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Offering More Payment Channels Improves the Customer Experience

Posted by Peggy Olson and Tiffany Taylor on 28 Jan 2022

Customer experience is the result of interactions between you and your customers over the duration of your relationship. Offering convenience and flexibility around the payment channels your customers use enhances their experience, which leads to increased loyalty and retention, plus increases the likelihood you’ll get paid. It also helps your business remain competitive, reduce costs, and stimulate cash flow. 

A payment channel is any location, place, or access point a customer might use to make a payment, or anywhere or any way that your business might accept a payment from them. 

Here’s a list of payment channels you may want to consider offering to your customers:  

  • Lockbox - Mail
  • Physical Location – Walk-In, Point-of-Sale (POS), Mobile Point-of-Sale (mPOS) or Self-Service Kiosk
  • Voice - Telephone Call Center CSR, Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  • Digital - Online Web Portal, Email, Chatbot, Autopay/Recurring Billing, or Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
  • Mobile – Apps, Texts

In addition, offering more ways to pay or forms of payment to customers along with the channels listed above matters too as they are looking to pay with the methods they know and trust:

  • Cash
  • Checks
  • ACH
  • Credit, Debit, and Prepaid Cards
  • eWallets (e.g. Apple Pay, Android Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Square Cash, Venmo, Zelle, etc.)
  • Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)
  • Cryptocurrency

Emerging payment options, such as BNPL, are gaining traction in the post-pandemic economy. BNPL allows consumers the convenience and purchasing power of credit—without the paperwork, qualifying red tape or high interest rates.  According to Cornerstone Advisors, retail purchases are projected to quadruple to $100 billion in 2021 compared to $24 billion in 2020. 

Consumer interest in cryptocurrency is also expanding—as both an investment vehicle and a payment option—though the vast majority of U.S. financial institutions remain reticent about issuing it. Again, according to Cornerstone Advisors, some 60 percent of current crypto owners would invest in crypto with their bank, and 68 percent would be interested in Bitcoin-based debit and credit rewards.

Today’s consumers are comfortable using multiple channels to pay interchangeably, and they expect to have a uniform customer experience across all the channels they access to facilitate simple, frictionless bill payments on a regular, ongoing basis. 

For example, you may have a customer use a debit card at a physical location accepted by a CSR or self-service kiosk as they begin their relationship with your business, but then they might switch to an online portal for a one-time ACH payment, and then set up autopay with a credit card as their relationship with you deepens.   

Whatever the case, consumers want options and control over the various aspects of how and when they pay. 

The Bottom Line: Do payment channels matter? The answer is yes. The more payment channels and methods you offer, the more likely your customers will pay their next bill, and the next, and the next, increasing their loyalty, satisfaction, and lifetime value to your business. 

Updated from a blog originally published February 25, 2020.

Learn more about what consumers expect in the webinar, Payments in 2022: What You Need to Know


Today’s legacy and siloed banking technology infrastructure limit financial institutions’ ability to rapidly innovate. It’s time to look at money movement in a new way. Alacriti’s Orbipay Unified Money Movement Services does just that. Whether it’s real-time payments, digital disbursements, or bill pay, our cloud-based platform enables banks and credit unions to quickly and seamlessly deliver modern digital payments and money movement experiences. To speak to an Alacriti payments expert, please call us at (908) 791-2916 or email info@alacriti.com.

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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).
Tiffany Taylor Blog Contributor Tiffany Taylor is a technology marketing professional with broad expertise in a number of marketing disciplines and financial technology expertise including payments, retail and digital banking, core processing, and lending. As the owner of Tiffany Taylor Marketing, Tiffany brings a well-rounded perspective to FinTech marketing and creative content development.

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