The way we conduct online transactions is evolving at a blistering pace, and consumers demand seamless, secure, and flexible payment methods for their everyday needs.
This is where Embedded Payments and Integrated Payments come in.
But what are their differences, and how do they revolutionize how we trade and transact?
Welcome to your definitive guide to understanding Embedded vs. Integrated Payments.
We’ll explore all you need to know about these payment systems, comparing and contrasting them to ensure you understand their impact on businesses and consumers.
Also Read: 18 Terms to Know Before Choosing a PayFac
Table of Contents
- Key Takeaways
- What are Embedded Payments?
- Examples of Embedded Payments
- Benefits of Embedded Payments
- Potential Drawbacks of Embedded Payments
- What Are Integrated Payments?
- Examples of Integrated Payments
- 9 Benefits of Integrated Payments
- Drawbacks of Integrated Payments
- What Are Disconnected Payments?
- Benefits of Disconnected Payments
- Embedded vs. Integrated Payments: Key Differences
- Why the Difference Between Embedded and Integrated Payments Matters
- Embedded vs. Integrated Payments: How to Choose What Is Right for You
- Here’s How GETTRX Can Help
- Final Thoughts
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Embedded payments are seamlessly integrated within a software application, providing a convenient user experience within the platform.
- Integrated payments work alongside various systems, improving overall business processes and allowing for greater flexibility.
- Embedded payments offer enhanced user experience, reduced cart abandonment rates, and increased control over the checkout process.
- Integrated payments streamline operations, improve accuracy, and provide access to valuable data for informed decision-making.
- Potential drawbacks of embedded payments include higher initial costs, ongoing maintenance, and compatibility issues.
- Integrated payments require less upfront investment, offer scalability, and enable efficient data management.
- Disconnected payments, a traditional approach, involve manual data entry and limited integration but may suit simple business needs.
- When choosing a payment system, businesses must consider factors like user experience, operational efficiency, cost, security, and scalability.
- Embedded and integrated payments differ in functionality, integration level, customization options, and data handling.
- The choice between embedded and integrated payments depends on each business’s specific needs, goals, and circumstances.
What are Embedded Payments?
Embedded payments are payment systems allowing businesses to handle transactions within their platform or app.
It’s a seamless integration of payment processing into software applications. This means that your customers can complete purchases without ever having to leave your app or website.
In the traditional payment model, third-party redirects were necessary for the transaction process. If a customer wanted to make a purchase, they were often taken to an external site to complete the payment.
With embedded payments, this friction is entirely removed from the process. The entire transaction journey occurs within a single environment, making it smoother and more intuitive.
But it’s not just about convenience. Embedded payments are also about control, as this solution allows you to maintain complete control over the user experience.
You can customize the payment interface to match your brand, design the payment flow that best suits your business model, and access transaction data that can give you valuable insights into your customers’ behaviors and preferences.
From a technological perspective, embedded payments are made possible through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).
These tools allow your app or platform to communicate with a payment gateway, facilitating real-time transactions without the need for redirects or external payment pages; as a result, transactions are seamless and frictionless.
Examples of Embedded Payments
The following examples illustrate how diverse industries leverage embedded payments to streamline operations and improve user experiences.
The most recognizable examples of embedded payments can be found in the ride-sharing industry.
Applications like Uber and Lyft offer embedded payment systems that allow passengers to pay for rides directly through the app.
This eliminates the need for cash transactions or third-party payment apps, simplifying the payment process and enhancing the overall customer experience.
E-commerce platforms leverage embedded payments to provide seamless shopping experiences.
Amazon, for instance, enables customers to store their payment information and complete purchases without being redirected to a third-party site.
Shopify offers a similar experience, allowing merchants to accept payments directly on their online storefronts, thereby streamlining the checkout process and boosting conversion rates.
Food Delivery Apps
Food delivery apps utilize embedded payments to facilitate fast and convenient transactions. Customers can browse menus, place orders, and pay for meals without leaving the app.
Integrating payment processing into the app enhances convenience, increases order frequency, and ultimately drives growth for these businesses.
Subscription Services (Netflix, Spotify)
Subscription-based services like Netflix and Spotify employ embedded payment systems to manage recurring payments.
Users enter their payment information once, and fees are automatically deducted at each billing cycle. This simplifies the payment process for users and ensures a steady revenue stream for the service providers.
Freelance platforms use embedded payments to streamline transactions between freelancers and clients.
Once a job is completed, clients can make payments directly through the platform, and freelancers can receive their funds without needing to handle invoicing or payment collection independently.
Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms have also jumped on the embedded payments bandwagon, offering in-app purchasing capabilities.
For instance, Instagram allows users to purchase directly from ads or shops within the platform.
Facebook Marketplace utilizes a similar system, allowing users to pay for items without being redirected to an external site.
Benefits of Embedded Payments
Embedded payments have become popular with many E-commerce companies and merchants for varying reasons, including:
Improved User Experience
Embedded payments offer a streamlined, intuitive user experience. By eliminating the need for third-party redirects, users can complete transactions quickly and efficiently, all within a single platform.
Increased Conversion Rates
According to a Baymard Institute report, almost 70% of online shoppers abandon their carts before completing a purchase. One primary reason for this is a complex or time-consuming checkout process.
Integrating the payment process directly into your platform can reduce friction in the checkout process, potentially leading to higher conversion rates.
Embedded payments offer the flexibility to customize the payment interface and process to match your business needs and brand identity. This ability to provide a unique, branded checkout experience can set your business apart from competitors.
Tracking payments and reconciling accounts can be much more straightforward with all transactions occurring within your platform. This can save time and resources for your finance team, allowing them to focus on strategic tasks.
Increased Control Over Data
Embedded payments allow businesses to retain control over valuable transaction data. This data can provide insights into customer behavior and preferences, which can be used to optimize your marketing strategy and enhance customer relationships.
Embedded payment systems are often built with scalability in mind. As your business grows, the system can handle an increasing volume of transactions without compromising performance or user experience.
Reliable embedded payment providers adhere to stringent security standards to protect sensitive customer data. By choosing a provider compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), you can offer your customers a secure payment environment, building trust and confidence.
By embedding payments, businesses can negotiate better rates with payment providers and eliminate costs associated with third-party payment platforms.
Potential Drawbacks of Embedded Payments
While the advantages of embedded payments are undeniable, it’s essential to consider potential drawbacks.
This holistic view allows businesses to make informed decisions, aligning their payment solutions with their specific needs and operational realities.
Let’s take a look at some of the potential challenges or drawbacks associated with embedded payments.
Initial Implementation Costs
Depending on the existing infrastructure, an embedded payment system’s initial setup and implementation can be costly. The process may involve software development, system testing, and possible disruptions to regular operations during the transition.
Maintenance and Updates
Post-implementation, maintaining and updating the system to ensure optimal performance and security compliance may require ongoing technical resources. It’s crucial to have a dedicated team to manage updates, fix bugs, and ensure the system is running smoothly and securely.
Compliance and Regulation
One significant challenge with handling payments in-house is adhering to stringent payment data security standards, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Compliance requires a comprehensive understanding of these standards and regular audits, which can be time-consuming and costly.
Dependence on a Single Provider
With embedded payments, businesses typically rely on a single payment gateway. This could pose a risk if the provider experiences downtime or technical issues, impacting the business’s ability to process payments.
Limited Customer Support
Some embedded payment providers may offer limited customer support. If technical difficulties arise, resolving the issues promptly without reliable support can be challenging.
Lack of Customization Options
While most embedded payment systems are customizable, certain aspects may be set by the provider and not alterable. This could limit a business’ ability to tailor the payment experience to their specific requirements fully.
What Are Integrated Payments?
Integrated payments sync a company’s payment processing with its other business applications.
Unlike embedded payments within a single platform or app, integrated payments work with various systems, ranging from accounting and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) to inventory management and point-of-sale (POS) systems.
Technically, integrated payments are facilitated through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and software development kits (SDKs).
These tools enable secure communication between your payment processing system and other business applications.
This integration can occur through direct communication between systems or via a cloud-based service synchronizing data across multiple platforms.
So why is integration such a big deal?
- It creates a disconnect when payment processing is isolated from other business functions. You end up with siloed data, manual data entry, and a higher risk of errors; ultimately, this is inefficient and can lead to poor decision-making due to lack of consolidated data.
- Integrated payments, on the other hand, provide a more holistic view of business operations.
- By unifying payment processing with other business functions, you can automate workflows, reduce manual data entry, and gain real-time insights into your business’ performance.
Examples of Integrated Payments
Let’s dive into a few examples of integrated payments, so you can see them in action across different industries and scenarios:
In retail, integrated payments enable seamless transactions at the cash register. With integration into inventory management, the system updates stock levels and reorders items when necessary, keeping the sales floor well-stocked and preventing overstock.
Many online stores integrate their payment gateways with accounting software and CRM systems.
When a customer purchases, the system automatically logs the transaction, updates customer records, and adjusts financial statements. This integration helps to maintain accuracy and streamline the fulfillment process.
Modern restaurants use integrated payments to sync their POS with reservation and order management systems. When a customer pays for their meal, the system updates the table status, processes the payment, and makes the necessary entries in the accounting system.
In healthcare, integrated payments allow patients to pay for services online or in person. The payments interface with electronic health records and accounting software, ensuring that patient records are updated, and billing is accurate.
Fitness Centers and Gyms
Gym memberships and class fees are often processed through integrated payment systems.
These systems synchronize with scheduling software, allowing members to book classes and pay fees seamlessly. Additionally, the integration helps in tracking member attendance and billing cycles.
Nonprofits and Charities
Integrated payments connect donation platforms with CRM and accounting systems for organizations that rely on donations. When a donor contributes, the system records the donation, updates the donor’s profile, and ensures proper accounting.
Companies that offer subscription boxes integrate payment processing with shipping and inventory management. When a customer subscribes, the system processes the payment, updates their subscription status, and ensures the box is shipped on schedule.
8. Event Management
For events like concerts or conferences, integrated payments sync ticket sales with event management software. This integration ensures that seating is updated in real-time, financial records are accurate, and attendees receive confirmation and tickets immediately.
These examples illuminate how integrated payments are versatile and can be harnessed across various industries to bring efficiency, accuracy, and improved customer experiences.
9 Benefits of Integrated Payments
1. Streamlined Business Processes
By automating transaction data flow between payment systems and other business applications, integrated payments significantly streamline business processes, reducing manual data entry and ensuring real-time updates across systems.
2. Enhanced Accuracy and Reduced Errors
The automated nature of integrated payments minimizes human intervention, which inherently reduces the risk of errors. This increased accuracy is critical for financial reporting and inventory management.
3. Improved Cash Flow Management
Integrated payments can expedite the settlement process, allowing businesses to access funds more quickly. This speedier access can be essential for managing cash flow, particularly for small businesses.
4. Better Customer Experience
Customers enjoy a smoother and more convenient transaction process with faster checkouts, instant digital receipts, and a more personalized experience due to CRM integration.
5. Comprehensive Reporting and Analytics
With data flowing seamlessly between systems, businesses can generate comprehensive reports that combine sales, customer, and financial data. These insights can be invaluable for making informed strategic decisions.
As your business grows, integrated payment systems can easily adapt to handle increased transaction volumes and additional integrations, ensuring that your payment processing remains efficient and effective.
7. Cost Savings
While initial costs might be involved in setting up integrated payments, the efficiency gains and reduction in errors can lead to significant cost savings in the long run.
8. Customer Retention and Loyalty
Integration with CRM systems enables businesses to track customer preferences and buying habits. This information can be used to create personalized marketing campaigns and loyalty programs that effectively retain customers.
9. Flexibility and Customization
Integrated payments often allow for high customization, enabling businesses to create a payment ecosystem that precisely fits their operational needs and goals.
Drawbacks of Integrated Payments
Here, we’ll discuss some potential challenges associated with integrated payments:
Potential Compatibility Issues
One of the first challenges businesses may face is compatibility issues between the integrated payment system and existing software or hardware. This incompatibility can sometimes necessitate additional investments in updating or changing current systems.
Upfront Investment Costs
Similar to embedded payments, an integrated payment system’s initial setup and implementation can be costly. This cost might include software licenses, hardware purchases, and fees associated with integration.
Ongoing Maintenance and Updates
Integrated systems, being more complex, require regular maintenance and updates. This necessity means allocating resources for a technical team to ensure the system continues running smoothly and securely.
While integration can streamline operations, an integrated system’s initial configuration and ongoing management can be more complex than standalone payment systems. Businesses must be prepared to invest time in understanding and managing this complexity.
Though integrated systems often have robust security measures, the very nature of integration—connecting multiple systems can sometimes create additional vulnerabilities. It’s essential to ensure that all systems in the integration chain are secure and compliant with relevant regulations.
Some integrated payment solutions may only be easily transferable to some providers. This limitation means that a business could face a complex and costly transition process if it wants to switch providers.
Reliability on Third-Party Systems
In an integrated system, operations often depend on third-party applications and services. If one of these third-party services experiences downtime or issues, it could impact your payment processing.
Sometimes, too many customization options can lead to needless complications. Businesses must balance customizing their system to fit their needs and maintaining simplicity for ease of use and management.
What Are Disconnected Payments?
As the name suggests, disconnected payments are traditional payment systems where payment processing isn’t connected to other business applications.
They typically represent the “old way” of handling transactions before the advent of more modern, interconnected solutions.
In a disconnected payment system, transactions are processed independently. Any data that needs to be shared with other systems, like sales data for accounting or inventory updates, must be transferred manually.
For example, after a sale, an employee might need to adjust inventory levels in one system, log the sale in another system, and update the accounting records in yet another system.
While this approach can work for smaller businesses or businesses with very simple operations, it comes with several disadvantages:
- Manual Data Entry: Typically, disconnected payments require the manual entry of transaction data into various systems. This process can be time-consuming and prone to human errors.
- Lack of Real-Time Updates: Because the systems are not interconnected, there is no real-time updating of inventory, accounting, or customer data when a transaction is processed.
- Increased Administrative Overhead: With a lack of automation and integration, businesses using disconnected payments often need higher administrative overhead, as they need to allocate more time and resources to manage various systems.
- Limited Insight and Reporting: Disconnected systems often mean fragmented data. This fragmentation makes it challenging to generate comprehensive reports that provide insights into business performance.
- Inconvenience for Customers: The lack of integration can sometimes lead to longer transaction times and a less smooth customer experience, especially compared to modern integrated or embedded systems.
Disconnected payments were common in the early days of electronic payment processing, and some small businesses may still use them due to their simplicity or budget constraints.
However, as technology advances, more businesses are moving towards integrated and embedded payment solutions due to their efficiencies, real-time data processing, and improved customer experiences.
Benefits of Disconnected Payments
We’ve explored disconnected payments, and it’s quite easy to assume that with modern payment systems, there needs to be room for such an archaic approach.
But that’s not entirely true, as there are certain scenarios where disconnected payments can be beneficial:
1. Simplicity and Ease of Use
One of the most prominent benefits of disconnected payments is their simplicity. There’s no need to worry about complex integrations or configurations. This simplicity can be an advantage for small businesses that only handle a few transactions a day.
2. Lower Initial Costs
Disconnected payment systems, especially for cash transactions, often have lower initial setup costs than integrated or embedded systems. This lower initial investment can be appealing for businesses on a tight budget.
3. Reduced Dependency on Technology
With disconnected payments, businesses rely on something other than technology to the same extent as integrated systems. This reduced dependency can be beneficial when frequent internet outages or other technological challenges occur.
4. Physical Record Keeping
Some businesses prefer to have physical records of transactions. Disconnected payments can allow for traditional record-keeping methods.
5. Flexibility in Payment Processing
With disconnected payments, businesses can process transactions through different means without being tied to a specific payment processor or system.
6. Less Maintenance and Updates
Since no integration or sophisticated software is involved, disconnected payment systems usually require less maintenance and updating, which might suit some small businesses.
7. Human Oversight
While manual data entry is prone to errors, it also allows for human oversight and the possibility of catching discrepancies or issues that automated systems might overlook.
Embedded vs. Integrated Payments: Key Differences
|Embedded within the software, providing a seamless user experience.
|Works in conjunction with various systems, improving overall business processes
|Often more streamlined, as users don’t have to leave the platform for payment.
|It still offers a great user experience but usually requires navigating to a different interface for payment.
|Typically involves deeper integration, as payments are made within the software application.
|Integrates with multiple business systems but maintains a separate payment interface.
|Generally more complex, requiring significant work to ensure seamless integration within the software.
|Usually less complex to implement, as it doesn’t require the same level of deep system integration.
|Transactions and associated data are handled within the same system, promoting better data consistency.
|Data moves between systems, increasing the potential for discrepancies, although automated data transfer minimizes this risk.
|Often more rigid in terms of customization due to the embedded nature of the payment system.
|It can offer more flexibility in terms of customization, as businesses can choose different systems for different functions.
|It can be costlier due to complex integration and ongoing maintenance.
|Costs can be lower, but it largely depends on the specific systems used and the level of integration required.
|It is highly efficient, streamlining the user experience and reducing the need for manual data entry.
|Enhances efficiency by automating data transfer between systems but is usually less seamless than embedded payments.
|Often preferred by businesses with an online or app-based focus, where user experience is paramount.
|Favored by businesses with complex operations that can benefit from integrating various systems and processes
Why the Difference Between Embedded and Integrated Payments Matters
Understanding these differences in payment solutions is more than an academic exercise.
With a better understanding of embedded and integrated payments, you can make a more informed and beneficial decision for your business:
Meeting Customer Expectations
Your customers have preferences and expectations. In the digital age, many consumers expect seamless, speedy transactions.
If your business operates mainly online or through an app, embedded payments can provide the slick experience that customers crave.
However, integrated payments might better tie everything together efficiently if your business has multiple components, such as inventory, accounting, and physical retail.
As your business grows, so will its complexities. Understanding the difference between embedded and integrated payments can help you make an informed choice that aligns with your growth trajectory.
You don’t want to hit a roadblock because your payment system can’t handle the scale of your operations or doesn’t integrate well with other essential systems you need to add.
Knowing the distinction between the two payment systems will allow you to pick the one that maximizes your operational efficiency.
Whether that means providing a seamless customer experience with embedded payments or streamlining back-end processes with integrated payments, the right choice can lead to time savings and reduced costs.
Different payment systems come with different cost structures. Embedded payments have higher upfront costs due to the integration level, while integrated payments are more cost-effective initially but incur additional expenses as you add more systems.
Knowing the differences can help you choose to align with your budget and financial goals.
Security and Compliance
Understanding the security implications of each payment system can be vital in protecting your business and staying compliant with regulations.
Embedded payments can offer robust security due to their unified nature, while integrated payments require you to ensure that each system in the chain is secure.
Data Handling and Analysis
Embedded payments offer more consistent data handling, while integrated payments require more attention to ensure data consistency across systems. This difference is critical for accurate reporting and analysis.
Customization and Flexibility
Your ability to tailor the payment system to your needs can be pivotal. Integrated payments typically offer customization options, while embedded payments might be more rigid but streamlined. Knowing this distinction helps in selecting a system that can adapt to your unique business requirements.
Long-Term Strategy Alignment
Lastly, your payment system should align with your long-term business strategy.
Being informed about the differences enables you to make a decision that’s in the best interest of your business and your customers.
Embedded vs. Integrated Payments: How to Choose What Is Right for You
When deciding between embedded and integrated payments, the choice comes down to aligning your payment system with your business model, customer expectations, operational efficiency needs, and financial considerations.
Let’s break down some key steps to guide you in making the right choice:
1. Evaluate Your Business Needs
The first step is to take a good, hard look at your business.
- What are your operational needs?
- What kind of customer experience are you aiming to provide?
- How complex are your transactions?
Understanding your business needs is the foundation for choosing the right payment system.
2. Consider Your Customer Base
Think about your customers.
- Are they tech-savvy individuals who value seamless online experiences?
- Or does your customer base comprise businesses that require more customized solutions?
The preferences and needs of your customers should weigh heavily in your decision.
3. Analyze Transaction Volume and Complexity
If your business handles a high volume of transactions or has complex transactions that require multiple steps, an integrated payment solution may be more beneficial.
On the other hand, if customer experience is the utmost priority, an embedded payment solution may be more appropriate.
4. Weigh the Costs
Evaluate the cost implications of both systems. While embedded payments offer a more seamless experience but come with higher upfront costs,
integrated payments might be more cost-effective initially but consider the long-term costs of maintenance and updates.
5. Assess Scalability
Your business won’t stay the same size forever.
As such, consider how each payment system will scale with your business. Check whether the system can handle increased transaction volumes or adapt to new business models.
6. Scrutinize Security and Compliance
Delve into the security features of each system.
- How does each system handle data security?
- Are they compliant with industry standards and regulations?
This consideration is non-negotiable.
7. Explore Customization Options
Evaluate how customizable each system is. Integrated payments often offer more customization options, but embedded payments might be the way to go if your business requires a highly tailored payment experience.
8. Consult With Experts or Peers
Reach out to industry peers or consult experts for insights into their experiences with embedded or integrated payment systems, making an informed choice possible even if you are new to payment processing.
9. Request Demos or Trials
Before making a final decision, request demos or trials of each system. There’s no substitute for hands-on experience when evaluating how each system will fit into your operations.
10. Analyze Customer Support and Maintenance
Consider the level of customer support and maintenance the payment system provider provides. Reliable and responsive support can be a lifesaver in critical situations.
Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge and steps to make an informed decision, it’s time to take the plunge and choose the payment system that will propel your business to new heights.
Making the right choice between embedded and integrated payments is no small feat. As a business owner, you have all the factors listed to consider.
But here’s the good news – you don’t have to tackle these challenges alone.
At GETTRX, we are committed to partnering with you to develop a payment solution and a holistic payment strategy tailored to your business.
Here’s How GETTRX Can Help
Expert Consultation and Insights
Our team of experts here at GETTRX possesses a wealth of knowledge in the intricacies of payment processing.
Whether you operate an e-commerce enterprise, a brick-and-mortar storefront, or a combination of both, our professionals are ready to collaborate with you.
We are dedicated to understanding your specific needs and guiding you with valuable insights on which payment system will optimally align with your unique business model.
Transparent Billing and Competitive Rates
Deciphering the complexities of payment processing fees can sometimes feel akin to solving a cryptic puzzle. That’s why at GETTRX, we stand by the principles of transparency and simplicity.
With our transparent billing and competitive rates, you’ll have the clarity you need. There’s no room for hidden fees or surprises – just straightforward, fair pricing.
At GETTRX, we recognize that one size does not fit all. We understand the distinctiveness of each business, and your payment processing solution should reflect that.
Whether your mobile app needs an embedded payment system or your multi-dimensional business requires an integrated payment solution, we’re here to tailor a package that perfectly fits your goals and operations.
Unmatched Customer Service
For us at GETTRX, customer service is not an afterthought – it’s at our core.
As our valued partner, you’ll receive the highest support and attention throughout our collaboration. Our commitment to exceptional customer service is unwavering.
For $29 per month, you can bid farewell to all other processing fees thanks to GETTRX Zero. This offering is particularly advantageous for small businesses or enterprises keen to maximize cost-effectiveness without sacrificing quality.
Additionally, we offer a Flat Rate package at 2.79% + $0.30 as well as custom rates.
Reach out to us at GETTRX to learn how we can provide the right payment processing solution for your business.
The world of payments is constantly evolving, and so should your business. As your business grows and customer needs shift, you should continually evaluate your payment solutions.
Strive to optimize them, ensuring they align with your goals and continue serving your customers effectively.
Your payment processing system is a long-term investment that can shape the trajectory of your business.
Choose wisely, keep your finger on the pulse of your operations, and don’t hesitate to seek expert guidance from GETTRX.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is PayPal an embedded finance?
Yes, PayPal can be considered a form of embedded finance. It provides payment services that can be directly integrated into various online platforms and apps, enabling users to make transactions without leaving the platform.
What does embedded mean in banking?
In the context of banking, ’embedded’ refers to the integration of financial services directly into non-financial platforms or apps. Customers can access banking services like payments, lending, or insurance through other applications.
Can I Switch From One Payment System to Another?
Yes, businesses can switch from one payment system to another. However, it’s essential to consider the costs, compatibility, and integration requirements before switching. It is also advisable to consult with a payments expert or service provider like GETTRX for guidance.