Ekata is moving forward with the official launch of its new Merchant Onboarding solution. The platform is geared toward payment service providers (PSP) and lenders that work with small businesses, and is designed to help those organizations approve those businesses more quickly.
In that regard, Ekata noted that new business applications skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, jumping 77.4 percent in the third quarter alone as more people searched for new income streams during lockdown. That, in turn, has created a huge demand for the payment services that those businesses rely on to collect revenue.
The problem for traditional PSPs is that they are now competing with digital payment services like Stripe, Square, and PayPal, which can onboard new customers in minutes (rather than days). Ekata was built to help PSPs keep up with that pace, with automated onboarding procedures that allow PSPs to process new users while still performing a proper risk analysis.
To that end, the Merchant Onboarding solution will analyze a number of different factors related to the business and the individual people behind it to determine whether or not those individuals (and that business) are likely to be involved in fraudulent activities. Low-risk businesses can be approved automatically, while high-risk ones can be referred to a manual review. PSPs can carry out that review using Ekata’s Software-as-a-Service portal, and can collect additional documentation as part of that process.
“Merchants today have plenty of options and will quickly turn to another payment service provider if an organization adds too much friction at onboarding,” said Ekata Global Marketing VP Beth Shulkin. “This is much more than a customer experience issue for PSPs and lenders; losing the lifetime value of a merchant has real bottom-line impact.”
According to Ekata, there are now 30 million small merchants in the US alone, while another 40 million became independent contractors during the pandemic (the comparable numbers are 25.1 million and 33 million in Europe). Merchant Onboarding is one of a growing number of Know Your Corporate Customer solutions designed to help businesses evaluate their potential partners.