The concept of collaborative payment processing is quite new. However, it emerged as a result of a long evolution of payment technologies. Every growing business has to go through several development phases. If a company decides to sell its products or services online, it needs some payment processing platform that it could use. As the business grows, online payment processing solutions it utilizes become more sophisticated.
A typical solution for a startup business with no processing volume to show is integration with a third-party payment gateway, providing access to payment processor(s). As the company develops, its needs also expand and at a certain point, the original payment gateway is unable to satisfy these needs. One of the approaches that can be followed in such a situation is to partner with several gateways, so that each of them can accommodate some of the required functions (say, one gateway – for recurring billing, another – for support of flexible account updater functionality, and still another – for multi-currency payments). Another approach is development of an in-house payment gateway solution (this process is costly and labor-intensive). The “compromise” approach, chosen by many growing companies, is licensing of an open-source payment gateway solution, giving them greater control over the process.
Even with an open-source payment gateway technology, the company still has to do time-consuming integrations with new partners (processors, acquirers, banks etc). Beside that, if it wants to become an eCommerce provider or a payment service provider (sell merchant services to its partners, possibly in different geographies), it needs a smooth merchant on-boarding and provisioning mechanism. The concept of collaborative payment processing allows growing businesses to cope with these challenges. This is how it works: if several companies use instances of the same payment technology, they can integrate with each other and use each other’s already existing local integrations to process payments and provision accounts. The instances of the payment technology form a sort of payment gateway cloud, so that the cloud members become payment gateway providers for each other.
To learn more about collaborative payment processing, read the respective article on Paylosophy.com.