Each platform’s journey to in-app payments is unique. Some want to unlock new revenue streams, others want to enable better user experiences, while for many streamlining operations before growth is a must.

Why platforms decide to take payments internally:

For the Lightspeed One-Stop Commerce Platform, the motivation has always been to better serve users and the small and medium businesses they run. We caught up with Jona Georgiou, Managing Director of Payments and Financial Services, to discuss the platform’s journey to supporting payments in-house. Here are three takeaways from our payments decoded session.

For Lightspeed, a phased approach to payments worked best

When Lightspeed was founded in 2005, the payments space was massively fragmented and independent businesses severely underserved. Seeing these challenges as opportunities, the company had a clear vision of where it wanted to go and knew the technology would catch up.

“The idea has always been to provide a one-stop solution for our customers,” says Jona. “When we first realized the opportunity to bring payments [in-house]it was really when we looked at Lightspeed as a whole – we wanted our customers to have a seamless experience with us.”

The journey to integrated payments has taken many years for Lightspeed and has gone through three phases:

  • Phase 1: point of sale supplier. In the beginning, Lightspeed provided the point-of-sale solution and referred merchants to their partner payment processors and acquirers. The resulting user experience was fragmented and gave Lightspeed little to no control.

  • Phase 2: Revenue sharing. Lightspeed moved to a reseller (wholesale ISO) model as a stepping stone to owning the entire checkout experience in 2018. This resulted in less friction for users and gave the platform moderate control over their payment experience.

  • Phase 3: end-to-end control. With the launch of Lightspeed Payments in the US and Canada, Lightspeed has fully integrated payments to control the entire experience. Now merchants can use the platform for all their payment needs.

“In-app payments gave us and our merchants so many opportunities. We were in this opportune position to make it happen. It was obvious that we really wanted to serve our customers because they really are the backbone of the business. ‘Mondial economy. ”

Jona GeorgiouManaging Director, Payments and Financial Services, Lightspeed

Want to know more about Jona and Lightspeed? Check out the full recording here.

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The benefits of in-house payment support for platforms and users

With the launch of Lightspeed Payments, the platform is now able to individually customize its offerings for SMB merchants, based on factors such as industry, location and customer experience. Here’s how this end-to-end control helps create more value for Lightspeed and its users.

#1: Best deals for users

Payments continue to be fragmented for retail and hospitality brands. And since every industry is so unique, it can be difficult for SMBs to get what they need from a single supplier. Seeking to solve this challenge, Lightspeed saw payments as key to bringing it all together in a single solution.

“With Lightspeed Payments, we can really create a custom solution,” says Jona. “For example, pairing a card reader with an iPad or other device or paying on your screen, paying at your table, table side. This allows us to offer more bespoke options to our merchants and integrate with every stage. Everything goes through a single engine, and that is our advantage.”

#2: Stronger differentiation from competitors

Big brands are standardizing effortless shopping journeys and cross-channel experiences for consumers, making it even harder for SMBs to keep up. Helping users adapt has been a major benefit of integrating payments for Lightspeed, creating additional grip with the platform.

“Lightspeed helps streamline overall business processes,” says Jona. “The value and impact of that has definitely been magnified during turbulent times. For example, our restaurant customers have been able to offer order ahead, curbside pickup, basically different ways of running their business when it’s all moved to e-commerce. Signing up with Lightspeed Payments or even Lightspeed POS and Payments, all of those offerings are in one place.”

“If you build a product with agility and it’s nimble, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all product type, you can easily navigate and solve the problem for the merchant.”

Jona GeorgiouManaging Director, Payments and Financial Services, Lightspeed

#3: New avenues for growth

Every decision Lightspeed makes puts its users first. So it’s no surprise that during the pandemic, the platform went off the roadmap to provide cash advances to users. This has built trust with traders and created new avenues of growth for the business.

“We completely changed our roadmap during COVID,” says Jona. “We had never offered a merchant cash advance, which we call capital. It was designed simply to help merchants during the period when they needed it. But since then we have heard incredible feedback from customers , because it was very necessary during these times and we wanted to make sure we were there for them.”

“If you have the right payment partner, like we do with Adyen, you can partner up and solve problems collectively.”

Jona GeorgiouManaging Director, Payments and Financial Services, Lightspeed

Final Thought: Put Users First and Revenue Will Follow

While integrating payments can help create new revenue streams for platforms and marketplaces, Lightspeed’s success reminds us that true longevity comes from putting users first. When payment decisions are user-centric, growth is a happy byproduct.

“If we don’t get the right experience, if we don’t listen to our merchants to know exactly what they want and how, it wouldn’t matter in the end,” says Jona. “Revenues will follow if customers are satisfied.”

Put payments at the heart of your platform or marketplace

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