What Does Payment Infrastructure As A Service Mean?


Payment services depend on sound infrastructure technology, banking relationships, and connectivity for APIs. This network is complex and built using security best practices, and it is actually what powers our payment services industry. 

If you want to become a payment service provider, start a payment API or money transfer technology, or open a payment gateway, then you’ve likely come across the terms payment infrastructure as a service, and banking infrastructure as a service, and have wondered what it actually refers to. And, if you’re looking to start a fintech business, then it’s vital that you have a grasp of this terminology so you understand your options for growing a fintech app and properly leveraging infrastructure services. 

As a leader in fintech infrastructure as a service, Sila is a provider on the ground that you should look out for. And as thought leaders in this area, we’ve written up this article to provide a high-level overview.

Breaking Down the Payment Infrastructure

Payment processing service models are running rampant, especially in the software and fintech industries. Service models are extremely smart because they provide users with unprecedented access to critical knowledge, data, operations, processes, and infrastructure (as in the case of payment infrastructure) that would otherwise be cumbersome to build. 

For example, when you think about a networking infrastructure, you can visualize the number of connecting nodes, wires, and modules that are needed to keep the infrastructure running. This is why so many people don’t have network servers running in their basements: it’s just not feasible or smart to have a networking infrastructure in every basement when one person can build it and share it with others. 

Companies who build this type of service model are supporting products, connections, provider partners, API connections, and hardware that you need to operate that function properly. In this case, we’re talking about payment infrastructure, so infrastructure services are supporting the payment system. Supporting a payment processor needs to include connections to the reserve bank(s) (in the US that’s the Federal Reserve Bank), connection to the Clearing House for Nacha and ACH payments, credit card payments, providing debit card issuance, instant payments, differing payment methods, and more, all for online payments and storing money online.

When you think about the payments industry, you recognize brand names like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Stripe, PayPal, Venmo, and more. Now, do you think about how those businesses operate? In essence, each of these businesses is built on a similar code that can handle banking data, and sensitive customer information, and can facilitate the sending and receiving of that data and electronic funds transfer securely. In order to do that, each business would need to set up the core code or APIs that call forward the items you need to withdraw funds, deposit money, send money, and confirm identity. 

Digital wallets, ACH transfers, identity verification, merchant account support, and external bank account linking, all of this needs a payment facilitator code to connect with outside users or to talk to other parts of the app. Without this infrastructure, a company would have to build it on its own to enable online payments. All of these bits of code, the connections, the partnerships, and the APIs make up the infrastructure of those businesses mentioned above.

Leveraging the Power of Payment Infrastructure Service Models With Sila

The good news about this complicated infrastructure for sending payments is that it has actually been produced in a way that more people can use it. You don’t have to build it on your own; if you thought that every fintech company out there did that, then you are mistaken. There are several of us in the industry who have built it up (here we think of co-founder Shamir who is considered one of the Founding Fathers of Fintech with his groundbreaking app Simple), but now we have perfected this process, the code, and the data in there so that it can be used by others. 

This is what Sila does and what the payment infrastructure refers to. With Sila, you gain access to our industry knowledge and the knowledge of key experts at Sila so that you can buy (or rent) our payment infrastructure for your payment app to facilitate numerous types of financial transactions. 

With the code needed to verify users, create users, secure accounts, host virtual accounts, create digital wallets, send and receive money, communicate with the Nacha and Clearing House officials, and automate financial money, you can create your very own app that sends money to friends using new and innovative features. 

All of this can be powered on Sila’s payment infrastructure as a service, which means that you don’t have to build your own app from the ground up, and you don’t have to grow a banking relationship like the one we have with Evolve Bank & Trust. Instead, we work hard at these things (the ones we do best, really) and you can share in these services.

Benefits of Payment Infrastructure as a Service

The benefits of this model are, hopefully, clear. Because Sila has put in the work to build this model, you don’t have to. That is a lot of stress, time, and money that so many people in emerging fintech simply don’t have. Not only that, but it shouldn’t require everyone to reinvent the wheel simply to add an exciting new fintech product. No, instead, users can simply tap into the Sila code and build an app that is basically ready for market. This allows for more financial inclusion and more open banking, especially in areas of the world that need it the most.

Other benefits include access to extremely powerful technology, and this means technology that is not available anywhere else. It took our founders years to perfect their skill, learn the complicated compliance needs, and build the relationship with Evolve Bank & Trust and our users can access it immediately. With all financial transactions protected through the partnered accounts, then users can also gain access to tons of features that would take them months to build. 

And compliance. Compliance is a major component of successful fintech, and it requires years and thousands of dollars to stay compliant in the US financial system. So companies like Sila are able to do a lot of this heavy lifting for you. With Sila’s status as a bank agency with Evolve Bank & Trust, this means that customers don’t have to get their own money transmitter licenses and file regular reports for SARS. Additionally, our partner connections store data using PCI compliance (including PCI DSS secure hardware), alleviating a lot of time, risk and cost of securing sensitive data. 

The infrastructure service model simply makes sense, and it is extremely useful for emerging fintech startups to start up and get to market faster. Not only that, but with Sila’s fintech marketplace, our customers have access to over 35 partners in the space who are compatible with our product and can easily add on services. So things like Instant Settlement, card issuance, and more are instantly available through our marketplace.

Features of Payment Infrastructure as a Service

When you tap into the payment infrastructure service model, you’re saving loads of time, frustration, and stress. Key features that come with payment infrastructure services include: 

  • The ability to send and receive electronic funds transfers (usually in the form of ACH money transfers)
  • Access to secure bank accounts, typically with FBO protection
  • Digital wallets
  • Compatibility with different payment method types
  • Identify verification, a core component of US banking (KYC/KYB/Document verification)
  • Virtual account generation
  • User onboarding
  • Mobile wallet functionality
  • Electronic payment issuance, including bill pay and recurring payments
  • Account and user monitoring through the dashboard
  • Domestic wires
  • International funds transfers
  • Card issuance
  • Crypto compatibility
  • Connection to credit card payment processors, like American Express, Mastercard, and Visa
  • And much more. 

Sila’s status as a bank agent with Evolve Bank & Trust grants users access to issuing ACH credit and ACH debit payments. Note that payments infrastructure is fundamentally different from banking infrastructure; banking infrastructure must also include the ability to write checks and provide core banking needs.

Trust Sila as Your Go-To Payment Infrastructure Service Partner

Looking to start up as a payment provider? Want to tap into the electronic payment market? Looking for key access to the car network? 

With Sila’s payment infrastructure as a service, you can access these features without the time, cost, and risk needed to collect all of the features for your own infrastructure on your own.