Is Your Partnership Toxic?: Evaluating Integrated Payments PartnershipsVertical SaaS

Is Your Partnership Toxic?: Evaluating Integrated Payments Partnerships


Last Updated on March 22, 2024

Many software executives often find themselves questioning the effectiveness and impact that integrated payments contributes to their companies overall value. In many cases they are concerned their partnership with a payment processor could be constricting their revenue growth.

It’s a legitimate concern. The payment industry is notoriously difficult to understand. Software companies have been burned by seemingly lucrative integrated payments partnerships that end up costing them more time, money and headaches than expected.

How can you determine if you are in a thriving integrated payments partnership or a toxic one?

Here are a few things to consider that can help you properly evaluate your current — or potential — partnership with a processor.

Engagement with Your Ambitions

First and foremost, it is crucial to carefully evaluate whether your payment processing partner truly aligns with the long-term ambitions of your company. This goes beyond mere credit card processing; it involves cultivating a meaningful and collaborative relationship.

Look for a payments partner who not only understands your goals but also demonstrates a genuine interest in supporting and empowering your business to reach new heights of success.

By choosing a partner who shares your vision and is dedicated to your growth, you can establish a strong foundation for achieving your aspirations.

Questions to Ask:Illustration of a man in a futuristic outfit with a pensive expression.
  • Is your payment processor proactive in understanding your business model and future aspirations?
  • Does your processor help you develop strategies that bolster conversion rates, profitability, and the value of your company?
  • Do you feel restricted in your ability to succeed, as if your payment partner is hindering rather than assisting your growth?

A committed partner wants you to succeed, not just use their service. If you feel the latter, it might be a sign that your processor views you as merely another account, rather than an esteemed partner.

Illustration of a woman doing yoga on a mountain top.

Flexibility of Partnership Agreements

It’s critical to ensure that the partnership contract is adaptable and flexible. As your company continues to grow and evolve, your payment needs and strategies will undoubtedly undergo changes and adjustments.

By having an adaptable contract in place, you can effectively address these evolving requirements and confidently navigate the dynamic landscape of business partnerships.

Questions to Ask:Illustration of a man in a business suit in a thinking pose.
  • Does the agreement allow you to adapt your strategy, such as taking on more payment operations or even registering as a payment company yourself?
  • Can you make strategic changes without excessive fees or cumbersome processes?
  • Is the agreement rigid, lacking the flexibility you need for growth?

Your payment partnership should not be a shackle. Instead, it should be a dynamic agreement that grows with you.

Illustration of a woman climbing up a mountainside.

Commitment to Your Payments Strategy Progression

When it comes to your company’s payments strategy, it’s crucial to have a payment partner who is just as invested in its progression as you are. This goes beyond payment processing services.

Your payment partner should actively collaborate with you, providing valuable insights, innovative solutions, and personalized support tailored to your business needs.

By having a partner who understands your goals and works closely with you, you can ensure a seamless payment experience that drives growth and customer satisfaction.

Questions to Ask:Illustration of a woman writing in a notebook
  • Does your partner offer training and resources to help you refine your payment strategy?
  • Is your payment processor transparent, ensuring you aren’t kept in the dark about vital information that could empower your decision-making?
  • Does your processor seem content with keeping you at a novice level, never fully allowing you to realize the potential of the partnership?

Knowledge is power. A partner keeping you in the dark is potentially restricting your growth.

Illustration of a group of construction workers happily rushing toward a project.

Assistance with Go-to-Market Strategies

Selling and marketing an integrated payment solution is no small feat. It requires tapping into your creative genius, leveraging strategic insights to navigate the competitive landscape, and allocating the necessary resources to drive success.

This multifaceted endeavor demands a deep understanding of customer needs, meticulous planning, and the ability to effectively communicate the value proposition of the solution.

Leveraging your payment partner to create a robust GTM strategy can unlock new potential for your business. A supportive payment partner can provide unique data, insights, and resources, aiding you in creating more targeted and effective marketing strategies.

This collaborative approach ensures that your GTM strategy is not only comprehensive and data-driven but also tailored to your specific business needs and objectives.

Questions to Ask:Illustration of a notebook.
  • Does your partner assist in developing and executing go-to-market strategies for your payment solution?
  • Do they provide valuable resources, insights, and best practices?
  • Do you constantly feel isolated and forced to navigate the complex landscape on your own?

Tackling the vast payment world solo can be overwhelming and inefficient. Your partner should be there, guiding and supporting you.

Illustration of a person in a futuristic hazmat suit walking toward toxic waste.

Spotting a Toxic Partnership

Integrated payment services offer a significant revenue stream for software companies. A poor partnership or business relationship can restrict growth, profitability, and even the long-term value of your company.

You cannot afford to enter into a toxic payment partnership, or allow an existing one to persist. It’s imperative to be aware of warning signs that you are in a detrimental and potentially destructive partnership.

How to spot a toxic partnership:Illustration of a woman identifying and cleaning up toxic waste.
  • Communication — There’s a lack of open dialogue and/or your concerns are consistently dismissed.
  • Support — A good partner provides resources, training, and insights and doesn’t leave you to navigate the complex payment industry alone.
  • Transparency — Hidden fees, complex contract terms, or general opaqueness in operations signal a partnership that’s more parasitic than symbiotic.
Illustration of a man holding a toxic waste container.Advice for Companies in Toxic Payments Partnerships

If you recognize the signs of a toxic partnership, it’s not too late to pivot. It may seem daunting to change payment processors, but the long-term consequences of staying in a toxic partnership can far outweigh the short-term challenges of making a switch.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Open a Dialogue — Address your concerns directly with your payment partner. Sometimes, simple communication can lead to resolutions.
  • Seek External Consultation — A third-party consultant can provide insights into the industry standards and what you should expect from a partner.
  • Renegotiate or Exit — If your concerns aren’t addressed, consider renegotiating the contract terms or seeking a new partner. Remember, the ultimate goal is the growth and success of your company.

If you decide you have outgrown the partnership and are ready to move on, be sure to find a partner that can help develop a dynamic path forward that gives you optionality, control, and maximized revenue, profitability, and company value.

Illustration of two astronauts looking into the distance.

Seeking a Thriving Partnership

An integrated payments partnership can significantly influence a software company’s trajectory. Vertical software company executives must be vigilant, regularly evaluating their partnerships to ensure they empower growth rather than hinder it. With the right partner, the sky’s the limit.

A thriving partnership should be built on mutual respect, transparency, and a shared vision for success. It is crucial to find a partner who truly understands your business, its unique challenges, and opportunities. Look for a partner that offers flexibility in contracts, tailoring solutions to meet your specific needs.

A committed partner, invested in your growth, will provide ongoing support and guidance, helping you navigate the ever-evolving market landscape. Together, you can develop effective go-to-market strategies that drive success and unlock new opportunities.

Choose your payment partner wisely and reap the rewards of a successful collaboration. Continue to evaluate and invest in strong partnerships, as they are key to driving growth and prosperity for years to come.

At Nexio, we understand that relationships are the foundation to success. With Nexio, you’re not just buying the technology to facilitate payments. You’re partnering with a team of experienced professionals that help you maximize the value of the technology. We’re invested in helping our partners achieve their business goals. Contact us today to unlock the full potential of your integrated payments.

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