In the increasingly crowded space of global payment gateways, facilitators face the challenge of differentiation on more than just a superficial level.
In a recent discussion with PYMNTS, Roy Banks, CEO of Network Merchants (NMI), shared his perspective on the importance for payment facilitators to stand out by addressing the layered complexity of merchants’ needs, particularly in the area of small business, and how services like NMI’s new FACenablement (FACe) program can drive innovation in that regard.
PYMNTS: The growth of global payment gateways has been on the rise for the past couple of years and it is expected to continue to grow at a rapid pace. With the competition in this market sector heating up — not to mention the entrance of nontraditional companies such as VARs, CRMs, ISVs and SaaS offering their own payment gateway services — how can payment facilitators stay ahead of the curve?
RB: The arrival of nontraditional companies on the scene can actually be viewed as a plus: The more businesses there are who want to offer payment gateway services to their customers, the more valuable a payments enablement platform becomes.
In addition, the variety of players in the market only stimulates innovation [in the ecosystem] as [companies] seek to develop solutions for varied needs across the payments ecosystem.
PYMNTS: You have been in the payment gateway business for 16 years; what are the biggest changes that you observed during this time? Which do you believe will persist — and which will fade away — and why?
RB: In the 16 years I’ve been in the industry, payments have become ubiquitous and borderless. The ability to offer and accept payments anywhere has become both a consumer and merchant expectation. The lines between card-present, card-not-present and mobile payments have been blurred. For example, you can now conduct a mobile transaction in a card present environment. The biggest challenge is trying to identify and keep up with the payment methods and technologies that offer the most secure, convenient and popular ways of conducting transactions.
As new payment technologies and methods are introduced, the landscape continues to become fragmented with no one leader rising to the top. The solutions that will succeed will be those that offer the greatest form of security and convenience while embracing many of the attributes of the existing payment ecosystem. The solutions that will fail will do so due to their closed systems and lack of support for the payment infrastructure in place today.
PYMNTS: Payment facilitators are changing the payment landscape by making it possible for small businesses to accept online payments. How well-positioned is FACenablement (FACe) to continue to innovate in this space?
RB: NMI’s FACe platform was built specifically to meet the existing and ongoing needs of payment facilitators. As a payments enablement company, NMI has spent over a decade building payment gateway platform technology, which meets the evolving needs of our partners. Payment facilitation is a natural extension of our payments enablement platform and similar to our payment gateway technology, we will continue to innovate and further develop FACe as we engage with and support our partners.
PYMNTS: What can we expect from NMI in the next couple of months? What is on your roadmap that you can disclose?
RB: As a payment company, NMI innovates new products and services that enhance the functionality of our payment platform. These new products and services are incorporated into the payment gateway and are made seamlessly available to merchants, which in turn makes it easier for companies to support and meet their merchants’ needs. The technology we provide is enhanced by the back office support we offer our partners and their merchants; technical and customer support can be hard to come by for merchants navigating the intricacies of payment processing, so this unique feature of our gateway is something that really sets us apart.
NMI is the only payment technology company that offers a truly agnostic payment gateway with a highly integrated payment facilitation platform. Over the next few months, NMI will be rolling out several new partners using our FACe platform. As you can imagine, we’ve heavily invested in building this technology and will be aggressively bringing it to market with several of our partners.
CEO of NMI
Roy Banks is the CEO of NMI, a payments enablement technology company based out of Pleasant Grove, UT and Roselle, IL. Roy is a proven C-level executive with over 20 years of public and private company leadership and management experience. He has worked in the high-tech software, financial technology and eCommerce industries. He is a long-time payments industry veteran where he has spent the last 17 years building, growing and selling several successful payments companies in the payment gateway, integrated payments and merchant acquiring businesses.