We live in unpredictable times. Brexit, economic uncertainty, the decline of the high street have all impacted merchants. One thing they shouldn’t need to worry about though is how long it takes for their transactions to be processed, which is something merchants strongly agree with. According to recent research conducted by RFI Group, speed of settlement is one of the most important factors (27%) when choosing a payments provider. What’s more, one in five considering switching due to the speed of transaction processing.
On the ground, so much effort goes into getting a customer through the door, be that a literal or virtual one. And rightly so – providing the customer with a first-class experience, giving them exactly what they need and when they need it is often the key focus and point of differentiation for merchants facing increased competition. Time, money and effort go into driving a sale, so it’s only right that the fruits of this labour should be rewarded in a timely manner. The thought that consumers could be, in essence, making a payment for something that might not hit a merchant’s bank account for some time gives pause for thought.
Of course, there has been a concerted effort at a European level to solve this issue. The first Payment Services Directive (PSD1), adopted by the EU in 2007, dictates that all payments should be credited to the payment receiver’s account by the next day. Since 2007, we’ve seen the evolution of the Payment Services Directive to PSD2 to further maintain the focus on creating a more efficient payments market.
To understand the payments process, typically, when a payment is made it gets relayed to a financial services company – like VISA or Mastercard. This then gets processed, with settlement landing in a merchant’s account, usually a day later. The speed of transaction is particularly important to SMEs and start-ups, who simply do not have the same guaranteed cash flow as big corporates.
As part of this process, it’s critical that the merchant has a reliable and expert payments partner who can ensure this happens for the majority of standard transactions. At Global Payments, we have the ability to ensure that there is no delay in payment. This means that the merchant receives that payment in a timely manner, and we take that worry away as VISA or Mastercard will, essentially, refund us.
Times have certainly changed in the payments landscape, but what remains the same is that merchants need to trust that their payments provider can support them in a timely and effective manner. This is something Global Payments prides itself on. Not just because of our ability to ensure fast payments for our merchants, but because of the solutions we offer to over 3.5 million businesses; the partnerships we have with 1,300 leading financial institutions globally and how we support more than 140 payment types.
Amidst all the challenges facing retailers, a need for speed of payment settlements should not be one of them – we are proud to provide this certainty to our merchants across the world.