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Billers: Seven Tips to Lessen COVID-19’s Impact

Posted by Kristen Jason and Peggy Olson on 15 Apr 2020


COVID-19, a.k.a. Novel Coronavirus, is impacting almost every aspect of our lives. For billers, social distancing, shelter-in-place orders,  and mounting layoffs are significantly impacting their businesses and their customers. 

Now, more urgently than ever before, it’s time for billers to rethink how to make the process of paying safe, convenient and economical for customers. The answer lies in making more payments digital. 

Here are seven things billers should consider that may help lessen the impact of Novel Coronavirus: 

1. Make It Simple To Make A One Time Payment  

With a hosted webpage for one-time guest payments, customers can securely make payments without enrolling in an online portal. This is especially helpful for indirect customers who do not have established relationships, and for direct customers who have not enrolled in autopay, online services or have forgotten online credentials

2. Help Customers Avoid Late Fees 

Promote autopay program enrollment. Autopay automatically schedules and deducts recurring monthly payments from customer cards or bank accounts on due dates, ensuring late fees are not assessed. 

3. Lessen The Burden By Being Where Your Customers Are 

In an age of personalization, it is important to give customers the ability to pay in the way that is most convenient for them. Offer the gamut of payment options—ACH; credit, debit and prepaid cards; direct debit bank transfers; and eWallets like Apple Pay, PayPal, Venmo, and Zelle.

4. Empower Your Employees To Securely Work Remotely And Provide Customers with More Consistent Service 

Authenticate individual customer service agents working from home via unique validation codes sent to specific email addresses billers specify for a limited time period, keeping contact centers up and functioning.

5. Make It Easy For Customers To Reach You

Add live chat capabilities. Customer service agents can communicate with customers about their bills and accept payments via Facebook Messenger, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant with AI-powered live chat capabilities. Customers can receive bill-ready payment-related notifications and reminders once accounts are linked. 

6. Give Customers A Break On Convenience Fees 

Waive card payment convenience fees show customers you care and encourage the use of digital payments by waiving convenience fees for digital payments made via credit and debit cards. 

7. Be Merciful During Extenuating Circumstances 

Foster goodwill by suspending payments and late fees.  You can use this time to provide relief to customers based on financial hardship for a specified time period.

Alacriti is here to help billers and their customers weather the Novel Coronavirus storm. To talk with an Alacriti EBPP expert about implementing any of these suggestions, please click here. You can also reach one of our billing experts at  (908) 791-2916 or info@alacriti.com

The Bottom Line: The negative effects of Novel Coronavirus on the global economy cannot be understated. However, there are small things that we can do to lessen the impact, and more importantly, make life easier for the people who support our businesses. More digital payment channels and options are mutually beneficial for both customers and billers, particularly now during the pandemic. Those making payments need safe, convenient, and economic options. At the same time, digital payments put billers in a better position to get paid.

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Kristen Jason Sr. Product Marketing Manager Kristen is responsible for creating engaging product marketing content for Alacriti while staying abreast of industry trends. She offers over 15 years of marketing experience, including 6 years of experience in financial technology and payments. Kristen holds a Bachelor of Science in both Psychology and Business Administration from Florida A&M University and a M.B.A from the University of Central Florida.
Peggy Olson Blog Contributor Peggy Bekavac Olson is the payments industry’s go-to marketing expert. She is president and CEO of Strategic Marketing, providing fractional CMO and marketing department services for financial services and electronic payments companies. Previously, Olson was Vice President of Marketing and Communications for TSYS (now Global Payments).

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