16:29, 8 September 2017 Page views 3498 views

PSP and Acquirer: premises for successful partnership

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hhh.jpgMaksims Dambrausks, Business Development Director at Decta, deals with payment service providers on a daily basis. Having spent years working in the banking and payment industries, Maksims is sharing his unique expertise and global perspective on how Payment Service Providers (PSPs) can leverage their business by identifying the right Acquirer partner for their payment services. 

With so many Acquirers on the market, distinguishing one from the other can be confusing. Therefore, arrangements are sometimes made based solely on financial offers and figures provided by Acquirers. However, a decision based solely on pricing may not be ideal in the long run because there are a number of other factors that can directly influence future cooperation and, consequently, the profits of PSPs. 
If you need an Acquirer but aren't sure where to start, here are some tips how to find a reliable partner for your payment services. 

Fast onboarding and flexible service delivery
Efficiency of onboarding processes and flexibility are the key criteria that keep PSPs running quickly and effectively. That said, it is vital for PSPs to provide prompt and uninterrupted services for their merchants. Today more than ever, Acquirers and PSPs must be agile to attract new merchants. Flexibility trumps everything else because fast onboarding and proactive support help differentiate leading Acquirers from their followers. 
Needless to say, Acquirers must be open to continuous improvement. It should be a fundamental aspect of the mindset of every Acquirer –  work with the latest technologies to offer technically up-to-date services. 

Mutual understanding of KYC and compliance rules
Know Your Customer (KYC) procedure is one of the central elements designed to secure your business. Why is it so important to control each merchant’s onboarding and define precise risk parameters? Onboarding suspicious merchants and authorizing fraudulent transactions may lead to serious consequences as well as affect the bottom line for both PSPs and Acquirers. 
The ability to understand and evaluate risks in real-time provides a competitive advantage for PSPs and ensures seamless onboarding of merchants, without compromising security and control. These risks and due diligence requirements can vary, depending on the merchant’s business model. However, there are also global standards (e.g., AML, KYC and KYCC) in place to help maintain consistency and reliability.

Different risk appetites 
Both Acquirer and PSP need to fully understand the background and products/services offered by merchants, as well as correctly estimate the risks involved. This implies exact assessment of business activity and an in-depth understanding of the particular industry each merchant belongs to. Prior to any cooperation, it is critical to identify merchant groups accepted by the acquirer. If this step is skipped, this might potentially lead to misunderstandings - resulting in the Acquirer rejecting certain merchants and PSPs losing customer or being forced to spend more time finding another Acquirer.

Acquirer reputation
The reputation of the Acquirer plays a huge role in successful operations and is usually influenced by integrity and professional competencies. In this case, the word ‘integrity’ is associated with the absence of negative records. 
Again, professional competencies are specific criteria that can be applied to evaluate management skills, expertise in financial activities and technical know-how. In return, relevant experience may assure that the Acquirer exercises due skills, care and diligence in acquiring and managing operations. 
There are countless Acquirers in the market, but how do you know who you can trust? It is something that can leave many PSPs feeling lost. Before you commit to any business venture, it is important to evaluate all pros and cons first, keeping in mind that the financial performance of the Acquirer is directly linked to their ability to manage your payment services. 

Excellent customer service
After all, customer service is about delivering first-class support in a way, which allows providing merchants with immediate response and attention. PSPs demand that Acquirers provide uninterrupted access to payment services as they need to ensure a positive customer experience to their end-users. 
Prompt and qualified technical support is a must to provide online businesses with the most up-to-date functionality. The use of online services has increased at lightning speed as many businesses continue to shift to e-commerce platforms. Changes in the world of ecommerce present constant challenges as well as new opportunities. Merchants and PSPs require new services every day and Acquirers need to respond quickly in order to delight them with an immediate resolution.
In payment services, there is no room for bureaucracy that interferes in everyday merchant operations. By having a direct, immediate contact with the Acquirer, PSPs can be sure that collaboration schemes and all processes are handled quickly and professionally. 

Personal attitude 
Ultimately, it isn`t only about the business. Formal agreements won’t help Acquirers to establish reliable payment services - only motivated and goal-oriented people have the power to build credibility and trust in any business venture. After all, everything comes down to person-to-person communication between partners. Personal attitude and a friendly nature can achieve more and simply make the whole process enjoyable for all parties involved. It is about Acquirer and PSP working together towards one common purpose: enabling merchants to enjoy a seamless experience in the world of ecommerce. Using this strategy brings PSPs and Acquirers closer, allowing both to reach their full potential and create a secure and reputable online payment service.