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Posted October 16, 2017

choosing payments vendor


Payment technologies are constantly evolving, and successful companies know they need a knowledgeable partner to help them keep up with change and to streamline their processes. But with the number of vendors increasing, and the variety of technologies available, it can be hard to determine the best vendor to work with. Is it better to choose a vendor based on the technology they use, or other factors? We believe technology is crucial, but there are more important things to consider if you’re looking for a long-term partner that you can count on during these times of rapid change.

1. Proven Track Record
Since technology is changing every day, it can be tempting to hire a company that claims to offer the “next big thing.” Many fintech companies have popped up that base their services on a particular technology. The problem with this approach is that nobody can predict which technology will be short-lived and which will have longevity. If you choose a company that offers one plug-and-play solution, and they don’t have a track record that shows adaptability, you’re essentially gambling with your company’s future. It might work out, or you might be looking for a new vendor next year.

Instead, consider looking at companies that have a proven track record of success. At WEX, we evolved and adapted during the most volatile technology age of the last 35 years. We are a pioneer in the virtual payments industry and continue to invest heavily in innovation each year. We offer the best, leading-edge technology, but more importantly, we know how to be nimble enough to adapt as that technology inevitably changes.

2. Flexible And Customizable Solutions
Can we just admit it? Plug and play solutions don’t work for everyone. Most companies believe they have unique challenges and processes and for the most part it’s true to say that no two companies work in exactly the same way. For most businesses it’s worth considering the time you’ll need to invest in workarounds and in-house staff training to innovate your payments processes with out-of-the-box solutions.

A solution with a flexible range of implementation options, integrations with systems and services you are already using and the ability to choose a customized solution are the best way to ensure your payments process is streamlined and efficient.

At WEX, that’s what we do. Our products are tailored to specific industries and specific customers. We consider what tools you’re already using, what your processes are, where in the world you are operating, and what your goals are. From there, we provide a solution that will be easy to implement, easy to use, and have longevity.

3. Global Acceptance
A technology is only useful if your customers and vendors can actually use it – and for most companies, that includes people all over the world. When you’re looking at payments vendors, as well as steering clear of technologies that are too niche or new, be sure to consider whether the solution will be compatible with your existing customer base – worldwide.

WEX Virtual Payments uses existing networks and technology, so there’s global acceptance built in. We use the Mastercard network, which is accepted everywhere, and are able to manage your payments in 210 countries and over 150 currencies. Not only does this make it easy to process international payments, it also saves your company a substantial amount on fees and currency fluctuations.

4. Industry Influence
In business, technology has to work in two directions – it must work for you, and it must work with your customers and vendors. While small fintech companies may have innovative technology, they may not have the connections or the reputation necessary to influence change and drive adoption of that technology.

An advantage to choosing a company like WEX is that we have leaders in each industry who already use our technology, including large online travel agencies, like Expedia and Priceline. The large volume of business we do makes us an important partner and allows us to influence the technology across the payments industry. In 2016, we processed over $50 billion in commercial payments for over 500,000 customers. At this volume, we’re able to provide the best solutions to all of our customers – from start-ups to the industry leaders.

5. Industry Partnerships
Finally, no company can effectively serve every industry without key partners that have in-depth knowledge of those particular industries. At WEX, we continually seek out partners who are experts in their industries, from aviation, to media buying, to travel, and more. In this way, we can offer tailored solutions that meet the very specific needs of these industries.

In our 2017 Payments Pulse survey of 500 CFOs, 61% of respondents said that maintaining a positive relationship with suppliers is equally important as implementing new technologies. Technology alone is not going to solve your company’s payments challenges. To meet the needs of the future, you should look for a payments vendor that has a proven track record, will be accepted by your stakeholders worldwide, and that has influential customers and partners. Most importantly, the company you choose should be focused on you. Your company has unique challenges and processes, so be sure you choose a vendor that is known for customer service, and one that is able to customize a solution that will work for you not only today, but in the long run.


Marc de Vallette