Webinar wrap-up: Can collaboration help payments providers meet merchants’ payment expectations?

Mitch Trehan, Head of Compliance and MLRO at Banking Circle, recently joined a webinar hosted by The Paypers, where he discussed with other industry experts what can be done to help remove merchants’ payments pain points. Sharing an overview of findings from new research to be released in the new year, Mitch highlighted some of the key issues identified. The panel discussed possible solutions which would ensure merchants receive the best service possible.

The panel:

  • Mitch Trehan, Head of Compliance and MLRO at Banking Circle
  • Erika Wool, Head of Payments & Commerce Partnerships at Stripe
  • Nick Fryer, Chief Technology Officer at Dojo
  • James Booth, VP – Head of Partnerships, EMEA at PPRO

Melisande Mual Publisher and Managing Director at The Paypers moderated the session.

Melisande opened the session by asking how the experts obtain customer feedback and ensure it is shared effectively with their product teams. Nick Fryer of Dojo explained that as part of Dojo’s customer-centric model, the company regularly surveys its customers to gain an understanding of their sentiments towards both the brand and the wider economy. These surveys are combined with detailed feedback from a group of several thousand engaged customers, the ‘Dojo Insiders’, and physical surveys carried out in customer and non-customer locations to gather insights on all providers.

Stripe’s Erika Wool agreed that customer feedback is critical for shaping the Stripe product roadmap, and it is committed to a multi-channel approach to gaining valuable feedback – even reading customer discussions in online forums.

Because direct merchant feedback is not something PPRO receives, James Booth of PPRO confirmed that it relies on feedback via its clients and service engineers, all of which it vital to help build roadmaps.

What’s keeping merchants awake at night?

As Mitch Trehan explained, like PPRO, Banking Circle does not have direct contact with merchants. As such, the bank gathers feedback from its payment provider clients. It also invests in frequent industry research to uncover important data, trends and pain points to be solved. The bank’s latest research involved more than 900 online merchants from the UK, DACH and Netherlands, and focused on the service they receive from their payment providers.

Highlighting the key challenges merchants face, Mitch shared that the biggest pain points selected by respondents were security, speed of settlement and FX facilities and 24/7/365 service support.

Responding to economic challenges, Stripe is focusing on adding value for its customers, helping them to operate more efficiently. Erika explained that Stripe works closely with customers to optimise revenue, assess where efficiencies can be made, ensure they offer the right payment methods. She added that whilst we can see how the economic climate is impacting customers today, we don’t know what the situation will be in future so it must be possible to adapt and update all products quickly and easily, in response to future needs.

Dojo’s Nick Fryer agreed, adding that while transactions are up, year-on-year, Dojo’s restaurant and pub clients are worried about the future, especially with costs increasing across the board. Dojo is working with clients to help streamline their business operations – for example, automating accounting to save time and resources that would be better utilised elsewhere.

James Booth shared that some of the most common conversations PPRO has with its clients surround the topic of payment methods, currencies and funding time-frames. Many businesses and consumers expect ubiquitous access to their most familiar payment methods at home and across borders. The high expectations provide both a challenge and an opportunity: some difficult client conversations, but some positive partnerships to deliver the best and most competitive payment solutions available.

The future of collaboration

95% of the webinar audience felt that their number of partnerships would increase in the years to come, and the panel strongly agreed. James Booth said that as the payment landscape evolves and becomes more fragmented, merchant demands are more intense, and no one can solve them all. Strong partnerships need to be formed to work together and solve the challenges facing merchants today and in future.

Nick Fryer agreed, adding that trying to do it all yourself slows you down, and that by the time you have built a new solution in-house, it is out of date as the rest of the industry has moved on without you. And Erika Wool added that Stripe’s ability to provide economic infrastructure is reliant on the company’s thousands of partners, so careful partner selection is critical.

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