For our latest evaluation in the merchant payment provider space, Forrester identified 10 leading vendors and spent the last four months analyzing their offerings via a combination of briefings, demos, capability assessments, and customer reference checks. Specifically, we evaluated ACI Worldwide, Adyen, Cybersource, Fiserv, Global Payments, J.P. Morgan, PayPal, Stripe, Worldline, and Worldpay from FIS. We uncovered a market in which Stripe and Adyen lead while each of the other vendors offers a competitive solution with specific strengths. For details, Forrester clients can see the evaluation here.

So after all this, what advice does Forrester offer merchants when selecting a payments provider? You’ll want to find a partner that:

  • Meets your globalization needs. The question merchants should ask after the initial “Can we accept [payment method X]?” is “How are you getting the best performance from [payment method X]?” Vendors are building better connections to, more realistic testing environments with, and better insights practices around a larger set of payment methods. And they’re doing the same around local banks and payment schemes in more countries. For acquirers, cross-border settlements and funds management are also key to supporting global merchants.
  • Supports the payment flows that are important to your business. As merchants adopt subscription or marketplace business models, or they otherwise innovate on payments flows, these vendors are bringing subscription management, disbursements or payouts, and other capabilities into their offerings to support merchants’ varying payment flows.
  • Matches your pace for both technology and change. Some vendors’ software architecture is especially well suited to iteration. Plus, you need to understand the vendor’s adoption of, or adaptation to, industry innovation and regulatory changes. Some vendors move quickly, others more deliberately. But the slower-to-innovate players are often among the biggest and, as such, influence the industry and networks.
  • Provides transparency about its trade-offs. Global merchants want to scale and localize, omnichannel merchants seek cohesion, and tech-savvy merchants want adaptability. In response, merchant payment vendors have made significant mergers and acquisitions, overhauled architectures, and/or launched new products. But no one payments vendor can do it all.

You can read our full Forrester Wave™ evaluation here and our preceding 2020 Now Tech report here.

Merchants, brands, and retailers: Please schedule an inquiry or advisory with me to see how to use this report to identify the best-fit solutions for your needs. I’ll walk you through my findings and help you identify the vendors that should make your shortlist.

Payments processors and payments-related solution providers: Please schedule your inquiry or advisory with me to discuss what my findings mean for the industry and your offering. Let’s discuss how you fit into a rapidly changing commerce world, the vision for the future of payments and your roadmap towards that, and how to identify partnership opportunities for you moving forward.