The finance industry is rife with competition. From bankers to billers, companies working in the industry are facing an increasing need to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Offering unique service and products will help, but there is only so much variation when it comes to banking and billing services offered. A loan is a loan and a billing department is a billing department. Instead, companies in the finance industry need to focus on the consumer experience and the ways they can add value for their customers.
Offering kiosks for payment capture is the perfect solution. Here’s why:
1. Kiosk Payments Improve Customer Experience
One reason that companies should choose kiosks to stand out is that kiosks improve the customer experience. In this modern world, everything is connected. Going to a physical banking location or bill pay center can be seen as inconvenient if not downright unnecessary.
People have become reliant on technology and expect to be able to complete certain tasks without interacting with a person, waiting in line or traveling to a physical location. Kiosks fulfill this expectation by providing a way to service most customer needs without any staff interaction. Privacy is improved and the possibility of human error is virtually removed.
2. Lower Operational Overhead
Given that most kiosks do not require any staff for full functionality, other than someone to collect payments once or twice a day and the tech staff necessary to keep the kiosk running smoothly, operational costs often go down considerably for companies looking to add kiosks to their businesses.
Owners often save significant sums on staff costs. Many finance companies also save on general overhead when they introduce kiosk systems for their customers. Leasing space in which to place a kiosk is considerably less expensive than purchasing or renting a location for conducting business. There are also no utilities or security staff to consider.
3. Increase Business Reach with Kiosk Payments
Kiosks tend to increase business reach as well. This works on two fronts. On the one hand, the company’s customers are no longer limited to using traditional business hours for their transactions. Thanks to the unmanned nature of kiosks, making the kiosk available 24 hours a day and seven days a week is a matter of choosing a location that is open and accessible, such as a convenience store. Even without such an open schedule, as would happen were a kiosk located within a shopping mall, the nature of kiosks mean that customers will still enjoy access that extends far beyond normal business hours. Many customers appreciate the ability to be able to transact their business outside of daytime hours.
On the other hand, the costs associated with owning and operating a kiosk are so much less than opening a branch that it is easy to afford and place several kiosks within an area. Overall, this gives a smaller investment than adding a new, staffed location – and it can open new geographical areas.
4. Expanded Consumer Base
Adding kiosks to finance company operations also helps those businesses expand their customer bases. In addition to the larger presence a company can cultivate and the broader reach it can enjoy with kiosks that accept payments, provide information and address certain customer requests, kiosks open up an entirely different class of consumer. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), somewhere around 25 percent of people in the United States do not have a bank account or do not have adequate banking services.
In addition, many Americans don’t use their bank regularly, instead preferring to use alternate banking arrangements like payroll cards. Payment kiosks enable this population to make payments easily, without having to pay for a money order or direct transfer. Moreover, kiosk payments post immediately, which can be piece of mind for those people who prefer handling their finances in cash instead of tracking payments from when checks are written to when they actually post.
5. Streamline Customer Service
Finally, companies considering adding kiosk centers should understand that kiosks do more than accept payments. They can allow users to look up account balances, review payment histories and answer certain questions. In addition to simplifying the payment process for bill payments, tickets and certain self-service orders, kiosks can also showcase other products or services the finance company offers.
For example, a bank could use a kiosk that showcases the different types of checking and savings accounts that bank offers. Moreover, kiosks provide an opportunity to upsell customers at the point of sale. This could take the form of offering an additional but complementary product for sale at the point of purchase or introducing a service, such as expediting a deposit for a small fee.
Adding kiosks for payment capture has many advantages for a company in the finance and billing industry. First and foremost, it improves the customer experience across the board. Kiosk users often get to skip a special trip to make their payments and they get to avoid a line. They also enjoy greater privacy in their financial dealings. Further, kiosks can answer certain questions and introduce additional products or services.
Adding kiosks also benefits the business. Companies with kiosks can serve a larger area and provide service outside of normal business hours. In addition, they can do all of this with lower overhead. It’s a win-win that no bank or billing company should ignore.