How to recession-proof your business with payments

For many retailers – whether they are enterprises or SMEs – creating simple, seamless checkout experiences that meet the needs of a wide range of customers in different geographies is a challenge that only seems to get more complex.

For online merchants, the value of investing in payments is well known. Payments are the gateway to their customers, inextricably linked to the growth of their business.

The long and winding path of payments

But the payment plan is also notoriously long and expensive. It kills innovation by diverting resources from strategic business goals to operational functions.

In the face of a looming recession, merchants increasingly face another challenge: staying competitive while adjusting their business expenses to the current economic environment.

If there’s anything to gain from weathering the storm of an economic downturn, it’s learning to do more with less. This forces us to ask: are we optimizing our business? Do we incorporate the resilience and flexibility to pivot (again) if we need to?

Read also: Year of the Rabbit: Leaping into a bumper year for digital payments

You’d think we would have learned about resilience just after emerging from the pandemic. But with parts of the digital economy enjoying the tailwinds of the pandemic online boom, many in the sector are only now feeling the squeeze.

There is one area that is not ready for a downturn: digital spending. In fact, the latest forecasts from Gartner expect technology spending in 2023 to increase by more than six percent from last year.

There is a reason for that. In essence, it is about digitization to optimize: automating processes to accelerate sustainable growth and create efficiency. I’ve seen this first-hand, particularly how automating payments has streamlined and simplified our clients’ processes, enabling them to focus their development resources towards building their core business.

So why payments?

First, payment tools are expensive and notoriously difficult to implement. This is particularly the case in the Asia Pacific region, where the network of payment providers is fragmented and spread across geographical areas.

Payment automation – like the solution offered by Primer – has come a long way in a short time. And the benefits have been game-changers.

More than just cross-border functionality, incorporating and offering new payment methods like e-wallets, bank transfers or BNPL gives customers more choices according to their personal preferences. Expanding the breadth of payment options immediately increases a company’s addressable market.

As your business goes global (or maybe already is), consolidating all payment methods on a platform that’s automated to meet customer preferences can kill the integration roadmap and help companies get to market faster. Smoother and easier payment processes help streamline the payment process and eliminate redundancies such as complex reconciliation and risk management.

Read also: Navigating the payment rules in Singapore

Furthermore, in the context of a dynamic fintech sector and its ever-changing landscape (think crypto and its volatility), building resilience is also about incorporating flexibility into your payments infrastructure.

More importantly, resilience is also about leveraging what automation gives you – data. The Primer team has helped businesses of all sizes integrate infrastructure to help them personalize payments based on powerful insights from their data.

To automate or not

But payments are only the beginning. Setting up a simple e-commerce offering is more accessible to small businesses than it has ever been before. But historically, it hasn’t been that simple to integrate all the functionality and efficiency that trading tools have to offer.

Multiple payment options, automation of sophisticated, professional commerce functionality such as fraud detection, shipping and returns, and customer loyalty tools are no longer limited to large enterprise merchants with a sea of ​​developers at their disposal.

Now, automating these tools can help a business of any size create the foundation to scale quickly and efficiently—and achieve more with less.

Having an open, agnostic infrastructure for easy integration of payments and commerce tools isn’t just about saving time on back-end costs. It’s about getting access to services that companies may not know they need today. In this sense, it is built-in future protection.

Automation of payments and commerce levels the playing field by enabling businesses to do more with less. I’ve seen clients with small teams achieve things that were previously the domain of much larger organizations. In the coming years, even as the pressure of the recession eases, more businesses will learn to operate with this principle in mind, freeing up their resources to focus on the important task of accelerating the growth of their business.

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