Assessing costs is an integral aspect of any business. But why is it that when it comes to payments, it is so easy to fall into the trap of focusing solely on pence per transaction? We find that merchants often lose sight of the true cost or value of a service provider.

Assessing TCO is a holistic approach to determining costs. Rather than looking solely at upfront prices, it involves taking a deep dive to see how much a product or service will cost or save you in the long run. Any business with a fleet of cars, for example, has access to tools that accurately calculate the cost of ownership. Rather than only assessing the price of the car and obvious upkeep costs like fuel efficiency, there are a whole host of other factors that are considered. Road tax and depreciation over time are just a few of the elements examined when breaking down costs into price per mile. So, if using TCO can offer so much insight into overall costs, why is it not common practice in every industry?

It’s beneficial to use TCO when looking at payment providers, as they are products that truly have the ability to increase revenue when they’re used to your advantage. When judging a payment provider, some questions you should be asking are: How much time will it save? Will this help increase conversions? And, how will it allow me to better understand and serve my customers?

Here is a run-down of some features that will boost your business performance and increase revenue, resulting in a lower total cost of ownership:

Uptime and Reliability

If your payment provider is down, you’re not able to take payments. A provider with a reliable system and features like dual acquiring ensures that you’re less likely to lose out on sales due to issues like system malfunctions.


A provider that increases automation will save you countless hours of back-office processes. This way, your team can dedicate themselves to more meaningful efforts that will help to propel your business forward.


Having an agile provider that can quickly develop products and services ensures that your payments are always optimised. Bespoke reporting also enables a richer set of data, ensuring you leverage your payment processing to the maximum. It’s fair to say that one size does not fit all when it comes to payments.

Data and Reporting

It is truly essential to find a payment provider that gives you access to high quality data and reporting. These will offer you deep insights into your payments ecosystem, shedding light on ways to increase efficiency and reduce your bottom line. It also enables you to have a greater understanding of your customers, which is imperative in the current business climate.

Quality Support

Getting first class customer support offers businesses a better understanding of the complex world of payments and ensures that any issues are solved as quickly as possible. Having to sit around waiting for a query to be answered costs time and money and vital tasks may have to go on hold until a solution is found.

The important thing to remember when evaluating a payment provider is that a holistic approach is always the most accurate way to see how much it will cost you overall. Ensuring providers have certain features will unlock value that you never knew was hiding within your payments lifecycle.