There’s nothing more frustrating than customers failing to pay you on time for goods or services you’ve already provided. Fortunately, emerging technology options and methods of payment can shorten the average number of days it takes to collect a bill.
Adopting omnichannel payment methods makes it easy for everyone to pay the way they prefer, from younger digital natives who prefer digital payment solutions to older, analog generations who may prefer traditional billing and phone calls.
But channel types and forms of payment aren’t the only consideration when it comes to making your payment workflows more lucrative. You need software that caters to preferences, lowers costs on redundant tools and enhances the customer experience, building trust in your brand and securing more revenue.
1) QR Codes
QR codes aren’t new but they could be doing more for your business. Paper statements are a passive method of payment collection. You send them out hoping most people will see what they owe and pay right away. But life can be busy.
Some consumers don’t want to call your IVR or talk to a call center agent just to pay a bill. Others don’t want to type a long URL or navigate a website. Why not print a QR code directly to your payment portal on every statement?
This way, all customers need is to scan the code on their smartphone, and they’ll be directed straight to your payment portal. You may even choose to use the unique URL that directs a customer to their authentication screen. All that’s left is to enter the shared PIN and make a payment.
2) Self-Serve Recurring Payment Schedules
What is your current process for customers who pay in installments? Do they need to call your company during business hours? Speak to an agent, just to discuss methods of payment? Your software should let customers access recurring payment schedules without agent assistance.
Payer created schedules are a benefit to both customers and staff. With this feature, consumers who can’t pay during business hours (or prefer self-serve channels) can split their bill into installments and begin payments, without ever speaking to an agent.
3) Digital Payment Reminders
Calling or sending paper statements for payment reminders are no longer the most convenient ways for consumers to hear from your business. Most younger consumers (digital natives) don’t answer phone calls. And a paper statement can be easily lost or forgotten when it’s time to pay.
Sending reminders through email or text message makes it easier to reach consumers in the ways they prefer. Sending a text or email payment reminder:
- Caters to consumer preference
- Offers a way to link directly to your payment portal
- Gives consumers a frictionless way to pay within minutes
4) Web Chat and Chatbot Payment Links
Whether you have live agents handling chats from customers or an AI offering self-help resources, you can take advantage of chat to take more payments.
Train web chat agents to suggest payment options during customer service conversations and send them directly to your payment portal. You can also teach an AI chatbot to direct consumers to payment options.
5) Payments During Customer Service Interactions
Not every customer wants to pay without assistance. You must have customer service channels available to:
- Troubleshoot problems with your products or services
- Answer questions related to bills
- Collect and de escalate complaints
You can improve the customer experience with technology by using secure payment communication tools to exchange documents, electronically sign papers and review information together in real-time.
Send invoices and a payment link by email or text message for consumers to discuss line-by-line with agents. This way, customers can review their statements live, settle any issues and complete their payment while staff are there to help them with the process.
Train agents to check payment statuses and initiate payment workflows after issues are resolved.
6) Payment Collection Anywhere
You should have flexible access to your payment system. For instance, companies with a physical location like a showroom may wish to have a simple, portable way for staff to take payments on the floor.
A cloud-based app, like PDCflow’s Flow platform, can be accessed through office terminals, remote work offices, and even on a tablet on a sales floor or in a customer’s home during service. Capture down payments, work authorization signatures and more, from anywhere.
This ease-of-use makes it easy for businesses to build the ideal workflows while preserving white-glove customer service.
7) API Integrations
Your accounts receivable should be organized and easy to manage. If they’re not, your AR billing and payment collection will suffer.
With flexible APIs, your business can integrate payment reporting so staff can keep track of accounts receivable from your system of record. Or, integrate all payment information into an existing CRM so employees can work exclusively out of a single system, simplifying the process.
Organizing the payment and reconciliation process maintains clarity into your company’s finances, decreases mistakes caused by human error and clarifies policies and procedures for staff – all factors that contribute to the financial health of your company.
8) Secure Methods of Payment
Part of taking more payments is identifying failed or fraudulent transactions before they impact your bottom line. Credit card Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO payments) and WEB ACH transactions are at higher risk for fraud and data breaches of a payment portal can potentially expose private information, costing you money.
This means it’s essential to partner with vendors who know what compliance and security features you need to keep up-to-date with both regulations and the latest trends.
ACH Account Verification
Fraudulent payments in ACH processing can be costly to your business. ACH chargebacks, for example, can cost a company up to $25 each.
Pre-authorizing ACH account information helps you comply with Nacha standards and saves your company money by verifying an account is real before a payment is submitted (eliminating returned payments).
Credit Card Payment Compliance
Storing payment data is a practice many small to medium-size businesses don’t have the resources to properly manage. Shifting these responsibilities to a trusted payment vendor like PDCflow simplifies digital security.
Keeping payment information secure from the start reduces risk and builds a trustworthy brand for your business, encouraging customers to use digital payment methods, which make collection faster and easier for you and your staff.
Tokenization and Encryption
The bank account and credit card information you gather could do serious harm if it fell into the wrong hands. The two-step process of data tokenization and encryption both encodes data to protect it during storing and transmission and replaces actual information with a token, so even if exposed, the original data can’t be used.
A secure processing and storage strategy creates longevity for your business and ensures predictable, safe, uninterrupted service to your customers.
PDCflow: Payment Communication Tools for Financial Health
PDCflow’s software offers countless tools and functions that make it faster, easier and more profitable to run your business. Here’s how we can help you achieve more:
- QR codes - print QR codes on billing statements so customers have the fastest access to a payment link possible.
- Payer created schedules - use your global payment schedule settings to give self-serve customers the same flexibility as customers who speak to a live agent.
- Digital payment reminders - eliminate manual follow ups with Flow Technology by sending out digital payment reminders ahead of a scheduled payment.
- Web chat and chatbots - send customers to a payment portal through chat.
- Live agent help with payments - Flow Technology makes it easy to send documents to review or sign instantly, so customers can review them live with an agent before they make a payment.
- Payments anywhere - access PDCflow’s platform from your in-person or work from home offices, on a front desk terminal or even from a tablet on your showroom floor.
- Open APIs - integrate your payment reporting and functionality into your current CRM with PDCflow’s open APIs, or take advantage of one of the existing integration partnerships we currently offer.
- Secure payments - we tokenize and encrypt both credit card and ACH payment data to ensure a secure payment environment for your customers.
If your business is looking to take more payments, simplify workflows and eliminate extra software tools – either through our platform or an integration – consult with a payment communication expert today to see how you can create better payment workflows for your customers.