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How Digital Payments Have Redefined Consumer Expectations

August 26, 2020

After spending the last few decades playing catch up to traditional bill payments (defined loosely as in-person, phone and mail-in), digital payments have finally emerged as the leader. More than half (56%) of all bills are now paid online, and that number is only growing. In fact, a study recently published by Mercator Advisory Group found that 60% of consumers are paying at least some of their bills electronically.

Let’s take a look at exactly what digital payments are and how they’ve changed the way consumers view the payment experience.

What Are Digital Payments?

Digital payments, also known as electronic payments, are transactions made using a connected device, such as a smartphone or laptop. Debit and credit card payments, ACH transfers, mobile app payments, and Apple Pay are all examples of digital payments.

When making a digital payment, the sender initiates the transaction online, often completing it instantly. Both the payee and payor will have an electronic record of the transaction, creating a receipt that both parties can rely on when looking at bill pay history.

How Electronic Payment Methods Have Changed Consumer Expectations

Digital payments are fast, convenient, and secure. Instead of dealing with paper bills, mailing in checks, or waiting in line to make a payment, digital transactions are cutting the hassle out of bill pay.

This is shaping the way consumers today view the payment experience. With more than half of consumers paying their bills online, many of the consumers you serve are used to paying electronically, and a significant percentage are digital-only customers.

While there are many benefits of digital payments, here are a few that most would agree make the experience superior to traditional methods.

  • Convenience: Consumers are used to saving their important personal information online, whether through a digital wallet or directly in your payments platform, so they don’t have to re-enter the same information every time they pay.
  • Transparency: Consumers want to see transaction details immediately and be able to easily look up their payment history. They should also be able to see the same information across channels.
  • Security: Whether they are paying their bill through your website or a mobile app, consumers don’t want to worry about their personal data being compromised or stolen. They expect the companies they do business with to use advanced security methods and to be compliant with data storage regulations.
  • Speed: Today, consumers have access to fast (and sometimes instant) payments thanks to the digital revolution. This gives them a near real-time understanding of their finances and balances across financial products.
  • Flexibility: Consumers expect an omnichannel payment experience, and digital payments deliver. With the right payment platform, you can offer customers the ability to pay electronically through their preferred method – credit card, debit, bank transfer, or even with their digital wallet.

4 Ways Your Business Can Improve CX with Digital Payments

Despite everything we’ve outlined above, simply offering digital payment options alone isn’t going to give your business a competitive advantage. Consumers will continue to expect a better payment experience as new technology gains mass adoption.

Here are four ways you can improve customer experience and make digital payments even better for your customers.

  1. Pay by Text: Let your customers make one-click payments with pay by text technology. Because you’re sending a secure link, they don’t have to enter a username, password, or account details. They’ll also receive their payment receipt by text automatically, so they can quickly pay and move on with their day.
  2. Flexible AutoPay: Automatic payments save your customers time while also decreasing late payment rates for your business. You can make it easy to set up automatic recurring payments by sending reminders with monthly bills or by prompting customers after each completed payment.
  3. Digital Payment Reminders: Help your customers stay on top of their bills with scheduled payment reminders. Let them choose if they want to receive reminders by text, email or push notifications in mobile wallets. To enhance the payment experience even more, offer advanced scheduling options so they can tailor recurring payments around their needs.
  4. Interactive Voice Response: Customers can get their questions answered or make a payment 24/7 with IVR and online chat features.

Keep Making the Digital Experience Better

Today, digital payments are faster, easier, and more secure than they were even a few years ago. With the pace that payment technology is evolving, the bar is only going to keep moving up.

To offer exceptional customer experiences, rely on a payment platform designed for innovation. PayNearMe is a feature-rich platform that lets you give your customers the flexibility and convenience they expect, while also ensuring unrivaled uptime and enterprise-level security standards. To learn more, request a demo today.