Debunked: Three Common Enterprise Payments Myths

Understanding the dynamics at play when selling payments technology to enterprises can help vendors avoid approaching these interactions in ways that prove detrimental to sales and success. By addressing common misconceptions about enterprise payments, we can begin to promote a more accurate understanding of this complex market.

Myth 1: Payments decision-makers are only in finance and IT

Although finance and IT have typically made decisions surrounding payments technology, the landscape is shifting to include many new stakeholders.

This trend has taken place throughout the past decade, and is largely driven by the broadening business impact of payments, which are now closely tied with the customer and brand experiences. With the introduction of chief marketing officers, chief digital officers, heads of customer experience, heads of innovation, and heads of product into this process, it comes as no surprise that each role holds specific initiatives close to heart.

To connect with these strategic decision makers, vendors must take a persona-based approach. This includes identifying specific key needs and pain points for each of these buyers, and then mapping out the different business outcomes that technology can create. By understanding this dynamic landscape, vendors can win enterprise payment deals by tailoring their product to the specific needs of each role.

Myth 2: Acceptance costs are king in enterprise payments decision-making

Fees associated with accepting customer payments are consistently one of the top costs for merchants. Because of this, the cost of acceptance will always hold an important role during the negotiation phase of enterprise payments deals.

The focus has begun to shift to a more holistic view, where the quality of acceptance, payment options and uptime are considered in addition to the related fees. For example, businesses understand that low-cost processing resulting in a high frequency of declines will wipe out any cost savings and can cause both near- and long-term negative impacts to the business.

In addition, payment acceptance costs are multidimensional, spanning cost per transaction and operational costs. By streamlining the processes associated with running and maintaining payments infrastructure, payments providers can find a new strategy to shift the focus away from only one aspect of enterprise payments.

Myth 3: Legacy enterprises do not view payments strategically

There is a common perception that older enterprises do not understand the strategic importance of payments while newer enterprises do. This may be because many traditional enterprises have already reached the ‘self-actualization stage’ of their payments strategy, and have implemented the processes and partnerships required for a satisfactory execution.

This can create a false notion that legacy enterprises are less focused on payments compared to newer enterprises, which are actively building their strategies. Moreover, emerging enterprises have a different set of hurdles to overcome, such as a greater volume of fraudulent online transactions, that require them to place more emphasis on this area.

The 451 Alliance has found that legacy enterprises do in fact have ambitious payments initiatives in their pipelines, such as infrastructure modernization and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) for payment processing optimization.

This may create some challenges for vendors wishing to connect with these enterprises to provide value-add, as they must first overcome the mature in-house competencies that these legacy enterprises contain.

Like the above, success may directly relate to a vendor’s ability to create operational efficiencies, to solve distinct pain points, and to unlock more effective resource allocation for these enterprises.

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