Is consumer payment processing a commodity?
Are all payment providers the same?
Is cost the only consideration?
No, no and no.
The average business owner buys many products and services based on price because they view them as commodities. Payment processing may seem like just another commodity to purchase for your company but thinking this way is a big mistake. Not all payment softwares are equal.
The process of guiding consumers to make payments and fill out forms must be designed with the consumer experience in mind. The better this experience is for consumers, the more valuable your software becomes. Once businesses factor in the return on investment that comes along with a better consumer experience, viewing payment software as just another commodity no longer applies.
Creating a Better Consumer Experience: Factors to Consider
There are two key factors that can impact the consumer experience, especially in the accounts receivable industry.
Factor 1 - Lack of desire to make a payment
In retail, consumers want to purchase products. They seek out brick-and-mortar stores or log on to online shops to browse the selection and make purchases at their leisure. They may even tolerate a poor consumer experience to get the product or service they want.
Debt collection, on the other hand, relies on agents to drive transactions and secure payment. Many consumers are reluctant to make payments and sometimes offer stalls and objections to avoid resolving their debts.
This lack of motivation to pay must be kept in mind when considering the type of consumer experience your collection agency offers. Any hurdle – even one other industry consumers will tolerate – can cause a collection call to fail.
Factor 2 - Lower threshold for online payment abandonment
In a traditional retail environment, online cart abandonment is a huge concern. Complicated payment pages and unnecessary steps will cause shoppers to rethink their purchase. This is especially true when consumers are shopping on mobile phones.
This issue is present (perhaps even exaggerated) in the debt collection industry as well. Consumers who are motivated enough to resolve their debts by using an online payment portal, or by agreeing to terms of a recurring payment schedule, still must be considered. Yes, they want to pay. But they're not going to push through a bad, unintuitive consumer experience to do so.
This lowers the threshold for they type of bad experience consumers are willing to withstand before giving up.
Payment Processing Focuses on Consumer Experience
Your consumer does not care about your costs or fees. What they care about is their consumer experience.
- Do you know what your consumers have to fill out to make a payment to you?
- Do you have a mobile-optimized form? Have you ever seen it?
When your consumer must jump through hoops to pay their debt – like waiting for written authorization forms to come in the mail, then signing forms to send back – oftentimes, they give up and your business loses revenue.
As far as consumers are concerned, compliant payment flows must function seamlessly. Users should have easy access from any electronic device and be able to quickly and effortlessly complete their authentication details, sign authorizations and make payments.
To maximize positive outcomes and capture the most payments possible, this should all happen fast enough for collection agents to remain on the phone to guarantee consumers have completed the process.
A payment software that provides the least friction for your consumer to authorize and send a payment moves beyond a commodity, and becomes an important tool to increase payments and decrease compliance liability.
Do you need help choosing a payment processing software that fits your needs?
Download our Payment Processing Buyer's Guide. It will help you define your business needs, learn what features to look for, understand payment compliance necessities.