As the global economy continues to cool, organisations are seeking ways to optimise revenue. Business leaders can facilitate top-line growth and cut costs with an often-overlooked strategy: improving the customer payment journey.
Jeanette Mbungo, vice president of payments operations at payment solution provider CSG Forte, boasts over two decades of experience in the payments industry.
Responsible for developing and implementing business strategies to drive growth and profitability, she oversees all aspects of operations from risk management, customer success strategy and operations, implementation and onboarding of customers, and support services.
Here, Mbungo explains how organisations can boost the bottom line and streamline the fragmented digital payments ecosystem by offering a multi-channel, seamless payment experience.
Friction during the payment process can lead to transaction abandonment—which means lost revenue. More than 90 per cent of billing companies get complaints about inconvenience during the payment process, including pain points at login and authentication and too few autopay options.
Offering a one-stop payment platform that accepts customers’ preferred payment methods – such as Automated Clearing House (ACH) and credit or debit card payments – and guides them securely and seamlessly through the payment journey is critical to optimising customer experience (CX) and improving outcomes.
Organisations can generate revenue by eliminating frustration, adding value and increasing security during the payment journey. Seamless payment experiences inspire customer loyalty and confidence, which could translate to more on-time payments, autopay opt-ins and reduced payment abandonment.
A reliable, digital payment platform also offers long-term returns via better Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance and more completed digital payments – which means shorter call centre times and less risk of customer data breaches.
Make It Safer
Security is a priority for you and your customers. The best payment solutions include safeguards built into the process that limit the exposure of customers’ sensitive personal information. Some payment platforms generate custom online invoices that are sent using a secure, personalised link. As an added security measure, the best payment platform uses branded invoices and customised URLs to assure the customer they’re sending their money to the right place.
In an increasingly digital world, many customers still appreciate having the option to connect with a human operator. But that human touch can also compromise data security. By implementing an agent live assist payment platform, call centre agents can send customers a real-time, secure link to a unique online payment page on their channel of choice. This allows direct payment without the customer sharing personal data over the phone, and without your organisation storing sensitive customer data.
Make It Easier
As customers tighten their budgets, some will have to choose which bills to pay and which to skip. Offering a bill explainer tool that guides customers through their bills to understand current (and outstanding) charges is one effective way to encourage on-time payments. The most frictionless bills get paid first by 23 per cent of Millennial consumers, according to a recent survey.
In fact, one security firm reduced late payments by 85 per cent in just one month by switching to a state-of-the-art payment platform. Making the customer journey and the payment process clear and convenient can influence whether they pay you this month or move on to the next biller.
Customers also frequently abandon their carts if they encounter friction during the payment process. By increasing convenience (offering instalment and auto-pay options, for example), you can also increase payment completion. Another attractive option is allowing customers to pay in instalments, which keeps customers engaged and active on your site and with your products. Instalment payment options also reduce call centre volume by offering customers affordable terms, thereby reducing collection calls.
Know You’re Compliant
PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) requirements differ based on company size, which means organisations must continuously monitor and update their compliance protocols. While it can be challenging to comply with PCI DSS, enlisting the services of a payment solution provider helps ensure your company stays PCI compliant without sacrificing time and internal resources that could be better spent on output-related strategies.
The card payment ecosystem comprises all the data your company collects, stores, processes and transmits, and it’s your responsibility to adhere to the PCI DSS as technologies evolve. Investing in a real-time, PCI-compliant payment processing platform reduces risk, effort and cost by offloading demanding requirements like firewall management, HIPAA compliance and network segmentation.
Successful organisations know to partner with a payment solution provider that understands their current offerings, capabilities and needs. Your payment provider should offer a customised product—whether you’re a small-size merchant that just wants a point-of-sale system or a large software vendor offering niche solutions for a specific vertical. Choose a payments partner that can learn your company’s needs and grow with your business.
As your organisation looks for ways to increase revenue in a shrinking global economy, don’t forget the importance of improving the customer payment journey. By offering a seamless, convenient, secure payment process, you can future-proof your business, increase revenue and improve PCI compliance through the global economic downturn and beyond.