How payment orchestration can enable online education for thousands of students

The past few years have been a blessing for those seeking online education. With furlough schemes forcing people to stay home with little to do, many have turned to online courses to deepen or learn new skills. Now, even though the lockdown has eased and many have returned to work and formal in-person education, the online learning experience has boosted confidence in the industry as more and more people realize that this is an option that will always be there the next time they want to learn a new skill.

At the same time, alternative payment methods (APMs) are proliferating around the world, already dominating cards and cash in some countries. Supported by an increasingly sophisticated payment ecosystem and driven by the accelerated digital transformations following the pandemic, the means of payment available to consumers today are countless and consumers are developing specific preferences depending on the region or country.

Where these two industries collide is in how students pay for their online education. Some may choose to pay for a course entirely upfront while others prefer to pay in instalments. For smaller courses or one-time lessons, more instant digital payment options like mobile wallets and online banking might be the payment of choice. Just like in retail, consumers expect to be able to spend their money through multiple, digitally-enabled payment options wherever they are in the world.

Educational institutions, large and small, unable to accept these APMs risk creating pain points for customers that interfere with their growth ambitions and prevent them from scaling their businesses to serve a global customer base.

The Rise and Rise of APMs

Consumer adoption of APMs is growing exponentially and is estimated to account for more than half of all global e-commerce payments in 2019 – the latest year for which results are available. At a more regional level, it is reported that in Europe, when they reach the point of sale (POS), 80% of consumers expect to pay for their goods and services with a digital payment method rather than a conventional debit or credit card. .

Meanwhile, in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, almost all consumers (94%) say they would consider using an APM in 2022 and among Middle East and North Africa experts (MENA), digital wallets are expected to be the preferred means of payment in the region. Thanks in large part to the pandemic and the need for online, digital and contactless payments, Latin America is also catching up with 55% of the population now banked and the use of APMs steadily increasing.

As we can see, consumers are increasingly turning to APMs. For online educators and institutions with cross-border growth ambitions, this means developing an APM strategy is now crucial to breaking into global markets and generating revenue.

Online courses with global reach

Talent is everywhere and that naturally means that there are both educators and people eager to learn in every corner of the Earth. Learning a new language is the obvious example, but any skill can be taught and learned in the delivery of education. However, each new region comes with different APMs and currencies, and one of the hurdles online educators face is being able to accept these payment methods.

As more merchants strive for international growth, the inability to accept a customer’s preferred payment method is one of the most reliable ways to kill a conversion. In fact, a recent study in the United States found that 42% of American consumers will discontinue a purchase if their preferred payment method is unavailable.

The problem for online educators is that with all these different payment methods, some more popular in specific regions than others, and with a gauntlet of contrasting international regulations to navigate, implement and manage all these methods can be incredibly difficult.

It is in part because of their ability to deal with these frictions that payment orchestration platforms are gaining popularity.

Enter the payment orchestration provider

According to PYMNTs, the global market for payment orchestration platforms is also expected to grow by 20% annually between 2021 and 2026. With each new merchant implementing the technology, consumers around the world have a new place to spend their money from the way that suits them. better.

The platforms provide merchants with a single interface through which all transactions between them, their customers and their payment providers are initiated, directed and validated. The agility this gives traders who would otherwise need to manually integrate new APM options – resulting in extended time to market and reduced competitiveness – is significant.

Additionally, the complexity of monitoring the performance of multiple manually integrated and siled payment methods would add to these hurdles and delays. Here, payment orchestration intercepts by automatically aggregating and processing these crucial data streams and providing merchants with valuable real-time analytics that save time, prevent human error, and aid decision-making. of decision.

This speed to market, coupled with comprehensive real-time reporting, allows traders to start increasing short-term revenue and make better decisions to facilitate long-term growth. However, the possibilities for improving cash flow do not end there.

When a merchant relies on a single acquirer/PSP, they are the ones who have the ultimate control over transaction flow. For example, if the PSP succumbs to an outage, the merchant is then directly impacted. Similarly, if the PSP routes transactions to a specific acquirer, there is little the merchant can do if the costs it incurs from that acquirer are against it. A payment orchestration provider corrects this imbalance by transferring control of the transaction flow to the merchant by allowing them to create real-time rules to switch transactions and offer APMs to consumers. This dynamic routing improves successful processing rates, gives customers more payment options, and means failed transactions can be re-routed to the next acquirer, reducing lost sales.

Collectively, these diverse payment orchestration functions and features unlock the potential of APMs and provide online education merchants with the speed and flexibility to generate revenue at levels beyond their ambitions.

Partnering with the payment orchestration platform provider is key

By connecting directly to existing core or e-commerce systems, payment orchestration platform providers enable the education platform to go directly to market with a growing payment ecosystem where the best partners are easily selected and added. With their online checkouts optimized to accept a full suite of APMs, the opportunities for growth quickly begin to multiply.

Online teachers can display their courses across multiple digital channels knowing that students can pay using the APM they prefer. This allows students to enroll in a course regardless of location and allows educational institutions to target specific regions by demonstrating their ability to accept the most popular APM consumers in that region.

APMs enabled by payment orchestration add agility and dynamism to today’s online educators that allow them, for the first time, to offer their students the payment method of their choice, wherever they want. are found. As APM adoption continues its strong upward trend, this capability will only become more critical for educators looking to scale their courses globally.

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