handle Integration Challenges in Payments Processing
The ways people pay have rapidly changed over the past decade or so. Chip cards…contactless payments…digital wallets. This evolving technology provides growth opportunity for many businesses, but these advancements come with new challenges as well.
How can smaller businesses keep up with larger businesses that have more infrastructure and resources at their disposal? How can businesses continue to meet customer expectations, which continue to transform as technology develops? How can complex transaction processes be automated to make things easier and more efficient for merchants?
The answer for many businesses is integrated payments processing, which weaves payments directly into a merchant’s existing systems and software. For example, an order management system with integrated payments processing provides a single solution to accept orders, pack shipments, update inventory, and handle accounting.
Finding a payment processor that offers integrated solutions can be a useful tool for businesses of all sizes, and it also levels the playing field for smaller merchants. Sounds great, right? It is a great option, but it’s also important to be aware of the associated challenges so you can discuss solutions with your payment processor.
The technical aspects of integration
Many businesses are left with legacy systems that don’t interact with newer platforms, and some simply do not have the resources or knowledge to streamline payment acceptance with integration. Fortunately, many payment processors offer APIs that allow for customization and integration. Now, more businesses than ever — even those without developers — can integrate payments with other aspects of the business, like CRM software and accounting.
A general business goal is to grow and bring in more customers. And while growth looks fantastic on revenue reports, it can prove challenging to an existing payment processing and/or order management system. Your integrated payments solution should be flexible enough to handle added volume, which will give your business the ability to expand into new markets.
Flexibility isn’t limited to payment volume. Your solution should also support multiple payment methods and channels, which is referred to as omni-channel payments. This allows your business to keep up with customer expectations, which is just as important as the efficiency of integration.
Chargeback and fraud prevention
Chargebacks — when funds paid to a merchant are taken back due to a disputed transaction — can impact revenue. But even more worrisome, an excessive amount of chargebacks can lead to the closing of merchant accounts. That outcome could severely impact a business’ lifespan.
Some chargebacks occur for legitimate reasons, but it’s prudent for businesses to proactively work to reduce these instances. A few methods of limiting chargebacks include:
- Know your customer base and offer goods/services they want
- Hire a skilled customer service team so customers can seek help or advice
- Post a clear returns and refunds policy on your business’ website
- Offer tracking on all shipments
- Keep detailed transaction reports
Some payment processors take this a step further and provide tools that can help identify transactions that may lead to a chargeback, such as those that are atypical of a particular customer. The ability to stop these transactions before they are processed can help to limit chargebacks as well.
On top of the issue of chargebacks, billions of dollars are lost due to fraud annually, a number that continues to climb year after year. Fraud can be quite costly in dollars, but it can also cost a business its reputation. Card-not-present transactions, mostly those completed online, are the main source of the fraudulent misuse of payment networks and data breaches.
New technology was developed to fight fraud, such as EMV chips cards that are nearly impossible to clone. We’re also seeing an increase in the use of biometric identification, such as fingerprint recognition which is now commonly used to unlock smartphones and use mobile payment apps.
Businesses must be proactive in seeking security solutions to protect themselves and their customers, which brings us to our last challenge…data security.
Data security and PCI compliance
Cardholder data — credit card numbers, names, addresses, etc. — is sensitive in nature and a lot of damage can result if it falls into the wrong hands. That’s why data security should be a top priority for all merchants.
The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI-SSC) created and maintains a list of criteria aimed at protecting cardholder data. This criteria includes building and maintaining a secure network, implementing access control measures, utilizing tools like tokenization and end-to-end encryption, and much more.
All merchants that accept card payments are required to meet PCI requirements, which can be a lengthy, costly process. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through the certification process on your own. Instead, you can work with a PCI compliant payment processor, which shifts that responsibility to them. A compliant processor will have the resources and infrastructure to protect sensitive data on their own servers, preventing it from ever being housed at your place of business.
For more information about data security and PCI compliance, download Forte’s free eBook called 4 Security Musts in Payment Processing.
Need help with an integration? Forte can help. Call us at 866-290-5400 to get started.