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:
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:
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.
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