Define Your Maturity Model: The #1 Embedded Payment Partner

Redefining Embedded Payment Maturity Model for Payments Platforms

Maya Carmeli, VP Product at UNIPaaS, unpacks the importance of balancing the potential of embedded payments against maturity model standards to deliver truly powerful payment solutions.

Embedded Payment Maturity

A payment platform’s ability to leverage incidents and errors to refine and transform its services, products and capabilities is a mark of maturity, a mark of the platform’s ability to embed learning within its lifecycle and to shape this learning across people, processes and planning. Maturity model frameworks that tap into the platform’s ability to evolve and change tend to differ from organisation to industry to sector to niche, but all share a common goal – operational excellence. As a recent What research paper on the Extended Digital Maturity Model highlighted – it is a ‘broad roadmap for improving digital maturity’ that is comprised of multiple levels and provides the organisation with holistic visibility into the maturity and capability of its systems and digital investments. 

In the embedded payments space, maturity models are essential in ensuring that platforms can deliver optimised and optimal payment solutions at a time when disruption and differentiation are key. Customers want embedded payment platforms that can meet their very real needs across value and ease of use. They want ecosystems that offer them real-time control over their payments and finances, and they want frictionless functionality that helps them to manage the complexities of their businesses while delivering exceptional services to their own customers.

Currently, embedded payment solutions on payment platforms are still in a state of flux and tend to sit across one of the following four levels:

  1. No payment system with limited capabilities and poor support.
  2. An off-the-shelf solution that’s high admin and low support.
  3. Embedded but with some limitations around functionality and customisation.
  4. Embedded high-end with comprehensive functionality, customisation and support

Understanding the value of the different maturity levels 

Level 01: No payment system

This is the level from which most platforms start. Their customers have to find their own solutions to ongoing payment problems, and undertake all the research around the type of solution they need, the ramifications it could have when it comes to customer engagement, the costs, the compliance and regulatory challenges, and the integrations. At this level of embedded payment maturity, the stress lies with the small to medium enterprise (SME) that has to squeeze the technology, hard, before getting any value. 

For the SME, this level of payment platform rarely delivers the results they need, and often inhibits their customer service and reputation. For the payments platform, their brand takes a hit – SMEs don’t enjoy getting weak payments solutions that are more about sticky processes than enhancing customer stickiness. It’s limiting, adds to the admin burden, impacts payments, introduces error and scope creep and often the platform provides limited support to its SME customers. 

Many platforms get stuck at this level of payment maturity as leadership isn’t aware of other options on offer, or is wary of investing into new solutions. As a result, payments remain stiff and complex and customers remain frustrated with outdated and unnecessarily complicated systems.

Level 02: Off-the-shelf

At this level, the platform has implemented a payments solution that bypasses the complexities they experienced with their previous payment solutions and that has allowed them to improve admin, visibility, control and customer service. These off-the-shelf or ready-made solutions provided by the platforms tend to come with multiple features that can potentially address some of the friction points felt by their customers. These solutions allow for general integration into most systems but do add in complexity by expecting the customer to take on the management of two different admins and multiple redirects.

The challenge here is that the customer is in charge of opening and managing their account with the platform providing the solution, and they have to allocate time to managing the commercial and legal aspects that come with it. As this is only a partial solution, it leaves the door open for some very real risks. For example, if the SME has a chargeback or if a payment goes wrong in a way that they cannot deal with internally, then they have to manage the problem with the third-party vendor that has engaged with the platform to ensure that there is some form of resolution. This can significantly impact the relationship between platform and its customers and comes with limited support and visibility. 

At this level of maturity, leadership is only one step above the most basic payment levels on the platform and is only just beginning to scratch the surface of how embedded payments can make a fundamental difference to payments and customer performance.

Level 03: Embedded payments introductory level

At this level of embedded payment capabilities, the platform is now on a hosted solution that provides embedded payments. Integration is seamless, the platform doesn’t need to deal with an external third-party, and everything is hosted by the service provider while remaining comprehensively aligned with the platform’s brand.  Vendor onboarding is also seamless – the platform uses a link to set up the embedded payments solution and created a fully-branded portal.

This level of embedded payment functionality hands the platform significantly more control. If their customers have problems, these will revert to the platform that will then get support from the service-provider. This bolsters the trust between you and your customers, and creates a solid relationship between you and your embedded payments service provider. It’s a seamless circle of support from the customer’s perspective, and a solid branding and functionality solution for the platform.

Level 04: Embedded payments, optimised

Maturity for a platform at this level of embedded payment functionality is extremely high. Here, the platform has access to all the benefits outlined at level 03, but with the additional capabilities of user interface (UI) components, seamless integration, comprehensive branding that’s 100% aligned with your platform and business. It empowers your brand while amplifying your value proposition to your customers by providing an exceptional experience that’s enhanced by superb support, seamless payment functionality and rich capabilities.

At this level of maturity, your platform can constantly tweak, evolve and fine-tune embedded payment services in collaboration with a trusted service provider. This ensures that you remain ahead of the digital curve while creating a payments ecosystem that’s alluring and relevant for your customer base. 

UNIPaaS: The Better Choice

UNIPaaS provides platforms with both level 03 and level 04 embedded payment capabilities. We can collaborate with you to create the payment solution you need today – you can rely on us for your entire embedded payment journey and to support you as your business adapts to customer and market expectations.  With us, you can create your own embedded payment ecosystems that allow for your customers to engage and connect using integrated digital journeys that simplify financial transactions while creating new financial distribution models.