Value-added resellers (VARs) and managed services providers (MSPs) who sell payments have the opportunity to expand business with current accounts—and possibly land new ones—this year.
Pat Ward, SVP Integrated Partners at Aurora, says, “The pandemic triggered wholesale changes related to the needs for different payment processing services. Today’s consumers are seeking secure, contactless solutions that eliminate the need for physical contact with traditional card terminals.”
What to Sell
Ward says the opportunity extends far beyond making sure your clients have payment terminals to run credit cards. “Both merchants and consumers are rapidly adopting digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay,” he says, “and the hospitality vertical has seen a marked increase in the use of QR codes to access menus, present checks, and accept payments.”
He adds that e-commerce solutions, such as hosted payment pages, payment redirects, and virtual terminals, are in demand. “They’re becoming more valuable as sales transition from in-store, card-present transactions to order-ahead, pick-up, and delivery,” he explains.
Email and text-to-pay solution adoption, which enables merchants to provide a link to enter payment information, is also increasing, providing another alternative to in-person payments.
“The biggest opportunity is for VARs to embrace new technology partners that can provide some or all of these contactless solutions to their existing merchants,” says Ward.
He recommends that you research overlay solutions that don’t require replacing current point of sale (POS) solutions but, instead, complement them with new payment options. Ward points out, “Doing so can extend the life and functionality of existing POS solutions while negating the need to train staff on a new system.”
Merchants See the Value
Although new consumer behaviors and regulations drove many changes in the payment experiences merchants are offering during the pandemic, those new processes will likely be in place long term.
“A variety of verticals are embracing digital payments for their security, ease, and convenience,” Ward says. “This is particularly prevalent in unattended environments like parking, tolls, vending, and laundry. These businesses were traditionally cash-based but are quickly migrating to digital payments via phone apps, credit card kiosks, and web-based payment solutions.”
Ward says other types of businesses that are moving to digital payments include:
- Lodging is leveraging payment options to manage online payments with reservations, and pre-payment also eliminates the need to capture card information when guests arrive or depart.
- Field service companies such as exterminators and landscaping providers are migrating from check-based payments to online subscription-based models that draft an electronic payment each time a service is performed.
- Service technicians in appliance, HVAC, and home repair are leveraging mobile payment devices that can be used in the field for on-site transactions.
Advice for VARs that Don’t Currently Sell Payments
With the recent shift in the types of payment solutions that are in demand and the expanded market for digital payments, Ward advises VARs and MSPs to evaluate the slate of solutions you offer.
“If you aren’t yet providing merchants with new contactless technology, begin researching the right partners and incorporating it into your sales efforts,” Ward says. “Review your processing partnerships and make sure your merchant services provider can support you or even provide you with these solutions. Also, be sure to partner with organizations that appreciate the merchants you bring to the table and adequately compensate you for your hard work.”
Doing your due diligence and carefully choosing partners is key to VARs’ and MSPs’ success with payments. “In the past five years, we’ve seen a strong convergence of POS and payment processing. Today, most POS companies are either looking to become their own processor or are partnered with payments processors, as they too want a share of the recurring revenue that processing provides. The VAR that’s selling the solution should also reap the benefits.”
Also, with today’s merchants better educated than ever before about both POS and payment processing, staying informed will help you be most successful. Ward suggests joining industry associations, such as the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) and the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), that can assist with ongoing trend analysis and technology education.