Top payment orchestration platforms (and what to look out for)

Top payment orchestration platforms (and what to look out for)

If you are searching for a payment orchestration platform, it’s likely you currently:

  • Have a lot of different payment providers with different payout cycles, dashboards and reporting methods.

  • Find that reconciliation is getting increasingly complicated.

  • Don’t have enough staff to manage all the payment provider relationships.

Ideally, you’re looking for a payment orchestration platform that can manage your payment service provider relationships, unify all your application programming interfaces (APIs) and give you more control over the payment flow and customer journey. But what should you look for in a payment orchestration platform and how do you know which one fits your needs?

In this article, we’ll be looking at:

Note: looking to set up a payment orchestration platform right away? Reach out to us at Zai and we’ll let you know how we can help you out.

What can a payment orchestration platform do for you?

We like to use the analogy of the shopping shelf and supermarket to explain how payment orchestration works within your payment stack.

Usually, a merchant has to have multiple relationships with payment service providers, and possibly with hundreds of banks or payment processing companies. Each provider will have different reporting cycles, payout cycles, invoice terms and different dashboards, which can make it difficult to manage and maintain control over the payment flow.

For example, companies like Uber and Deliveroo will have over 100 payment service contracts across multiple countries, with various payin and payout methods and split payments – often with just a handful of people managing all those vendors.

Now, imagine if a company like Deliveroo only had one payment provider that acted as a supermarket. Instead of having to set up a new relationship with a new payment processor for each new payment method or new country, the merchant would simply ask their partner platform to support them with their new needs, and the platform would allow them to “plug-in” to whatever has already been set up.

Some of the payment solutions the payment orchestration provider would help with includes:

  • Merchant accounts.

  • Acquirers.

  • Payment gateways.

  • Fraud detection and risk management services.

  • Alternative Payment Methods (APM)

  • Blockchain payments.

  • And more!

A payment orchestration platform unifies all those APIs and gives the company the flexibility to validate PSPs. Whatever payment technology the merchant needs to operate, the platform should be able to offer it. 

Most of all, it means the merchant has more control over the payment flow and has the ownership and authority to manage payments the way they want to. Essentially, the payment orchestration platform acts as a one-stop shop for everything the company needs.

These are just some of the benefits:

  • Reduce payment processing fees: with just one provider managing most payments, there are fewer middle-men, and therefore fewer fees.

  • Set up new payment methods in new markets: with one API integration, you can set up the latest payment methods that are popular in the new country.

  • Establish pre-built anti-fraud services: with one provider, you won’t have to set up different integrations for each provider. Instead, you’ll be able to use pre-built fraud configurations to test and find the best one for your company.

  • Improve visibility over your transactions: by using a platform that includes various payment solutions, as well as accounting services, you’ll be able to set up specific rules and events that will give you better visibility over movement. It helps reduce time spent on reconciliation and helps streamline the accounting process.

When is it a good time to start looking for a platform? When you’re managing more payment service providers than you can handle and are having to hire additional team members to manage them - possibly over a hundred, with different dashboards and payout cycles.

Top payment orchestration platforms

There are multiple orchestration platforms that specialise in acting as a one-stop shop for merchants and enabling access to specific financial solutions. However, some will only be available in certain countries, or will specialise in one solution and not another – for example, they may support multiple payment methods, but won’t be able to issue cards.

For this reason, it’s important to understand what specific payment solutions you need as a merchant before choosing your orchestration provider.

Here, we’ll compare five different payment orchestration platforms. Since we’re writing the article, we thought we’d start with ourselves:

Zai

We specialise in customised payment workflows via bank transfers and credit cards in Australia, and now we’re going global and entering the UK market. We’re bringing our sophisticated technology to the UK and localising our payment methods to create solutions for all types of UK business challenges.

In Australia, we have a full suite of payment solutions that allow us to hold deposits via e-wallets, split payments and manage fraud and risk.

Here’s an example of how our payment orchestration platform allows a proptech in Australia to control and automate its payment flow and rely on one payment provider rather than managing over five different relationships with different solutions.

Proptechs can be complex businesses, with multiple parties involved including:

  • Investors.

  • Contractors.

  • Insurance providers.

  • Tenants.

  • Financial services solutions.

Each provider will have different payment terms, due dates, and payment amounts, with these often changing regularly. As a proptech company, manually splitting each payment to the right provider and party slows down payments, causes human errors, and is very time-consuming.

With Zai’s API, proptech companies can set up a flow to make these payments automatic and seamless.

Here’s an example table of how a split payment goes through the process:

split payments table

In this example, the property manager used an automated direct debit to pull £1,000 from the tenant and place it in that user's e-wallet. Then, the split payments API goes to work, splitting the rent payment and crediting it across multiple users.

Since Zai offers multiple payin and payout methods, as well as custom payment workflows, the proptech company has control over the entire payment flow and can allow tenants to pay in their preferred payment method.

This approach is great for complex payment issues with multiple parties involved. With the right payment provider, the merchant’s entire business model and payment strategy can be rethought and optimised.

many-to-one

 

many-to-one_2

This is only possible with a payment orchestration platform, which manages multiple aspects of the payment flow including the onboarding, the payment gateway, the e-wallet, the split payment, and then the various payins and payouts via direct debit, real-time bank transfers and other payment options.

And since it’s API-enabled, Zai customers can set the rules for each split payment via their own custom-built API dashboard. They’ll also be able to manage the entire payment system, view specific payment data and manage the payment experience from start to finish.

Proptech is just one example: many other industries benefit from this type of solution, including online exchanges, B2B suppliers and marketplaces with a complex payment infrastructure.

(Curious to learn more, and are a bit technical-minded? Check out the Zai docs, including workflow examples and e-wallets to see more of how this works in practice).

Who is Zai good for? Zai is great for companies that have complex workflows and have multiple relationships with payment service providers (PSPs) that could be streamlined. At Zai, we service B2B, B2B2B and B2B2C and work across all verticals and company sizes, including startups, scale-ups and larger companies that want to go global.

Depending on your specific needs, however, it’s possible that Zai isn’t a good fit, and that other times other platforms may suit your needs better.

Railsr

Railsr describes itself as a “global embedded finance experience platform” and is operational across all continents. It uses the term embedded finance rather than payment orchestration.

Features:

  • Embedded bank and wallets: Customers can set up banking and wallet components that enable banking/wallet functionalities that are embedded in a customer experience. For example, a neo-bank for students, or a games wallet that works in the metaverse.

  • Embedded cards: Customers can embed virtual or physical cards into their brand with just one commercial agreement.

  • Embedded credit: Customers can embed credit as a product extension and as a way to generate revenue from their customer base. For example, setting up specific incentives via credit cards or BNPL.

  • Embedded rewards: Customers can set up custom dashboards to have a better understanding of how promotions and rewards impact usage patterns and relationships with customers.

Railsr specialise in the following verticals:

  • Fintechs.

  • Sports, venues and clubs.

  • Retail.

Who is Railsr good for? Since Railsr have an EMI license, it is a good fit for neobanks and fintech companies that need support with licensing. The firm also has experience in the cryptocurrency space.

Weavr

Weavr describes itself as a plug-and-play finance, allowing businesses to embed specific payment solutions within its product or service. It also offers a financial services ‘app-store’ to make it easier for merchants to pick the solution they need. Tailor-made solutions are available, if needed.

Features:

  • Cards, including virtual cards, physical cards, and wearables.

  • Multiple payment methods.

  • Specific financial rules.

  • Digital credit accounts.

  • Compliance and anti-fraud.

  • Data security.

  • Financial dashboards.

The industries they specialise in include:

  • Education.

  • Health and wellness.

  • Real estate.

  • Future of work.

Who is Weavr good for? Merchants that have simple workflows and know exactly what payment solutions they need.

Apexx Global

Apexx is a pioneer in the payment orchestration space and describes itself as a payment orchestration layer specifically built for enterprise customers. The firm prides itself on having one platform with just one single integration which is acquirer agnostic. It acts as an API platform and has live integration with gateways and providers.

Features:

  • Platform that includes intelligent routing.

  • 120 alternative payment methods.

  • BNPL solutions.

  • Data mapping and visualisation.

  • Intelligent routing engine.

Who is Apexx Global good for? Large corporations that work across multiple continents and require complex workflows in multiple currencies.

Truelayer

Truelayer is a payment platform that specialises in Open Banking. It’s focused on the mainstream adoption of Open Banking to help companies leverage a new type of payment and integrate financial data into any app. It currently manages 50% of all Open Banking traffic in the UK, Ireland and Spain and focus on being API-first.

Features:

  • Payins, withdrawals and refunds, VRP via Open Banking.

  • Payouts.

  • Account information.

  • Account verification.

Industries they specialise in:

  • Crypto.

  • Gaming.

  • Financial services.

  • E-commerce.

Who is Truelayer good for? Companies that want Open Banking payments to make a large portion of their payment flow.

What to consider when picking a payment orchestration platform

Make sure you know who their partners are

Some payment orchestration companies claim to do all types of orchestration – but they won’t reveal the names of their partners. This is often because they are using a just-in-time methodology and will essentially build the solution only once there is a customer that orders it. In essence, they use implementation money to build partnerships.

If your request is simple and basic, this solution is likely to be sufficient. But if you are looking for support operating a more complicated workflow, you’ll want to make sure that delivery and execution have tried and tested partners of the highest quality.

Do they work with your company size?

Some payment platforms will only work with large corporations.

We hope this summary clarifies what a payment orchestration platform does, how it operates, and what to look out for when searching for a partner. If you think Zai might be a good fit, reach out to us today to find out more!