Voice of the Industry

Overview of the most notable partnerships and product innovations in Q4 2022 – Q1 2023

Friday 28 July 2023 07:30 CET | Editor: Raluca Ochiana | Voice of the industry

Estera Sava, News Editor at The Paypers, analyses the most prolific partnerships that defined and built resilience in the payments and ecommerce space in Q4 2022 and Q1 2023. 


The Paypers researched and analysed the most prolific partnerships that defined and built resilience in the fintech space in Q4 2022 – Q1 2023, from optimising ecommerce infrastructure to specific BNPL use cases, travel payments, and the growth of Tap to Pay tech.

Ecommerce payments – consolidating platform services

Nowadays, online shopping is becoming the norm – in all shapes and on all devices. This makes it crucial for businesses to set up a technical infrastructure that can record and monitor all user experiences within their web stores. Ranging from automatic tracking data transmission during parcel delivery to ongoing harmonisation of payment method portfolios with local markets, most collaborations that took place in Q4 2022 – Q1 2023 within this niche focused on securing the best back-end processes to streamline both customer experiences and payments volume.

December 2022 saw integrated services platform BigCommerce partner with UK-based payroll tech provider Sage to offer merchants an end-to-end commerce solution. Following its integration with the Sage 100 ERP software, BigCommerce enabled businesses to update their ecommerce presence and set up fully integrated B2C and B2B storefronts, helping facilitate new customer acquisition and operational efficiency – and providing real-time updates and visibility of orders, customer information, and invoices. BigCommerce’s Q4 service proliferation strategy saw a separate collaboration with shipping service DHL, aiming to assist US-based online businesses with the expansion of their product portfolio worldwide.

In Q1 2023, BigCommerce made public two separate noteworthy collaborations. Early in January, the company announced the launch of Microsoft Ads and Listings for merchants on its marketplace, made possible through a partnership with Microsoft Advertising. This enabled merchants of all sizes to integrate their stores directly and reach an increased number of potential customers throughout the Microsoft Advertising Network, customers who were believed to have more purchasing power and ads engagement, as well as a higher probability of purchasing online. In mid-February, the company partnered with the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) to assist the latter’s customers in digitally augmenting their business to expand customer reach, drive more sales, and increase revenue.


Following an across-the-board increase in purchase volumes, numerous agreements were signed amongst ecommerce platforms, merchants and logistics, and shipping services. An instance of this is the cooperation between Cart.com and FedEx in Q4 2022, targeting the improvement of the ecommerce experience for both merchants and consumers. As its primary focus, the collaboration sought to improve fulfilment insights, offer more delivery options that address consumer expectations, and enhance shipping visibility to enable consumers to track their orders in an accurate manner and receive precise information on their package’s arrival.

In November 2022, UK-based BNPL provider DivideBuy (acquired by Zopa in February 2023) and payments tech company Acquired.com partnered to optimise the checkout process for merchants. This enabled merchants to leverage smart automated tools designed to eliminate the rate of failed transactions, increase approval rates, and provide customers with simplified payment experiences.

A prevalent name throughout Q1 2023 was that of the cloud-native payments infrastructure company Gr4vy, which had four separate collaborations. In January, it was announced that mobile top-up service Ding partnered with the US-based company to provide alternative payment methods and increase flexibility at checkout. Aiming to bring forth new opportunities for payment diversification for telco companies, Ding was set to leverage Gr4vy's cloud-native payment orchestration platform (POP) for modern payments infrastructure, as well as for the ability to take on global payment data regulations. The same month, Gr4vy partnered with security tech group Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) to streamline customer journeys within ecommerce. G+D’s network tokenization solution was integrated into the Gr4vy platform, enabling merchants to leverage an enhanced authorisation process and decreased transaction costs, thus resulting in fewer false transaction rejections, as well as a reduction in fraud rates. February saw ecommerce solutions provider SmartOSC select the payments orchestration platform as its collaborator for improving the customer payment experience, followed by the March news of Mythical Games  choosing Gr4vy’s POP to deliver more flexibility at the checkout.

Apart from the infrastructural aspect, a notable focus of both small and big brand retailers was on reaching as many customers as possible in a direct way.

Buy Anything, Pay Later – instalment payments and entrance into separate verticals

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) was amongst the payment trends to spark heated debates within the industry throughout 2022 and into 2023. Between convenience and discussions surrounding speed and financial inclusion, serious conversations hinted towards regulation, responsible spending, and consumer education. Having recognised the phenomenon as a pivotal paradigm shift, regulators began developing legislative contexts for its existence, most of which are set to be further explored in 2023.

A now ripened industry, BNPL yielded widespread adoption throughout the globe, and although players of the likes of Klarna saw increased fluctuations in valuation the entirety of 2022, the industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 33.3% by 2026 to USD 596.7 billion, as per Global Data. 

Q4 2022 saw several agreements being signed, while the most prevalent collaborations within the BNPL space had a predominant focus on its applications across separate verticals.

In December 2022, instalments service Splitit and Google announced a collaboration that sought to have the Instalments-as-a-Service solution added to the Google Store in the US, Canada, and Australia. At the time, Splitit had been reported to provide Google with a white-label service that would enable customers to pay in instalments by leveraging their existing credit on their payment card at checkout. A month prior to this, US-based fintech Galileo made public that its API-enabled platform was set to power the Pomelo ‘Remit Now, Pay Later’ credit card to expand financial access to families in the US, offering them the option to build and extend their credit access abroad.

The travel payments vertical is among the most prevalent ones for BNPL usage, in addition to being a high-ticket market for fintechs such as Worldline, as we will showcase further on in the analysis. In November 2022, it was announced that Australian BNPL service Afterpay signed an agreement with travel booking service Expedia following which travellers were enabled to finance their purchase by carrying out four interest-free payments across a six-week period.

In Q1 2023, two additional noteworthy collaborations showcased BNPL’s application in travel. In January, US-based online travel platform KAYAK teamed up with Affirm to provide travellers with increased spending power and payment flexibility when booking with KAYAK. Featuring Affirm as a payment option at the checkout enabled the platform’s travellers to split the total cost of flights, accommodations, and rental and car sharing of more than USD 150 into monthly payments. The collaboration looked to simplify planning and paying for trips in 2023, as KAYAK research data shows a 40% year-over-year increase in flight prices, together with a traveller demand growth of 46%. 

Another strategic partnership was formed between global flight search and booking website Alternative Airlines and BNPL provider Atome,  with the aim of offering flexible payment options to travellers in Asia. At the time of the announcement, this was available for tourists in Malaysia and Singapore, with plans for future rollout in additional Asian markets throughout 2023.

These mark only some of the agreements that came to be on the backdrop of the record demand for BNPL for travel purchases.


A separate collaboration that seems to be in line with the contrasting nature of 2022 was that of Klarna and Deliveroo, looking to provide customers with the option to buy groceries and takeout food on credit. This came at a point where consumer spending was higher than ever, talks of recessions were a stark reality, and BNPL seemingly came as a cure-all in uncertain times. In October 2022, numerous retailers of the likes of Aldi, M&S, and The Range partnered with Klarna and other similar fintechs for the addition of instalment payment options.

Within Q1 2023, Klarna joined forces with two payments companies which looked to include its BNPL services into their offering. In January, mobile wallet payments company Citcon announced an integration with Klarna that added the latter as a featured mobile wallet within Citcon’s omnichannel payment platform. At the same time, it enabled merchants using its payment gateway to offer Klarna as a payment option for online purchases and in-store payments using Citcon’s payment capability. Similarly, France-based Ingenico partnered with Klarna to offer instalments at the point-of-sale using Ingenico’s Payment-Platform-as-a-Service (PPaaS). In February, Klarna made public a six-month pilot project with Germany-based private credit bureau Schufa to allow people to shop online in an expedited manner leveraging BNPL.

Saudi Arabian super app ToYou announced, in January 2023, its cooperation with shopping and payments app Tabby towards the launch of a BNPL solution, ToYou Pay Later, allowing users to purchase multiple products and pay one bill at the end of the month, free of any interest or fees. Within the ASEAN region, Malaysia-based payment acquirer GHL partnered with BNPL service provider Grab for the continuation of its PayLater offering rollout for its in-store merchants, to provide customers with the option of monthly instalments with a 0% interest rate. With European consumers in mind, Splitit teamed up with Alipay in January to  enable the ‘Pay after Delivery’ option for those using AliExpress, with the initial launch taking place in Germany, France, and Spain. Following its January collaboration with Klarna, Ingenico also partnered with Splitit  in February 2023 to add BNPL capabilities to physical checkouts using its PPaaS and Splitit’s Instalments-as-a-Service solution.

BNPL’s usage was also showcased within the B2B space through the collaboration between Billie and Mollie. The two companies formed a pan-European partnership to provide BNPL payments to business customers.


Mobile payments, digital wallets, and the rebranding of NFC

When talking about the total value of contactless payments throughout 2022, Barclays estimates they have increased by 49.7% compared to 2021. Although NFC payments or EMV chip cards were not a hot trend in 2022, Apple’s and Stripe’s collaboration announced earlier in the year – as they sought to introduce Tap to Pay on iPhone – led to this term becoming the de facto umbrella one for contactless payments (predominantly mobile-enabled). What followed was an increase in partnerships between companies that looked to enable Tap to Pay.

November saw PayPal announce their support of Apple’s Tap to Pay on iPhone in collaboration with Venmo, as the implementation of this option within their tech offering enabled merchants’ acceptance of both contactless card payments and payments made via Apple Pay – or other digital wallets, such as Google Pay. During Q4 2022, other companies such as POS system phos and global acquirer Elavon partnered towards the launch of the Tap to Pay solution in the US and Canada. What is more, phos collaborated with Diebold Nixdorf to enable enterprise retailers to add its SoftPOS offering as a payment acceptance option.

With the debut of 2023, the Tap to Pay infrastructure began to be increasingly ubiquitous, with Stripe announcing its Tap to Pay on Android offering to be launched in the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore in February 2023. The same month, DNA Payments and Mastercard cooperated towards the delivery of the Mastercard Click to Pay service to merchants across the UK and Europe, to enable benefits such as increased security, expedited customer checkouts, and improved customer experiences.

In March, Stripe made public a collaboration with global SaaS platform Wix, following which US-based merchants were provided with the Tap to Pay on iPhone service.

However, one of the most prolific names to have contributed to the expansion of digital payments throughout Q1 2023 was China-based Alipay+. January saw Alipay+ partner with the Macau government to help boost local consumption by enabling merchants to provide their products and services inside the AlipayHK e-wallet. Early in February, the company extended its collaboration with food delivery platform foodpanda to Malaysia, aiming to allow the latter’s customers to pay for deliveries through the Touch ‘n Go eWallet, one of the most popular mobile wallets in the region. Later that month, Alipay+ also partnered with payment solutions provider epay, a Euronet Worldwide subsidiary, to offer the latter’s Australia-based merchants access to cross-border mobile payments and to the partners of Alipay+, such as GCash (The Philippines), Kakao Pay (South Korea), and TrueMoney (Thailand).

Another notable collaboration in this space was that of the payment solution provider Mangopay and PayPal, which provided marketplaces with access to PayPal’s global payment methods and capabilities as part of both parties’ commitment towards streamlining global marketplaces’ payment experiences.

ACI Worldwide, Worldline, and Stripe – strategy deconstruction

ACI Worldwide – focus on client portfolio

US-based real-time payments enabler ACI Worldwide signed several strategic partnerships in Q4 2022 that, when looked at globally, showcase the company’s strategy of expanding its ecommerce payments infrastructure across more than three continents, with the aim of building further resilience in 2023.

From streamlining payments orchestration through the integration with Axerve to an NTT Data collaboration that integrated ACI Secure eCommerce into the former’s tech solutions portfolio, in recent months ACI sought to expand merchant access to local and cross-border acquirers – and new card, digital, and mobile payment methods. Moreover, in November 2022, ACI announced a partnership with Vendo Services to enable crypto payments for merchants, building on ACI’s collaboration with RocketFuel Blockchain

The company’s foray into the Asian space was showcased by its cooperation with the Indonesia-based payment scheme BI-FAST towards the launch of a new array of real-time payment services. At the time, BI-FAST had a total of 106 participants, out of which 19 leveraged ACI Worldwide’s payment solutions to connect to it. The partnership looked to further BI-FAST’s goals to expand and interconnect with other regional schemes to create a real-time payments network for Indonesia. A separate collaboration with India1 Payments announced in January 2023 had the company support an installation upgrade with the ATM operator to streamline the delivery of payments and financial services to India’s financially excluded.


Worldline – cross-border and cross-vertical expansion

France-based payments enabler Worldline has proven to be incredibly prolific throughout Q4 2022 – Q1 2023 when talking about strategic partnerships across the board.

The Nordics region saw it cooperate with Open Banking enabler Neonomics to expand its A2A payments and data aggregation coverage through Neonomics in areas such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. Separately, in November 2022, it announced that Finland-based S-Bank integrated the Worldline Fraud Management Suite into its issuing platform, preceded by the October news that Dutch online bank Knab selected Worldline for back-office processing when handling SEPA Batch payments and multi-currency payments.

In November, the company also announced an expansion of its partnership with BR-DGE, following which it enlisted its global acquiring capabilities in BR-DGE’s partnership programme. By leveraging BR-DGE’s independent payment orchestration platform and network, Worldline’s partners were enabled to acquire new merchants, retain customer relationships, expedite merchant onboarding, and gain access to additional marketing and sales resources. January 2023 saw the enterprise collaborate with Turkey-based fintech Lidio to assist its international ecommerce business in accessing the Turkish market and providing payment processing solutions.


One focus area permeating throughout Worldine’s strategy as showed by the agreements signed within Q4 2022 and into Q1 2023 was represented by travel payments. The company partnered with both a national and a budget airline, namely Lufthansa and Wizz Air, to onboard the payment company’s solutions, including specific payment methods, consolidated reporting capabilities, and integration with its core platform. Additionally, together with UK-based BNPL provider for the travel industry Fly Now Pay Later, Worldline sought to assist with simplifying the integration process for travel merchants. What is more, in Q1 2023, the PSP announced an expansion of its long-term collaboration with cruise brand MSC Cruises, part of MSC Group, to support its payment needs across Europe.

Stripe – client portfolio expansion and entrance into separate verticals

Stripe provides its software to businesses no matter the size, ranging from new startups to public companies. Apart from its involvement in the launch and expansion of the Tap to Pay technology, its collaborations from Q1 2023 have shown a predilection for both client portfolio and cross-vertical expansion.

January 2023 kicked off with a partnership with the US-based provider of digital IP infrastructure to music companies Revelator towards the launch of an NFT payment infrastructure. As detailed at the time of the announcement, Stripe was selected to assist Revelator in launching the service as an integrated Web3 functionality on top of its digital music supply chain management service offerings. The integration sought to enable Revelator to provide its users with the ability to create, sell, and distribute NFTs while also managing their digital assets, supply chain, rights, business intelligence, financial reporting, and royalty payment distribution. In the same month, Stripe announced an extension of its long-term collaboration with Amazon to broaden the usage of its core payments platform, followed by the news of it being selected as a primary payment infrastructure for BMW to help handle the latter’s ecommerce services in the US.

Similarly, in February, the company confirmed a partnership with creative transformation company WPP that aimed to expand commerce and payment solutions for brands. WPP became a consulting partner within the Stripe Partner Ecosystem (SPE), and, per the announcement, the cooperation’s aim was to address client needs and customer expectations related to experience-led commerce. In March, Stripe and OpenAI partnered to enable the monetisation of the latter’s flagship services, namely ChatGPT Plus and DALL·E.

Final thoughts

Halfway into 2023, the ground has been laid out by the companies who had the foresight to predict some of the most important strategic angles to build on. As the world economy continues to tighten its belt, fintechs are increasingly reliant on the roots they set up, on the sources of liquidity at hand, as well as on trusty partners. As such, a consolidated array of services provided by an integrated ecommerce platform could become increasingly useful in 2023, together with a sharp eye for seeing opportunities related to financial flexibility and inclusion in key markets.

Lastly, until the next edition of The Paypers’ report The Global Overview of Payments Providers, which is set to explore more of the intricacies of the ecommerce payments ecosystem looking back at 2023 and encompassing the relevant stories coming from players setting the scene in 2024, be sure not to miss our Global Quarterly Analysis series so far.

This article was first published in ‘The Global Overview of Payments Providers 2023’, the most recent market overview and analysis of key payment providers in the B2B and B2C commerce payment ecosystem.

About Estera Sava

As a News Editor at The Paypers, Estera has a keen eye for quality assurance and loves deep diving into dense research and connecting relevant dots in the complex world of payments. She has been focusing on the ever-changing B2C payments and commerce landscape, never missing a good story, a particularly interesting new trend in the market, or the best reliable source of information.

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Keywords: ecommerce, payments , partnership, fintech, BNPL, retail, instalment payments, mobile payments, digital wallet, NFC, cross-border ecommerce, financial services, payments orchestration, marketplace, merchants, digitalisation
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
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