Volker Schloenvoigt, head of the Acquiring Practice at EDC, and Mark Beresford, head of the Retailer Practice at EDC, hosted two panels at the MPE 2023 event in Berlin.
Mark’s theme for his panel was Payment Orchestration – a hot topic amongst the packed audience. The panellists were:
• Kieran Mongey / ACI Worldwide
• Christophe Bourbier / Thunes
• Adam Vissing / IXOPAY
• Andrzej Tomaszewski / GetResponse
• Anirudh Narla / Hopper
This lively session covered the definition of Payment Orchestration, what it meant for the panellist’s business and how it was supporting their payment optimisation plans. The discussion acknowledge that merchants are increasingly adopting a multi-PSP and Multi-Acquirer strategy, either routing payments themselves or using a payment orchestrator for payment routing based on defined rules. EDC has observed that payment orchestration is now becoming more essential for merchant businesses to establish multiple connections for payment acceptance and not to put all their eggs in the one basket. This has made it more complex for merchants to achieve this themselves and this why Payments Orchestration Providers have been ideally placed to reduce the complexity. The need for a multi-PSP and multi-Acquirer strategy is in response to many factors, one of which is the need to expand geographically and be able to accept payment methods that local consumers prefer to use, maximise approval rates and minimise cost processing cross-border transactions.
Volker’s theme for his panel discussion was Embedded payments: SaaS strategy. The panellists were:
• Geoffrey Barraclough, Business of Payments
• Garry Ceaplen, HPS Speaker
• Troy Leach, Cloud Security Alliance
• Alisa Applebaum, Questy Panelist
• Remko Best, Checkout.com
In one of the final sessions of Day 1, we continued the debate on embedded payments which had already come up in different disguises, especially in the context of invisible payments, throughout the Day. In his opening remarks Geoff Barraclough set the scene well by identifying the technological changes that led SaaS platforms or ISVs to recognise payments as a profit driver. In most cases, this would require partnerships and Geoff explained the challenges by referring to “payments are from Mars, software from Venus”.
Despite any challenges there was broad consensus that any of those can be overcome and partnerships can indeed by beneficial for both SaaS platform and payment provider. We discussed how both platforms (in this case Guestly) and providers (in this case Checkout.com) are approaching this space. What is important for the platform/software provider? How are payment providers working with their counterparts? How can they work together and achieve secure payment acceptance in an integrated or embedded way?
The debate then raised one final (controversial) question. Do we, as end customers, really want invisible payments? The conclusion at this point in time was that we want is a smooth and seamless user experience but with the additional need of validating or verifying the payment transaction. That additional step creates that additional level of awareness about the transaction that is needed when people need to make decisions about affordability. But embedded payments is here to stay and will continue to evolve.