Bill payment processors are third party service providers that help alleviate the burden of accepting payments. They empower billers such as utility companies, wireless and cable providers, to name a few, with the capabilities to accept multiple payment types through a variety of channels. Basically, they offer different bill management and payment features that efficiently meet the needs of both the biller, and the consumer paying the bill. Every payment processing company offers a different assortment of services so it’s important to carefully select the one that will best meet your current and future needs so that future additions and growth is seamless.
Questions to ask when choosing a third party payment processor:
Do they offer multiple payment channels?
Today’s consumer demands options. A biller is expected to provide multiple ways to pay so that all of their customers can make payments conveniently and easily. But circumstances can dictate what is convenient and circumstances can change monthly. In fact, 83 percent of consumers reported using two or more channels to pay their bills each month, either because of what was convenient at the time or what was made most accessible by the biller. It’s important to assess your current payment channels and identify if there is a genuine need for alternate means of payment processing. Understanding your customers needs and current and emerging payment trends will help you narrow down the choices. Some of the most demanded payment channels by third party processors are:
The benefit to deploying several payment channels through one single payment processor is that it promises a unified user experience across all channels. Consumers are no longer tolerant of disconnects between any touch point with a brand. The challenge that now exists is to ensure that the appropriate payment channels are made available and successfully integrated, so that it offers your customer a consistent, and positive user experience. Be sure to choose a payment processor that offers a catalogue of services that your customers require now, or may require in the future.
Do they accommodate multiple payment options?
Similarly to the pervious discussed payment channel, billers should accept multiple forms of payment. Cash, bank ACH and credit and debit card payments are among the most demanded by biller and consumer. Research the payment options that are in the highest demand by your customers before attempting to offer every payment type, everywhere. This can be accomplished by distributing a brief survey to your customers to better understand their needs and where your payment options may be lacking. It is more cost effective to pinpoint your payment needs and direct your efforts accordingly.
For instance, if you’re a utility company that suffers from congested volumes of walk-in, cash bill payments. It might be beneficial to deploy cash only bill pay kiosks to alleviate some of the counter stress, but exclude credit/debit card readers and direct card payments to your web or mobile payment app. While a variety of options are important to the omnichannel consumer, strategic assortment and placement of payment channel and type is a much more efficient use of resources.
Are the payment channels intuitive and easy to use?
An intuitive interface is imperative to the successful adoption of any self-service option. Speed and convenience are at the heart of most initiatives, but if task completion is not an easy-to-use and natural process, consumers will abandon ship before finishing and seek out an alternative. Any successful self-service option accurately anticipates the users needs and provides them with the tools to easily complete the task at hand. It is important to carry over usability and the overall feel of each channel to consistently provide the same level of service across all payment options.
Do they offer technical and customer support?
When dealing with the personal finances of your customers, and the transfer of their money and something doesn’t go as planned, time is of the essence. Consumers are extremely less tolerant and patient when they have concerns about the transfer of money or the timeliness of a bill payment. Look for a service provider that offers 24/7 customer service support to deal with both technical issues and customer service inquiries. Payment processors that offer direct customer support are more efficient and timely in addressing concerns and solving problems. Eliminating the middleman drastically increases customer satisfaction and ensures a positive experience. Additionally, it is important to fully understand the role that your service provider will play when it comes to maintenance and repairs. Be sure to inquire about the level of responsibility and associated costs to guarantee minimal downtime.
What level of security do they offer?
The security of personal and financial information may arguably be the most important features that any bill payment processor can offer. Be sure to thoroughly inquire about the handling of information and the safeguards provided. Choose a service provider that offers advanced fraud protection and is PCI compliant.
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