In a world where customer needs are rapidly evolving, how will your organization remain accessible and relevant? One area not to overlook is how a business accepts payments.

The successful operation of a business requires multiple systems to keep the back office organized, your front line humming and customers happy. But should it really require multiple, separate systems? It doesn’t have to. An integrated payment solution allows a direct connection to your business management systems, working in harmony through a single source that will allow you to increase profits and enhance the customer experience. While the integrated payment solution is specific to software companies, it is likely that if you are not a software company, you utilize a software that either requires multiple systems to conduct business or has an integrated payments platform, which means your production numbers are up and you’re spending your extra free time doing what you enjoy, right? At least I hope so.

For those unfamiliar with the world of integrated payments, it is simple: software companies choose a payment processor and integrate with their platform to accept payments, automate reconciliation and view full transaction reporting from a single source. This collaborative pairing offers a range of payment solutions, from semi to full integration options depending on the company’s needs.

Hopefully your head isn’t spinning, because we’re just getting to the good stuff. Below are the key advantages of an integrated payments platform:

Streamlined business management

A process that took the services of multiple vendors can now happen seamlessly within the comfort of your software, allowing you the option to consolidate. This not only saves time, but increases company revenue by saving you dollars that would have been allocated to the additional business management resources. Streamlined operations will also eliminate human error and allow your team to focus on primary tasks rather than spending time toggling between systems to track payment activity or manually reconciling daily transactions.

An integrated payment solution provides your team an opportunity to have a 360° view of customer, product and payment activity. There is power in this type of information, as it will provide transparency between the front line and back office, allowing you to identify productivity and customer traffic patterns that will assist with strategic planning and development for the days ahead. Another added value to consider is the enhanced customer support that your team will be able to provide as they rely on one source of information as they resolve customer issues.

Enhanced customer experience

Utilizing an integrated payment solution not only consolidates the business management tools but can provide users peace of mind if they’re working within a payments platform that’s equipped with security features such as tokenization and point-to-point encryption (P2PE). These payment security features protect your business from potential data breaches by masking your data with valueless tokens, making it useless to the hackers seeking a vulnerable system. These features also eliminate the headaches that come along with managing PCI compliance, by essentially removing your systems from PCI scope.

During the transaction, the security benefits (tokenization and P2PE) protect your clients on the back-end, but a user-friendly terminal with features like EMV and signature capture, or a seamless shopping cart transition for e-commerce users will help ensure the customer confidently completes the transaction.

To keep up with the demands of customers, the payments world is continuously adding new terminals to accommodate the needs of your company. A fully equipped payments platform is ready to grow with you and will compliment your business model.

Increased revenue stream

By aligning your information channels, you streamline business management tools and enhance the customer experience which increases your revenue stream organically as a direct result. To ensure continued growth and success of the integrated platform, a properly equipped payments partner will provide additional support to their software users and clients. Support will increase client participation on the integrated platform through various efforts that include profit share and incentive based programs, along with a dedicated team to build strategic marketing efforts. This provides an opportunity to gain additional exposure and acquire new clients thus increasing profits. Remember the option to consolidate vendors as a result of a single source? Those dollars that were placed back into the budget allow you to seek revenue driving opportunities such as industry-specific events and advertising opportunities.

Clients utilizing a single source payment solution will gain access to a seamless activation and transaction experience. Integrated payments allow a single solution to accommodate the ever-changing needs of a customer through omnichannel payment features and a support team to ensure continued growth. The question all software companies should be asking is not if you will choose an integrated payment solutions partner, but when.

This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Direct Marketing.

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Rob Nathan

Rob Nathan, EVP integrated solutions, CardConnect, has more than a decade of technology consulting, operations and business development experience. Since joining CardConnect in 2009, Rob has led the company’s integrated payments initiative and oversees the strategic growth of technology and core product offerings.