The Online Payments Ecosystem: Why Partnerships Matter

When it comes to selecting an online payment system (also known as an Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment or EBPP platform), the decision is about more than the software itself. Your organization has likely spent a significant amount of time and resources researching and implementing Customer Information System (CIS) and core billing systems to manage and simplify your customer billing. That’s why it’s so important that any new software you add to your online billing and payments ecosystem can seamlessly integrate with your existing software providers.

The best way to accomplish this is by selecting an EBPP provider with a strong network of existing partnerships. When an EBPP platform has already integrated with your CIS or core billing system, it greatly speeds implementation time without requiring a lot of heavy lifting from your internal IT resources.

The Benefits of Partnership

When an online payments system can tightly integrate with your existing core billing software, it creates many benefits for your organization and your customers, including:

  • Improved Customer Experience: Strong partnerships enable EBPP providers and core billing systems to provide an enhanced customer experience through coordinated client support. This means your customers receive effective issue resolution, every time. Beyond that, many integrations provide beneficial features, like single sign-on, that provide customers with a more integrated, seamless experience when paying their bills online.
  • Faster Implementation Time: One of the key benefits of an established partnership between an EBPP and a core billing system is a reduced implementation time. This lessens the burden on your internal IT teams and brings your new solution to your customers faster.
  • Improved Accuracy and Efficiency: With real-time integrations between an EBPP platform and a core billing system, data is updated automatically. This means improved accuracy, no lost data, and less time your team needs to spend correcting manual errors.

How to Tell if an Online Payment Solution is Built for Integration

There are a few key characteristics of an online payment service that enable easy partner integrations.

SaaS

The first of these characteristics is a true Software as a Service (SaaS) model. SaaS is a licensing and delivery model where software is developed exclusively for and in the cloud, and there is no on-premise equivalent. With SaaS, there is only one underlying base code for every client. Under this model, your software is always up to date with the latest features, as no changes to the code or data structure are required when new improvements are rolled out. 

The reason a SaaS model is so important is that it lends itself to simple and straightforward integrations. Partners only have to learn one stack of code and don’t need to deal with endless customizations for every client. For your organization, this means a highly configurable and scalable solution that enables effortless enhancements and upgrades.

Security

The second key characteristic deals with security. When it comes to making payments online, your customers want to know that their data and payment information is secure. That’s why it’s important to select an EBPP partner with the highest levels of data security, to ensure compliance and ease any customer concerns. If your customers are certain they can trust your online payment platform, they will be more likely to adopt electronic payment options.

This is a key consideration for core billing systems providers, as well, when establishing partnerships. These providers want to partner and integrate with the most secure solutions on the market to protect customer data and encourage the best possible customer experience.

Building an Online Payments Ecosystem

Selecting an EBPP platform is about more than just the features of a solution — it’s also about the overall online payments ecosystem. Enabling efficiencies within your organization and providing your customers with an excellent experience requires tight integrations between your online payments provider and your core billing software. That’s why it’s important to consider whether an EBPP platform partners with your existing billing software before making a purchase decision. An existing integration between your new EBPP and your core billing software will reduce implementation time and provide an overall better experience for your internal teams as well as your customers.

This post was contributed by Renee Chenue, Vice President of Marketing at Invoice Cloud