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New research from Edgar, Dunn & Company, commissioned by SafeCharge (LON:SCH) the payments services partner, has revealed the challenges inhibiting the growth of marketplaces and is calling for fintech innovation to address them. The report ‘Marketplaces Best Practices for a Successful Payments Strategy’ also identifies solutions to address the specific needs of the marketplace business model.
Marketplaces are seeing unprecedented growth. According to a study from the Ecommerce Foundation, almost 40% of the world’s online retail market will be controlled by marketplaces by 2020. Despite this accelerated growth, the report highlights that marketplaces face complex challenges that fintech systems do not currently address.
As the marketplace sector matures and scale, it has become clear that the payments technology required to keep these businesses running has not kept up,” said Pascal Burg, Director Edgar Dunn & Company. “From seller onboarding to regulation and fraud, marketplaces across Europe and beyond are constrained by existing systems. The fintech sector needs to rise to the challenge and deliver the technology these businesses desperately need.
The core difference between traditional ecommerce merchants and marketplaces is in the relationship between buyers and sellers. Traditionally, there is one seller and many buyers. In the marketplace model, there are multiple sellers and multiple buyers, with each transaction involving three parties: the seller, the buyer and the marketplace. This difference creates complex challenges:
- Regulation – The impending Payment Services Directive 2 regulation requires certain marketplaces which retain funds between a seller and a buyer to hold a payment institution license.
- Seller Onboarding – Manual processes and Know Your Customer regulatory requirements create friction, which discourages sellers from registering with marketplaces.
- Payment Checkout – A critical component for any business. Localisation, buyer experience, payment method offering, all must be optimised for conversion.
- Split Payments – Marketplaces need to split transactions between multiple parties, both for marketplace commission and where a single checkout experience involves multiple sellers.
- Seller Settlement – Marketplaces are in competition for sellers. Sellers demand frequent settlement of funds, often daily, in their local currency, and using a local payment method.
- Unique Fraud – Marketplaces face new forms of fraud unique to the sector such as ‘collusion fraud’ where fake buyers and sellers facilitate the sale of non-existent goods with stolen payment cards.
New business models, such as marketplaces, demand a new approach to payments. Money flow is shifting from one-to-many to many-to-many, as consumers flock to marketplace platforms where they can buy goods from a universe of different sellers,” said Yuval Ziv, COO at SafeCharge. “This research demonstrates that fintech isn’t meeting the needs of marketplaces today. In the coming days we’ll be revealing an innovative solution which addresses these challenges for marketplaces while enabling them to remain in full control of operations.