Marketplace Payments 101 – Everything you need to know when choosing a marketplace payment solution

This article will review the crucial elements to help you choose the best digital platform payment service provider for your business.

The Challenge


Company size

There’s been a massive rise in global e-commerce sales in recent months. According to Adobe, digital transactions will hit $4.2 trillion this year, as the shift in online shopping triggered by the pandemic isn’t slowing down.

But, of course, marketplace platforms are the drivers of this transformational momentum in e-commerce - and digital payments are the actual backbone of online marketplace platforms.

Hence, choosing the right marketplace payment solution for your business model is a determinant factor for sustainability and scalability. 

The question becomes, what is the best marketplace payment solution? And what should you look for in a digital platform payment provider? 

This article will review the crucial elements to help you choose the best digital platform payment service provider for your business.

The platform economy rides on digital payments. 

Before we take a deep dive into the fundamentals for choosing the best marketplace payment solution, let’s start with the crucial definition of payment terms you need to know.

  • Payment Gateway: A framework used by merchants to accept debit or credit card purchases from customers. The term includes the physical card-reading devices found in brick-and-mortar retail stores and the payment processing portals found in online stores.
  • Payment Service Provider (PSPs): A third-party company that assists businesses to accept a wide range of online payment methods, such as online banking, credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, cash cards, and more. They ensure safe and secure customer transactions. 
  • Payment Method: A preferred channel for payment that requires payment processing. For example, card payment, electronic bank transfer, mobile payments.
  • Payment Instrument: A specific means of payment used in a definite transaction flow. Suppose you choose the Payment Method credit card at the checkout point of a digital marketplace. In that case, you could pay with a credit card as the Payment Instrument. Payment instrument is exclusive of credit card voucher, letters of credit, or redeemable instrument by the issuer in goods or services.

Now that we’ve cleared the air on those crucial terminologies, let’s look at vital factors you should consider when choosing a marketplace payment solution.

How to choose a marketplace payment service provider

Below is a listicle of crucial elements to consider before onboarding a digital platform payment solution.

#1: Ease of vendors onboarding

The first stage of running a thriving marketplace is vendor onboarding. And as with every commercial partnership, the vendor onboarding process begins with the marketplace business gaining a sense of who vendors are, per prevailing county laws. In that regard, the marketplace business is obligated to collect details such as the legal name, birth date, address, legal ID, and other vital documents on each seller.

The due diligence stage serves to help the marketplace verify the seller's identity, thereby presenting customers with trustworthy sellers whose legal and financial integrity are unquestionable.

Unfortunately, it’s tough for a marketplace business to do a great job handling the KYC (Know Your Customer) or KYB (Know Your Business) processes for every single seller they onboard. Even so, prospective vendors do not always have the patience to participate in the laborious KYC process.

Hence, before you choose a marketplace payment provider, you must ensure they can quickly handle the KYC procedures on your behalf. But not just that, the KYC process should be seamless for your sellers as well.

An automated KYC process is one crucial reason the fastest growing digital payment platforms choose UNIPaaS. Our team built the UNIPaaS Payment Onboarding process to give your vendors a smooth and easy experience. We provide a variety of solutions to ensure that you, as a platform, experience high conversion rates in your vendor registration process. At the same time, we take care of KYC and KYB verifications. 

Using multiple, sophisticated verification models, we can verify both companies and individuals/sole traders so you can focus on doing what you do best as a platform business. 

You can choose from 3 different integration modes, in line with your business needs:

1/ No Code approach - using onboarding link

2/ Low Code approach - embedded within your platform, using only one line of code to maintain the design and experience of your platform.

3/ Full API integration - allowing a fully customisable onboarding experience.

#2: Faster, more straightforward, and more secure online payments on any device, whatever your business model

Efficiency in financial and operational procedures of a digital marketplace business starts with payment collection. Marketplaces are constantly pressured to support multiple payment options to ensure money in and out is not a nightmare for vendors. 

When choosing a marketplace payment provider, ask yourself: Can the payment provider tailor payment options to align with different kinds of business models? 

Beyond tailored payment options that suit your sellers’ business models, you also want to ensure that the marketplace payment platform can easily add new payment options to your website without integration hassle.

Some businesses prefer fully hosted checkout pages, while others might want a server-to-server integration for PCI-compliant platforms. 

A good marketplace payment provider should have a variety of integration options such as the following:

  • Payment Link (No code required! - Payment links are created from our web-based portal).
  • Checkout Page (Low effort integration - Automatically create payment links and redirect your buyers to a hosted checkout page).
  • Web SDK (Medium effort - Embed, pre-designed, Web SDK UI components into your existing web page).
  • API Only (Server to Server - Develop your own checkout experience).

Other concerns you must equally address on this front include seamless recurring payments functionality and post-payment support like refunds.

Over at UNIPaaS, we built on those core functionalities with a robust payment infrastructure that ensures your marketplace can accept payments on any device, whatever your business model. 

Apart from the major payment options, we are always adding additional payment methods to our checkout. From credit and debit cards, bank wire, Apple Pay to any other local payment method you may need. We designed a system that ensures you can own the entire transaction process, control ecosystem funds flow and generate new revenues from PaaS (Payments). BaaS (Banking) and LaaS (Lending).

#3: Manage balances and control payout options

Traditionally, when a customer makes a transaction on a marketplace platform, the funds aren't immediately transferred to the vendor. The marketplace delays the funds for a while until the satisfaction of specific contractual contingencies.

Consequently, the digital platform business has to have a digital wallet to keep the transaction funds. That digital wallet is known as escrow, and each country has various legal requirements for creating and maintaining an escrow account. Generally, most countries require businesses that hold money for entities other than their employers to obtain a business license for such efforts. 

For the most part, obtaining an escrow license isn’t easy to get. Hence, before you choose a digital platform payment provider, you must ensure they offer escrow functionality to ensure you can schedule your payouts and your vendor payouts. Ideally, you should also have the option to prepare a payout for each vendor separately.

UNIPaaS addresses these challenges for platform businesses. Accepted payments go into an eWallet. You can withdraw or transfer funds from one eWallet to another. Our multi-vendor management system helps you make effortless disbursements and split funds between multiple entities. 

Need to send fast payouts to your Vendors' Bank account, your freelancer/service provider's Bank account, or to your Bank account? It’s a no-brainer. We designed a framework that does it all and much more - on one platform!

#4: Transparency of cost and scalability

Another extremely vital point to note on choosing the best marketplace payment provider for your business is the cost of payment processing.

Before integrating a digital platform payment processor, be sure you know the payment terms. Also, evaluate the costs and associated fees and consider any maintenance fees to ensure your spending works for your business model.

These considerations will help you choose the best marketplace payment solution for your business and ensure you get the best value for money. So now, instead of onboarding multiple service providers to meet these demands or labouring to build an in-house framework, which isn’t quite feasible, you should work with UNIPaaS for an optimum end-to-end payment solution on your digital platform.

Our payment infrastructure serves B2B marketplaces, B2C marketplaces, Digital services, Independent Software Providers, SaaS, Gig economy, and any business looking to monetise and own the money flows running through its systems. In addition, the UNIPaaS solution gives you total flexibility to configure your own platform fees according to your business model.

We've gone above and beyond to ensure most of our products come with different degrees of embedded integrations for your convenience. Start your test scenario with our sandbox here.

talk to the experts
No items found.