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How to find the right partner for global expansion

Top strategies for finding your perfect global expansion partner.

It’s not difficult to find payment partners. Yet finding the right partner for your business can be a challenge. We highlight the factors to consider, plus how to evaluate the relative merits of potential partners and manage the inevitable trade-offs.

Navigating challenges in cross-border expansion

Digital business, distribution and service models help increase revenues without necessarily increasing operating costs. So, whether you’re trying to increase your customer base, usage and volumes. Or scale a niche proposition, cross-border expansion is a natural way to scale.

There’s a fairly big ‘but’, though. Businesses are different. Even those within the same sector or country may have different customers, transaction volumes and payment types. So, it’s important to ascertain whether a potential partner’s solution is fit for purpose as much as fit for your purposes.

Does it align with your company’s needs and objectives? For example, your customers may be looking for instant payments and refunds. But if a potential partner takes days to process payments or is unable to offer instant payment in particular markets, this may not be a good fit.

Similarly, if your business requires twice daily settlement to meet working capital or external capital adequacy requirements, potential partners must be able to deliver T0 settlement twice a day.

Capabilities, cost structure and coverage

International businesses need a payment partner that can handle cross-border transactions, multiple currencies and localized payment rails. So, consider the capabilities, cost structure and coverage of any potential partner.

  • Capabilities: Ask for a description of a potential partner’s technical capabilities relevant to your strategy. Include questions around technical architecture, documentation, sandboxing and integration.

    Not all APIs are created equal, so assess the quality of any APIs and documentation, plus the likely speed and ease of integration.

    Evaluate how well partners can do what they claim, for example by benchmarking approval and transaction success rates and requesting references from relevant existing clients.

  • Commercials: Do you understand the partner’s pricing model and payment terms? Are there hidden costs, potential cost over-runs, or expenditure your business may be responsible for? Request a detailed breakdown of any upfront fees, ongoing expenses and additional charges. You’re looking to establish how the fully-loaded costs of a partner’s services compare.
  • Coverage: How does a partner’s coverage align with your business priorities? Any potential payment partner must be able to support your key markets today, but also enable seamless cross-border expansion in line with your strategic roadmap. So, consider where a partner is licensed and hosted. And whether there any regulatory constraints in using their services versus those of another provider.

Value-added services, customer support and chemistry

As your business grows, your payment processing needs will evolve. Finding a partner that can scale with you involves evaluating value-added services, customer support and chemistry.

  • Value-added services: Every business knows that it’s important to offer a feature set comparable to their competition. Instant payments and refunds direct to account may be table stakes, depending on the sector and market. So, it’s a partner’s value-added services that differentiates their offering to you (B2B). And in turn may enable you to differentiate your offering to end-customers or users.

    What can a potential partner offer to help you deliver better service to your customers? This may be around improved data and analytics, quicker settlement or easier reconciliation. And how could this drive additional sales for you, improve your margins, execute on your strategic priorities, build flexibility and so on?

  • Customer support: Reliable and responsive customer support is crucial, especially when dealing with payment issues that can directly impact sales and customer satisfaction. Be clear about what support by a potential partner provides, including availability, service level agreements and escalation procedures. 
  • Chemistry: When evaluating potential partners, consider your own organization, current activities and ambitions. Acknowledge what your challenges and needs are, plus what you’re looking for in a partner specifically.

    It may help to look back on existing and past financial relationships and reflect on what worked well and less well. If you’re going to put a payment partner at the heart of your business over the coming years, chemistry, cultural fit and strategic alignment are critical.

About Inpay

Inpay is a cross-border payments company, connecting businesses and communities to a global banking network that helps them thrive.

Since 2008, we’ve been helping financial institutions, iGaming operators, corporates, NGOs and others move money to the right places quickly, easily and securely.

Our smart technology, innovative products, robust compliance and in-house experts from 45+ countries solve complex payment challenges with an industry-leading 99% transaction success rate.

What’s more, consultative support from human account managers, not bots, helps accelerate cross-border expansion and resolve issues fast.

Regulated by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority, we’ve been recognized as Denmark’s fastest-growing company, and Europe’s fastest-growing fintech.

For more information, contact us at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.

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