The Rise of the Merchant Aggregator


Merchant aggregators help their customers to focus resources on providing the best service possible while relying on the platform for their tech needs. In the PYMNTS eBook, “Endemic Economics: 32 Payments Execs on the ‘Next Normal’ That Never Happened,” Spreedly CEO Justin Benson discusses how they can offer the value-add of payments without adding cost and risk to their payment stack.


One of the more impactful innovations in the payment ecosystem is the rise of the merchant aggregator.

Pandemic lockdowns saw card-present merchants scrambling to service their customers online in a card-not-present environment. This was a boon for existing merchant aggregating platforms and an opportunity to create net new platforms to service these merchants. These aggregators have been a vital way for merchants to digitize rapidly.

At Spreedly, we’re fortunate to work with many successful merchant aggregators pushing the payments envelope in exciting ways. This includes eCommerce platforms like Chargebee, giving solutions like PushPay and iDonate, and restaurant management platforms such as Paytronix.

Merchant aggregating platforms allow their customers to focus scarce resources on providing the best service possible while relying on the aggregating platform to service their technological needs. Presenting a visually pleasing menu, organizing a giving campaign, or managing your subscription rules are all best abstracted away, leaving the restaurant to prepare the best food possible or a nonprofit to organize a first-class giving campaign.

These merchant aggregation platforms look to Spreedly to abstract away payments. Payments are an essential element of a great digital commerce experience that aggregators can deliver to merchants. The challenge for aggregators is how to offer the value-add of payments without adding cost and risk to their payment stack. Payments orchestration is a path that supports aggregators in their quest to provide differentiation and value. That value comes in two key ways.

Merchant aggregating platforms have to be flexible in what they offer. Aggregators have the challenge of supporting integrations with the dozens of PSPs or gateways. Many could become a PayFac but discover prospective merchants have established PSP relationships. If an aggregator can’t offer that service quickly, merchants will go elsewhere.

The power of payments orchestration gives our aggregator partners the ability to easily offer merchants a “bring your own gateway” model without extensive development cycles to deliver connections. This means a faster time to first transaction and revenue for everyone.

In addition to attracting new customers, aggregators need to offer current merchant customers more value. Payments orchestration lets merchant aggregators offer additional payment services to their merchants. This includes functionality like account updater and network tokens to refresh stored cards and keep customers transacting constantly. Or intelligent routing and failover technology to help avoid downtime in the payments flow. All of this means more top-line growth and happier merchant customers.

We predict that the rise of the merchant aggregator will continue to serve an essential role in the broader payments ecosystem. Spreedly is excited to serve as a critical driver supporting this growth.