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Payments: An Essential Part Of The Customer Experience

Compare merchant accounts to determine which is the right fit for your business.

Saturday, September 25th, 2021

Thanks to the newest technology and ever-evolving customer wants and needs, the global payments industry is changing. What is driving the payments revolution is unquestionably the customer’s experience. All companies are on a mission to make transactions safer and hassle-free. 

Solutions such as real-time payments and “security-enhancing data”, are being driven by consumers that are technologically-astute and forward thinking businesses, ushering in a full digital experience in their everyday transactions. 

The Disruption Of The Traditional Transaction

The customer experience has suffered from gaps left by traditional banks, thereby drawing in scores of new tech players hoping to fill those gaps. Some of the solutions sought include “invisible” payments of ride-sharing apps, “connected digital assistants” that are integrated into mobile devices, and money transfer capabilities built into their favorite texting service. 

Banks are not at a complete disadvantage as they have leveraged their long-term customer relationships and massive volumes of customer data accumulated over many decades. These valuable assets will be used to improve customer experience either in-house or through the purchase or creation of partnerships with fintechs. They would like to emulate the customer service experience that fintechs have become known for. 

Even non-traditional financial players such as Google and PayPal are vying for customer relationships through their own platforms. 

Real-Time Payments 

In order to compete with all the new industry players, banks must take advantage of all the new “money movement capabilities” and offer customers multiple payment options in order to give customers the best experience. Customers today want to make their payments quickly, easily, and safely, using the payment method of their choosing. If this is not offered, they will simply go elsewhere. 

Having “real-time readiness” should be viewed as a strategic move towards modernization, from a technological and business model perspective. 

The current payment trends point to the fact that Alternative Payments and Immediate Payments will be critical for merchants to look into within the next few years. 

As mentioned previously, merchants must implement the right payment methods for their customer base. They must also ensure that they maintain consistency throughout all channels. Certainly, there will be costs involved in this implementation. 

The advantages certainly outweigh the costs in that Alternative Payments can unlock certain customer segments and geographies. It can also help drive higher transaction values, bring along the purchasing decision further, deepen knowledge about the customers, as well as customizing the shopping experience. 

How Can Merchants Deliver The Best Customer Experience?

Although there are costs to consider when adopting solutions to enhance customer experience, it needs to be implemented in a way that won’t financially cripple the business. The trick is to stay nimble, to be quick to adapt and deploy changes with minimum resources. 

A successful payment strategy is essentially made up of two components. The two critical components include tools and technology that is based on an open architecture and a single payments platform. There is no need for a “large-scale technical redevelopment” as this would drain costs and precious resources.

In order to launch new products and services quickly and easily, merchants can use SaaS or cloud-based solutions. This would greatly minimize infrastructure costs. Merchants should also consider payment solutions that are vendor independent and “acquirer agnostic” to help control costs and have the flexibility to negotiate fees. 

In Closing 

The right payment strategy has the power to optimize the customer experience in order to provide competitive advantage. This will also enhance customer loyalty, all while keeping the costs for merchants more manageable.