Every business is completely unique, from the the products or services it sells, to the way it operates and the audiences it connects with. There seems to be little sense in using stock standard payment solutions if you want your business to blossom.
Flexible, customizable payment infrastructure is the way of the future. Read on to find out how far this technology has come over the past couple of decades, what this means for business, and how you can use these developments to your benefit.
The Evolution of Payment Technology
Up until the mid-20th century, the way we paid for goods and services had remained relatively unchanged for about 5,000 years. Whether people were using cowry shells, coins, or checks, transactions involved handing over some kind of tender in exchange for products.
Let’s take a closer look at the history of fintech and the evolution of payment technology to better understand why one-size-fits-all payment solutions have become entirely outdated.
1886 to 1967
As the technology that’s used to deliver financial services – what we now call fintech – started to develop, the way we chose to pay started to change. This started happening in the late 19th century when the infrastructure that supports globalized financial services (like the laying of the first transatlantic cable) made long-distance transactions possible.
1968 to 2007
Things took a leap forward in the late 1960s with the switch from analogue to digital finance structure. During the ’70s, SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) opened the door for safe, secure international payments and settlements.
At this stage, credit cards skyrocketed in popularity. The telex network came into operation, allowing financial transactions and communications to be sent across the globe in a matter of minutes.
Fintech evolved further in 1983 when the Bank of Scotland allowed customers of the Nottingham Building Society to access online banking. With the success of internet banking in the UK, many US-based banks set up their own transactional websites that offered this service in the late ’90s.
Online payments and bank transfers continued to grow in popularity in the late ’90s and early 2000s as personal computers with high-speed internet connections made their way into our homes. Payment instructions could be routed among customers’ computers, banks, and payment processors in a matter of minutes, making these transactions secure and convenient.
2008 to 2014
In the mid- to late-2000s, multi-factor authentication technology – which requires shoppers to perform two or more actions to verify their identity – increased the security of online payments. It also paved the way for biometric authentication, which today uses fingerprint or facial recognition to verify payments made via mobile devices.
Then, following the 2008 financial crisis and reduced public trust in traditional financial service providers, regulatory changes in the payment space opened the market up to new players.
In combination with deregulation, leaps in computing power, encryption technology, and the advent of open banking (which allows third-party companies to access financial data) meant that third-party providers were able to enter the fintech space and begin developing payment solutions that didn’t need to involve traditional banks.
This opening up of the financial market saw the rise of start-ups. The widespread adoption of mobile further changed the way we accessed and used the internet and further fuelled developments.
This brought on a wave of new products and services. Payment gateways, mobile wallets, ACH transfers, and other payments technology started to emerge at a dizzying pace. This was also the time when cryptocurrencies began to make their mark.
2014 to 2017
The second half of Fintech 3.0 was all about globalization. During this period, improvements in fintech began to shift the focus to consumer behavior and how those in the developing world access and use the internet.
Unlike countries in the West, developing nations aren’t weighed down by legacy banking infrastructure. This enabled many new players to enter the fintech market and begin developing fit-for-purpose solutions that are able to meet the needs of the modern consumer.
2018 to today
Blockchain has had a massive impact on financial services during the past decade. These technologies have enabled the rise of digital-only banks that offer simplified services and much lower fees than their traditional counterparts.
Non-fungible tokens (that’s NFTs for short) are another development we can thank blockchain for. These cryptographic assets are allowing creators to take full control over their intellectual property and use their products to increase their earning power.
Advances in machine learning have also seen massive transformations in the way that we interact with financial institutions.
Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all solutions and support. Now, businesses are using machine learning technologies to provide their customers with bespoke products that meet their unique needs.
This technology has also driven smarter, more secure systems. Using pattern recognition, security applications can understand and predict customer behavior. Out-of-the-ordinary transactions can be automatically flagged and authentication steps required to prevent fraud.
Financial services themselves have seen another shift during Fintech 4.0, with more and more integrated payment providers starting to operate in the space. For businesses, this has meant more streamlined platforms that incorporate payments into their existing business management systems.
Beyond Fintech 4.0
How we transact – whether online or in person – continues to evolve today. There are seemingly endless ways to pay for goods and services no matter where you are in the world. And the list keeps on growing.
The fast-growing fintech industry is changing all areas of the digital economy and reducing our reliance on the traditional banking system. As technologies continue to develop, it’s important to ensure that your business is equipped to take advantage of these advancements.
With Pay.com, you can accept a wide variety of payment methods from across the globe. Our full-service infrastructure can be adapted to suit your business, allowing you to focus on what really matters – taking your enterprise to new heights.
The Limitations of One-Size-Fits-All Payment Solutions
To understand the limitations of one-size-fits-all payment solutions, you need to have a bit of insight into the payment processing landscape.
If you want to accept payment methods other than cash, your business needs certain merchant services and merchant service providers (MSPs) to supply those solutions.
Merchant services enable your business to accept and process electronic payments; for example, technology like payment gateways. Merchant service providers, on the other hand, offer the infrastructure that enables these transactions, like payment processing software.
As online shopping began to become more popular, MSPs went about creating infrastructure that simply allowed merchants to accept digital payments. The focus was on enabling quick transactions using a single integration, with little thought given to the particular needs of the merchant.
Now, with many more types of businesses operating online (e.g. standard ecommerce concerns versus those with subscription business models), savvier shoppers, and increased competition, this one-size-fits-all approach isn’t as effective as it was in the past.
Customer-centric payment experiences are key for any business that wants to be successful selling online. Ensuring that you’re able to tailor your payment strategy to suit your enterprise, from creating a customized checkout page to offering customers’ favorite payment methods, is essential for building a successful online business.
To keep up in today’s market, businesses need to look beyond off-the-shelf products to stay ahead of their competition. Payment solutions that can be adapted to suit your operational needs and optimize the payment experience you offer clients are simple ways to give your business the edge.
The Benefits of Customizable Payment Solutions
We’ve already touched on why customizable payment solutions are superior to one-size-fits-all payment products. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits these solutions bring for your online business:
Today’s most successful businesses all have one trait in common: adaptability. Using a customizable payment solution will give your business the flexibility it needs to respond to ever-changing market forces and client needs with ease.
As a general rule, customizable payment solutions are relatively cost effective. When you use Pay.com, our flat-fee, per-transaction pricing means that you only pay for completed transactions rather than paying in bulk.
Customizable payment infrastructure is built with the future in mind. As new technologies emerge, payment infrastructure providers add these features to their platforms. So there’s no need to switch products and spend additional time learning how to operate a new system.
Rather than needing a variety of products to manage your business’s payments, custom payment solutions bring together different merchant services (like payment gateways, payment processing, and sales tracking) to give you convenience and control.
The risk of cybercrime is part and parcel of running an online business, but, because they’re digital-first solutions, custom payment systems have in-built defenses against these threats. Pay.com is PCI DSS compliant and supports 3D Secure 2.0, which adds an extra layer of authentication.
Why Choose Pay.com as Your Payment Service Provider?
Pay.com’s full-service payment infrastructure gives you all the tools you need to manage your online business’s payments, plus the power to customize your payment system to suit your business.
Our intuitive Pay Dashboard puts the power in your hands, allowing you to manage payments and track monthly sales. The powerful analytics and reporting tools put all the information you need to make smart, informed business decisions at your fingertips. What’s more, the dashboard makes it easy to monitor your fees, so you don’t end up with any nasty surprises at the end of the month.
We also make it easy for you to choose the payment methods you’d like to accept on your website.
Our Level 1 PCI DSS compliance means that you don’t have to go through the hassle of meeting compliance requirements on your own. With 3D Secure 2.0, you can rest assured that transactions are authenticated to protect your business from fraud.
Best of all, whether you’re looking for a no-code solution for accepting payments or advanced APIs that will work with your existing website, our payment infrastructure can be customized to suit your business needs.
The Bottom Line
The fintech industry has grown exponentially over the past few decades and it’s showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. While one-size-fits-all solutions may have been the standard when online businesses first became popular, using general purpose payment systems is, thankfully, a thing of the past.
Today’s custom products give your enterprise the flexibility it needs to stay ahead of your competition. To take advantage of the benefits that payments technology presents, business owners need to keep up with the latest trends and evolutions, including the future infrastructure, digital money, and marketplaces.
If you need a customizable payment solution with flexible capabilities that can help you to grow your business, look no further than Pay.com. Our payment infrastructure lets you accept a multitude of payment methods safely and securely.