Historically, acquirers integrate select payment terminals with their payment application software. Your website probably has a page listing payment terminals merchants can choose to run transactions with your payment services. Each image on that page represents time your development team spent integrating your software with the payment terminal so that you could offer it to merchants to accept a variety of payment types.
The list of terminals on your website may be adequate. It also may offer a range of options with different processor speeds, screen sizes, software configurations, acceptance capabilities, screen options, mounting options, etc. However, as merchants shift toward competing on customer experiences, the choices you offer may not be enough —particularly if a competitor provides payment terminals that better solve for merchant’s needs. Businesses are accepting payments in a wider variety of ways using a broader range of payment terminals. Your clients accept payments: indoor and outdoor, at the checkout, on mobile devices, and at kiosks. You may even have clients that collect tolls or fares with unattended devices. Most of your clients need the fastest possible customer experience for high-traffic locations. Others want payment terminals with added functionality like employee or inventory management, loyalty features, and more. The decisions you make about the payment devices you choose to integrate with may be limiting your market.
Furthermore, traditional payment terminals will reach an end of life. They were developed to comply with the most recent Payment Card Industry PIN Transaction Security (PCI PTS) and PCI PTS Point of Interaction (POI) standards to keep payment data secure. The challenge here is that those standards change fairly often. The reason for this is to protect and secure payments in a continually evolving threatened landscape. Payment technology companies won’t support outdated models,which could result in noncompliance and security vulnerabilities. Therefore, your clients must upgrade. So, when you offer a variety of terminals, your development team has to get to work on new integrations.
The Advantages of a Payment Platform Approach
Fortunately, acquirers have an option besides integrating with specific payment terminals: Integrate once with a payment platform.
A platform that supports a broad range of terminals and payment methods will give merchants the device choices they need to tailor customer experiences. Payment technology companies will also work to address the latest compliance requirements to provide you and your clients solutions with the longest life possible. Moreover, when PCI moves to new security standards, updating your integration with the platform is less time-intensive and costly than building integrations with the individual terminals you support.
Another advantage of a platform is that it enables efficient device management. Working with a payment technology partner, that takes a platform approach, can extend centralized estate management capabilities, allowing you to provision, update, and maintain devices remotely, track assets, and even streamline help desk services.
Platforms also lay the foundation for the subscription-based Payments Platform as a Service (PPaaS) approach. Payment technology companies forge partnerships with ISVs that integrate with the platform, and you can offer those solutions to your clients to help them build total solutions for their businesses and revenues for you and your sales channel.
How Will You Address Payment Terminal Integration?
Your decisions about partnering with payment technology partners and the devices you’ll support will dictate the time and resources necessary to offer your clients the functionality they need and keep them in compliance. Integrating with a platform rather than with a specific terminal OS will keep TCO low while helping you build strong merchant relationships.
Need more information about whether you are integrating with a payment terminal or a payment platform? Contact us to sort out the details.