How to choose the best payment solution for your multi-sided platform and how to make sure you stay PSD2 compliant.

It’s true – the success of any multi-sided platform business depends on a lot of factors. But one of the most critical factors is that platform’s ability to make transactions as easy and painless as possible for buyers and sellers.

Look at PayPal – one of the early innovators in the payments market. They created a mini social network for payments, allowing customers to buy, sell and transfer money simply and securely and enjoyed massive growth and success as a result.

Today’s marketplaces have evolved way beyond simple payment platforms. Your customers expect to be able to do everything seamlessly without stepping outside your platform’s ecosystem.
It makes total sense for businesses to do things this way too. After all, who wouldn’t rather own the end-to-end process, capture commissions directly and be able to build a strong community around their platform?

All these things benefit you where it really counts – your bottom line.

But getting there can seem like a mammoth task. One thing is for sure, having a reliable, secure and compliant Payment Services Provider (PSP) is infinitely preferable to investing in building your own payments infrastructure (who has time for that, seriously?) or reworking your business model (back to the drawing board? No thank you!)

PSD2 compliance will no doubt be a factor for EU marketplace businesses looking to partner with a PSP, but it’s not the only factor they should consider.

In this article, we’ll tell you the most important features to look out for, and we’ll dive a little deeper into the compliance side, too.

How to Choose the Best Payment Solution for Your Multi-Sided Platform

The PSP market is becoming increasingly saturated, to the point where the original niche is splitting into several smaller niches. Meta, we know.

You now have PSPs built specifically for small, lower volume platforms and others that only serve specific parts of the world.

Choosing the right payment solution for your multi-sided platform is all about matching the available features to the way your business works. The big players in the market like WorldPay and First Data do a good job of serving large global platforms, but may not be flexible enough for smaller, more agile platforms.

Here are some of the things you should consider when choosing a Payment Services Provider for your online marketplace.

Available Features

Some PSPs offer a gourmet menu of available features while others like to keep it simple and limit the options. You should start by identifying which features are absolute must haves, which ones fall into the nice to have category and which ones you can simply ignore.

Some of the key features that you might want to consider are

  • Split payment processing
  • Support for subscription payments
  • Multiple currency support
  • Third-party integrations/APIs
  • Custom payment flows
  • Quality of customer and technical support.
  • Know your customer (KYC) process
  • Tax reporting tools

And this is just a taster of what is on offer. Do your research and create your dream feature list to help narrow down your options.


Fees are an unavoidable aspect of dealing with any PSP, but they do vary quite a bit between providers so casting a wide net could land you a great deal.

Find out what each PSP charges under their standard fee model. Payment fees will catch your eye first and these can vary by payment method, with some providers charging a fixed percentage per transaction, a flat fee per transaction, or both.

Look beyond payment fees though and you will find a host of other charges that could make or break your decision to work with a particular partner. Ask the following questions of each PSP you are considering.

  • Do you charge a fee per seller KYC check?
  • Do you charge a monthly fee per seller?
  • What are your fees for payouts to sellers?
  • What are your chargeback fees?
  • Is there a fee payable for fraud checks?

Some providers will lay all this out clearly on their website, but others don’t make it so obvious. Asking the questions now saves time and (potentially) money later on.

Locations Served

Obviously, you need your PSP to cover the area in which your business trades. If you just serve the US, you can choose a PSP that just covers that area such as WePay or Yapstone.

Think ahead though, and if you are planning to expand into Europe, or from Europe into the US then you should be looking at providers that cover both regions (and are PSD2 compliant, of course). It’s the same with places like China or Australia and New Zealand – if you think you will serve them at some point, you should choose a PSP that already does.

How to Stay PSD2 Compliant with Your Payment Solutions

Just a final note on PSD2 compliance when choosing a payment services provider. Assuming this is a key criterion for you, you should define what your PSD2 compliant process will look like end-to-end and use this to filter out payment providers that do not quite match up.

Consider security as well – our payment provider should offer comprehensive security for you and your users, including PCI compliance, tokenization, encryption, dispute handling and fraud prevention.

Remember by partnering with a PSP you are making them part of your customer experience, so make sure you can rely on them to keep your customers (and you) safe and secure!

The key to finding a successful PSP partnership is starting where you are now, looking at where you want to be and deciding who can get you there while minimizing risk and potential disruption. To find out more, you can read our in-depth guide here or reach out to us for focused support.

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