Having reliable online payments is not just fundamental for e-merchants: it is imperative as the slightest hitch in the process can have a major impact on both the financials and brand image. But how can payment – this key step in the purchase process – allow us to go even further in terms of boosting business performance? As commerce undergoes hyper-digitalisation, amid new consumer habits and fierce competition, it is now more important than ever for merchants to optimise their payment performance.
Here are 3 key ideas about payment performance to help hone your strategies. So, what’s true and what’s false?
Payment performance is driven by the authorisation rate
Performance is much more complex than just the authorisation rate1. Every step in the payment process can pose a risk of damage to conversion and lost revenue. The acceptance rate is a good indicator of performance, and to get it as close to 100% as possible, the entire transaction life cycle must be taken into account. With this in mind, it is essential to analyse all conversion drivers and know where to activate the right payment levers at each stage.
Below are some examples:
- At the time of taking payment: payment methods based on the customer profile, a payment page with reassuring features (clear form fields, the merchant’s visual environment), etc.
- At the authentication stage: custom fraud management, optimisation of frictionless payment processes in compliance with PSD2 (Payment Services Directive 2), etc.
- At the authorisation process: intelligent management of return codes, use of several acquisition routes, etc.
- After the payment itself: data management tools, managing chargebacks… Payment data is a goldmine for optimising the conversion strategy in the long term.
Making the right payment choices when starting a relationship with a payment service provider is good, but not enough.
Performance is an ongoing process: for merchants, payment performance is just as important during critical moments as when it’s business as usual.
The start of the partnership with a payment service provider is key. It is at this point that e-merchants can choose the payment methods to be integrated, so that they generate value and are in line with their customers’ profile.
Yet the pursuit of performance does not stop in the normal “run” phase. Once the chosen features have been installed and the relationship is underway, the payment strategy must be continuously optimised: payment data can be used to identify optimisation points, and fraud management must be continually refined.
During a development phase – be it breaking into new countries and new markets, or launching a marketplace – merchants face new payment challenges which must be closely examined.
Technology is just one of the levers to achieve good performance
It is not the only lever, but it does play a special role. Future-proof2 technology, which is able to manage all transactions, makes it possible to conduct an in-depth analysis of the payment data. This is a key to successfully achieving significant results.
Technology is essential for business intelligence to anticipate and react to changes in the market. It is also crucial for the fight against fraud. Innovative Machine Learning technologies make it possible to ensure optimal fraud management in view of PSD2 (Payment Services Directive 2) through a smart data-oriented approach. These analyses can allow merchants to be granted the exemptions provided under the Directive, so that they can continue offering their customers a smooth purchase process.
Read more about PSD2 in this article:
Payment performance is embedded in every detail of the transaction process, from the moment of taking payment through to its confirmation. But most importantly, positive performance does not happen by chance. It is built on a combination of several ingredients: a reliable and dynamic technological solution that can manage all transactions, and personalised support based on the individual merchant’s specific business in order to activate the right payment levers at every stage.
To find out more about this topic, watch our expert Sasha Pons’ analysis in this video:
1authorisation rate: percentage of transactions for which the authorisation request to the issuing bank has been validated
2future-proof: capable of adapting to regulatory or technological changes and adding new features.