How payment orchestration can enable online education

“Education facilities unable to accept APMs risk creating customer friction-points that prevent them from scaling to serve a global customer-base”

As furlough lockdowns forced people to stay at home, many filled their time with online education, and the experience has bolstered confidence in the industry even as life returns to normal, says co-founder and CEO of CellPoint Digital, Kristian Gjerding.

Meanwhile, Alternative Payment Methods are proliferating across the globe, already dominating cards and cash in some countries. Supported by a payments ecosystem that becomes increasingly sophisticated, the payment methods consumers have at their disposal today are myriad, and consumers are developing specific preferences.

This extends to paying for online education. Much like in retail, consumers expect to be able to pay for online education via multiple, digital-first payment options, regardless of their location.

Education facilities unable to accept APMs risk creating customer friction-points that prevent them from scaling to serve a global customer-base.

The rise and rise of APMs

Consumer adoption of APMs is growing exponentially and were believed to account for over half of all global eCommerce payments in 2019. At a more regional level, it is reported that in Europe, upon reaching the Point of Sale, 80% of consumers have an expectation to pay for their goods and services with a digital payment method rather than a debit or credit card.

Meanwhile, across the Asia-Pacific region, nearly all consumers (94%) would consider using an APM in 2022 and within the Middle East and North Africa digital wallets are set to be the region’s preferred means of making payments. Latin America is also catching up, with 55% of the population now banked and the use of APMs on the rise.

Online courses with a global reach

There are educators and learners in every corner of the globe. However, with each new region comes different APMs and currencies, and one of the hurdles online educators have is being able to accept these methods of payments.

An inability to accept a customers’ preferred payment method is one of the more reliable ways to kill a conversion. Arecent study in the US found 42% of American consumers will abandon a purchase if their favourite payment method isn’t available.

The problem for online educators is, with all these different payment methods, varying in popularity depending on location, and a gauntlet of international regulations to navigate, implementing and managing them can be incredibly difficult. Payment orchestration platforms can help manage this complexity.

Enter the payments orchestration provider

According to PYMNTs, the global market for payment orchestration platforms is expected to grow 20% every year between 2021 and 2026. The platforms provide merchants with a single interface through which all transactions between themselves, customers, and payment providers are initiated, directed and validated.

This removes the complication of monitoring the performance of multiple, manually integrated, and siloed payment methods. It also automatically aggregates and processes crucial data streams, providing merchants with valuable, real-time analytics.

All this allows educational facilities to increase revenue in the short-term and make better strategic decisions in the long-term. And the opportunities to enhance cash flows don’t stop there.

When a merchant relies on a single acquirer/PSP it is they who have ultimate control over transaction flows. For example, if the PSP succumbs to an outage, the merchant is directly impacted. A payment orchestration provider redresses this imbalance by transferring control of the transaction flow back to the merchant by allowing them to create real-time rules for switching transactions and offering APMs to consumers. This dynamic routing improves the success of processing rates, gives customers more payment options, and means failed transactions can be re-routed to the next acquirer, leading to fewer lost sales.

Payment orchestration enabled APMs add an agility and dynamism to today’s online educators that allow them to give their students whatever payment method they want, wherever they are. As adoption of APMs continues its steep upwards trend, this capability will only become more essential for educators looking to expand their courses on a global scale.


About the author: Kristian Gjerding is Co-Founder and CEO of CellPoint Digital. Kristian is a serial entrepreneur and business strategist. He held leadership positions at Network Appliance and Sun Microsystems before co-founding CellPoint. His role is both inspirational and operational: sharing his vision and keeping us all on track and growing (fast) in the right direction.