10 Questions Independent Software Vendors Should Ask Their Payment Partners


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As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV), finding the best payment partner should start with mapping your customers’ needs. If they prefer using mobile wallets in the industry you focus on, you need a payment solution that offers NFC technology. Or, you may need a payment provider who can support your clients’ card-present transactions. Perhaps, you have to tackle both.

Think about your own business and operation requirements as well. What level of support do you need when it comes to developer documentation, onboarding support, or customer acquisition? What about data security and PCI compliance?

According to an ISV mindset study, customer service is the number one factor for ISVs when choosing a payment processing partner, followed by price/commissions, product/solutions, the ability to drive new customers, and the technology offered.

While 37% of ISVs focus on customer satisfaction in this way, there’s a list of other areas to also be considered.

We compiled 10 questions ISVs should ask their payment partners:

1. What type of integrated payment technologies do you offer?

One of your jobs as an ISV is to offer a software or app that can simplify payments for your merchants. This includes providing them with all the functionalities that will help them handle payment processing.

When integrated within a payment platform, does your software need to manage physical or digital gift cards? Is your merchant looking for both in-store and on-the-go POS payment systems? Will you need to support contactless payments?

Think about all your merchants’ technology needs and ask if your payment processing partner can ensure support for all of them.

2. Do you provide custom payment solutions?

An ISV’s payment partner should be able to customize payment acceptance through their software offering.

Your merchant may need real-time reporting functionalities and seamless transaction management, or a customizable, highly secure e-commerce platform for their online store, like the CardPointe Hosted Payment Page.

If your customers are restaurants, they will likely have to manage payments at the cash register or standing next to guests’ tables, so your payment provider must offer a range of POS (point-of-sale) systems that can be fully integrated with your software and fit these setups.

3. What hardware devices do you support for payment integration?

ISVs may want to provide more than ‘just’ payment acceptance to their customers. Building your software so it can integrate with different POS systems offered by your payment partner will give you a business advantage.

For instance, Bolt is a cloud-based solution ISVs can quickly add to their software as a card-present payment acceptance option. It also combines EMV and tokenization to cover data security needs.

4. How do you manage data breach protection?

Data can be stolen from card readers, payment system databases, wireless or wired networks, paper records, and a variety of other sources.

A payment processing partner must protect their ISV partners’ business and customers from these threats and prevent the release of sensitive cardholder information which generates serious data breach costs.

In 2020 alone, 300,562,519 individuals’ personal information, including credit card numbers, got exposed. Make sure to check out our tips for data breach prevention and discuss with your payment provider how they can help you protect your customer and business data.

5. Do you offer PCI-validated solutions?

Your payment partner should help you adhere to the guidelines of the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and become PCI-compliant. It’s not only about data safety — not being PCI-compliant also means risking customer and financial loss.

CardConnect offers PCI-validated solutions for its ISV partners, such as point-to-point encryption and tokenization, and we have a couple of resources to navigate you through this topic:

6. Do you provide developer documentation and API support?

As an ISV, developer guides and API support must be one of the comprehensive offerings of your payment partner. You must know how connecting your software to the given payments platform will work and if you’re given all the developer tools you need to enhance your existing software or app environment.

If you’re interested in CardConnect as your payment processing partner, make sure to check our Developer Center, to see our library of developer and API documentation.

7. Can you help with merchant onboarding?

Managing your merchant portfolio should be as easy and frictionless as possible. Tracking your customers’ every move in relation to your offerings is crucial, from onboarding to any risk management.

Merchant enrollment, with the right support, can in fact be seamless and quick, so make sure to ask your payment partner if they have those capabilities.

CardConnect’s CoPilot portal, for instance, provides rapid merchant underwriting and boarding, automated application submission, and application status tracking for ISVs’ merchant customers.

8. Do you have dedicated onboarding and support teams?

Support teams are essential in a partnership between an ISV and a payment processing partner. The payment provider should able to help you at every stage of your cooperation. This can include offering a hand in onboarding your own customers, customizing developer solutions to fit the given payment system, and simply answering questions about your business account with them.

This is first and foremost about your customer experience with your payment partner, and the best of them will provide you with 24/7 support. This can be crucial: if you get the help you need immediately, solving your customers’ issues won’t have to wait either.

9. How do your profit sharing and incentive programs work?

As an ISV, you can receive a part of the revenue from the transactions processed through the integrated payment system combined with your software. Therefore, revenue sharing is where the nature of your business partnership with your payment provider becomes especially important.

Agreeing on a revenue share percentage can depend on many factors, including your processing volume, number of merchants and your pricing model. Read our guide on how ISVs can earn additional revenue in payments which also covers the basics of this topic.

10. Can you help with customer acquisition?

Any experienced ISV will know that developing a software or an app is easy in the sense that this is what they do on a daily basis. Finding their audience and acquiring customers is where they usually, and admittedly, need help.

A full-service payment partner will offer a comprehensive growth program for their ISV partners to help them tackle go-to-market strategies and marketing campaigns, among others. The ultimate goal for the partner here is to provide support for the ISV in a way that it can gain more customers and build its business growth.

Don’t underestimate the power of these growth programs and make sure to ask your payment partner if they can support your customer acquisition endeavors in the long run.

If you’re interested in expanding your software offering, check out our ISV partner program or get in touch with us now through the form below.

We’re also happy to help you with any other questions you may have about partnering with a payment processor.

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