The future of payment orchestration platforms and their role in today's payments sector

Thursday 14 July 2022 08:30 CET | Editor: Irina Ionescu | Interview

“Adding alternative payments for the right kind of audience to suit specific needs will become essential in running your business if it isn’t already” says John Lunn, Founder and CEO of Gr4vy, in an exclusive interview with The Paypers.

What is the Payment Orchestration Platform’s role in an omnichannel offering?

Payment orchestration is an integration layer between the front end of a merchant (i.e., their website) and all the payment companies that are out there. Currently, merchants must integrate every single payment option directly into their website, so we try to remove the integration, time, effort, and the complexity of merging yourself while providing an inner tool, similar to what a router does for the Internet connection or Roku does for TV.

Being able to flexibly offer multiple payment methods is crucial for today’s merchants. About 60% of Zoomers or Gen Z don’t have bank accounts. They don’t have cards and if you’re a retailer trying to survive in this new world, you must think of alternative ways to take payments from them. As a merchant, if you are only supporting credit cards, you’re in trouble. 

Adding alternative payments for the right kind of audience to suit specific needs will become essential in running your business if it isn’t already. Wallets, BNPL, and Open Banking in Europe – these are the main types of alternative payment methods that you need to introduce into your ecosystem urgently or you’re going to suffer as a retailer.

What type of merchants would benefit from working with a Payment Orchestration Platform?

From medium-sized merchants to bigger companies. About 67% of mid-sized merchants in the US have two or more PSPs already. If you’re very small and focus on only one market, you can probably live with one PSP for a while, but as soon as you start to go international, which is one of the main markets to expand your business, you need to have multiple payment options, as well as multiple backup providers, to have the necessary flexibility. 

Why should merchants work with an external POP rather than building it in-house?

Gr4vy allows you to run your payment infrastructure like you would do it in-house, through a tool, rather than building everything from scratch. 

Building a whole in-house system, depending on its complexity, would take, on average, 8-9 months. Gr4vy eases the process by giving you a tool that allows you to experiment, add, change, or move different payment types without the engineering or architectural dare that comes with it.

When a PSP or acquirer experiences technical issues, how is smart routing able to ensure a backup?

Most of the large acquirers and PSPs rarely experience technical issues but when they do, the way that smart routing works, in that case, is fall-back. So, you have your main processor configured in the system. If that is working, then it falls back to the main processor and it re-routes it that way. In other words, if one processor fails, you use the next one. 

Looking at individual transactions from specific countries, things get more complex, as each person uses a specific payment system for a specific kind of product, so it all comes back to preference.

How to deal with a Single Point of Failure when working with a POP?

We built Gr4vy as a cloud company so as not to be a Single Point of Failure. Most orchestration platforms operate as a SaaS, a service that you connect to and that is a Single Point of Failure. Gr4vy is a cloud company, so we spin up single-tenant instances of Gr4vy for merchants. If, as a retailer, you have one cluster in the Western US and another cluster on the East Coast on Google Cloud, we mirror your architecture. 

You have a single version of Gr4vy in the West and another one set in the East, which means there isn’t a Single Point of Failure because you can add as many clusters as you want. We have international routers that are set around the world and read your transactions, so we mirror your architecture and resilience to prevent a Single Point of Failure.

To avoid reconciliation issues, what are some effective solutions for switching processors?

The main issue is not about reconciliation but about tokenization and PCI. If you’re using one processor and you do tokenization through that processor, the token that you return by that processor is unique to that processor. So, what happens if you want to add a new processor? Your client only has a token on your old processor, so you either migrate them, which is a long and very painful process, or start again. Our solution for this problem is called Gr4vy Vault. With Gr4vy Vault, we tokenize across your processor, and we tokenize ourselves, which means that no matter what happens in the future, you will be able to migrate from one processor to another.

How does the global market for POPs look now and in the future? Is their role going to increase in value as cross-border payments grow?

We see a world where you pick the best payment options for your customers in that market. You have multiple providers and payment relationships, and you integrate them through an orchestration platform. 

For instance, we have a lot of North Americans expanding to LATAM quickly. LATAM is not a credit card market and comes with multiple different payment types. You can’t necessarily pick one provider to do it all for you, so you need to mix and match. Thus, if you don’t have a payment orchestration platform, you are going to do a lot of manual integration. Selecting the right POP can make the process simple.

As a payment orchestration platform, how does Gr4vy address the payments complexity for merchants and how does it stand out from the competition?

We are an infrastructure and cloud company. Gr4vy does not offer a service but an infrastructure that allows retailers to stay in control. We provide the necessary tools that allow you to integrate Gr4vy into your current system. We allow you to expand and experiment quickly, without removing your old infrastructure and having to start from scratch. With a platform like Gr4vy, you can experiment with various patterns and decide what works. 

Hopefully, we will see a lot more merchants experiment globally with payment types and we’ll also see more equity in payments. 

About John Lunn

John Lunn is the Founder and CEO of cloud payment orchestration platform Gr4vy. He is a technology and fintech entrepreneur with 21 years of experience working and investing in financial services, commerce enablement, e-payments, data, security and infrastructure. Prior to Gr4vy, Lunn worked in senior director positions at Cybersource and PayPal where he built and grew PayPal’s first Developer Relations team, along with PayPal Ventures. 

About Gr4vy

Gr4vy is a cloud-native payments company that takes the complexity out of merchants running payments infrastructure, freeing them to focus on what matters most. We redefine payments by providing an intuitive, cutting-edge payment orchestration platform (POP) that leverages the power of the Cloud to modernize payments infrastructure. Our orchestration layer upgrades merchants’ payments stack to make them more nimble. Our no-code dashboard centralizes the integration and management of a merchant’s payment methods, providers, conditions and transactions and empowers them to do more in less time. We enable merchants to streamline and manage payment methods, services and transactions all in one place. At Gr4vy, we’re passionate about payments, efficiency and extraordinary customer experience.

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Keywords: payments orchestration, merchant, merchants, online platform, platform, cloud services, cloud payments, payments infrastructure, fintech, local payment method
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Gr4vy
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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