OTT platforms have now become the face of entertainment for millions in the last few years. Especially during the pandemic, during which contemporary entertainment platforms like theatres and have been out of the commission for quite a while. OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HotStar, etc. have brought entertainment from the silver screen to everyone’s smart devices.
These OTT platforms work on a subscription-based system, where a user opts for a weekly, monthly, or yearly subscription by paying the respective amount to enjoy the OTT platform’s service.
It goes without saying, but a robust payment gateway integration is crucial for OTT platforms to serve their customers in the best way possible while streamlining the payment process with added security.
In this blog, we shall take a look at what OTT platforms are, how payment gateway helps them grow exponentially in the last few years, and 6 major characteristics of the ideal payment portals for OTT platforms.
Sounds interesting? Let’s get right into it.
About OTT Platforms
Before knowing more about the payment portals integration on OTT platforms, let’s take a closer look at what OTT platforms are and why they need a secure payment gateway.
OTT, or Over Top platforms are digital service providers that stream media content like movies, web series, music, etc. through the internet. Unlike satellite distribution, where it is limited to one television screen, the OTT platform can be accessed on numerous devices like smartphones, tablets, desktops, and even smart TVs that have internet access.
As mentioned earlier, these OTT platforms follow a subscription-based system. Having a competent payment gateway portal enables OTT platforms to carry out the subscription payment procedure from buyers, remind them to renew the subscription, and allow recurring payment to provide limitless access to top-notch content.
Payment gateway services provide a fast and reliable transaction ecosystem for OTT platforms and ensure that subscribers get the right value for their income and regulating income flow for OTT platforms.
With that being said, simply having a payment gateway system without closely inspecting its features might cost OTT platforms in the long run. Unlike other digital businesses, OTT platforms are unique in many ways.
So here are the 6 key factors that determine the perfect payment gateway service for OTT platforms.
Criteria for an Ideal OTT Payment Gateway
1. Smartphone compatible user interface
Smartphones are the most prominent medium for using OTT platforms for millions. Its convenience and accessibility are unparalleled to any other video streaming medium.
According to the Mobile Marketing Ecosystem report 2020, entertainment is the main purpose of 84% of 45 crore active mobile users.
Additionally, statistics for the mobile landscape say that among the 451 million urban and rural smartphone users, 99% percent of them have sustainable internet access.
Yes, it’s that prominent!
Therefore, it’s mandatory for a payment gateway integration for OTT platforms to be smartphone compatible with a quick check-in and smooth check-out mechanism.
Not only the user interface, but the entire transaction process should be smartphone compatible with rapid connection to banks, location tracking, and 2 step verification process like OTP.
To put a cherry on top, the ideal payment gateway system should be customizable enough to visually match the look and feel of the OTT platform.
- Reliable tracking, analyzing, and managing payments
Speaking of functionality, Tracking, analyzing, and managing the transactions done by subscribers is imperative for the payment gateway service to cater to the needs of OTT platforms.
Having a smart merchant dashboard provides limitless functionalities to OTT service providers to manage thousands of subscribers with timely transactions.
Moreover, activities like refunds, notifications, and new subscription requests must be managed effectively and efficiently by the payment gateway websites for uninterrupted entertainment for viewers and a steady cash flow for merchants.
3: Ability to cater to an international audience
This is perhaps the most important feature of a top payment gateway must-have for OTT platforms.
As the internet offers a global reach to the OTT platforms, where the audience can enjoy quality content from all around the globe, merchants can maximize their profit by not limiting themselves to the one country to provide their video and music services.
That’s why a payment gateway system should be able to access global databases and various international banks with seamless currency conversion.
4. Ability to accept a variety of digital payments
The goal of a payment gateway solution is to make the transactional process easy for buyers and efficient for merchants. With advancements and innovations in payment procedures, there are numerous digital payment options like credit/debit cards, GPay, Amazon Pay, and e-wallets like PayPal and PayTM.
Moreover, cash on delivery is not an option in the case of OTT platforms.
Especially when it comes to OTT platform subscriptions, buyers prefer a variety of payment options as to when they’re interested, they’ll try and buy the subscription as soon as possible. Having a payment gateway integration accepting a variety of digital payments can expedite the buying process.
5. Affordability and scalability
Handling and processing thousands of transactions requires a robust payment gateway infrastructure that needs regular maintenance and surveillance, hence it charges a particular amount to the OTT platforms.
OTT platform needs to have an affordable yet reliable payment gateway service partner with a pricing plan that won’t break the bank.
Additionally, an ideal payment gateway integration should be scalable to keep up with ever-changing transactional needs and uncertainties.
- Enable recurring payment
Handling payments for OTT payment gateway needs to be adept at recurring payment. As most of the transactions for OTT platforms are subscription-based, payment gateway platforms should be able to store subscriber’s transactional data to automate the buying process without compromising on security.
Additionally, top payment gateway service providers are also well-equipped with scheduled notifications to remind buyers to renew their subscriptions.