What Sponsors Want You to Know About Becoming a PF

When entering the payments ecosystem, few relationships are as important to the payment facilitator as the relationship with its sponsor. As the entity that enables entry into the payments system, a sponsor is providing both oversight and advocacy to its partner PFs.

From their vantage points in the front row seats, sponsor panelists for PF WORLD 2018 provided deep insights into the PF space. They covered the who, what, when, how, and why of successful payment facilitation, including when to jump in and how to know if you’re in the right vertical for payment facilitation.

The panel was moderated by Deana Rich, CEO of Rich Consulting, and featured:

  • Mike Cottrell, SVP, global sales for ProPay
  • Fred Tyler, global e-com and PFAC product specialist for First Data
  • Wil Cothran, integrated payments and PFAC business development SVP for Bank of America Merchant Services
  • Josh Perry, partnership development, Payments, Virtual Solutions, and Innovation Group for Wells Fargo
  • Todd Stone, senior business development executive for Worldpay

While the panelists collectively had a positive outlook on the payment facilitator space, they were quick to point out that becoming a PF requires significant work and investment – as well as a shift in mindset.

“You’re going to have to build some things that you didn’t have before and have some people with experience on the team that you probably didn’t have as purely a technology company,” Cothran said.

For that reason, the speakers agreed, it’s important for software providers to know why they want to become payment facilitators and what it means to their business specifically to take the payments piece on.

For many companies, Stone said, the interest begins with a desire to more completely control the customer or merchant experience.

“People ultimately want to take control over the process from start to finish,” he said. However, he noted, “that does come with heavy lifting, involving risk and compliance.”

Awareness of that heavy lifting is critical, so companies are aware that becoming a PF is not a way to ease requirements from banks, for example.

“Remember you are acting as a mini acquiring bank. So, all those bad experiences you had with credit and compliance people – all those headaches in the past – don’t magically go away. Because you’re now responsible for them,” Tyler said.

Technology can help meet those requirements, Tyler said, but compliance and risk management ultimately remain a critical responsibility of the PF.

Watch for additional insights from around the payment facilitator ecosystem as we continue to share video from PF WORLD 2018 in future weeks.