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Why the Payment Aggregator Business Model is Compelling

Payment Aggregation, or Payment Facilitation (Payfac), allows a SaaS company to act as a master merchant for its users. The SaaS provider onboards its clients via a fairly non-intrusive application process, and this easy, fast onboarding makes it simple for the SaaS company’s users to begin accepting customer payments very quickly.

Payment Aggregation - PayFac - Payment FacilitatorThis application process collects enough information for required due diligence (KYC), however, once complete, there are significant compliance controls and checks for which the SaaS provider is responsible. Along with payment integration, compliance, merchant funding, and risk compliance demands, there is a significant amount of time and money that must be invested to make payment aggregation possible.

We have briefly discussed what can go wrong with payment aggregation. Now let’s at what makes payment aggregation — via platforms like Stripe, PayPal and Square — a compelling option for SaaS providers.

There are two major benefits:

  1. Frictionless onboarding: As mentioned above, fast onboarding is appealing. And fast it is. In most cases, SaaS users can begin accepting payments within an hour of applying. This immediacy and ease of adding payments creates such a simple method of adding payment processing that this is reason enough for most platform users to adopt it.
  2. Revenue generation: A large base frequently using payments is massively important when it comes to this second major benefit. The SaaS platform makes money in the spread between their cost to process payments is and what users pay for the app. For example, cost might average 2.4% (discount rate and per transaction fee blended) with the sell rate at 2.9% and 30 cents. So you might make .055% of every transactions dollar amount. The chart below shows revenue based on aggregate dollars processed.

$ processed/month

Revenue

$1,000,000

$5,500

$5,000,000

$27,500

$20,000,000

$111,000

$100,000,000

$550,000

If your average user processes $5,000 per month, you need 1,000 users to hit the $5,000,000-per-month mark. And remember these are revenue numbers. You must also consider that you’ll have significant costs.

If you can achieve significant usage and get you aggregate dollar volume over $10,000,000, your new recurring revenue stream can become one of your most prized business assets.

Is Payment Aggregation the Best Option for You?

So the decision to become a true payment aggregator ultimately rests on one very significant question:

Can you attract enough users to generate the processing volume needed to make the initial and ongoing time and expense worthwhile?

If so, you have the potential to create a substantial ongoing revenue stream that can help grow your business exponentially.

You may also want to explore hybrid payment aggregation. This solution offers many of the benefits of true payment aggregation without the significant cost and compliance concerns.

If you’re unsure what the best payment-processing solution may be for you, Agile Payments can help. Contact us today.

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Gene Krause

Gene has been consulting businesses of all sizes for 18 years and providing them with strategic payments and gateway integrations.

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