Setting a course for growth, Joe Redmond takes the helm of our European operations
14 Aug 2023
The digital age is booming. Gone are the days where if you needed an obscure item you’d have to scour the Yellow Pages to find a supplier. Nowadays, the process is far slicker for consumers and businesses alike. Consumers have the benefit of finding whatever they need in an instant, while suppliers are able to tap into new audiences (and revenue) that would have previously been unavailable to them. It’s a win-win for all parties involved. And as such, it’s showing no signs of slowing down — industry analysts predict growth of 12% each year for the next four years in European commerce.
Contrast that with the sluggish growth rates of the wider economy, and it’s clear that e-commerce still represents a huge opportunity for businesses everywhere — an opportunity they can’t afford to get wrong. For growing businesses, part of that story of course includes the ability to sell abroad.
But scaling into new regions isn’t as simple as it sometimes sounds. It only works if a business is able to seamlessly make payments in and out of the regions they are operating in. And that’s where things start to get tricky.
Data for 2022 reveals that 66.5% of online shopping carts are abandoned. That represents almost two-thirds of potential buyers walking away from a purchase after they’ve picked out their items. Businesses may be struggling here through no fault of their own — payments is a complicated landscape.
But if this is what is going on in the ‘front-end’ where they are trying to bring in revenue, you can only imagine the pain many e-commerce businesses are facing in the back-end when it comes to making their payouts — an equally important, yet often forgotten, component of the e-commerce chain.
From what we’ve seen, businesses usually have to work with 15 or more partners to facilitate payments. This results in them knitting together a patchwork of payment services that is messy, complex, hard to manage, and expensive. But until now, eCommerce businesses have had no other choice but to use this system of ‘network upon networks’.
At Paytrix, we are championing a better way. We are developing the world’s first curation layer as a new part of the payments stack. As we shall see, payment curation can help businesses like yours better integrate payments innovation and meet the needs of your customers.
Why is payments curation needed?
Business growth is the raison d'être for most firms. But growth can be hard, particularly if your payments infrastructure is holding you back. The current reality is that even simple transactions such as accepting a payment, making a payout, or settling an account can be a headache for businesses. The system relies on a lot of intermediaries to move money from Country A to Country B, and that drives up cost and adds friction.
Of course, the picture isn't entirely gloomy. In recent years a selection of payments ecosystems have come to market. They're great in that they can make international payments faster and cheaper. But they're not a silver bullet. The problem is that the payments ecosystem is hugely fragmented. So, even with the best payments platform on side, businesses must still source, negotiate, and maintain somewhere in the region of 10-15 partners, contracts, and APIs globally. That's a huge drain on resources: time and money that could be better spent on genuine business priorities. No wonder that payments are seen as a barrier to growth by many companies.
"Ah," I hear you say. "But what about payments orchestration?" Yes – it's true, a payments orchestration layer can do some of this heavy lifting for businesses, but by no means all. For those who don't know, orchestration integrates payments services and gateways on a single software layer. And that's great, because it reduces the complexity of payments acceptance. However, businesses are still left with a whole bunch of separate contracts, multiple Know Your Customer requirements, and dozens of commercial negotiations. And let's not forget that orchestration struggles to support the kind of multi-layer payment flows required by e-commerce marketplaces.
Fortunately, we now have payments curation to help.
How does payments curation work?
Payments curation brings order to this unruly jumble. The curation layer sits on top of all those connections, contracts, KYC processes, and infrastructure – surfacing only what the business really needs: ready access to the best payments providers in the world. It reduces international payments to a single connection, a single contract and a single API, with everything else taken care of behind the scenes. Basically, this all makes international payments as close to "plug and play" as it's going to get – an emphatic step in the right direction.
What are the benefits of payments curation?
Payments curation means that businesses only need to pay one supplier to unlock access to a full payments stack, inclusive of payment acceptance, settlement accounts, and payouts, as well as the all important ability to manage them across borders. It also, you'll be pleased to hear, puts a stop to that never-ending stream of integrations you’re often hamstrung by. The API connects everywhere. Ultimately freeing up your time to focus on what you do best. Forget managing a back-office system – spend your time on sales, customer service, product enhancements and all the other activities that fuel growth.
Payments curation helps power growth in other ways too. For one, it helps build out international payments networks, giving businesses like yours the ability to deploy new payment options much more quickly.
For online marketplaces, payments curation services can deliver a big competitive edge. For a start, they improve accountability — if there is an issue on the payments supply chain, the marketplace has only one relationship to manage, ensuring they can reach a resolution far more quickly, time which can be diverted into supporting customers instead of fighting fires. And by reducing the number of intermediaries in the payments chain, payments curation can also enable marketplaces to cut costs, savings which can be used to boost the business in other areas or develop more competitive offerings for sell-side partners.
The bottom line
When it comes to digital innovations we're living through extraordinary times. And it’s tough to see businesses growth hamstrung by inefficient payment capabilities. Indeed, it can feel like new payments innovations are launching on a daily basis, until now, none of them solved the core problem plaguing businesses – they absorb huge amounts of time, resource and money that stunts their ability to scale. The good news is that now, with payments curation, all businesses, large or small, can operationalise these innovations fast and effectively.
At Paytrix, we believe that curation is much more than just another fintech innovation. It's the glue that will hold the payments ecosystem together, and turn international payments into a consumable service. Any businesses serious about international growth should have payments curation firmly in their sights.
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