Merging company

The future of payment orchestration platforms and their role in today’s payments industry

“Adding alternative payments for the right type of audience to meet specific needs will become essential in running your business if you haven’t already,” says John LunnFounder and CEO of Gr4vy, in an exclusive interview with The Paypers.

What is the role of the Payment Orchestration Platform in an omnichannel offer?

Payment orchestration is an integration layer between a merchant’s front-end (i.e. their website) and all the payment companies that exist. Currently, merchants have to integrate each payment option directly into their website, so we try to remove the integration, time, effort and complexity of merging you while providing an internal tool, similar to what a router made for Internet connection or Roku made for TV.

Being able to flexibly offer multiple payment methods is crucial for today’s merchants. About 60% of Zoomers or Gen Z don’t have a bank account. They don’t have cards and if you’re a retailer trying to survive in this new world, you need to think of other ways to make them pay. As a merchant, if you only support credit cards, you’re in trouble.

Adding alternative payments for the right type of audience to meet specific needs will become essential in running your business if you haven’t already. Wallets, BNPL and Open Banking in Europe – these are the main types of alternative payment methods that you urgently need to introduce into your ecosystem or you will suffer as a retailer.

What kind of merchants would benefit from working with a payment orchestration platform?

From medium-sized merchants to large enterprises. About 67% of mid-size merchants in the United States already have two or more PSPs. If you’re very small and focused on one market, you can probably live with just one PSP for a while, but as soon as you start going international, which is one of the main markets for grow your business, you need to have multiple payment options, as well as multiple backup providers, to have the flexibility you need.

Why should merchants work with an external POP rather than creating it internally?

Gr4vy allows you to manage your payment infrastructure as you would in-house, through a tool, rather than building everything from scratch.

Building a complete internal system, depending on its complexity, would take an average of 8-9 months. Gr4vy eases the process by giving you a tool that lets you experiment with, add, change, or move different payment types without the engineering or architectural daring that comes with it.

When a PSP or an acquirer encounters technical problems, how can intelligent routing ensure a backup?

Most large acquirers and PSPs rarely experience technical issues, but when they do, the smart routing mode of operation, in this case, is a fallback. Thus, your main processor is configured in the system. If it works, it goes back to the main processor and redirects it that way. In other words, if one processor fails, you use the next one.

Looking at individual transactions from specific countries, things get more complex, as each person uses a specific payment system for a specific type of product, so it all comes down to preference.

How do you manage a single point of failure when working with a POP?

We built Gr4vy as a cloud enterprise so that we are not a single point of failure. Most orchestration platforms operate like a SaaS, a service you connect to that is a single point of failure. Gr4vy is a cloud company, so we create single-tenant instances of Gr4vy for merchants. If, as a retailer, you have a cluster in the western United States and another cluster on the east coast on Google Cloud, we replicate your architecture.

You have one version of Gr4vy in the west and another in the east, which means there is no single point of failure as you can add as many clusters as you want. We have international routers that are installed around the world and read your transactions, so we mirror your architecture and resilience to avoid a single point of failure.

To avoid reconciliation problems, what are the effective solutions to change the processor?

The main problem is not reconciliation, but tokenization and PCI. If you’re using a CPU and you’re tokenizing through that CPU, the token you return by that CPU is unique for that CPU. So what if you want to add a new processor? Your client only has one token on your old processor, so you either have to migrate them, which is a long and very painful process, or start over. Our solution to this problem is called Gr4vy Vault. With Gr4vy Vault, we tokenize on your processor, and we tokenize ourselves, which means that whatever happens in the future, you can migrate from one processor to another.

What does the global POPs market look like today and tomorrow? Will their role grow with the growth of cross-border payments?

We see a world where you choose the best payment options for your customers in this market. You have multiple providers and payment relationships, and you integrate them through an orchestration platform.

For example, we have a lot of North Americans expanding rapidly to LATAM. LATAM is not a credit card marketplace and offers several different payment types. You can’t necessarily pick one vendor to do it all for you, so you have to mix and match. So if you don’t have a payment orchestration platform, you’re going to be doing a lot of manual integration. Selecting the right POP can simplify the process.

As a payment orchestration platform, how does Gr4vy tackle the complexity of payments for merchants and how does it stand out from the competition?

We are an infrastructure and cloud company. Gr4vy does not offer a service but an infrastructure that allows traders to stay in control. We provide the necessary tools that allow you to integrate Gr4vy into your current system. We allow you to grow and experiment quickly, without deleting your old infrastructure and without having to start from scratch. With a platform like Gr4vy, you can experiment with different models and decide what works.

Hopefully we’ll see a lot more merchants experimenting with payment types globally and we’ll also see more payout fairness.

About John Lunn

John Lunn is the founder and CEO of cloud-based payments orchestration platform Gr4vy. He is a technology and fintech entrepreneur with 21 years of experience working and investing in financial services, commerce enablement, electronic payments, data, security and infrastructure. Prior to Gr4vy, Lunn held senior management positions at Cybersource and PayPal, where he created and grew PayPal’s first developer relations team, alongside PayPal Ventures.

About Gr4vy

Gr4vy is a cloud-native payments company that simplifies payment infrastructure management for merchants, allowing them to focus on what matters most. We are redefining payments by providing an intuitive, cutting-edge payments orchestration (POP) platform that harnesses the power of the cloud to modernize payments infrastructure. Our orchestration layer upgrades the merchant payment stack to make them more agile. Our no-code dashboard centralizes the onboarding and management of a merchant’s payment methods, providers, terms, and transactions and enables them to get more done in less time. We enable merchants to streamline and manage payment methods, services and transactions in one place. At Gr4vy, we are passionate about payments, efficiency and extraordinary customer experience.