Merchants Payments Strategy
We work with merchants to develop a tailored payments strategy that supports organizational objectives while considering each client’s unique characteristics. We leverage our deep understanding of payments to identify and address major strategic topics that merchants need help with, and to apply best practices for improvement.
The core engagement that supports this work is the Payments Assessment and Strategy, which can often include vendor selection using our time-tested RFP Management process.
Payments Assessment & Strategy
The GlenbrookTM team’s Payments Assessment evaluates a merchant’s payments environment across key technical, operational, and business elements and measures the performance of the environment against industry best practices and organizational objectives. Our three-step approach includes:
Step 1 – Discovery
We review your payments data, provider contracts, provider invoices, procedural documents, and management reports to make preliminary observations. In parallel, we meet with key stakeholders who are directly or adjacently involved with payments to understand processes, challenges, determine what is working well, and to investigate questions generated by our documentation review.
Step 2 – Assessment
Following documentation review and stakeholder interviews, we develop an assessment of functional areas across the organization, including architecture, payment processing, team structure, payment provider performance, risk and fraud, security, accounting and reconciliation, and payments data management. This assessment highlights areas of opportunity for improvement as well as areas that are performing to expectations. In anticipation of the recommendations that follow in Step 3, we will outline any major considerations that apply to strategic options the organization faces. Insights into internal performance are augmented with industry research and our expertise.
Step 3 – Strategy Recommendations
Based on the outcome of the assessment, we develop a blueprint for supporting the organizational objectives identified during Discovery, complemented by industry and GlenbrookTM consulting team best practices.
Partner performance, both technically and operationally, has a direct effect on customer experience, cost of payments, operational efficiency, and payments optimization. A merchant may determine, either after a Payments Assessment and Strategy engagement or through a self-assessment of partner performance, that they need to select one or more vendors to support their payments strategy. We use a time-tested process to identify foundational and unique merchant requirements, facilitate an RFP process, and manage the vendor response evaluation and selection. We can provide “over the shoulder” advice to clients during the contract negotiation process to ensure key business terms and pricing are within expected market ranges.
Our approach includes:
Step 1 – Requirements Gathering
What is your current environment and the most important priorities you need to address? We’ll identify any unique processing requirements that must be included in the solution.
Step 2 – RFP Development
We’ll develop an acquirer RFP, iterating with you to ensure you’re satisfied. We’ll also work with you to define a response scorecard that we’ll use together later to evaluate and score RFP responses.
Step 3 – RFP Distribution & Management
Which merchant acquirers are the best potential partners for you? We’ll locate appropriate acquirers and manage distribution and execution of NDAs on your behalf. Acquirers often have additional requests for information, and we’ll manage that influx by setting a timetable for submission and organizing the process so it’s as painless as possible. We’ll continually update you on the status of the RFP process.
Step 4 – RFP Evaluation & Recommendation
Once we have the RFP responses, we review them carefully to ensure they address what you’ve requested. We then score each response against our collaborative response scorecard, weigh any other factors as they may arise, and make our recommendations. This discussion also includes acquirer contract “best practices” recommendations for use in further negotiations.
At the appropriate time, we’ll notify all RFP respondents of their status on your behalf. Finally, we’ll provide you with a summary of the final evaluation process as an artifact for your organization, to document how you chose your partner(s).
Read a Testimonial
“ALDI utilized Glenbrook partners in 2015-2016 on various electronic projects. From the first phone call with Allen it was clear that this team knows everything there is to know about payments. Throughout the engagement, Glenbrook was thoughtful, backed up recommendations with industry best practice and knowledge, and most importantly kept our well-being at the forefront of very conversation! Involving Glenbrook for our electronic payments projects over the last year was a game changer. We would not be where we are at in the projects without the hard work and dedication of George and Bryan. They never missed a deadline and worked hard on our behalf to create a high quality RFP that produced valuable insights, and in the end, saved us a lot of money! I would highly recommend Glenbrook’s services to anyone looking for a valued partner in the payments spsace. We also attended one of their Payments Boot Camps which was invaluable in learning more about a very complex industry. All products and services we have received from Glenbrook have exceeded expectations. ”
Greg Strom | Director of National IT, ALDI
A global investment bank executing a nine-figure acquisition of a risk management service provider engaged Glenbrook to assess the company’s product features, competitive positioning, market and product risk, and growth potential.
A multi-national marketplace engaged Glenbrook to assess its risk environment to identify areas for potential improvement, to manage an RFP process to find possible vendors, and to recommend best-fit solutions.
A large ecommerce platform supporting small to medium businesses had grown significantly over the last decade. The company was concerned they had ‘outgrown’ their approach to payments. Glenbrook was asked to help assess the company’s payments strategies, operations, partners, and organization in order to define a more ideal configuration for payments acceptance, reporting, and ongoing management.
A global omni-channel merchant had a number of strategic payments objectives, including 1) increase subscriber growth and retention 2) support international growth 3) maintain redundancy and resiliency and 4) maximize authorization rates. Glenbrook was asked to develop strategic recommendations that aligned with these goals.
Over the past several years, the Independent Software Vendor (ISV) market has moved towards a model of integrating payments within their software solutions. An ISV recognized an opportunity to deeply integrate multi-channel Point of Sale and payment processing with their business management system to streamline customer operations and to recognize payments revenue and asked Glenbrook to evaluate the optimal provider configurations and potential partners that would support this objective.
Glenbrook helped a major multinational grocer solve both short term issues and develop a long-term strategy to take advantage of current and forecasted industry developments in payments. We explored processing redundancies, expansion of credit acceptance, PCI compliance, and more, and then identified system architecture improvements and helped find a new partner to achieve their goals.
The Glenbrook team leveraged its expertise to help the insurance company create a more efﬁcient and cost-effective payments operation. More specifically, we guided the client toward improvements that ultimately lowered costs and led to an RFP for a payments provider that was better suited to the insurance company’s operations.
Contact us to discuss a Merchant Payments Strategy engagement for your company.
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