International eCommerce is coming into its own. A recent report showed that it grew 30 percent from February 2020 to March 2021. As eCommerce becomes even more firmly entrenched in B2C and B2B, and as merchants move cross-border, they face opportunities and challenges. Perhaps the biggest challenge is the ability to accept payments across all channels.
And if merchants must be nimble enough to meet the demands of their end customers, so too must merchant service providers, such as independent sales organizations (ISOs) and agents that typically serve as the intermediaries between firms and financial institutions. It’s an issue that has caught the attention of Adam Oberman, the new president of payment facilitator Payroc (from chief revenue officer). Oberman told PYMNTS in a recent interview that any strategy to serve those ISOs and agents as they look to expand internationally alongside their merchant clients must focus on transparency.
“The No. 1 thing I see is inexperienced and under-experienced agents or ISOs trying to dive into international payments and trying to onboard a client or a merchant with a given processor or a platform,” he said. But the landscape is only getting more complicated, and “you always have to stay up with the times in credit card processing. This industry is changing daily,” he said. “There are new rules, there are new regulations … People are starting to tack on additional international fees besides the cross-border fees that not many individuals may not be aware of.”
As a result, he said, transaction-related fees can emerge as one of the top five costs on the merchants’ P&L.
One Roof, Umbrella And One-Stop-Shop
Oberman recounted that many payment processors “have not gotten into the loop of creating, and offering, everything under one roof or umbrella.” As a result, transparency is less than ideal, he said, and ISOs and agents may not be able to explain to the merchant client the full range of fees they will incur (over the cost of interchange, for example) from a global bank or platform upon expanding into new markets.
Oberman said that ISOs and agents seeking to expand their international presence should partner with firms (Payroc among them) to offer comprehensive service and technology suites. “One-stop shops” can help intermediaries better serve merchants from the point of onboarding to expanding their sales channels. Through mergers and acquisitions completed over the past few years, he recounted that Payroc has established a presence across more than 46 countries.
“The more products and the more acquisitions that we add to our arsenal, the more we’re going to arm our agents out there to win” through an integrated approach that can capture new merchant business, noted Oberman.
“The world is moving toward integrated payments,” he said, adding that merchants want to know from their ISOs: “How fast can you integrate that terminal to a desktop or a gateway and integrate that POS to QuickBooks? That’s the new wave of the future.”
To help with that pivot, the company said last month that it will invest its efforts in Northern Ireland — creating 75 jobs there focusing on technology and customer service — and will boost its efforts in the U.K., which Oberman described as one of Payroc’s “five main hubs.”
Looking at the company’s current focus, which will extend beyond the pandemic, Oberman told PYMNTS that “right now, it’s really about our onboarding system, features and technology. We want to ensure that any agent from any country, any state — anywhere — can onboard a client seamlessly, in any country, through any platform.” Simultaneously, the company will expand those onboarding efforts back into its PayFac offering, tied to underwriting and risk management.
As he told PYMNTS, “you have to expand to just being a traditional agent out there. You need to get into the integrated space. It’s where the world is going. It’s where Payroc is going.”
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