What are the different levels of payment maturity?

What are the different levels of payment maturity?

We have 5 different levels of maturity that we use:

  1. None of the above
  2. Reliable
  3. Efficient
  4. Responsive
  5. Agile

These are measured on the four different areas of a business:

  1. Your current state - what you have in place at the moment.
  2. Your Team - what level of skill and training do the people driving payments have?
  3. Management - how are decisions made and how does payments form part of management decisions
  4. Technology - processes and culture for how your payment process is delivered

To explain the different levels in a bit more detail:

None of the above

This is the lowest level of maturity - where there isn’t that much in place. An organisation may be more mature in some areas, but immature in others - that is completely normal and a typical result. You can’t be good at everything.

But what our experience has shown is that as an organisation starts to implement better processes and skills in one area, they often start to lift their scores in other areas.

But hey, at least you’re aware of shortcomings - it is much harder to rectify a situation where management and key stakeholders are surprised when problems appear. And payment problems tend to be on the serious end of the spectrum.


This score indicates that your organisation has begun the process of improving payment maturity. There is plenty of room for improvement. Often teams with a reliable score are dealing with legacy systems and integrations, which can present formidable obstacles to moving quickly. It can be helpful to consider different strategies - for some areas (be they technology, people or processes) a gradual upgrade may be the only option. While other areas can be rebuilt and bypassed.


Efficient teams have some wins under their belt, but there is a lot more to do. Plenty of room for improvement here. As in, you’re still in the race, but if some pretty radical improvements don’t happen, you might get left behind. Technology is both the actual technology stack, as well as the people behind it. Focus on improving both.

Again, efficient scores often indicate a significant level of legacy processes, technology or people. Some projects can become stuck, so make sure you have a good way of measuring progress. If you’re in a hole, sometimes the best strategy is to stop digging and step out!


Responsive indicates a high level of payments maturity. Relatively speaking, this shows a mature level of planning and implementation across the organisation. For some organisations with a degree of legacy or large, complex systems, this is the upper limit - it may be challenging to move to a more Agile level of maturity. This does mean that there will probably be a certain level of “things breaking”.

However if you can start to adopt shorter release cycles and improve things such as measurement and a culture of continuous improvement, then there is certainly room to move the dial.


Agile is the top level of maturity, and indicates that there are good systems, processes and technology across the organisation, supported by a great team. By continually reviewing and benchmarking, an organisation that reaches this level should stay aware of risks and potential problems. This efficiency should result in happier customers, staff and key stakeholders. Better retention, less problems, but Payments are a bit of a moving target, so this requires a sustained effort to maintain.

A summary of each of the different levels that we use to describe the relative maturity of a payments process. Starting from the very basic / starting off, through to the teams that are really cracking it.

Ben Still


08 Feb 2023

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