Voice of the Industry

Payment solution providers ecosystem explained and global mapping of key players

Tuesday 15 January 2019 07:59 CET | Voice of the industry

The Paypers presents a completely updated mapping of the solution providers in the payments space and the salient differences that currently exist between them

As the payments value chain is maturing, retail prices for online payments are steadily dropping, while the level of service offered to merchants is only increasing. Consequently, players aim to gain scale and increase capabilities through strategic acquisitions, constantly changing and reshaping the payments ecosystem. We aim to describe the global solution provider space today and to define the capabilities offered by the different participants in the ecosystem.

In such a diverse ecosystem, it can be daunting to try to gain insights regarding the entire payments ecosystem. Therefore, in 2017 we decided to publish a comprehensive overview of the solution provider space, in order for our readers to have a better understanding of the intricacies of the market and the players that it contains. We have conducted an in-depth analysis of the key global, international, and regional players, and mapped them accordingly based on several core variables. On top of this, the findings of our research are accompanied by a glossary of the jargon and terms used in the industry.

The ecosystem explained

We have distinguished four categories of companies offering solutions: the PSPs, the Payout Solution Providers, the Enablers, and the PSP connectors.

Payment Service Providers (PSPs)

While PSP started with integrating multiple payment methods (this being the core of their offering), nowadays they offer a wide range of additional financial services to their customers. A PSP is an aggregator of connectivity and financial flows. Important reasons for a merchant to do business with a PSP are:

a single technical connection for all the payment methods that are offered to the consumer on the web;

access to local payment methods in defined countries;

a single administrative connection (reporting);

a single settlement procedure with an agreed frequency;

usually, fewer contracts are needed, compared to having individual connections to acquirers. The PSP acts as the ‘super merchant’, being able to offer lower fees because of its purchasing power at the acquirers;

access to specialist knowledge concerning the payment process;

risk management and fraud prevention tools are provided and regularly updated.

Payout Solution Providers

Payout Solution Providers are players that specialise in global mass payout solutions. They offer their services to merchants that need to pay users of their marketplace or service platform, e.g. people selling wares on a marketplace like eBay, or drivers for services like Uber or Lyft. With the help of Payout Solution Providers, merchants (or market places) can ensure that payments for goods or services on their platform happen reliably and consistently, e.g. if a business pays freelancers for services that are carried out in the name of the company, like Uber. This category contains two groups: players that are dedicated payout providers, like Transpay or Hyperwallet, and PSPs that offer payout solutions as part of their marketplace services, like Adyen or SafeCharge.


Enablers are players that offer several services or capabilities to PSPs in order for them to render payment services more effectively. The services provided by enablers vary from offering connections to card acquirers and APMs, to processing and collecting services for APMs, and a wide range of other value-added services, e.g. a payment account, acquiring services, etc. The most important enablers are IXOPAY, HPS, Limonetik, PPRO, Optile, Trustly, and many ohers.

PSP connectors

PSP connectors are a relatively new type of technology solution providers, offering merchants the option to connect (via a single API) to multiple PSPs, acquirers, and e-wallets. With that kind of solution, they help merchants optimise routing and potentially savings on cost and higher authorisation rates. One exemplary PSP connector is IXOPAY, providing not only the API, but also a complete white label solution to merchants.

The mapping

All the solution providers in our research have been analysed based on a set of variables (presented at page 99 in our Payments and Commerce Market Guide 2018-2019). The variables are grouped in categories, and the infographic was created based on their capabilities. The complete mapping is published at the end of the guide .

Key Variables

Firstly, after the research was conducted, we distinguished the solution providers based on the four categories mentioned above. Afterwards, the Payment Solution Providers were further identified based on a few key variables that define them within the ecosystem.

The first variable is the acquirer capabilities of a solution provider. An acquirer is a financial institution that directly or indirectly enters into contractual relationships with merchants for the acceptance of plastic cards as a form of payment and for maintaining and servicing such relationships.

The second key variable is the distinction between omnichannel and pure ecommerce PSPs. Omnichannel PSPs offer both online and offline solutions, while pure ecommerce PSPs offer solely the former. In all three of the infographics presented in our guide, at page 104, the PSPs are divided in two groups to point to the distinction between the omnichannel and pure ecommerce PSPs.

You can check the complete Mapping Capabilities Solution Providers Payment Ecosystem at page 105 in our Payments and Commerce Market Guide 2018-2019 .

This editorial was first published in our Payments and Commerce Market Guide 2018-2019 - Insights into Global Payments and Commerce Market. The Guide presents the key trends and developments in global and regional payment methods by highlighting the innovation, challenges, and developments in the use of the most important payment methods across geographies and verticals.


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Keywords: payment solution provider, Acquirer, payment solution provider, payout solution provider, Payments Gateway, PSP connector, risk management, fraud prevention, mechant, IXOPAY, HPS, hyperWALLET, SafeCharge, Adyen, merchant, Limonetik, PPRO, optile, Trustly
Countries: World