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Monetizing Payments for SaaS Platforms: Demystifying Payment Processing Terminology

Being “in the know” with common industry terms can set you up for greater success with integrated payments.

Before jumping into the world of integrating payments, stop and think about that age-old piece of advice: don’t run before you can walk. Our nine-part series with James Shepherd on “Monetizing Payments for SaaS Platforms” serves up a lot of detailed payment content, but first, we’re going back to the basics.

In episode two, James breaks down core payment terms and uses his own self-storage management software, CCStorage, to provide valuable context to each. To watch the full episode, click the link below.



Building a rock-solid foundation of the basics will not only benefit your success with payments but also with this series. We’ll be diving into more nitty-gritty topics in upcoming episodes, and they’ll make a lot more sense once you’ve laid that groundwork. For a quicker overview of the terms and real-life examples, check out the recap below: 


  1. Card Holder: The term “card holder” refers to the customer. It is the individual initiating the payment, whether it involves a physical card or an ACH payment (even though ACH payments do not involve a physical card)
    • Example (CCStorage): The card holder is the person renting a self-storage unit. 

      The Merchant: The “merchant” is the business that accepts the payment from the card holder.

      • Example (CCStorage): The merchant is the owner of the self-storage property, and they receive payments from the card holder to rent the unit.
  1. Payment Processor: The payment processor is the company responsible for handling the movement of money. They also provide the necessary APIs for payment integration, acting as the crucial link connecting everything together.
    • Example (CCStorage): Tilled serves as the payment processor for CCStorage. Technically Tilled is a PayFac-as-a-Service provider but can be referred to as the processor in this example as they provide the API and facilitate the payments.
  2. Independent Software Vendor: Also known as an “ISV” or “SaaS”, the independent software vendor is who has created software and integrated that software with a payment processor to enable merchants to accept payments from the card holder.

    • Example (CCStorage): CCStorage is an ISV that provides self-storage management software to self-storage facilities. By integrating with Tilled, CCStorage enables its merchants to accept payments from card holders.

Are you still with us? It may seem like a lot to grasp, but once you understand these basic definitions, the world of payment processing becomes much more straightforward. Stay tuned for the upcoming episodes where we’ll explore exciting topics that build upon this foundation.

If you’re interested in understanding how to seamlessly integrate and monetize payments with Tilled, our team is here to assist you! Simply click on the appropriate link below based on your specific needs:

  1. If you’re an ISV interested in embedding payments into your platform, click here.
  2. If you’re an ISO agent looking to refer an ISV, email partners@tilled.com. 

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