If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you know that independent software vendors (ISVs) are increasingly expected to provide their end-users with seamless payment functionality.
This isn’t an industry requirement, per se.
But if the applications you design don’t come with payment processing capabilities, then perspective customers will simply find an ISV that can provide these things.
Payment functionality extends well beyond the simple credit card processing you normally associate with modern business. In addition to swiping-and-signing capabilities, the development process must also factor in:
- Payment security
- Payment options
- Payment integration
Let’s look at each of these.
1. Payment security
This is arguably the most important starting point. If you’re unable to protect your end-users from fraud and abuse, then little else matters.
But what does payment security mean in the context of ISV development? We’ve written a comprehensive article on this topic. Some of the main highlights include:
- Making sure your tools work with PCI-compliant payment processors
- Encrypting any user data that is stored within your applications
- Requiring strong passwords (and disabling default logins for new users)
For additional protection, consider using tokenization. Although this security measure is normally reserved for credit card data, it should be applied to any personal information that is captured, processed, stored or sent using the tools you build.
2. Payment options
You should give end-users a wide variety of payment options. The more methods you can provide, the better off they’ll be.
Unfortunately, many ISVs limit their payment processing capabilities to credit cards. Even with this approach, you’ll still need to account for variations in how that card data is captured:
- Legacy plastic, for example, works with a terminal’s magnetic strip swiper.
- Chip-enabled cards are directly inserted into EMV readers.
- Contactless cards can be waved across terminals that use near field communication (NFC).
That’s just for in-person purchases. Credit cards are only scratching the surface. You must also factor in:
- Mobile payments and wearable technologies
- E-commerce and mobile web payments
- ACH, wire transfers and other interbank payments
Again, the interface can change for each of the above. Will end-users be processing payments at a POS register, from a desktop terminal or from a self-checkout kiosk?
Some payment features can be easily added later using simple software updates. Other times, however, implementation will require advanced planning — and in some cases, additional hardware.
3. Payment integration
Some ISVs design their payment functionality in a black-box environment. Incoming sales stay within the system. Users must extract and manually input this information into whatever accounting, CRM and sales tools they use to run their businesses.
Unfortunately, this process is extremely time-consuming, especially for clients with large transactional volumes. It’s also quite expensive since lower-level employees are often tasked with this manual data entry. Those are extra hours (and wages) that could be directed elsewhere.
With payment integration, it’s possible to automate the capture and reporting of incoming sales. Every time there’s a new transaction, that purchase is instantly reflected in the user’s accounting and CRM tools — without human intervention required.
Many payment processors offer plug-and-play integration that works out of the box. You may stumble upon a module that delivers all of the payment features you need.
Some processors also support open APIs that allow ISVs to design custom-built payment integration from the ground up. If your team frequently develops sophisticated platforms, this is probably the better approach to take.
How We Make ISV Payments Easier to Implement
Providing your clients with seamless payment functionality isn’t always easy, but it’s increasingly necessary for those ISVs that want to remain competitive in today’s constantly evolving landscape.
Simply put, if you can’t provide your clients with secure payment options that mesh nicely with the tools they already use, those clients will source an ISV that can.
With the right approach, adding the payment features you need doesn’t have to be complicated. At BluePay, for example, we offer our customers the following:
- PCI-compliant payment processing … complete with a range of additional fraud prevention tools to help keep end-users’ information safe.
- Support for a broad range of payment options and interfaces … including credit cards, ACH, virtual terminal, mobile payments and wearable technologies.
- Seamless payment integration … whether you prefer using standalone modules that work out of the box or open APIs that allow you to design new types of integration from the ground up.
Most important, we have an entire department dedicated to servicing the payment needs of ISVs. If you’d like to learn more about our unique approach to secure payment functionality, schedule a free consultation with our ISV team today.