Payments Orchestration Has Transformed Beyond Recognition

Payments Orchestration Has Transformed Beyond Recognition

Mark Beresford
July 3, 2023

Payments Orchestration Has Transformed Beyond Recognition

In April 2020, as the UK and many other countries entered their first COVID-19 lockdown EDC decided to start tracking and maintaining a database of Payment Orchestration Platforms (POPs). At first, this exercise was a side project, but as we dedicated more time to curating the information about POP vendors, we quickly realized there was so much more information to add and maintain. Over time, this database has evolved significantly, encompassing a wide range of both agnostic and full-stack providers in the payment orchestration space. Our database captures extensive information on these platforms, including their features, capabilities, integration options, supported payment methods, pricing models, and more. The EDC POP Database has experienced a profound shift in the last three years, transforming almost beyond recognition.  

Some of the highlights we have observed in the payment orchestration landscape:

  • Youth: the average age of an agnostic POP company is 6½ years. These are start-up fintech companies, that have a clear vision of the future, evolving product roadmaps and technologically talented teams. The oldest and most experienced agnostic POP is Cell Point, founded in 2007. The youngest is Paytently, founded last year.
  • Growth: EDC acknowledges the market for payment orchestration services has been growing rapidly. When we established the EDC POP database in 2020 there were around 7 or 8 entries that were predominately pureplay agnostic POP companies. Today, there are over 27 agnostic POP fintechs plus another 8 full-stack players. These established full-stack providers have relatively recently started using “payment orchestration” terminology to capitalize on the recent market momentum.
  • Size: The addressable market size of payment orchestration can vary depending on different sources and regions. According to various reports and studies, the global payment orchestration market is projected to experience significant growth in the coming years. EDC expects the value of transactions processed by payment orchestration platform to increase at a CAGR of 26% between the years of 2022 and 2030.
  • Geographic Coverage: one of the high-priority requirements of any POP solution is access to a network of payment service providers (PSPs), acquirers, payment gateways, and APMs. A diverse network broadens acceptance and maximises both number of routing options and payment methods. Where the POP company is headquartered is also varied, from California to Vietnam, and everywhere in between. Although, London is a popular HQ location for the POP fintechs, this could because there is a large talent pool of software developers with payments knowledge and experience, who may have jumped from the more established payment service providers to join a fintech start-up.  
  • Renaming and exited companies: So far, we have found two POP fintechs have renamed themselves, three agnostic POP companies have been absorbed into full-stack payment service providers or acquires and one has exited the market. EDC believes there may be more fintech entrants and exits, some of which we didn’t spot. Nevertheless, in the next 12 months we will observe consolidation of two or more POP fintechs or an acquisition by a larger more established payment service provider wishing to enrich their payment orchestration capabilities.    
  • Investment: In the last few years EDC has seen between USD 650 million and USD 700 million invested in the payment orchestration space. These figures are based on publicly announced investments, meaning the actual total investment could potentially be twice as much.
  • Capabilities: The capabilities of the payment orchestration providers have significantly evolved and expanded over the past few years. All the of the providers have adopted an iterative approach to developing features and functions. No two providers are the same, but their vision of orchestration appears to be in harmony.      

Payment Orchestration Platforms, on paper at least, are functionally rich and can clearly demonstrate significant benefits for merchants, but an independent assessment is always recommended for any business or online merchant interested in optimising and improving its payment acceptance strategy. Therefore, running a pilot and testing a POP’s fit is a highly recommended strategy. The concept of "test fast and fail fast" is not a new approach, but it is one that our merchant clients are increasingly adopting, as it allows them to learn from any failures. This iterative approach also enables clients to drive innovation and improvement at a greater speed. Moreover, this approach will only be a success if the skills and competence of the individuals within the solution provider have been properly focused on the client.

EDC pride ourselves on continuously updating and expanding our POP database to ensure it remains a valuable resource for anyone seeking insights into the evolving landscape of payment orchestration. In 2026, we will likely look back to 2023 and see an equally significant change in the payment orchestration landscape.

The content of this article does not reflect the official opinion of Edgar, Dunn & Company. The information and views expressed in this publication belong solely to the author(s).

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