Many companies maintain comprehensive customer information files (CIFs) as an element of their record keeping and payment collection efforts. Providing streamlined options for online bill payments helps ensure timely payments while providing customers with a streamlined UX and assurances that their sensitive personal and financial data is safe.
Offer Multiple Methods for Online Bill Payments
According to the Federal Reserve Payments Study — 2017 Annual Supplement, in 2016, remote payments represented 44 percent of all general purpose card payments by value. Customers are also using multiple methods for bill payments. In fact, 70 percent of bill-paying customers regularly use three or more bill payment methods, while only 10 percent of bill-paying consumers use a single payment method.
Clearly, consumers have embraced the convenience of online payments. Savvy business owners provide this option along with phone payments and good old-fashioned cash in person or mailed check payments.
Apps are Nice, but Offer a Mobile-Optimized Site
Dedicated mobile apps have definite advantages; however, in the financial mobile space, mobile apps only account for 41 percent of usage. By contrast, mobile-optimized websites accounted for 49 percent of financial billing transactions.
If your company has the financial and technological means to develop (or hire someone to develop) a dedicated mobile app, by all means, do so – especially if your customer base is largely comprised of younger demographic groups. However, if you must choose between an app and a mobile-optimized site, choose the latter. Not only is this a less expensive option, but mobile-optimized sites can be used to process online bill payments on feature phones that are often favored by seniors.
Provide a Virtual Terminal for Payments
Providing a virtual terminal represents a win-win for your business and for your customers. Having a single place to pay provides a streamlined UX for consumers. In addition, virtual terminals can be used on tablets and smartphones as well as desktop and laptop computers; making it possible to process online payments anywhere a secure internet connection is available. Virtual terminals not only provide real-time online payments, but also allow companies to enhance and maintain customer relationships and provide flexible payment options.
Maintaining PCI-compliant security protocols is essential. A virtual terminal option with tokenized payments helps ensure maximum security for your customers’ data without sacrificing convenience.
Display Familiar Logos for Payment Methods
Distrust of payment pages is the number one reason consumers refuse to utilize web-based payment systems. Displaying familiar payment logos such as MasterCard, Discover, Visa or PayPal helps consumers overcome their hesitation about making online payments.
Make Saving Payment Info an Option
Manually entering card numbers or account information for each bill payment is a hassle. Many consumers prefer to enter such information once and have it available for future payments. Auto-Pay takes this convenience even further. Providing these options for consumers not only enhance convenience, on-time payments are also increased.
Make Your Compliance and Fraud-Reduction Efforts Easily Apparent
Major data breaches have produced big headlines in recent years — and many consumers hesitate to make online payments as a result. Providing prominent displays of your website’s security compliance helps bill payers feel more confident that their data is safe. When consumers see that your company utilizes protective measures such as routing and account verification and tokenized payments reassures consumers about using online payment portals.
Online payments, especially with mobile devices, are here to stay. Flexibility in online payment options, combined with appropriate security measures, maximizes customer convenience. At the same time, online bill payments increase on-time payments, without sacrificing essential security compliance and safeguarding of your customers’ sensitive personal and financial data. Get in touch with PaymentVision today to find out more about simplifying online bill payments.