One thing that distinguishes a good business from a great one? Attention to detail. You can have an innovative offering and the product-market fit to accompany it, but there are critical considerations to be made in every stage of the decision-making process. One such consideration is picking the right payment processor; it’s a decision that can make or break your business. Not to mention, save you from a lot of headaches down the road. 

When people think of payment processors, they often think primarily of processing fees and transaction times. However, picking a payment processor is a decision that extends far beyond merely finding a solution that allows customers to pay for your products and its associated costs.

Choosing the right processor means unlocking more growth possibilities, and finding a good fit that can provide your business with flexibility and access to experts during development, implementation, and most importantly, when any problems arise. Because let’s be frank, payments are tough. That is why you want access to the right people at all stages of your journey.   

With decades of cumulative industry experience, we’ve gathered quite a few insights over the years. 

Today, we’re breaking down the key, and often overlooked, questions you should keep top of mind when interviewing a potential payments processor. 

#1 - Can you get everything you need in one place?

For all companies, sustainable growth is achievable by minimizing the need to outsource operations. While choosing a payments processor is necessary, it is important to note how the processor itself operates: is it a direct processor, or does it outsource processes to third parties? 

It seems like an odd question to ask but while many processors advertise a full range of services, in reality, many are built upon external platforms. 

That said, many processors - especially indirect ones - don’t always have the capability to work with multiple banks, instead being tied down to the one bank they do business with. This limits your company’s payment capabilities in the process. 

Speaking of payment capabilities, it is also important to consider what your potential processor’s competencies actually are. Some are great at card processing, for instance, but are lacking when it comes to real-time payments, push-to-debit, or other features that would elevate the overall experience for your customers. This leads to the need to integrate with multiple payment processors, banks, and servicing providers, not to mention the need to become treasury management experts to keep the money flowing. 

That is why Qolo has built a direct, all in-house payments platform from the ground up, providing clients with increased flexibility and a frictionless path to grow into their desired roadmap. The all-in-one platform operates with multiple banks and unlocks a slew of payment capabilities that other processors fail to provide, especially those that outsource to third parties. 

To put it simply, our comprehensive platform translates to enhanced agility and lower overhead for any business. 

#2 - Is your platform geared for the modern economy?

Most “modern” processors fail to address the complexities of the evolving digital economy. Built on legacy core platforms, these systems merely repackage traditional processes with the added allure of payment application programming interfaces (APIs). While these systems are innovative in the sense that they evolve an outdated approach, they are not geared for the next generation of business. 

One important development in the new economy is the collective shift from hardware-based to cloud-based systems. Aside from heightened security, the benefits are most significant in the infrastructure of payment technologies, as processors no longer need to rely on an abundance of data centers to house the machinery that was once necessary to mediate transactions.  

With all the tools that have emerged in our technologically-driven world, cloud-based payments infrastructure is now possible. However, not all payment processors that claim to be cloud-based actually are. So, make sure you inquire about your potential payment processor’s infrastructure early on. 

Qolo is the world’s first 100% cloud-based issuing processor in the payments industry that is easy to integrate into any business, pioneering the highest performing platform that is scalable, portable, reliable, and secure - built with businesses in mind and aimed at facilitating the next generation of payments for the new economy. 

#3 - How flexible can your payment process be? 

For any business, the ability to scale efficiently should be a major priority. That’s why your payment processor should accommodate your upgrade path, providing you with the flexibility you need to grow. It can be short-sighted to pick a processor primarily because it is the quickest route to market. One must account for a very important consideration: will the platform help my business navigate rapid growth?

When people think about payment processing, they often focus their attention on the process of transferring money from one place to another. Often overlooked is all the leg work that goes on in the background, and this is where the right processing partner can help you understand what is happening behind the scenes. 

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind.  

Increased Agility. Last year, as consumer behaviour shifted drastically, businesses had to act fast or risk alienating their customers — a testament to the importance of staying ahead in a rapidly evolving digital world. With this in mind, your business will be better positioned to adapt with real-time access to the necessary data. Moreover, having the ability to easily integrate new offerings for both your customers and your workforce (through payroll) is more crucial now than ever before. The right payment processor will make it easy to achieve these objectives. 

Less Downtime, Better Performance. Your payment processor should help you mitigate system downtime risk as much as possible while increasing computing power when more sales arise - a core capability that can make or break your customer’s interaction with your business. As more customers and payment options come, more computing power is needed. With an entirely cloud-based processor, you’ll have the freedom to integrate new features quickly and expand easily into new markets.

Flexible Account Structures.  Flexible account structures must also be an option for any company with hopes to solidify a role in the future economy. 

Business Models Built for Growth. Sometimes getting to market quickly comes at an unsustainable price. At Qolo, we’ve witnessed a number of companies that have had to switch processors upon realizing that they could not accommodate their growing business needs. However, restarting the process and migrating to a new processor can be time-consuming and cost-intensive. It’s better to make the right choice early to position your business for sustainable growth. 

#4 - What is the support service like? 

In any undertaking, businesses need to be prepared to navigate service interruptions. When it comes to interruptions in payments, it is even more critical that processors make assistance easily accessible. 

It’s not a matter of if something goes wrong, it’s a matter of when and how quickly it is addressed. Businesses always need to be prepared for the worst, and picking the right processor means you can rest assured that when a problem does arise, your team will be alerted instantly with the resources necessary to address the matter. 

Consider how easy it is to reach the development and implementation teams; if it is difficult or prolonged, then your company is better off finding another processor capable of handling instantaneous requests. 

Communication with your payment provider is key. 

But, even if communication channels with your processor are smooth, it is important to consider the caliber of support you will receive: will you be dealing with a payments expert or a junior-level support specialist? 

The former is undoubtedly a favorable choice. Making these considerations early can be the difference between seamlessly navigating through obstacles and struggling to find feasible solutions. 

Qolo was built by experts in the payments industry who have seen the shortcomings of the existing market, thus striving to provide businesses with a feasible and calculated way to facilitate payments. With an entirely cloud-based payments infrastructure built to mitigate virtually any system downtime and to enhance operational performance, you can set your business up for sustainable growth with ease. 

Let’s talk! Our team of experts is happy to discuss how Qolo can help you on your journey. 

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