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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to marked changes in how we live and work, irreversibly changing our relationship with our own finances, including what we spend our money on, and how we manage it. As a result, more consumers than ever before are shopping online, with figures suggesting that ecommerce sales in Europe alone are up 30% on pre-pandemic levels. In line with the shift to online, consumers have become increasingly comfortable with digital payments, and in turn customer demand for more flexible ways to pay for goods and services has never been higher.

The rise in ecommerce highlights a key opportunity for both enterprise and mid-range merchants to scale internationally by reaching new, digitally savvy customer bases. For newer merchants with smaller payments ecosystems, or well-established brands relying on legacy infrastructure, mass digital adoption can place a lot of stress on networks which haven’t been set up to manage the volume and complexity of cross-border commerce. As more merchants expand into new markets, payment orchestration will be imperative to give consumers the flexibility to pay how they want, and allow merchants to adapt and grow.

New horizons for CellPoint Digital 

CellPoint Digital has a longstanding history of delivering payment orchestration services for brands in the air travel sector, one of the most complex markets from a cross-border payments perspective. By their nature, airlines have to operate in multiple jurisdictions, managing payments in a wide range of currencies and navigating complex payment processes including refunds, voucher issuing and cancellations, meaning they have some of the most complicated payment ecosystems of any modern merchant.

Moving forward, we’re bringing our Payment Orchestration Platform (POP), Velocity, to support merchants in a number of rapidly growing verticals that stand to benefit from more efficient payment ecosystems. We’re looking to move into high transaction volume sectors with lots of opportunity for cross-border optimisation, where payment orchestration will have the most benefit; these areas include retail, online gaming, media & entertainment and online education.

Merchants throughout all of these sectors face similar challenges in an increasingly digitised society. Offering cross-border payments means managing a relationship of individual PSPs and acquirers on a country-by-country basis – several per country if the merchant is looking to mitigate risk of payment failure. This can lead to high operating and transactional costs, and unfavourable rates for payment processing.

These challenges can also generate significant payment friction and sub-optimal experiences for customers, preventing them from paying how they want and, in some cases, rejecting payments altogether. This can lead to cart abandonment, cancelled subscriptions and long-lasting negative brand perceptions, which will reduce the likelihood of repeat custom.

Optimise the payments experience end-to-end with Payment Orchestration Platforms 

Our Velocity platform offers merchants a range of over 400 payment options, PSPs and acquirers, allowing them to optimise their payment strategy fast. Velocity seamlessly integrates into merchants’ existing systems via API and mobile SDK, helping them to unify their payments ecosystem by building their own network of partners, cards and alternative payment methods (APMs) under one platform.

As a result, merchants can provide a truly omni-channel payments experience across on and offline touchpoints including web, in-store, mobile and more. This leads to an enhanced user experience for the customer and removes payment friction, enabling them to pay how they want to, including options such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Klarna.

Unlike most Payment Services Providers (PSPs), we offer a truly agnostic orchestration service as we have no commercial partnerships with acquirers, allowing for dynamic routing to reduce payment failures and optimise transactional costs. Implementing payment orchestration has delivered key operational benefits for CellPoint Digital clients including 10% increased digital revenues, 20% reduced payment costs and a 75% faster time to market.

“Payment friction needs to disappear in the near future” 

At CellPoint Digital our mission is to make payments easier, not just for our clients, but for their customers too. We want to see merchants recognise that streamlining the payments process should be a priority, and is key to ensuring a positive payment experience for customers, which in turn will improve brand perceptions and drive repeat transactions. We’re opening up our POP to merchants in a wide range of sectors to help them unify and scale their payments ecosystems, capitalising on opportunities to increase revenue whilst reducing back-end costs.

In the digitised society, payment friction is just one of the issues that merchants face currently. As technologies advance, however, and user behaviours change, they’ll have to adapt to new solutions and methods such as BNPL, crypto-assets, split payments and more. As a proven payment orchestration specialist, CellPoint Digital will be on hand to help merchants future proof their payment ecosystems and plan for changing trends in their respective marketplaces.

Kristian Gjerding, CEO, CellPoint Digital