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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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