In our previous articles on the best crypto payment gateway practices, we wrote that available gateways were mainly merchant-centric. Indeed, many cryptocurrency payment gateway solutions are available at the market. However, most of them are targeted at merchants and not payment facilitators (PayFacs) or SaaS platforms. That is why when you are choosing a crypto payment gateway for your platform, you need to be careful. Otherwise, you might choose the solution that is not optimized for your specific operational model. As a result, you might experience serious architectural issues with the solution down the road.
Let us consider the common options for a business deciding how to create a crypto payment gateway solution. In order to appreciate the respective differences between merchants and platforms we will go through both respective hypothetical scenarios.
Traditional merchant-centric scenario
For this initial scenario, let’s assume that you are running a business selling T-shirts online. You are already accepting credit cards. At a certain point you need to add cryptocurrency support to your existing payment options. Here are the main conceptual phases of the process.
- After some research of the best crypto payment gateway solutions available at the market, you choose the most suitable service provider.
- This provider is required to perform KYC procedures. So, as a merchant, you have to submit all the mandatory forms and documents. In essence, these are the same documents that you previously submitted when signing up for credit card processing.
- After background verification, you have to integrate the chosen crypto gateway platform with your e-commerce website. For this purpose, you can follow one of the two paths.
- You can integrate with the platform using some ready-made plugin.
- You can develop a custom API integration. This option will require some development effort.
- You will have to maintain a separate login for your crypto payment gateway to access reports and statements. This will be in addition to the login that you already have for your credit card solution. Thus, you will have to separately maintain two independent logins.
Best crypto payment gateway implementation scenario for a platform
Now let’s assume that your business is a shopping cart platform. Your customer base consists of many smaller businesses selling clothing and apparel online.
The above scenario works well if you only need a single merchant account for your business. A PayFac or SaaS (in our example – shopping cart) platform is an entity, servicing a portfolio of customers.
For such a platform implementation of a similar scenario might be a problem. Key reason: a platform needs to be able to manage the whole portfolio of merchants at the same time.
The platform has to provide merchants with simple user experience. Particularly, from the standpoint of underwriting, subsequent payment reconciliation, and generating of merchant statements.
Basic features of a crypto solution for platforms
In essence, you need a unified centralized API to onboard merchants, process crypto payments for them, and generate informative merchant statements. The platform management should be able to control these basic features. That is, the SaaS, shopping cart, or PayFac platform needs a mechanism to
- collect the necessary data from the merchants,
- automatically send it for MID provisioning (to enable both card and crypto payments),
- process payments on behalf of merchants, and
- generate integrated merchant statements. This means getting all reconciliation information, needed to generate consolidated statements on both crypto and card payments for customers.
Otherwise, overall merchant experience will be very inconvenient, and the platform might be unable to manage, brand, and control it.
Key steps to perform
So, the scenario for a platform looking for a crypto gateway solution will differ from the above merchant-centric scenario. The key steps the platform has to take are as follows.
- Research the best crypto payment gateway solutions at the market.
- Choose the crypto solution that offers the best service from the standpoint of the merchants from the portfolio.
- Go through background verification.
- Organize the process, preferably through integration with the chosen solution through respective custom API. Again, the critical features you need at this point are: automatic onboarding, processing, reporting, and, potentially – reconciliation.
Ethereum, Bitcoin, and other blockchains are here to stay. So, it is important to think about Ethereum and Bitcoin payment gateway integration in one form or another.
An ideal solution would be a single integration with an omnichannel payment gateway solution. Such a solution incorporates both crypto and fiat payment gateway features features. It has the logic for terminal (card present), online (CNP), mobile and in-app payment functionality. It supports all payment types and methods, including cards, ACH, and of course crypto. All these features are supported through the respective unified API.
Currently available crypto offerings resemble credit card offerings that existed over ten years ago, before integrated payments became popular. Back then every merchant had to sign up for every feature and payment type separately. However, those times have long gone and technologies move forward. Presently, it is the platforms, not merchants, that dominate the market. And platforms need integrated solutions.
Are you a payment platform in search of the best crypto payment gateway solution? If you are, you should look into the future and not the past.
Learn more about UniPay Gateway – an omnichannel crypto friendly payment solution for payment facilitators and software platforms.