For global merchants looking to set up a marketplace or bill customers on a recurring basis, dealing with multiple integrations, back offices, and data sets from various payment providers can be daunting.
That pain point, according to Ran Cohen, co-founder and CEO at BridgerPay, has become much more relevant today, especially for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that can’t afford to go through the costly and time-consuming process of getting connected to multiple payment providers when entering new markets.
To solve this issue and help businesses optimize the payment experience, the Cyprus-based Israeli payment processor has launched a self-onboarding, fully integrated platform that enables businesses to connect to any payment provider or method worldwide easily and instantly through a single application programming interface (API).
“We’ve made it possible so that in seconds any business can connect our product to their website with a simple plugin and then easily connect to the payment provider [of their choice],” Cohen told PYMNTS in an interview.
Instead of connecting to one of the several hundred ready-made connections, merchants can choose to build their own in seconds and set custom routes and rules for every country or region they operate in using the company’s proprietary technology.
“In the end, businesses want to see a very transparent, clean picture on their operations, how much they process and their approval ratios and determine which payment provider best suits their needs,” Cohen added.
To help clients safeguard their virtual presence in the face of increasing cyberattacks, he said fraud detectors are used to verify payment providers who are also connected to 3D Secure 2 (3DS2), an authentication protocol for online card payments.
Today, the platform connects to over 500 payment service providers (PSPs), including AfterPay, checkout.com, PayPal and Stripe, providing alternative payment methods (APMs), credit cards and cryptocurrency payments to clients across multiple sectors like eCommerce, Gaming, Travel and Financial Services.
Emerging Markets Struggle
According to Cohen, while demand for the product is widespread globally — mainly from the U.S. and Australia — they cannot always meet the needs of merchants in emerging markets such as the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.
This is mainly due to the difficulty in finding acquirers that are technology-oriented and can provide the APIs BridgerPay needs for those connections.
“You don’t have a lot of options or acquirers that can provide services to clients that want to sell cross-border in those regions. For example, if you’re a Nigerian merchant and you want to process [payments] in Nigeria that’s great, but if you want to process in Europe, that’s where the problem begins,” Cohen explained.
In such cases, he said businesses would have to find a payment provider that can fill that gap and settle funds into their local Nigerian account, which is where most merchants in developing regions are struggling the most.
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BridgerPay doesn’t have all the answers, he pointed out, although the Israeli FinTech firm is working on expanding and connecting to more PSPs to find more and more matches for merchants in these regions.
“[We are trying to] find solutions that will not only allow [merchants] to scale but get them to a position where they have enough client base data to go and invest in building their firms,” he said.
Democratization of Data
One of the emerging payment trends, according to Cohen, is data democratization and data transparency which together help merchants make informed, data-driven decisions when deciding on which payment provider to work with.
For example, most people see Stripe as a leading payment provider, but their approval ratio could be low in South Africa, he noted, which is why merchants need to have the appropriate data on performance before they choose a payment provider partner.
BridgerPay, an agnostic platform, is less focused on where transactions are taking place and more on getting transactions approved.
And if a client should ask what the best provider is in Japan, for example, Cohen said he should be able to fish out that data from the millions and millions of transactions going through the platform daily.
“I think that this knowledge belongs to the people and not to companies like us or payment providers. That democratization of data is a trend I see starting soon,” he added.
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