The primary challenge most organizations have when it comes to selecting an online payment system is that, on paper, many solutions look alike. They have similar features – omni-channel payment options, paperless billing, email notifications – and functionality. The problem with comparing online payment systems this way, however, is that a feature or function checklist doesn’t paint the full picture of a system’s performance.
The best way to accurately assess which online payment system will drive results for your organization is by evaluating its adoption rates. This will show you how successfully a solution can engage customers and lead them to self-serve.
To help your organization better understand what a successful online payment system looks like, we’ve created this ultimate checklist – focusing on design elements that engage customers and encourage them to use the platform to self-serve.
Online Payment System Checklist
The user experience is the most important determinant of whether customers will adopt electronic payments and services. Solutions that are designed with the customer experience in mind will be better positioned to drive customer engagement and e-adoption.
What does a well-designed online payment system look like? Here are the factors that contribute to increased customer engagement and e-adoption.
It shouldn’t be difficult for your customers to use electronic services or enroll in paperless billing. For example, registration for electronic services shouldn’t be required, as many customers wait for services to be proven through experience prior to creating usernames and password. Many customers gain confidence in a service by paying online a few times before registering and enrolling in paperless billing and/or auto pay.
Beyond that, it should be simple and easy to make a payment – regardless of whether someone has registered or set up a payment profile. The easier it is for your customers to make a payment online, the higher the adoption will be.
Omni-channel Payment Options
Your customers are constantly on the go and want to be able to make bill payments the same way they make other purchases – any time, anywhere. That’s why the customer payment experience needs to be available across all channels, whether that’s a web payment portal, a mobile payment option, an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, or a pay by text functionality. The more e-payment options you provide to your customers, the higher the adoption will be. For example, many customers who are reluctant to pay online are perfectly happy to pay by phone using an IVR option.
Most importantly, the customer experience should be the same across all payment channels – meaning that a customer can interact with any channel you have in place and expect the same level of simplicity and ease of use.
Mirroring the Paper Bill Experience
One issue that customers often have when it comes to enrolling in services like paperless billing is that they don’t want the experience to differ from receiving a paper bill. That’s why bill presentment is such an important part of a good online payment system or Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) platform. Customers should be able to easily see a replica of their paper bill without logging in, registering, or having to download a file. This goes a long way toward encouraging higher levels of adoption.
When it comes to making payments online, your customers want to know that their data and payment information is secure. That’s why it’s important to select an online payment partner with the highest levels of data security, to ensure company compliance and ease any customer concerns. If your customers are certain they can trust your online payment platform, they will be more likely to adopt online payments.
Targeted Customer Communications
Depending on your business, it is likely that the billing process is the most frequent communication point your organization has with its customers. When you combine that with the fact that most customers won’t go looking for options to enroll in paperless billing, the billing contact points you have with your customers are some of the most critical interactions for driving e-adoption.
For these reasons, it’s important for the entire billing process to be designed around encouraging customers to pay online and go paperless. This relates to everything from the paper bill and envelope designs, to the bill notifications using email and text messaging, and to the frequency of communication. For example, one of the most important drivers of adoption is a message on the outside bill envelope – known as a teaser – suggesting that customers can “Pay Online and Go Paperless.”
Online payment systems that are designed to drive customer engagement are built on the premise that you only have a few touch points to encourage customers to pay online and enroll in services. That means communications should be clear and frequent enough to encourage adoption, and processes should be simple enough to enable easy enrollment.
Ongoing Innovation and Improvements
Digital behaviors are constantly changing – in terms of both technology and consumer preferences. This means that an online payment system will need to keep up with your customers’ evolving expectations when it comes to online, mobile, and other digital payments. Many platforms are hosted, which means they require billers to upgrade or make updates in order to access new features. True software as a service (SaaS) platforms are the only solutions that can support automatic updates and improvements, meaning your organization will always have access to the latest payment innovations.
Organizations spend significant amounts of time and resources researching and implementing software products such as core billing systems. It is critical, therefore, that your EBPP platform has the capability to tightly and seamlessly integrate with your existing software partners. A good online payment system will have a network of existing integrations with industry software leaders.
Selecting an Online Payment System
As you consider online payment systems, ask yourself a series of questions to determine the likelihood that a solution will successfully achieve the adoption rates you’re looking for:
- Do customers have to jump through hoops to pay or see their bill?
- Is it easy for customers to make an online or mobile payment?
- Can customers easily and simply enroll in paperless billing, auto pay, or bill pay reminders?
- What options are customers given to pay their bill?
- Are customers engaged at every available contact point?
To learn more about how to select an online payment system based on its ability to drive adoption and customer engagement, download our ebook, “The Value of Adoption, below.
Or, to learn more about how Invoice Cloud can drive positive results for your organization, schedule a demo today.