Payments companies look first for industry expertise when evaluating partnerships to expand their offerings to customers and increase growth, according to research by CAN Capital, Inc., which specializes in small-business finance.
In a survey of professionals in the payments and alternative finance space conducted at this year's Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas, 41% cited this kind of expertise as the most important trait for a potential partner, followed by 37% that cited the ability to integrate seamlessly with existing business systems. By comparison, only 23% said it was most important that a partner possess the latest technology.
The results suggest that today's payment processors and alternative finance companies are seeking partners that do more than just provide specific services. They expect actionable advice and insights that can help drive business success for them and their customers. This explains why more than one third of survey respondents (38%t) said that the biggest differentiator when comparing payments processors is that a processor has tools dedicated to helping customers manage and grow their businesses.
"These survey findings confirm what we've witnessed in our partnerships with payments companies: that it is imperative for processors to offer valuable tools and services that help their customers remain competitive," says Daniel DeMeo, CEO, CAN Capital.
Keeping it safe
Security was a big concern of those surveyed.
More than half (51%) of respondents said they believe that debit and credit card transactions at the point of sale are the least secure method of payment, as compared with mobile payments using a debit or credit card or online payments via processors such as PayPal or Square. When asked to select the most secure method, 45% of respondents chose online payments via processors such as those providers.
Furthermore, when asked to select the factor that has had the largest impact on the spending habits of today's retail consumers, 58% of respondents identified the increase in e-commerce and online/mobile shopping.
"As technology continues to drive change in the payments industry, small businesses need assistance navigating the landscape," DeMeo says.