If you’re a finance or technical leader looking at offering multiple payment options for your customers, you’ve probably run into some major obstacles, including:
Trying to make different payment service providers work together in your system.
Reconciling payments from several providers is a struggle when settlement times differ and each uses different reporting times and formats.
Not having the flexibility you need to respond to or take advantage of changing customer-preferred payment choice.
Dealing with technical roadblocks that prevent you from creating smarter payment orchestrations inside your platform.
Lacking fallback options in case one payment method fails.
As payment experts, we wanted to share some of our learnings on this topic, leveraging our years of experience building payment solutions for growing companies. This article dives into this crucial topic in detail, giving you our favourite tips and practices for implementing multi-option payments in your growing online company. We’ll explore:
How Zai can help you implement multiple payment methods seamlessly.
How Zai helps an Australian marketplace conquer their multi-option payment challenges.
Do you need to add multiple payment options to your platform but can’t quite figure out how? Zai is a leading provider of bespoke multi-option payments solutions to some of Australia’s fastest-growing online companies. Contact us now to see how we can help.
How Zai can help you implement multiple payment options seamlessly
For 10+ years, Zai has been creating intelligent payment solutions for online businesses in Australia. That journey has enabled us to create a wide range of payment tools, all accessible through a RESTful API. We can offer you connection to a payment gateway and a variety of payment options, including payin methods such as:
Real-time payments, including PayTo. We can process near real-time payments in Australia made through the NPP, such as the recently released PayTo protocol.
Major credit and debit cards. We accept Australian debit cards as well as Mastercard®, Visa, and American Express credit cards.
Direct debits through BECS to ensure that your recurring accounts payables and receivables can go through without issue.
BPAY to make it easy for your customers to pay their invoices.
You can connect to any of these different payment methods through our APIs without having to deal with the overheads associated with adding a new payment service provider. In turn, you can add and remove as many payment options as you see fit without spending an outsized amount of time programming or dealing with multiple payment service provider (PSP) relationships.
Our real strength, though, is building bespoke multi-payment solutions. That means working with you from day one to help you get the most out of our technology. Our customer journeys generally look like this:
1. Hop on a discovery call
After contacting us, we’ll arrange a meeting to understand your needs – both today and in the future – and see how we can work together.
2. Get your product and tech leads talking with our payment experts
After getting to know your multi-option payment requirements, we’ll arrange a meeting between our solutions experts and the people on your team who know your technical needs the most. Together, we work to draft out potential solutions. During that time, your developers have access to our sandbox to begin feeling out our tech and testing their ideas immediately.
3. Receive support during implementation
Once you’ve settled on the optimal way to implement our payment solutions into your platform, our experts are ready to support you as you build. That way, you can spend less time troubleshooting while sprinting through your development and testing.
4. Go live with whichever payment methods your customers want
Once done testing, offering a new payment method to your customers requires only modifying a few lines of code to switch into our production environment. From there, your customers can transact with you through the methods they prefer. With our API-powered technology, you won’t risk compromising the customer experience (CX) you’ve designed when adding additional payment methods with Zai.
5. Evolve your multiple payment options with Zai by your side
Our success comes from your success over the long run. That’s why we aim to support you as your business grows. Depending on what that looks like, you can add or remove as many payment options as you’d like easily with our payment APIs. Since you’re working with just one provider, you’ll be able to scale your payment infrastructure without scaling your workload.
The benefits of accepting multiple payment methods via Zai
Working with Zai to offer multiple payment options for your platform comes with numerous benefits, many of which go far beyond just accepting payments and making payouts. Here are the ones our customers appreciate the most.
Enjoy unrivalled flexibility with one multi-option payment provider
It could be tempting to choose a different PSP for each payment method you want to accept. Doing so, however, means dealing with:
Multiple contracts and relationships. Managing terms or renegotiating contracts when a payment method becomes less popular with your customers can be costly and time consuming. That, in turn, takes away from your flexibility, as you could be stuck with a medium you don’t see the need for. (Worse still is if the cost is so great that it prevents you from taking on another, more affordable alternative).
Varying service level agreements and payment settlement times. You may be testing your customer loyalty when your end-customers see funds hit or leave their account at different intervals. Your customer support teams may need to answer questions and troubleshoot problems outside of their control.
Different pricing structures depending on the payment method. Having multiple PSPs also means multiple overhead costs for each one. Payment fees can quickly add up. Throw in the implementation and maintenance costs for every PSP you use, and the CFO will certainly want to have some words.
Disparate reporting methods. Working with multiple PSPs and payment gateway providers means you’ll have different reporting tools and dashboards to work with. Your accounting teams will have to deal with the hassle of monitoring transactions and assembling business reports from various sources and in different formats. This setup makes you prone to errors and a lack of up-to-date data.
By working with Zai, you can add and remove as many payment options as you like, all while maintaining one code base and relationship. You can access multiple payment methods through Zai. That way you:
Only need to deal with one relationship.
Know exactly when your transactions get processed without having to look through numerous sources.
Work with a single code source to build your multi-payment infrastructure.
Keep your overhead costs low to stay competitive.
Use one dashboard where you can monitor customer profiles, transactions, and payment history and manage payments and refunds.
Access multiple payment options through RESTful APIs
With an initial RESTFul API integration, you’ll have access to a full suite of payment tools and payment APIs. You can quickly modify or remove an existing payment option and add a new payment method through our APIs.
As we mentioned above, you have access to many popular payment methods in Australia. If you want to add or remove a payment method, it’s as simple as:
Contacting your account manager to define pricing structures for the payment method you want to add.
Integrating the new payment option, with help from Zai’s support team.
Using our developer resources and guides.
That’s it. No need to onboard or offboard with a new provider or deal with the headaches that come with it.
But the best part of integrating new payment options with Zai is that each new method is layered on top of Zai’s ecosystem. We designed our wallet accounts to support complex payment flows, which means you can use several payment methods on the wallet accounts set up in your Zai platform.
Check out our API reference docs and guides to see our technology and how it can work for you.
Add or remove payment options without impacting customer experience (CX)
Each PSP you use has a multiplier effect on your system. For each one you add, you’ll need to ensure that all the pieces play well with both your front and back ends. As the number grows, so too does the risk of technical conflicts, errors, frustrated customers and a drop in conversion rates.
Instead, working with one provider for your multi-option payments means your developers only need to work with one set of documentation and one support team, so they can build faster. Since our payment rails go via API, your CX designers also won’t have to fret over redesigning your processes when adding a new payment option.
Get automatic fallback options to keep your CX seamless
We created our tech to be smart and proactive when it comes to online payment processing. One of the features that we’re proud of is that you can automatically reroute a payment to a different type of payment method should one fail.
For example, PayTo is still being rolled out across Australia. If your end-customer wants to use PayTo but their bank or counterparty isn’t ready to accept it, you can set up a payment flow designed to automatically offer an alternative payment method, such as direct debit or credit card. That way, you can keep your CX seamless, while also reducing queries to your support team.
Reconcile payments in real time & know where funds are at any moment
In addition to payments, our tech is a powerful ledger that lets you know exactly what’s happening with funds on your platform at any moment. With our RESTful API, you can get a notification any time a payment occurs through a webhook and can call transaction data at your choosing.
Many of our customers use this feedback to trigger other events – such as notifications to customers that funds have arrived or left, or even to chain payments together.
If you need up-to-the-minute reconciliation, we can offer you virtual accounts. These let you separate funds for your customers into uniquely identifiable accounts. Whenever your finance team needs to see who holds what, they can retrieve the most current information through a simple API call.
Use a full suite of payment tools at the same time
We’re more than just a payment services provider. Instead, we offer a wide suite of tools and functionality to help build your ideal payment system, including:
Smart payment flow design that lets you build and manage payment flows, regardless of their complexity.
Fraud and risk controls that keep you and your customers safe.
Reporting data that keeps you informed while arming your analysts with powerful insights.
Virtual accounts for each one of your customers that link to a unique PayID, making transactions safer, faster and easier to reconcile.
All of these products and services are available to our customers via our RESTful API integration.
Tap into expert help to build your ideal multiple payment option system
We specialise in creating bespoke payment solutions for tech-minded companies. That starts with our payment experts learning about your needs then proposing ways you can make that work with our technology. Even before you’ve deployed, we help you with any questions you might have. As you grow, we’re there to support you so you can deliver the multi-option payment system your regular and potential customers demand.
3 common mistakes companies make in setting up multiple payment options
In our decade-plus of experience, we’ve seen numerous mistakes made by companies trying to implement multi-option payments on their platform. Here are three of the most common ones (and how to avoid them).
1. Using multiple payment providers to offer multi-option payments to your customers
No two PSPs are alike. For each one that you add, you’ll need to deal with additional overhead costs and relationship management burdens. For your tech teams, they’ll spend an outsized amount of their time managing sometimes conflicting code sources. Eventually, these different providers will create massive overhead that not only cost you a lot but also leaves you with deep sunk costs.
In the latter, it can be hard to justify abandoning this state, as you’ve put considerable resources into trying to make your different PSPs play nice with each other. Ultimately, you wind up spending more time than it’s probably worth to play catch up with multiple payments.
2. Complicating the reconciliation process with too many payment providers
Payment data is core to your finance department, customer experience, and business intelligence. Having to patch together different payment sources running on different schedules creates:
Headaches for your finance and customer service departments as they chase missing transactions for your clients.
Added risk as transaction information can slip through the cracks.
Poor CX from clients not getting accurate information about where their funds are on your platform (this can be especially problematic if you have a time-sensitive business like an investment exchange, crypto or P2P marketplace).
As you add PSPs to your platform, these risks only multiply. Therefore, it’s crucial to reduce them by minimising the number of payment service providers you work with.
3. Adapting your needs to your PSPs and not the other way around
You have your ideal product vision. The SaaS tools you use to make it happen should conform to your technology. Instead, we’ve seen companies come to us to help them improve their multiple payment options on their platform, only to learn that they’ve had to degrade their systems to accept various forms of payment. Our ethos is to let you do what you think is best for your technology, which is why we built our products to be adaptable to your needs and not vice versa.
How a popular B2B marketplace uses Zai’s multiple payment solutions to reach more customers
One of our clients, a leading Australian order-management platform, knows that making payments effortless for their customers isn’t just nice to have, but necessary if they want to grow. Their mission revolves around creating smarter trade opportunities for the hospitality industry, helping restaurants, hotels, and cafes order the produce they need to serve their customers.
In a fast-moving industry with perishable goods, this online marketplace needs to ensure that sellers get paid as fast as possible to keep orders flowing. Likewise, their hospitality customers all have their preferred payment method depending on their size and business practices.
Keen to get it right for their customers from the get-go, the platform turned to us to accept multiple payment methods as painlessly as possible. After reaching out, our payment experts sat down with their product leads to understand their payment needs, which included taking payments from multiple sources, paying out in various mediums, and notifying sellers as soon as buyers transferred funds.
Our team got to work crafting out a proposal based on our RESTful API. The recommended design entailed the marketplace enabling card payments and bank transfers via API. In turn, whenever our system detected an incoming transfer, it would notify the platform on the amount and beneficiary details. That way, they could update the status for the seller, showing them that the buyer has already paid for the goods, letting her know it was safe to make the delivery. Once the seller received the money, they were free to transfer it out to their bank account via their dashboard.
The marketplace appreciated the simplicity of the proposal as it meant their developers only had to work with one code library to implement the design. They quickly got to work building out their new multi-option payment capability. Before long, the updates went live, much to their customers’ delight. Thanks to our multiple payment solution, the marketplace was able to focus their efforts on other CX needs while continuing to grow and transform Australian hospitality for the better.
Offer multiple payment options with Zai
For companies wanting to win market share and repeat customers, providing multiple payment options is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it’s a must. How you approach this challenge could mean the difference between constantly catching up and being bogged down by overhead, or smartly managing payments while focusing efforts on providing market-leading customer experience.
Zai is there to help you build the lean, intuitive multiple-payment solution your tech team and customers deserve. Talk to us now to find out how we can transform the way you handle payments today.
This information is correct as of May 2023. This information is not to be relied on in making a decision with regard to an investment. We strongly recommend that you obtain independent financial advice before making any form of investment. This article is purely for general information purposes.