Voice of the Industry

Seven tips to find the right payment partner

Thursday 3 March 2016 11:21 CET | Author Melisande Mual | Voice of the industry

Miriam Wohlfarth, RatePAY: Online merchants looking for the right payment partner do not have it easy

Each service provider offers different payment methods and services, with different cost structures involved. Despite this, the following contains seven tips which online merchants should bear in mind to maintain an overview of the situation when selecting the right payment partner.

1. Which payment methods are the most appropriate for my shop and my customers?

First, you should ask yourself which payment solutions are the most appropriate for your customer base, product and shop structure. If you only trade in Germany, invoicing and direct debit will be more important payment types for your business than credit card payments, for example. If you only have a small range of products, you don’t need to integrate ten different payment methods. If a large number of your customers want a particular payment method, you should also include this.

2. Which payment types should I entrust to the experts?

Next, consider which payment methods you can process yourself with relatively little effort required, and which you should ask a service provider to handle. In making this decision, it is important to keep an eye on indirect costs which may arise from complex aspects such as debtor and risk management. Some payment methods, such as instalments and invoicing are riskier than others for you as a merchant; a service provider can protect you against payment defaults in this case.

3. How extensive is the service provider’s portfolio of services and products?

If you have identified several providers which offer the payment methods you require, you should then look at what other factors may lead you to favour a certain provider. For example, how difficult will the technical integration be? How long does it take for payments to be received? Do they offer additional payment transaction services? Which other payment methods does the service provider offer? Do they facilitate international payments?

4. Should I opt for a standard or a flexible solution?

After gathering an overview of the hard facts and entering into discussions with a number of providers, you should think about your shop again. Do you need adapted solutions, or would a standard solution suffice? For example, an online food retailer must consider weight differences and bottle deposit returns known as “Pfand” in Germany. In this case, only a customised solution will do, although other shops would be just fine with a standard solution.

5. What do I want to offer my customers?

Finally, ask yourself as a merchant: what is it that you wish to offer your customers? Improved service? A variety of payment options? When choosing a service provider, it is essential to keep in mind the whole process, not just the checkout phase. This includes downstream customer communication. Loyalty point and voucher schemes are aspects you may wish to discuss with potential payment service providers.

6. How established and trustworthy is the service provider?

Now that you have identified two or three potential payment partners, review them before making a final decision if you have any uncertainty. What are their credentials? Do these seem credible? How established are they on the market? What is the extent of their expertise in relation to individual payment methods and special services? Have you engaged in real dialogue which will facilitate the perfect solution for your shop?

7. Are you on the right wavelength?

As you near the end of the selection process, soft factors come into play. After all, service providers are people too. You will be in regular contact with your payment partner, not just during the development phase, but in your day-to-day operations too. This means that being on the same wavelength is often the deciding factor. If the provider has been professional, reliable and friendly so far, this is likely to play a critical role in your final decision.

About Miriam Wohlfarth

Miriam Wohlfarth is Managing Director and co-founder of RatePAY, with responsibility for the divisions marketing and sales. She has been working in the e-payment sector for 15 years. Prior to founding RatePAY, she was country manager Germany of Ogone, a leading European Payment Service Provider with international reach. Before joining Ogone (Ingenico Payment Services), Miriam Wohlfarth was mainly in charge of establishing the online payment business of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and for its payment service company, Bibit, in Germany.

About RatePAY

RatePAY is a payment service provider offering local DACH payment methods with a payment guarantee for merchants. The company provides e-payment solutions to online shops, taking over the complete payment process for online merchants, while bearing the full risk of any default payments. The products offered by RatePAY include instalment payments with real-time online checks that do not require any Postident procedure. Moreover, the company offers the online payment methods open invoice and direct debit. RatePAY GmbH, based in Berlin, was founded in December 2009 and is a member of the Otto Group.


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Keywords: RatePay, Miriam Wohlfarth, online merchants, payment partner, payment methods, customers, payment providers, case study
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Countries: World

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