The payment services world is more competitive than ever. With numerous providers competing to serve thousands of businesses, things can get more than a little hectic as payments companies try to carve out some space for themselves in a crowded market. A lot of the time, this translates to providers ruthlessly cutting their prices relative to their competitors, trying to tempt merchants with the failsafe method of simply being cheaper than everyone else. The thing is, while a lower price-point sounds good on paper, years of experience in the payment services industry has taught me that lowering your margins all too often means lowering the standard of service you’re able to provider. When a service’s price falls, its value tends to fall with it, kicking off a downward spiral that can be difficult to reverse.
Sacrificing Quality: The Cost of Lower Prices in Payment Services
Many cheaper providers end up sacrificing, from sheer necessity, their capacity to tailor individual solutions for individual clients. Pretty much every business I’ve ever worked with has needed a payments solution that’s adapted to fit their precise aesthetic and functional needs. Being able to meet those needs requires quite a bit in the way of time, technology, and resources. That means, you guessed it, that the price for those services might be a touch higher than the prices touted by providers that rely on a one-size-fits-all, ‘good enough’ solution for their clients. That drop in quality will fall squarely on your customers, who will be forced to deal with an unoptimised payment gateway, the functionality of which can range anywhere from ‘sluggish and confusing’ to ‘completely inoperable’. In the long term, that variable quality of service will cost businesses customers and send their conversion rates plummeting, completely negating whatever slim advantage there was in opting for a cheaper provider in the first place. Sometimes, going cheap can be expensive.
The Consistency of Tailored Payment Solutions
Meanwhile, those businesses that opt to establish partnerships with providers that dedicate themselves to a truly individual and customisable approach set themselves on a trajectory of solid long-term growth. Whatever minor, short-term losses are entailed by a bespoke payments solution are soon compensated for by consistently high conversion rates and high customer satisfaction. Even apparently minor things, such as making sure your checkout page matches the design philosophy of the rest of your site, can go a long way towards giving your customers peace of mind and building loyalty to your brand. Any business knows that the difference between thriving and stagnating is a happy, loyal customer base: one you can count on returning again and again for years to come. It’s both expensive and unnecessary to put all your efforts into your customer-facing payment experience and then fall at the final hurdle. By keeping in mind that balance between price and value, and short and long-term gains, you can avoid that downward value spiral and ensure you get a payment solution that fits your needs as well as the needs of your customers.