Integrated payments 101: What they are and their many benefits for businesses

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  1. Introduction
  2. What are integrated payments?
  3. Integrated payments benefits
    1. Benefits for businesses
    2. Benefits for customers
  4. Alternatives to integrated payments
  5. How to set up integrated payments with Stripe

From e-commerce stores to subscription businesses to platforms and marketplaces, businesses in most industries need to accept and process payments in a secure way that ensures a high-quality customer experience. Finding efficient solutions to this challenge isn't easy, but one approach makes it possible: integrated payments.

Integrated payments are becoming more popular with businesses since they enable seamless transactions and streamlined processes. According to a 2022 study by the National Retail Federation, 63% of customers prefer to use integrated payments, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, when making purchases. Additionally, a report by FIS found that the global e-commerce market is expected to reach $8.3 trillion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 12.5% from 2021 to 2025.

There are plenty of good reasons for the rise of integrated payments. First, they provide a convenient and secure way for customers to make purchases and for businesses to process payments. They eliminate the need for customers to enter their payment information manually, reducing the chances of errors and increasing the speed of transactions. And they provide businesses with valuable data and insights, allowing them to better understand their customers and improve sales efforts.

Here's what businesses need to know about integrated payments and their potential to change how customers make purchases – and how businesses handle payments.

What's in this article?

  • What are integrated payments?
  • Integrated payments benefits
    • Benefits for businesses
    • Benefits for customers
  • Alternatives to integrated payments
  • How to set up integrated payments with Stripe

What are integrated payments?

Integrated payments occur when a business's point-of-sale system is connected to a payment processor, allowing for seamless transactions. Customers can pay using different kinds of payment methods, such as credit or debit cards, without the need for manual processing or separate terminals. Integrated payments also allow for real-time updates of inventory and sales data, which can help businesses increase efficiency and reduce errors.

Integrating this payment-processing functionality into an existing software or platform, such as a website or mobile application, means that users can complete a transaction without leaving the platform or switching to another application or website to make a payment.

Integrated payments benefits

Integrated payments have become increasingly popular in recent years with the rise of ecommerce and mobile commerce. Many businesses now use integrated-payment solutions to make the payment process more convenient and secure for their customers.

Here's an overview of the key benefits of integrated payments for businesses and their customers.

Benefits for businesses

Integrated payments allow businesses to improve the customer experience, increase revenue and streamline operations. They offer several benefits for businesses, including:

  • Enhanced security
    Integrated payment solutions are designed to be secure and protect sensitive customer information, such as credit card numbers and personal details. This reduces the risk of data breaches and fraud.

  • Improved efficiency
    Integrated payments streamline the payment process by automating tasks and reducing the need for manual input, giving businesses robust payment functionality while keeping costs low.

  • Increased revenue
    By making the payment process more convenient and efficient, businesses can reduce the number of abandoned transactions and increase revenue. This is particularly true for e-commerce businesses, where customers are more likely to complete a purchase if the payment process is easy and secure.

  • Better data management
    Integrated payment solutions can provide businesses with valuable data and insights on customer behaviour and payment trends, as well as improved tracking and reporting of transactions. Businesses can use this information to refine various aspects of the business and manage financial information more efficiently.

  • Real-time inventory updates
    Integrated payments provide real-time updates to inventory and sales data, which is critical information for any business's day-to-day work. Historically, this data has required considerable time and energy to keep it up to date.

Benefits for customers

Not just businesses benefit from integrated payments – this solution also elevates the customer experience. Benefits of integrated payments for customers include:

  • Increased convenience
    Customers can make purchases directly through the company's website or mobile app without navigating to a separate payment portal.

  • Flexibility
    Customers can pay with a variety of payment options, including credit and debit cards and digital wallets.

  • Improved security
    Sensitive payment information is processed within the company's secure systems rather than on an external payment gateway.

  • Easily accessible information
    Customers can access detailed receipts and purchase-history information, which can be useful for tracking expenses and budgeting.

Alternatives to integrated payments

Integrated payment is an all-in-one approach that solves problems related to customer transactions, but there are historical alternatives that some businesses still use. Here's an overview of those options:

  • Manual payment processing
    Manual payment processing involves inputting payment details by hand into a payment terminal or processing software. This method is time consuming and prone to human error, making it inefficient and frustrating for customers.

  • Hosted payment gateways
    Hosted payment gateways are independent service providers that process online payments for e-commerce businesses. They require customers to leave the business's platform and go to a separate payment page to complete their transaction, which disrupts the user experience and can lead to cart abandonment.

  • Standalone payment processing software
    Standalone payment processing software requires businesses to switch between different applications to complete a payment. This is not only inconvenient but can lead to errors and data discrepancies.

While these options accomplish the basic task of processing payments, they lack many of the advantages of integrated payments: They are less convenient, less efficient and less secure. Integrated payments allow businesses to reduce manual processes and streamline operations, eliminate data discrepancies, ensure secure payment data, generate actionable insights, provide a better customer experience and increase revenue.

How to set up integrated payments with Stripe

Stripe offers businesses a complete, growth-optimised payment platform with the combined functionality of a merchant account, payment gateway and payment processor. Stripe's suite of APIs and software solutions help businesses power their payments and move money globally while orchestrating effortless customer moments and capturing more revenue. Additionally, all of these flexible integration options are PCI-compliant.

To set up integrated payments with Stripe, follow these steps:

  • Sign up for a Stripe account. This quick process requires you to provide certain personal and business information, a valid bank account and a government-issued ID.
  • Once your account is set up, log in to your Dashboard and navigate to the Developers section. You will find your API keys, which will authenticate your account with Stripe's API.
  • Integrate the Stripe API into your website or mobile app. This will typically involve adding some code to your checkout page, which will communicate with Stripe's API to process payments.
  • Test your integration by making test payments through your website or mobile app.
  • Once you are satisfied that everything is working correctly, you can enable live payments by flipping a switch in your Dashboard or contacting the Stripe team for assistance.

Stripe provides a wide range of libraries and SDKs for various programming languages to make the integration process easier. For more information and to learn how Stripe can power your specific integrated-payment needs, start here.

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