Catering to your domestic market and clientele oftentimes presents little to no problems. This is especially true of your payment solutions. However, as your business scales, so will your need for a reliable payment solution that supports cross-border transactions.

Catering to the Benelux market requires reducing payment friction. For merchants in Europe, payment friction is one of the many “necessary evils” brought about by traditional payment management methods. As technology for omnichannel integration develops, so too do the possibilities for innovations in payment processing.

From linear payment processing, many are now asking for a shift in payment orchestration. Payment orchestration has yet to receive mainstay status amongst merchants, being introduced fairly recently. Part of the limited reception is that it is either unfamiliar or offered by a select few payment service providers (PSPs).

In this article, we take a look at payment orchestration and how it benefits merchants as a value-added service (VAS).

How were payments processed before VAS orchestrators?

To better understand what payment orchestration is, it pays to understand its predecessor. Doing so allows you to understand what a VAS orchestrator does by comparison.

In the early days of eCommerce, payment service providers stood at the gates of transactions. They served the roles of intermediaries between merchants and clients. In other words, PSPs enabled payments to be made with the front-end capabilities they provided. During the early 2000s, the demand for PSPs offering payment enablement was high.

PSPs offered merchants and acquirers an interface for payments. The interface was the front-end of a system that collected payments and ensured that these made their way to merchants.

This traditional mode of payment processing consisted of the following:

  • Multiple APIs
  • Payment collection method
  • Data

Since there were no other way payments could be processed, all of the above-mentioned comprised the VASs of PSPs. In short, what merchants paid for was the capability of PSPs to make payments possible.

The shortcomings of traditional linear or siloed payments

While the traditional means of payment processing worked for a long time, it was not without issues or shortcomings. For one, challenges emerged in streamlining payments. This was especially observed when multiple payments were made. On top of that, merchants and PSPs experienced difficulties enabling payments in various currencies.

While these were not pain points for merchants who catered to their domestic markets, it limited scaling potential. Facilitating payments from other parts of Europe meant relying upon other PSPs capable of accepting currencies and converting them to the merchant’s or acquirer’s own.

Security was hardly an issue. However, in the early 2000s, security features like fraud management came as VAS. These were not available by default, meaning that there were risks for those who stuck with basic services.

The traditional means of payment processing meant the following for most merchants:

  • They had to manage various networks of different PSPs for cross-border payments
  • They needed to navigate the complexities of handling payment data, risk management, compliance with regulations, and other nuances of payment processing.

Payment management and enabling becomes more complex, especially with multi-national payment inflows.

The payment orchestrator — the one-stop-shop solution

The early payment processing methods used by early PSPs exposed the need for a single payment solution. This single payment solution was envisioned as a way to simplify payment processing. The simplification comes in the form of having one payment enabling solution for multiple processes.

According to The Paypers, the clamour for such a payment solution had already existed following the complaints had with PSPs using the traditional ways. For a decade after 2010, many PSPs worked to develop a reliable and smart way to simplify payment processes so that merchants had to manage less.

Unfortunately, the development of such a solution brought about challenges, especially for PSPs embarking on the project alone. It was only in 2020 when the likes of Stripe and Adyen developed one of the first single-integration payment methods. These PSPs were the first to bring payment orchestration to the market.

Leveraging full-stack capability, these PSPs were among the first payment orchestrators to simplify and streamline payment processing and enablement. Owing to their innovations, it has become possible for PSPs to have payment infrastructure with multiple functionalities. These functionalities include:

  • Data security
  • Multi-currency support
  • Smart and reliable transaction abstraction
  • Voucher support
  • Marketplace support
  • Providing an infrastructure that complies with regulations
  • Flexibility
  • Easy API integration and omnichannel compatibility

In short, payment orchestration addresses the pain points experienced by merchants with the old ways of enabling payments. As a VAS, payment orchestration provides merchants with a smart, reliable, and transparent payment infrastructure that maximizes success in payments.

As technical capabilities improve in the fintech sector, the possibilities for payment orchestration expand at a commensurate rate. Payment solutions offering payment orchestration have additional functionalities and features that make payment processing simpler.

Who might need a VAS orchestrator

The value proposition for payment orchestrating will not resonate with all merchants and business owners. However, for the following, a payment orchestrator can streamline the payment process along with supporting multi-national inflows:

  • Virtual marketplaces
  • Omnichannel merchants
  • Software-as-a-service (SAAS) providers
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • PSPs looking to be part of today’s financial ecosystem

If you belong to any of the above, then you will need a collaborative payment infrastructure.

Flourish in today’s financial ecosystem with Payconiq

Payconiq offers a smart payment infrastructure packed with all the functionalities you look for in a VAS orchestrator. As a payment solution offering accountable and transparent services, we boast easy integration and use.

Simplify your payment processes with a VAS orchestrator that streamlines everything for your business.