How to pitch payments to your CTO

Strategic insights for Heads of Payments to secure CTO support for a new PSP

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Ioan Ghisoi
June 27, 2024
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How to pitch payments to your CTO

In the digital age, your payments performance is reliant on having the right technology in place. With the rise in digital payments, comes a swell in the markets that you are able to reach, to take advantage of this, strategic investment in advanced payment systems and partnering with the right digital payment service provider (PSP) is more critical than ever. For Chief Technology Officers (CTOs), the decision to upgrade or implement a new payment solution is not solely about keeping pace with technology trends but understanding the tangible benefits such investments bring to the organization’s technology ecosystem, operational efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

Unlike the benefits to highlight to your Chief Financial Officer (CFO), who is looking for direct financial impacts, you should convey to your CTO the technical benefits, such as scalability, ease of integration, flexibility, data quality, and advanced features and control. 

You need to uncover current technology pain points in the business and align the advantages of a new payment system with these. Captivating your CTO will require that you highlight the technical and operational optimizations that are achieved when you improve your payment systems by integrating with a new PSP. Additionally, you should point to the additional resilience to your business that will come with the integration. 

Here’s how to make a compelling case.

Understand and address pain points

Start with a clear articulation of the current technology challenges that are being faced by your business that can be eased or even addressed by better payments technology. 

It's essential to approach your CTO with a clear understanding of the pain points that your business is experiencing. Link these pain points directly to measurable impacts on your business, such as high development costs for maintenance, increased operational costs and missed market opportunities. Then explain how better integrated, higher-performing payments technology will measurably improve these challenges. Demonstrating a direct return on investment (ROI) from a new payment system will speak volumes. Explaining how automating compliance can save a dollar amount annually or how you can achieve reduced time-to-market for new features will catch your CTO's attention.

Integrating with technology that can give your CTO greater data visibility and the ability to apply this data to future strategies will be an advantage for them. Integrating with a full stack payment solution that includes gateway, acquiring, and processor as well as tools like those for risk management, means that you don't have to rely on multiple sources for information. Having one source of information allows you to compile a clearer view of payments and, this, in turn, can be passed to your CTO who will be better equipped to make the best decisions for the business using granular data. Its also vital that your payments company is reactive to your needs and will work on challenges with you rather than having a “take it or leave it” approach.

Ensure technical compatibility

Highlighting the streamlined operations made possible with a new payment system will be an important point to raise. 

Modern payment solutions are designed with advanced Application Programming Interface (API) capabilities that seamlessly integrate into your existing technology infrastructures. A seamless integration supports smoother internal workflows and contributes to overall business agility. This will also mean reduced development time and lower costs, providing a smooth transition that aligns with ongoing projects and roadmaps.

Your CTO’s team has likely built integrations with top developer-focused services, so it's essential that your chosen payment provider also has top-tier support for the technologies that are already being used by your business. This translates to making sure the PSP has Software Development Kits (SDKs), clean APIs, and appropriate technical documentation. 

It is also important to highlight that legacy payments solutions are difficult to update—and will only become more so as time goes on. Complex layering often patches over this problem adding opacity and potential break-points. New payments technology is built to be modular and to allow for seamless updates and enhancements in the future. Modern systems also offer much higher uptime, resilience and no planned maintenance, which is different from legacy systems that will always require your team to react to planned and unplanned downtime. 

Your chosen PSP should offer technical and customer support that is both reliable and accessible to reduce pressure on your CTO and their teams. Also communicate that there’ll be frequent updates and proactive upgrades provided by the payments provider, ensuring the system remains effective and secure—for example, if there is a scheme mandate that requires any changes to the integration behavior. A good payments partner will do everything they can to reduce complexity for you.

Business growth through enhanced payment capabilities

A scalable payment solution can support business growth and international expansion without compromising performance. This is something to illustrate to your CTO. 

Your payments partner should support the growth of your business, not only in terms of technical resilience but also in the ability to build an automated solution that requires minimal maintenance. For example, with products like Flow, makes it possible to integrate performance-focused payments technologies that offer a wide range of payment methods and adapt to your customers. This means that when making payment decisions like adding a new payment method, you no longer need to involve your CTO and technical teams since you can simply request to have it enabled and a dynamic interface can already start benefiting from it—saving your CTO’s teams’ precious development time.

With features like multi-currency support and localized payment options, advanced payment solutions enable businesses to serve new markets more effectively, facilitating global growth and increasing revenue opportunities. As you scale, ensure your new payments provider can demonstrably handle your growing transaction volumes.

Improve performance and efficiency

Your CTO will be concerned with any new payment provider’s ability to improve performance. A robust payment system can enhance key metrics such as transaction approval rates. Products such as Intelligent Acceptance use machine learning and AI to constantly optimize payments performance, reducing the need for manual intervention by automating retries and making intelligent routing decisions. This not only optimizes the transaction and improves the likelihood of it being approved, but also minimizes the need for ongoing technical support and increases conversion and CSAT. Highlighting these efficiencies will demonstrate the operational benefits and cost savings for your engineering team. Your CTO will only have to worry about a single integration and, after this, the dedicated teams and technology at handle the optimization process for you.

PSP Solutions Engineering teams should provide invaluable support during the integration process and most importantly, beyond the integration, help troubleshoot issues and optimize performance. This support is crucial for creating system stability and ensuring that your team can focus on other high-priority projects. Having access to these teams through your payments provider can deliver resource savings for your business. You can walk your CTO through these savings and others that will come from increased efficiency and reduced manual overhead. Make sure to cover transaction fees, setup costs, and any potential savings from operational efficiencies.

Roadmaps are busy and critical technical requirements must be addressed first, so finding a PSP that offers modular payments solutions will appeal to your CTO. For example, suppose you are seeing low performance on your authentication. In that case, you can use a standalone authentication solution, or, your technology teams may be spending a great deal of time working on optimizations, in which case, a solution that uses AI and ML to do this work for you will be top priority. Once these top priorities have been addressed, you can turn your attention to other areas.

Simplify security and compliance

Top of mind for your CTO is the duty to ensure a robust security framework across the business. Leading-edge payments technology comes equipped with state-of-the-art security measures and compliance protocols, significantly reducing the risk of data breaches and fraud. For CTOs, this means not just meeting but exceeding industry security standards, ensuring customer trust and protecting the organization's reputation. You probably won’t need to stress the importance of compliance with global and regional security standards like PCI DSS, but you can add value by showing how a modern payments system will bolster your compliance activities. For example, Flow is updated with the latest PCI standards and regional regulations the moment new requirements roll out. It also secures transactions using device fingerprinting to detect and prevent fraud.

Additionally, through the use of AI and machine learning, modern payment platforms offer proactive fraud detection and prevention, minimizing financial losses and safeguarding customer data. This level of protection is crucial in maintaining customer confidence and loyalty.

86% of merchants reported in 2023 that their payments service providers do not provide machine learning solutions to help them better reduce fraud or increase authorization rates. Investing in the right PSP will, therefore, vastly improve your fraud detection abilities. Fraud Detection Pro, for example, uses data from the billions of transactions that processes globally, learning to differentiate between legitimate and fraudulent behavior. This boosts your technology team's capacity by reducing the amount of manual work required. In addition, Fraud Detection Pro’s robust rules engine allows you to build rules from an infinite range of types and combinations. You can also automatically manage multiple versions of 3DS, seamlessly utilize network tokens and leverage a secure vault. Fraud Dectection Pro offers merchants the flexibility to configure their own rules, while also taking advantage of the network features implements by default.

Improve the customer experience and reliability

Ultimately, while the CTO may not directly manage customer-facing functions, their role in shaping the technological framework and capabilities of the company directly impacts how customers interact with and feel about the brand. This makes the customer experience an important consideration for any CTO.

Investing in more advanced payment solutions gives your team the ability to offer a frictionless and highly secure checkout experience. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also boosts conversion rates, driving sales and fostering loyalty. Your CTO is well aware the payments process is a critical touchpoint in the customer journey—a better payments system will improve this and should be a selling point.

Additionally, catering to customer preferences by offering a variety of payment methods, including digital wallets and local payment options, ensures a better shopping experience, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Your CTO will want to know that a new payments system can offer:

  • A payment interface that is intuitive and seamless for end-users, minimizing friction and abandonment during the payment process
  • Best in class SLA with uptimes like 99.9999%
  • Multiple payment methods and an optimized checkout process for speed and convenience to enhance the customer experience.
  • A system that is optimized for mobile devices.
  • A proven track record of disaster recovery plans, service protocols, and maximized uptime.

Assuring your CTO of the system’s reliability will help mitigate concerns about potential service disruptions.

Quick integration for immediate and future success

When you move to a new PSP, make sure to have a strategic implementation plan in place and discussed in unison with your new payments partner. The plan should outline every step of the onboarding and integration process, from initial setup to full integration and what that looks like over time. Detail how you will address potential challenges and the support that the provider will offer during the integration process. The advantage of an integration with modern PSPs is that the inreegration should be fast and simple which will be an advantage to the business.

Modern payment solutions are designed with advanced API capabilities that seamlessly integrate into existing technology infrastructures, reducing system complexity and enhancing operational efficiency. Implementing new payment technologies as seamlessly as possible will result in minimal interruptions to workflow. You will need to make sure you choose the interaction method that is right for your business needsa solution like Flow from, a hosted payments page, payment links or a direct API integration with’s Unified Payments API (UPAPI). UPAPI provides a streamlined way to accept a variety of payment methods through a single API; this approach simplifies the integration process, with easy access to accepting credit cards, digital wallets, and alternative payment methods. It provides a flexible, developer-friendly experience, supports compliance with security standards, and enhances the efficiency of managing payments, leading to higher conversion rates and improved customer satisfaction.

You should define the requirements when it comes to integrating with a new PSP. The more you can outline and plan for, the easier it will be to convince your CTO of how minimal the disruption will be. You will need to be sure that you have resources and technical documentation and access to expert advice from solutions engineers on how to best achieve your use cases and what edge cases you should keep in mind. You need to know what your business flows are and how you will be able to solve for them. For example, how will they handle merchant initiated transactions (MIT) or customer initiated transactions (CIT), what is the authentication strategy for AFTs?

You will also need to be able to build in a secure test environment so that you can easily test use cases that will come up in the real world like declines and disputes. Additionally, it is critical for your PSP to provide an easy way to test edge cases, but also the ability to test a lot of the other operational actions that come with a full integration—like pulling a reconciliation report or representing a dispute. After covering all the requirements and testing them, you will need to have a clear go-live strategy. It is important to have good support from the PSP at this time, to ensure that any question gets answered fast.

By addressing these points in a cohesive and detailed manner, you can provide a comprehensive overview that not only highlights the immediate benefits but also the long-term value of upgrading your payment solution, ensuring your CTO has all the information needed to make a well-informed decision.

Your CTO is not only concerned with payments technology, so integrating with a payment service provider that can offer a modular build with customizable building blocks will let you create a high-performing online payment experience that seamlessly fits your brand’s look and feel.

Find the right partner

Find a payment provider whose roadmap aligns with your company's strategic goals. Show that the provider is committed to innovation and will continue to evolve as market demands and technologies develop. This ensures that your payment systems remain cutting-edge and can adapt to future needs without additional work from your CTO or their team.

For CTOs, the investment in advanced payment solutions is a strategic decision that delivers benefits across the organization. From enhancing technical infrastructure and security to supporting business growth and elevating the customer experience, the right payment technology can serve as a catalyst for innovation, growth and operational efficiency. 

As the digital economy continues to evolve, the strategic importance of these solutions cannot be overstated. Embracing leading payment technologies is not just about keeping pace with trends but making a decisive move to future-proof your business, ensuring it remains competitive, secure, and aligned with customer expectations in the digital age.

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June 27, 2024 10:30
June 27, 2024 10:30