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7 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Payments Processor

Online payment processing involves much more than allowing customers to pay you. When done well, payment processing can become a force for business success by removing friction for customers and reducing headaches for merchants.

If you’re considering switching to a new payments platform, it’s important to investigate how a prospective partner can address your particular needs and challenges so you can keep a competitive edge and accomplish your goals. And if you’re not considering switching, you may want to ask whether you’re getting the most value from your current processor.

1. How can you improve the payment experience for our customers?

Shopping-cart abandonment rates reached 77% globally in Q2 2017,1 and one out of four shoppers reported abandoning a cart due to too long or too complicated a checkout process.2 Online customers -- especially ones shopping on mobile devices -- don’t want to navigate payment hurdles to make purchases. They want their online checkout experience to be convenient and frictionless.

The Braintree answer:

Offering a seamless checkout experience -- especially on mobile -- can help boost conversion rates and increase repeat customers. Both our Drop-in UI and Custom UI checkout options can help create a smooth, secure checkout for your website or app. And with PayPal One Touch, your customers can check out even faster using PayPal.

2. How can you help us control fraud and improve conversions?

Reducing fraud is important, but trying too hard to meet this goal can yield diminishing returns. If you reject too many sales -- usually because fraud rules are too stringent -- you could also be rejecting legitimate transactions. The right balance of fraud protection and seamlessness can have a big impact on customer trust and shopping-cart abandonment. Find out if a payments processor offers proactive fraud-management tools that can help you make fast decisions about questionable transactions and build rules to meet your specific business needs.

The Braintree answer:

Our basic fraud protection tools offer merchants the ability to set rules and help guard against the most common types of fraudulent transactions. And for businesses with more sophisticated needs, we offer advanced tools for real-time fraud detection.

3. How can you help us meet PCI compliance standards?

If your business is behind the curve on PCI compliance, you may end up spending more time and money meeting even tougher security requirements. The path to data security compliance has become more comprehensive following each new version of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). To avoid the onerous requirements associated with storing customer financial data, you should strongly consider an online payment solution that offers vaulting and tokenization, and has a partnership with a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA).

The Braintree answer:

We can help you streamline PCI compliance validation. Braintree is a validated Level 1 PCI DSS compliant service provider -- the highest industry standard -- and can help most merchants become eligible for SAQ A-level PCI compliance validation.

Only Braintree delivers cards and PayPal in a single integration


active accounts accessible1


average conversion rate2


of customers said they made more purchases because of PayPal One Touch3


of users reported feeling more secure using PayPal than cards4

  1. 1. comScore Study of Large Merchant Checkouts, published April 2018 by comScore
  2. 2-3. IBID
  3. 4. comScore online survey, Q1 2018, n=4,200 U.S. adult mobile shoppers

4. How can you help us streamline reporting?

Easy access to reports on settlement and disputes can speed up business decisions. But when each gateway and payment processor requires a different interface and login, it can be challenging to gain a comprehensive look at data -- not to mention the resources and time needed to train employees on each system. Find out if a payments processor offers a single login to all merchant accounts and a self-service dashboard to help remove barriers to viewing payments data.

The Braintree answer:

Our easy to use Control Panel provides on-demand reporting for transactions (including PayPal transactions), verifications, and disputes, along with robust individual transaction-level reporting. And it’s all in one place.

5. How can you help us manage chargebacks and disputes?

Disputing chargebacks requires many cumbersome steps, and following up on cases -- not to mention winning them -- can be challenging. Plus, chargeback management often requires assembling purchase and payment information from many sources, draining resources that could be applied to other projects. Although chargebacks and dispute management are ultimately the merchant’s responsibility, your payment processor should bundle chargeback data and make it available through the payment gateway -- as well as provide guidance as to which types of documents to include in a chargeback dispute.

The Braintree answer:

Braintree can notify merchants automatically when a chargeback occurs, and our dedicated team of chargeback experts provides support on filing disputes. Our flexible platform also plays nice with others, so if you’d prefer to integrate with third-party chargeback experts like Chargehound you can do so seamlessly.

6. Is it easy to integrate new payment methods?

The mobile device explosion and the popularity of online banking are driving the development of new ways for consumers to pay. If you’re slow to respond to trends in alternative payment methods and digital wallets, you may risk turning some of these customers away. Get assurance that your payment processing solution offers an easy integration with the most popular current payment methods and is also adaptable to new payment types as they are released.

The Braintree answer:

Braintree is the only payments platform that delivers PayPal, Venmo (in the US), credit and debit cards, and other popular wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay in a single integration.

7. Can you help us expand internationally and accept multiple currencies?

Your payment processor should do the heavy lifting of building networks in the countries/regions that you might be eyeing for expansion. Without established global ties, a payments processor must create new relationships with partners or gateways in new countries/regions or regions in order to process certain types of payments and currencies. Without these connections, your international expansion plans may need to go on hold -- or be cancelled completely.

The Braintree answer:

Almost anywhere in the world your buyers are, we’ve got you covered with multiple presentment and settlement options. We support accepting and processing payments for merchants in more than 45 countries/regions and up to 130+ currencies.

Before you switch to a new online payments processor -- or if you’re just reconsidering your current platform -- it’s important to explore these topics and get answers to these questions. There are other factors, too, but at the end of the day, your payments partner should help drive conversion, increase your reach, create operational efficiencies, help reduce risk, and help mitigate fraud. If they’re not doing those things, it may be time to look elsewhere.

Want to learn more?

Read the full whitepaper
  1. 1. The Remarketing Report - Q2 2017 published August 10, 2017 by SalesCycle.
  2. 2. From "37 Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics," published 2017 by Baymard Institute.

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