Custom-built or out-of-the-box payments on Salesforce: what suits your needs?

Peter van der Meij
June 7, 2023

Processing payments fast and effortlessly is a must in today’s efficiency-driven society. But if you’re new to the rapidly changing payment landscape, it might seem a quite complex (if not daunting) task. With the myriad of options out there, it’s difficult to determine which one suits your needs. How to pick the solution that works best for your organization?

Pros and cons: what’s the most viable option?

Since we live in an option-rich world, sifting through all possibilities one by one is an impossible task. So, let’s adopt a broader view. Roughly speaking, we can divide payment solutions into three categories:

  1. Off platform: you process payments in your ERP/accounting system.
  2. Custom built: you create a payment solution from scratch.
  3. Out of the box: you opt for a solution that adds a payment layer to Salesforce.

Personalized payment experiences are paramount to anyone who wants to maintain and strengthen relationships with those on the other end of the ‘payment spectrum.’. Depending on your industry, they can be donors (nonprofit) or customers (profit). Either way, you will want to provide them with a seamless payment experience that demonstrates you’ve taken the time to get to know them.

That is why you need to integrate payments into your CRM. It allows you to better understand your donors or customers, enhance the accuracy of their data, and save time and resources by automating repetitive tasks.

An off-platform solution doesn’t allow you to manage payments from within Salesforce, which means Salesforce is not the source of truth and the system that can trigger collections of recurring payments. So, that option is off the table. What should you opt for, though: custom-built or out of the box?

A custom-built solution is of course tailored to your needs. It perfectly fits your processes and gives you absolute control: you get to pick every feature that’s included. And if, somewhere down the road, you decide it no longer suits you, or you require new features — well, you develop them. You also control costs, as a custom-built solution doesn’t come with recurring license fees.

In theory, this means the sky is the limit. You expand the solution whenever you want, and you keep your hand on the purse strings if it’s time to cut expenses.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it usually works. The drawn-out development process involves planning all stages, defining requirements, and designing, developing, and testing the application. Given the time it takes to create something tangible, it tends to drive organizations crazy — especially because the resulting solutions are practically obsolete once they’re released, as technology has continued to develop in the meantime. On top of that, these solutions are usually built by a CRM partner that understands the CRM system but isn’t a payment expert. And, as you probably know, payments require thorough knowledge and expertise.

Briefly put, a custom-built solution comes with risks. Yes, you’re able to create all the exact features your organization requires. But do you really need such specific features? Keep in mind they come at a high price, both literally and figuratively. For, besides the costly, time-consuming nature of the process, there’s no ongoing development. If your payment processes change due to external (integration-related) factors, everything you’ve built will stop working, and you have to start from scratch again.

How to go about it in a more effective and sustainable way?

Enter the on-platform managed solution, which adds a payments layer to Salesforce. It doesn’t require a high upfront investment and you can start using it right away. On top of that, you won’t just have the absolute minimum (which is the case if you build your solution): an out-of-the-box solution usually comes with features you might not have thought of, but that are useful nevertheless. If it’s been around for a while, you can also read reviews or customer stories from those who have gone before you. By the time you pick a certain out-of-the-box application, you’ll be pretty well versed in its workings. That means you will be empowered to do more — faster, and in more creative ways.

Since maintenance and support are taken care of, these crucial matters won’t cause you any stress, either. If you opt for a reliable supplier, you can rest assured your solution is always up to date: continuous development and security measures are prioritized. And you can’t really do without these things: the advances in financial technology and customer adoption of new payment methods are moving at record speed, so a future-proof solution is a must. (For an example of a future-oriented organization that constantly tests payment methods, read Unicef’s customer story.)

Or watch this short interview with Jamie Sletten from the Norwegian Reguee Council about why they choose for FinDock as a standard solution for managing their payments in Salesforce.

On options and choices: guidelines for picking a solution (category)

Are you considering an out-of-the-box solution? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Determine the urgent short-term goals and strategic long-term goals you want to solve in terms of payment management.
  • Opt for a payment solution that allows you to unlock new FinTech to your payers without significantly impacting your IT architecture.
  • Establish the payments standards that are relevant to you.
  • Check and double check security and availability (to minimize the risk of security breaches and payment disruptions).
  • Ensure your payment solution fits your compliance framework and specific financial requirements.

Need more information on selecting the right payment solution? Give this blog post a read. It’s geared to the nonprofit sector, but organizations across industries can use the tips described here!

Time to ‘get out of the box’

Do you need help convincing your co-workers on the board to embrace an out-of-the-box payment solution? Leave your details in the form and we’ll send you a slidedeck which you can use.

Curious to see how FinDock works? Schedule a demo.