Payment facilitation is the process by which one entity, a master merchant, processes or facilitates payments on behalf of a base of sub merchants.

As a facilitator, there exists a variety of deployment approaches as well — each providing distinct advantages while delivering ease and speed of onboarding to new clients.

While facilitation benefits exist regardless of the model, there are costs and profit distinctives in each and thoughtful consideration of how to approach the process is an essential first step.

On one end of the spectrum there exists a “super facilitator” dynamic a la StripePayPal and Square. These are industry juggernauts providing convenient payment acceptance to any business that needs to take payments.

An alternate payment facilitation model is one aimed at the SaaS provider with a web-based payments component: consider FreshbooksXero or Quickbooks Online as examples.

Each provides a suite of accounting features with embedded payment processing and reconciliation as critical components. By acting as the facilitation layer, these SaaS providers’ clients can quickly submit basic business information and be processing payments within minutes.

Without the support of a payment facilitator, merchants or businesses that want to transact with credit cards would otherwise need to apply and be underwritten by an acquiring credit card bank. To mitigate risks around fraud and non-payment of fees, these banks employ verification processes.

The information and vetting process can be prohibitively burdensome to small businesses, ultimately leading to decisions to forgo accepting credit card payments. This refusal perpetuates cycles of revenue loss, scale and convenience up and down the customer, merchant and facilitator value chain.

Additional information on the key components that make payment facilitation a viable option and How to Become a Payment Facilitator (PayFac) can be found at #agilepayment Blog.

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