In general, vaulting credit cards is a good thing. It's basically mandatory if you want to do recurring billing. It's also helpful if you're a more traditional shopping cart. Re-populating a shopping cart with even partial data increases closure rates.

Up until now there were two broad choices when it came to vaulting your credit cards. Vault with your current payment gateway. If that didn't work, you could go out and try and become PCI Compliant and vault your own cards. The mixture of costs around hardware, software and maintaining outside compliance - coupled with the time it took to achieve this goal - meant most people went with just vaulting their cards at the gateway.

Unfortunately that became a tool for lock in with your payment gateway and/or SCM partner. Quite simply, they would not return your customer credit card data if you wanted to switch to a new provider. Companies like Braintree, Spreedly and Stripe helped change that by agreeing to return your cards upon request. Yet it's by no means a broad industry trend (yet).

We've set out to fix this problem by creating an independent vault that you can procure.

Unlike prior efforts in this space, we connected it with more than 45 + payment gateways so you can process straight from the vault against one or more of these gateways simultaneously or over time.

The payments landscape is dynamic. There are new options springing up regionally with global aspirations. Mergers and acquisitions seem inevitable as the likes of Stripe, PayMill, Braintree and Pin Payments crash into the the established market participants. Acquisition might be the most cost effective way to reach new geographies or technologies and processes. All this presents a lot of opportunity for today's online merchants to see rapid improvement in the level of payment services offered.

One area we think still needs improvement are SaaS and cloud services that let you bring a merchant account to their offering. Ecommerce, subscription, billing, accounting, health and fitness offerings all typically require/let a customer use their own preferred gateway/merchant account. Today their approach is really hit or miss. Many support multiple payment gateway options - but they've done a simple integration that involves passing your credit cards through to that payment gateway vault. That means you're locked in to that payment gateway again.

Let's say they add support for a new payment gateway choice. Imagine your disappointment to learn that even though you're a paying customer on their service you can't take advantage of that because they weren't vaulting your cards for you. You're stuck with a payment gateway with mediocre support and response times while net new customers coming onboard get the latest and greatest.

With Spreedly we've changed that dynamic. We hope more and more of these services work with us, or build their own vaults, so that you can stay nimble through all of the change in the payments space over the next decade.