Managing the flow of funds between buyers and sellers is one of the most important functions of an online marketplace. It can also be one of your most profitable and scalable revenue streams.
However, it is very expensive and complicated to build your own payment infrastructure. That’s why most marketplaces use third-party payment service providers, also known as payment processors, payment gateways, or merchant services.
A good payment service provider has the following important characteristics:
Accepts payments with no need for multiple merchant accounts.
Easy onboarding for sellers. Minimises documentation and other friction points.
Offers flexible payment options – credit cards, bank transfers, ApplePay, etc.
Offers multiple currency options, including exchange rate calculations.
As Merchant of Record it takes responsibility for the flow of funds and handles credit card disputes.
Can hold or delay funds until goods are delivered or services rendered.
Minimises risk through security mechanisms such as fraud filters and encryption.
Adheres to compliance regulations such PCI and Know Your Customer.
Can split payments – multiple sellers per cart, or tax and commission deduction.
Offers reporting tools to sellers and an admin dashboard to marketplace owners.
Reliability – a stable organisation with a strong track record of service delivery.
Flexibility – its API allows customisation for your business model.
Not all payment service providers are suitable for marketplaces. Many global payment gateways do not offer split payments for example.
Choosing the wrong payment service provider can have disastrous consequences. Payments platform, Balanced, closed its doors in 2013, leaving hundreds of marketplace customers in the lurch – RIP.
Stripe Connect was developed by Stripe specifically for multi-vendor marketplaces. It supports billions of pounds in marketplace transactions worldwide and is the engine behind iconic marketplace platforms like these:
PCI Service Provider Level 1 (highest certification in payments industry). All transactions are encrypted and subject to Britain’s KYC standards.
Stripe has a reputation for fast developer-friendly implementation. This reduces time-to-market and costly integration processes.
With Stripe’s API you can customize your payment system to match your unique payment flows.
WHITE LABEL INTEGRATION
Users will only see your branding while Stripe’s engine completes the transaction.
Stripe supports 135+ currencies and multiple payment methods in 34 countries including the UK.
Stripe Connect offers full subscription functionality. Great for SaaS platforms.
Stripe allows unlimited parties
Stripe offers comprehensive tax reporting tools.
Stripe has a 99.9% uptime record.
Integrating a payment system correctly within your marketplace requires certain resources and some experience. Getting it wrong can be costly and permanently damage your brand.
Gather business intelligence, e.g. product owners need to identify the flow of funds.
Developers and UX teams connect the payment system to the marketplace.
Developers test charge flows, product managers test verification flows, finance teams verify reports and dashboard information.
Customer service, finance and product management teams must understand how to handle refunds and disputes via the dashboard.
Strategies for user adoption. e.g. ‘how it works’ guides.
Our experience in identifying revenue streams and mapping out payment flows will make sure your payment system is 100% suited to your business model and up and running within the shortest period of time.
We are committed to delivering the most efficient, reliable and cost-effective payment solution for your marketplace and its users.
CobbleWeb can help you choose and implement the right payment system for your marketplace. Get in touch for a no-obligation assessment.