When it comes to offering a seamless, cross-channel purchasing experience for customers, multinationals have a major challenge on their hands. Global expansion can lead to businesses adopting a patchwork approach to payment services, working with a range of platforms, providers and capabilities. Ultimately, this can lead to customer frustration and fewer sales.
In this article, you'll learn the true cost to your business of a fragmented payments architecture, and how unified commerce could revitalize your expansion into global markets.
Patchwork payment systems: how businesses have made do
Since the emergence of API-driven payment solutions around 10 years ago, an increasing number of businesses have begun to understand the far-reaching benefits of consolidated payment services.
Initially, these solutions focused solely on local markets, enabling businesses to offer locally preferred payment types and currencies to local merchants with local customers.
But where was the scope for businesses with an eye on global expansion?
The only solution for ambitious multinationals was to cobble together their own payments services architecture, selecting domestic providers for every region in which they chose to operate. And with multiple providers, of course, come multiple points of contact, platforms, integrations, contracts and fees.
In this way, creating and implementing an effective global financial strategy has been a thankless endeavor and, for many businesses, all but impossible.
An imperfect global payments solution
No multinational business sets out to operate with a fragmented international payments strategy — it's simply been something that evolves gradually as businesses extend their reach.
Now that many payment providers operate in several geographies, their clients will often extend their contract to cover the new markets they are entering. But over time, the likelihood is this: that the business will eventually expand into a market that the provider is unable to serve.
The result? An extended contract with the existing payment provider, plus a new contract with another. And with it, new point-of-sale hardware, a new ecommerce gateway, a different reporting system, and valuable new customer payment data, siloed away from the rest of the company's global intelligence.
In short: the same patched-together payments solution ecosystem as before — just a little further down the line.
The cost of fragmented payment architecture
As any finance director will know, the downsides of a disconnected payment ecosystem are numerous — and considerable.
There are few things more valuable to a multinational business than its customer payments data. But by working with multiple providers through a myriad of operating systems, businesses are unable to achieve a 360-degree view of their customers.
The fragmentation (and often loss) of this vital customer data actively hampers multinationals' efforts to deliver a better purchasing experience across every touchpoint and channel, leading directly to a loss of revenue.
The impact of a fragmented global payment strategy on operations is also significant, primarily in terms of its cost to multinationals: not only the expenses incurred on market entry, but the ongoing cross-border and interchange fees (not to mention the penalty of lower authorization rates) when selling via a payments provider without local acquiring licenses.
We set out to create a unified commerce platform so powerful that it could enable commerce seamlessly across all channels and geographies with a single integration point via our best-in-class API. In combination with our local acquiring capabilities in 59 countries, the path forward for multinationals is simpler, smarter global commerce.
Unified commerce in action: a case study
A leading global online wellness business, with a presence in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines, had fallen into the trap of working with multiple payment providers.
The company had approached their international growth strategically, analyzing market demand before making a move to sell cross-border. However, in doing so, they signed contracts with multiple payment partners, all of whom operated very differently.
Consequently, their payments data was siloed by region, their financial operations became too complex to manage effectively, and they were unable to deliver a single, frictionless purchasing experience to international clients. All of this had an impact on the company's bottom line.
By working with Global Payments, this business was able to trade in multiple payment solutions contracts for a global contract with us. With a single integration and one point of contact, they are now able to leverage our domestic acquiring platforms on a global scale to process card-present and card-not-present transactions.
As a result, the company enjoys increased authorization rates for non-domestic transactions, and reduced cross-border fees, including interchange fees. They are able to visualize their global customer payment data, and use that intelligence to further their financial strategy.
The benefits of unified commerce for your business
Multinationals can enjoy a wealth of benefits when they choose a single payments provider that supports all key global markets with one API, one point of contact, one contract and streamlined pricing globally.
Through a unified commerce platform like ours you can most effectively connect all commerce channels for a consistent, seamless buying experience. By aggregating data across all channels, you gain unified visibility into new markets and a clear overview of your global financial situation. These valuable analytics can transform your financial strategy, and empower your business to deliver an enhanced customer purchasing experience across every channel. And, our single API is coupled with local acquiring capabilities in all key global markets for lower cross-border fees and higher authorization rates.
Changing the view of payments from a commodity to a strategic driver that underpins the success of global business should be on the roadmap for all multinationals. In short, it's arguably the single most powerful way to accelerate your business's international expansion plans in a multi-channel commerce world.