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Everything you need to know about Payment Orchestration

Making payments work for your business.

Wunmi Akinfemiwa
Wunmi Akinfemiwa
Oct 18, 2022
What is payment orchestration and how does it work?

If this is the first time you’re hearing the term ‘Payment Orchestration’, you’re not alone. Payment Orchestration is the newest kid on the FinTech block and you’ve come to the right place to get the tea!

Until a few years ago, Payment Orchestration wasn’t a thing, at least not in the way we now understand it. A few Big Tech companies had set up orchestration engines in house to improve their customer’s payment experience but it didn’t become a popular service being offered to other businesses up until 2020. Yes, the infamous 2020.

Like a lot of things in FinTech, Payment Orchestration sounds like a complex concept but it really isn’t. In its simplest form, Payment Orchestration enables businesses to access third party payment services and providers without having to integrate each provider individually.

Think of it this way; You build a business and you need to accept payments, you also know that different payment providers have their pros and cons, so rather than select your perceived best and wish for luck, payment orchestration engines allows you to choose as many as you’d love, and set parameters for when to each of them.

This way, you are able to optimise your payments process, reduce payment failures, and provide the best experience for your customers.

Payment Orchestration Platforms are not payment gateways. Don’t think Paystack, Flutterwave, Stripe. No. Those are Payment Service Providers (PSPs), they help businesses collect payments from customers, hold the money and handle settlement with the acquirer banks. Payment Orchestration platforms on the other hand give businesses instant access to these Payment Providers.

They do the hard work of integrating all the available payment service providers across multiple countries so businesses do not have to do the grunt work of integrating each payment provider they want manually. It’s a buffet when you deploy payments with an orchestration engine. That way, you are able to pick from the best of all the worlds, plug the leaks, and make payments work for you.

Orchestrate offers a payment orchestration platform that enables businesses to easily scale their payment stack in minutes. With Orchestrate, businesses can get instant access to multiple payment providers and payment methods with a single integration.

What does this look like typically?

An eCommerce platform currently accepts payments via debit cards from customers via Paystack but is looking to give customers more options to make payments beyond cards like direct debits, cryptocurrency, wallets and virtual accounts. The typical process is to have their software engineers identify the best payment service providers that power these multiple payment methods, decide on which ones to integrate and then spend the next couple of weeks or months integrating each one from scratch.

There are a number of problems with this approach:

  • Developer’s focus is shifted from the product’s core offering to work on payments. Imagine the engineering team taking a break from building core products, and shift their focus on integrating multiple payment providers? Neither is efficient use of time, resources and already finite energy.
  • Time to market is significantly prolonged. If payment isn’t ready and optimized, the product is most likely not ready to be shipped. Integrating payment services from scratch unhealthily extends time to market; delaying product / feature launch.
  • It typically costs a lot to not only build but maintain multiple payment providers.

Payment orchestration makes sense for the above reasons and a couple more:

  1. Giving customers smoother checkout experience: Ever tried to make a purchase online but couldn’t because the only accepted payment method was debit cards and you didn’t have your card details in that moment? Imagine you could seamlessly provide alternative payment methods?  Well, Payment orchestration makes it super easy for businesses to easily offer multiple payment methods to customers, reduce drop off at checkout, improve checkout experience, and ultimately never miss a sale.
  2. Cross-border expansion is made easy: Scaling into new countries comes with its unique challenges: understanding the market, ensuring regulatory compliance, setting up operations and so much more but with Payment Orchestration, accepting payments from multiple countries in different currencies will not be one of those. Building a global business? Then know that customers are more comfortable paying via a familiar local Payment Provider, and this is where Payment Orchestration comes in. Payment Orchestration typically aggregates payment services across multiple countries so that  businesses like yours can get instant access to these cross-border payment services.
  3. Auto Switching Technology: One of the most important features of Payment Orchestration Platforms is the auto-switching / routing technology. This works by determining the best Payment Provider to process payments per time and routing customer’s transactions to that Payment Provider. This can also be done based on predefined rules. So, say a business has 3 payment providers processing card Payments, depending on a set of rules such as uptime, speed, transaction charges, transaction amount, region e.t.c, transactions are automatically routed to certain payment providers. This reduces payment failures, and therefore increases payment efficiencies at scale for your business. Unified data and reporting dashboard: It’s only right to manage your payment stack from one single dashboard. Payment Orchestration platforms provide a single source of truth for all your enabled payment providers, you can see transactions from multiple providers in one place and get actionable insights to make top level business decisions.
  4. Business Continuity: Having only one payment provider powering payment for your business means that if for any reason, that payment provider is having a down time, your business has to be on hold for that period of time. Simply using one Payment Provider is too risky.

What Businesses Need Payments Orchestration?

It’s hard to think of any FinTech enabled online business that Payment Orchestration is not suited for. If you accept payments online from customers, clients, partners or anyone for that matter then Payment Orchestration is for you. Here are just a few use cases for Payment Orchestration:

  1. eCommerce Platforms: These are one of the biggest users of Orchestration platforms. Customers being able to seamlessly complete an online purchase is directly tied to the success of any eCommerce businessIt is therefore important that businesses increase customer happiness by integrating a  seamless checkout experience powered by payments orchestration.
  2. FinTech Products: FinTech products such as a savings app requires users to fund their wallets and lock funds away. Using a Payment Orchestration Platform can help this savings app offer multiple funding options to their users as opposed to offering only one payment method, debit card via one payment provider, Paystack.
  3. SaaS Platforms: It’s important that SaaS companies are offering the best in class payment methods and are also able to scale payment across the various locations where their product is being used. A Payment Orchestration platform is perfect for accessing payments providers across the globe, providing users with local payment providers that can process payments in their currency. It also helps that the business gets a centralized platform for managing their payment stack.
  4. Businesses of every size that provide payment experiences.

Get Started With Orchestrate.

eCommerce Platforms, Fintech Products, SAAS platform and businesses of all sizes can now access multiple payment providers with ease.

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