Hosted Payments Page: a demonstration

On July 9th, I wrote a post entitled Hosted Payment Page and PCI Compliance. Since that point, IP Commerce has said several interesting engagement with partners through our Commerce Lab Integration Portal focused on the capability and efficacy of a hosted payment solution for smaller merchants. All have resulted in positive feedback regarding Speed to Market, Cost to the Merchant and Support of the Merchant Brand (read: no harsh transition from merchant branded cart to inflexible 3rd party payment branded collection page; and back again).

As I discussed in the previous post, one of the major benefits of a hosted payment solution is the impact on the attestation of PCI Compliance. In specific, and this is an important detail, the merchant (by aegis of accepting cards) remains in scope of PCI Compliance. However, the scope is limited (by the criteria discussed previously) to the process of filling out and submitting a Self-Assesment Questionnaire (SAQ). In this case, SAQ Validation Type 1.

However, what is truly intriguing, and telling for those of us in the payments industry is what partners who leverage this integration truly find most compelling.

Speed to Market

Time to market, speed of certification, have always been core capabilities and focuses of the Managed Commerce Service Platform provided by IP Commerce. Drastically decreasing the integration life-cycle for adding commerce to software is a core reason why IP Commerce was founded. The concept of the Commerce Hosted Payment Page is built on this capability…we have several partners who achieved integration and certification same-day.

But the certification isn’t the only hurdle. Servicing the merchant customer with processing capability is, arguably, more important than just completing an integration. As a technology enabler, IP Commerce provides introductions to acquirers and assistance through the underwriting process. This means that the process of adding commerce includes the steps of ensuring that all sides of the equation are addressed…integration AND processing.

Cost to the Merchant

Those actually performing the integration to a product like the Commerce Hosted Payment Page tend to fall into one of two buckets. They are either a merchant who is performing the integration for their own needs…or a 3rd party performing the integration on behalf of 1 – n merchant customers.

In the payments industry, these 3rd parties are sometimes called “VARs”, sometimes “ISVs”, sometimes “SWCs”, sometimes “Developers”…the terminology is confusing but the meaning is the same. A company, or an individual, who is building a solution on behalf of their merchant customers.

To that end, a key focus is cost of processing. Simply performing a cost plus or time and materials style professional services integration is no longer sufficient for the modern developer or software company. Instead the engagement is focused on differentiation by offering value-added solutions or decreasing cost to the merchant customer.

In specific, in the case of Hosted Payments as an integration method offered by IP Commerce there is no discrete gateway fee as charged by others offering this sort of solution. IP Commerce, by aegis of offering a platform solution, is able to unite multiple sides of the payments market. By assisting in merchant acquisition through offering innovative payment integrations, IP Commerce is compensated by the payment service provider without causing the incurrence of additional discrete fees to the merchant.

Support for Merchant Brand

The importance of the merchant’s brand cannot be understated. Offering an integration method that addresses the concerns around payments re-directs (ala standard PayPal integration) is something extraordinarily compelling. When the payment looks and feels like the merchant website (by cloning the template) by obviates many of the security & compliance concerns it makes the adoption decision much simpler.

In summary:

Is security an important story? Absolutely. Will it remain important in the future? Without question! In fact, it will likely continue to increase in importance and drive the decision making process for both merchants and software companies.

And yet, the story is infinitely more compelling when coupled with a faster time-to-market and decreased cost for the merchant customer (or end-user).

In an effort to demonstrate the capabilities of this sort of integration methodology, IP Commerce has put together a brief demonstration of the experience of leveraging a hosted payments solution to offer payments capability to offer payments through an eCommerce offering.

Hosted Payments Page Demonstration

What’s your perspective? Agree? Disagree? Anything to add? Critiques? The comment form is below…

September 14, 2009

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