Comprehensive Guide to Payment Orchestration

15 Feb, 2024 . 4 minutes

What Is Payment Orchestration?

Payment orchestration is a process for streamlining and managing all aspects of online payment transactions. This includes payment authorization, efficient transaction management, and oversight of the settlement process. It enables businesses to be more flexible and expand quickly. Payment orchestration enables businesses to easily enter new markets. They can connect with payment providers globally and handle multiple currencies. This is accomplished while remaining compliant with various regulations. In e-commerce, payment orchestration platforms facilitate the integration of websites with diverse payment service providers. These platforms allow a single website to connect to multiple payment processors at once. This streamlines both the backend and front-end operations. Additionally, it provides customers with a variety of payment options. Payment orchestration is defined by its ability to unify various payment service providers and methods. This includes popular options such as PayPal, Mastercard, American Express, and Visa. With these platforms, an online retailer can manage all of its payment service providers through a single interface. This simplifies the payment process, making it more efficient and user-friendly for both the company and its customers.

Payment Orchestration Features

Payment orchestration includes a set of features aimed at streamlining online transactions. These features focus on improving the efficiency, security, and user experience in the payment process. The main components are integration with multiple payment gateways, automated transaction routing, real-time analytics, and robust fraud detection systems.

1. Integration With Multiple Gateways

Gateway integration enables businesses to provide a variety of payment options to their customers, catering to different preferences and geographical locations. Integration is achieved through sophisticated software layers. These layers serve as a bridge between the merchant's e-commerce platform and the various gateways. Payment orchestration platforms enable transactions to be routed through the most appropriate gateway based on factors such as transaction success rates, fees, and customer location.

2. Automated Transaction Routing

This feature automatically directs each transaction to the most appropriate payment gateway. The decision is based on predetermined criteria such as the type of payment method, currency, or the customer's geographical location. This dynamic routing improves transaction success rates and can significantly reduce the costs associated with unsuccessful transactions.

3. Real-Time Analytics

Real-time data provide businesses with immediate insights into their payment processes. They monitor metrics such as transaction volume, success and failure rates, and fraud attempts. This data is invaluable to businesses in making informed decisions, improving customer experience, and increasing overall transaction success.

4. Robust Fraud Detection

Fraud detection systems in payment orchestration platforms employ advanced algorithms to detect and prevent fraudulent transactions. These systems analyse transaction data in real time, searching for patterns that indicate fraud. When the system detects suspicious activity, it will automatically flag or block the transaction. This not only protects the company and its customers but also ensures compliance with various international security standards.

5. APIs for Seamless Integration

Application programming interfaces (APIs) are central to payment orchestration. These APIs enable the payment orchestration platform to integrate seamlessly with the merchant's existing systems. They allow for the exchange of data between the e-commerce platform, payment orchestration system, and payment gateways. This integration is critical to the smooth operation of the payment process, ensuring that transactions are processed efficiently and securely.

Payment Orchestration vs. Payment Gateways

Payment orchestration and payment gateways are two distinct models for managing e-commerce transactions, each tailored to different business sizes and requirements. Payment orchestration emerges as a comprehensive payment management platform, which is critical for businesses dealing with high transaction volumes and complex scenarios such as cross-border sales. It provides a streamlined, single-point management system for a wide range of payment gateways, methods, and regulatory compliance. The orchestration process entails analysing transaction data to determine the most efficient processing path, conducting extensive fraud checks, and routing payments to the appropriate processor for settlement. It can also store data for later use, which helps with transaction analysis and reconciliation. One of the most significant advantages of payment orchestration is its ability to adapt payment paths in real-time, ensuring higher transaction success rates and increased conversion rates. It is inherently scalable and flexible, equipped with robust APIs to accommodate the expanding and changing needs of businesses. However, its reliance on third-party providers introduces a single point of failure, which can be a significant concern for some businesses. Payment gateways, on the other hand, serve as intermediaries between e-commerce sites and payment processors, with the primary goal of transferring customer funds to merchant accounts. This model is ideal for small businesses that need a simple and user-friendly payment solution. In the transaction flow, the gateway secures the payment initiation at checkout, encrypts payment data, and manages the authorisation process. They are known for providing secure transactions through encryption and tokenisation, and while they accept a wide range of payment methods, some, such as certain bank transfers or check payments, may not be supported. Gateways are praised for their ease of integration and ability to customise payment pages to match merchant branding. Nonetheless, they have their own set of disadvantages, including stringent PCI compliance requirements, potentially high costs at high transaction volumes, and a lack of advanced features such as comprehensive analytics or handling complex payment scenarios, which larger businesses may require.

Advantages of Payment Orchestration

  • Simplification of Payment Processes: Payment orchestration streamlines complex payment infrastructures. It integrates multiple payment methods and gateways into a single unified platform, streamlining the transaction process and lowering administrative costs.

  • Cost Efficiency: Businesses can reduce transaction and operational costs by optimising transaction routing and consolidating payment providers. Payment orchestration allows for cost-effective payment processing.

  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Offering a variety of payment options based on customer preferences enhances the checkout experience. This ease of use can boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Improved Security: Payment orchestration platforms use advanced security protocols. These include fraud detection algorithms and secure data handling, which improve the security of online transactions.

  • Data Analytics and Insights: Real-time analytics provide valuable insights about transaction patterns and customer behaviour. This data enables businesses to make more informed decisions and tailor their strategies for better outcomes.

  • Scalability and Flexibility: Payment orchestration platforms are designed to scale with business growth. They are easily adaptable to rising transaction volumes and facilitate market expansion.

  • Increased Conversion Rates: Payment orchestration can increase conversion rates significantly by reducing failed transactions and providing preferred payment methods. This is especially important in competitive online marketplaces.

  • Global Reach: The ability to integrate multiple payment gateways and support multiple currencies broadens a company's reach to a global customer base, allowing access to larger markets and more diverse customer segments.

Challenges and Considerations in Payment Orchestration

Navigating the complexities of payment orchestration presents several challenges for businesses, but with strategic planning and flexibility, these can be effectively addressed.

Complex Payment Flows

One of the most difficult aspects of payment orchestration is dealing with complex payment flows. These flows go beyond simple routing and cover the entire payment journey, from initiation to final approval. Businesses can get around this by implementing custom orchestration platforms that adapt to non-standard payment events like delayed authorizations or dual-message payments. A system must provide the flexibility required for a variety of transaction scenarios, such as multiple captures or partial refunds. As business payment needs evolve, particularly during peak seasons, companies must ensure that their orchestration solution can adapt to changing payment flow requirements.

Meeting Multiple Providers' Requirements

The diversity of payment service providers (PSPs) creates the challenge of managing multiple requirements and fees. Businesses can address this by conducting comprehensive cost-benefit analyses to determine the true value of each integration. It is essential to understand each PSP's contractual obligations and associated fees to avoid unnecessary expenses. Businesses can avoid paying for unused services by carefully selecting PSPs based on their transaction patterns and negotiating terms. Furthermore, the integration of a payment orchestrator should be viewed as an investment, with the benefits of streamlined operations and higher conversion rates potentially outweighing the initial setup costs.

Regulation Challenges

Compliance with EU regulations such as Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) and PSD2 presents its own set of challenges. These regulations can complicate the payment process by requiring multiple authentication checks, potentially increasing the checkout time and deterring customers. Businesses can overcome these regulatory challenges by integrating payment orchestration platforms that are designed to comply with regulations while maintaining a user-friendly checkout experience. They can also collaborate with payment gateways and third-party 3DS service providers who specialise in regulatory compliance, ensuring a smooth transaction without compromising security.

Case Studies and Real-world Applications

The complexities of payment orchestration present a distinct set of challenges and considerations for businesses, as demonstrated by the collaboration between APEXX Global and Internova Travel Group, a major player in the global travel industry. A critical challenge for business growth is accommodating a variety of payment methods to suit diverse customer preferences, especially for global businesses like Internova. With operations in over 80 countries and a large network of travel advisers, Internova required a solution to manage this diversity effectively. Internova's partnership with APEXX Global allows it to integrate alternative payment methods such as mobile wallets, buy now, pay later (BNPL) services, and bank transfer products via a single API provided by APEXX Connect. This approach demonstrates the importance of flexibility in payment options when catering to a global customer base. Speed and simplicity of integration are also crucial in payment orchestration. The partnership highlighted the efficiency of APEXX's platform, with a particularly rapid integration process that enabled Internova to adapt to the new system quickly. This rapid integration is critical for companies in dynamic industries such as travel, where market demands and consumer expectations are constantly changing. Another important consideration is the control of transaction costs. Internova's collaboration with APEXX Global provided access to a broader range of payment methods and processors, reducing fees. This is especially important for international businesses, where transaction costs can vary greatly and have a significant impact on overall profitability. Furthermore, the partnership emphasised the importance of innovation, convenience, and security in payment processing. These elements are essential for providing a positive customer experience in today's digital and fast-paced world. Ensuring that payment processes are not only secure but also user-friendly and innovative is critical to retaining customer trust and satisfaction.

Future Trends and Predictions

The payment orchestration landscape is rapidly changing, owing to technological advancements, shifting market dynamics, and consumer behaviour. Here are some predictions and trends that will shape the future of payment orchestration:

  • AI and Machine Learning Integration: Enhanced fraud detection, personalised experiences, and predictive analytics to ensure transaction success.

  • Global E-Commerce Expansion: Complex cross-border transactions, multiple currencies, and international compliance require special attention.

  • Alternative Payment Method Adoption: Integration of cryptocurrencies, mobile wallets, and other emerging payment methods.

  • Advanced Security Measures: Implementation of cutting-edge encryption and secure protocols to defend against cyber threats.

  • Payment Orchestration as a Service (POaaS): Cloud-based, scalable payment orchestration solutions for businesses of any size.

  • User Experience Focus: One-click payments, seamless mobile experiences, and fewer authentication steps for faster checkouts.

  • Regulatory Technology Integration: RegTech solutions enable automated compliance with laws such as PSD2, GDPR, and SCA.

  • Personalisation and Data Utilisation: Using customer data to provide tailored payment suggestions while maintaining privacy.

  • Subscription and On-Demand Service Adaptation: Sophisticated recurring billing and customer lifecycle management for subscription-based models.


In conclusion, the vast world of payment orchestration has been meticulously detailed, emphasising its critical role in modern e-commerce. Payment orchestration's multifaceted capabilities address a wide range of business challenges, from simplifying payment processes to providing global reach. As we look ahead, APEXX's payment orchestration solutions stand at the forefront of this evolution, providing cutting-edge platforms that not only streamline operations but also enable businesses to seamlessly adapt to the ever-changing landscape of digital payments. APEXX's solutions are designed to empower businesses by providing robust analytics, flexible APIs, and comprehensive fraud detection mechanisms. They allow you to easily scale, open up new market opportunities, and deliver unparalleled customer experiences. As the digital economy evolves, APEXX's dedication to innovation and excellence keeps your company agile, secure, and competitive.

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