Payments Orchestration

Optimizing For Event Based Payments

Learn how to plan, setup and optimize your payments stack for your next big event.

Written by
Andy McHale
Publication Date
March 15, 2024
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When the time comes to scale up your payment volume, is your business truly ready?

Major events like new product launches, movie and TV show releases, and sporting events can drive tremendous payment value. When original shows like True Detective come back from long hiatuses and break platform records with 12.7 million viewers, streaming platforms like Max will see an increase in subscribers. However, these events can also put greater strain on your payment system, making it highly necessary to optimize your payment strategy ahead of an upcoming event. 

From snagging concert tickets to catching the latest streaming release, customers expect a frictionless payment experience. Failed or inefficient payments can lead to hefty customer dissatisfaction, potentially resulting in significant losses in sales revenue and subscriptions. 

Luckily, payment orchestration provides a seamless solution for ensuring a harmonious payment process. 

Let's begin by unraveling the relationship between flawless payments and the world of entertainment. 

What are Event-Based Payments?

Event-based payments occur in response to specific events, typically triggered on a controlled schedule. 

The entertainment sector tends to account for the largest share of event-based payments thanks to the time-sensitive nature of events in the industry. It becomes evident when you realize that more than 3.5 million people pre-registered back in 2022 for Taylor Swift The Eras Tour tickets according to Ticketmaster. Here's an overview of some of the most common types of event-based payments:

  • Ticket Sales: When an event venue markets tickets for a sporting game, concert, theater performance, or another live event, most venue marketing teams include specific ticket release dates. These release dates become a major source of payment activity for a limited period, often until the tickets have sold out. For venues preparing for tickets to go on sale, ensuring the payment process is smooth and convenient for customers is vital. 
  • Streaming Service Subscriptions: Subscriptions to streaming services often involve event-based payments centered around specific pieces of media. For instance, on music streaming platforms, the release of a new album from a popular artist can drive up new subscriptions on the day of the release. Likewise, movie and TV streaming services must prepare for huge subscription spikes on release dates for new films or series exclusive to their platform.  
  • SaaS Services: In the context of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), event-based payments can center around the types of services and solutions a SaaS provider offers. For example, an accounting software provider can generally expect to see spikes in sales or subscriptions during tax season when businesses need to get their finances organized. The events that trigger event-based payments can vary from one SaaS provider to the next, making it highly important to understand the key dates and spikes in software usage for your specific SaaS niche. 
  • E-commerce Product Releases: As an e-commerce brand grows and gains greater brand recognition, customers begin to drum up excitement ahead of new product releases. When dropping a new product, an e-commerce business must prepare not only in terms of inventory but also in terms of optimizing the digital payment process. For digital products or services, the payment process must also trigger authorization to access the product or service purchased. 

Challenges of Event-Based Payments 

Event-based payments present unique challenges for digital goods platforms, particularly during high-demand periods such as a new release or highly anticipated event. 

To best examine these challenges, let's consider them within the context of a streaming platform releasing a new season of a globally popular TV show.

The Scenario: A popular streaming platform is about to release the latest season of a highly anticipated show. The streaming service has been heavily promoting the release for weeks, generating significant buzz and anticipation among audience members. As the release date approaches, the streaming service expects a large influx of new users eager to watch the new episodes.

However, on the day of the release, the streaming service encountered several challenges with event-based payments when faced with a sudden spike in payment volume:

  • Scalability Issues: Despite preparing for increased traffic, the streaming service underestimates the surge in demand and experiences scalability issues within its payment infrastructure. As a result, the payment processing system becomes overwhelmed, leading to slow response times and timeouts for users attempting to sign up for subscriptions or purchase access to new content.
  • Payment Processing Delays: The sheer volume of payment transactions overwhelms the payment processing system, causing delays in processing payments. Users who have already entered their payment information may experience frustration as they wait for their transactions to be completed, potentially leading to abandoned purchases or negative user experiences.
  • Fraudulent Activities: Fraudsters may seize the opportunity presented by high-demand events to carry out fraudulent activities such as stolen credit card transactions or account takeovers. The streaming service's fraud prevention measures are put to the test as they work to identify and block fraudulent transactions without inconveniencing legitimate users.
  • Subscription Management Challenges: Existing subscribers attempt to upgrade their plans or renew their subscriptions to gain access to the new content. However, the streaming service's subscription management system struggles to handle the high volume of subscription-related transactions, leading to delays in processing upgrades, renewals, or cancellations.
  • Overloaded Customer Support: As more and more customers pour in, the streaming platform's support team is inundated with inquiries, complaints, and issues related to billing, payments, and access to the new content. Users experiencing payment processing delays or subscription management issues flood the customer support channels, quickly overwhelming support teams. 

Addressing these challenges requires careful planning, investment in a robust payment infrastructure and fraud prevention technologies, and proactive management of subscription and billing processes. 

By overcoming these challenges, streaming platforms can deliver a seamless and enjoyable experience for users during high-demand events while maximizing revenue and minimizing operational disruptions.

How Payment Orchestration Benefits Event-Based Payments

Event-based payments typically involve real-time transactions that occur in response to these events. To meet drastic increases in demand during event-based payment scenarios, you must ensure your payment system is flexible, responsive, and capable of facilitating dynamic solutions for differing customer needs. 

Payments orchestration helps manage and optimize your payment process by establishing an ecosystem of integrations. No matter which payment methods, gateways, or payment service providers you need, payment orchestration ensures you can handle large spikes in volume.

For event-based payments, payment orchestration offers several key benefits: 

  • Multiple Payment Methods: Payment orchestration allows companies to offer a variety of payment methods to customers based on their personal and regional preferences. By offering multiple payment options, you can cater to different customer preferences and increase the likelihood of successful transactions. Moreover, payments orchestration supports recurring payments, ensuring subscription billing and payment processes run smoothly. 
  • Fraud Prevention: Events like ticket sales or streaming service subscriptions are susceptible to fraudulent activities such as unauthorized transactions and chargebacks. Payment orchestration solutions often include robust fraud detection and prevention tools that analyze transaction patterns, detect anomalies, and implement security measures like 3D Secure, PSD2, PCI DSS, and other regulatory standards to mitigate fraud risks.
  • Subscription Management: For SaaS companies that operate on a subscription model, payment orchestration facilitates streamlined recurring billing and subscription management. Through an orchestration platform, you can manage all your different subscription payment features (such as different subscription tiers or upgrades) while providing a hassle-free subscription payment experience to your customers. 
  • Streamlined Integrations: Payment orchestration enables platforms, like eCommerce, to integrate multiple payment methods, gateways, and providers into a single platform. This unified integration eliminates the need for managing and maintaining separate integrations for each payment method or provider, reducing complexity and simplifying the payment ecosystem. Additionally, this multi-provider approach helps streaming platforms avoid vendor lock-in. 
  • Dynamic Routing: Payment orchestration platforms can dynamically route transactions to the most appropriate payment gateway or payment processor based on factors such as transaction volume, geographic location, or payment method. This ensures optimal routing of payments, minimal transaction failures, and improved overall performance during high-demand events.
  • Heightened Scalability: Payment orchestration platforms are designed to scale horizontally to accommodate fluctuations in payment volume, ensuring that platforms built around events can handle sudden spikes in traffic and transaction volume during peak times without experiencing performance degradation or downtime.

Overall, payment orchestration enables you to manage the complexities of event-based payments to ensure a seamless payment experience for customers, maximizing revenue, and minimizing operational overhead for your business.

Why Optimizing Payments Before Events Is Important

Aside from providing vital support during high-demand events, payment orchestration can be essential for optimizing your entire payment system. 

The advantages of making optimizations to our payments stack before a scheduled event are: 

  • Centralized Management: Payment orchestration centralizes the management of payment processes, allowing platforms like online streaming services to oversee all payment transactions from a single interface. This centralized approach streamlines operations, reduces complexity, and enhances visibility into payment activities.
  • Reduced Developmental Effort: Building a comprehensive and reliable payment system costs tremendous capital, time, and resources. Payment orchestration helps take the pain out of payment management, especially when dealing with subscriptions, recurring payments, and high-demand event-based payments. 
  • Simplified Payment Compliance: Payment compliance is no joke, and event-based businesses need an effective approach to compliance during high-demand events. A payment orchestration solution can provide you with the built-in tools and services you need to prevent fraud and safeguard customer payment data year-round. 

Getting ahead and implementing payment optimizations empower companies like streaming platforms to deliver a seamless and frictionless payment experience for users.

Why Implementing Payment Orchestration Before Major Events is Key

Event-based payments offer businesses in the entertainment and media industries a unique opportunity to capitalize on limited-time events — if only they have the payment capabilities to do so. 

Payment orchestration plays a decisive role in enabling a reliable system that can handle large fluctuations in user engagement and payment volume. However, establishing a payment orchestration solution can take time and effort, as can finding a trusted payment orchestration platform provider. 

To adequately prepare your payment system to handle large influxes of customers on the day of an event, the key is to implement payment orchestration now, long before the event date comes around. 

By building off the foundation of payment orchestration, you can ensure you have all the necessary payment methods and tools needed to serve your target customers. Plus, payment orchestration enables you to set up backup providers in the case of a failed payment or vendor outage.   

Effectively Manage Spikes in Event-Based Payment Volume with Spreedly

Owning the rights to an event gives your brand a sense of exclusivity that draws customers in.

To ensure you take full advantage of your events, you need your payments to work flawlessly. At Spreedly, our payment orchestration platform has the integration capabilities you need to optimize your payments and simplify the technical complexities of event-based payment management for your team. 

Integrating with Spreedly ensures you have the flexibility and scalability to fully optimize event-based payments based on your unique business needs.

Talk with the Spreedly team today to get your payment optimizations in place before your next event!

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