Channel technology service providers are leading the push to streamline channel operations by embedding payments functionality within their solution architectures…
8 Signs You and Your Customers Need a Better Payment Process
Discover the 8 key customer issues that plague many payment processes from simplification to automation to security, compliance and cross-border challenges.
If you’ve been plagued by a payment distribution challenge that seems to be much harder than it needs to be, then you are not alone. And neither are your customers. In fact, it’s quite likely that your customers aren’t even mentioning their payment problems when they talk to you. Why? Either don’t think they’re fixable (it’s amazing how many recognize that payment distribution seems unnecessarily slow and complicated but not worth the effort or capable of being improved) or perhaps even worse, they don’t think you can help solve the challenge. As a solution provider, it’s an opportunity to grow your footprint and cement a longer-lasting relationship.
So, now it’s time to ask yourself first, and then your customers, if any of these problems are found in your or their current payment processes:
1. Current payment distribution process is too complicated.
With multiple systems and both internal and external stakeholders involved in the processes, it’s easy for the process to get complicated. That it’s too complicated is also a sign that it takes more resources — time and money — than it should. The first step as they say is admitting you have a problem. It’s a good place to start, but you need to dig a little deeper to understand what’s the problem you’re trying to solve.
2. Current payment processes lack automation at key stages.
As digital transformation continues apace in almost every aspect of business, automation is saving time and costs in payables as well. But often the payables software stops at the company’s door. The last step is actually making the payment and that means either writing checks or sending a payments file externally either to a bank or service provider to execute payments. Using APIs to embed payment distribution is a means of automating these tasks and a means to add value for your customers and clients.
3. There are too many steps and/or handoffs.
Embedding payment distribution within the payments process can eliminate multiple handoffs and creates an opportunity to rethink the processes from a stakeholder perspective and the potential to improve both the payer and payee experience. And it’s a great place to show your customer that you really understand their business and have solutions to improve it.
4. Onboarding new clients takes too many resources.
The payment workflow can and should be pretty straightforward: “Payer X” sends a specific amount in a specific currency to “Payee Y.” However, when establishing accounts for both entities (if needed) and particularly for Payers, it is often a lengthy process to get accounts approved and funded. This can be due to regulatory considerations but as often, if not more often, it can be due to assumptions that trust accounts need to be created (unnecessarily). Streamlining these processes with digital wallet architecture can eliminate that need and its associated costs.
5. End-users lack control and choice of payment.
The ultimate end-user of a payment process is the payment recipient (Payee), but when payment processes are designed they are seldom at the table. Part of this may be intentional, but if the goal of a better payment process includes either happier customers or lowering costs, then giving payees control over their end of the process would include self-serve tools to let them manage their profile, set-up and/or change their bank account(s) for receiving payments. Digital wallets make the transfer of funds from Payer to Payee instant. Giving the Payee the ability to select how to receive the funds — ACH, Rapid Bank Transfer, wire transfer, paper check, prepaid debit or digital gift cards — means they can have both control over the process and the choice of payment method.
6. Cross-border payment speed is slow and costs are high.
Perhaps no payment use case is more ripe for improvement than cross-border payments. High bank fees, multiple intermediaries, exorbitant currency exchange rates all can be supplanted with digital wallet-to-wallet payments from the Payer to the Payee, exchanging then as needed between their wallet holding the Payer’s currency and their wallet holding their local currency at lower exchange rates. Simple, fast and at no cost for the final step: transferring the funds to their local bank.
7. Keeping up with Security and Compliance requirements.
Not every payments challenge is a technology issue that can be addressed with automation. But any payments solution needs to be continuously updating its processes to ensure that it’s keeping with compliance issues like Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) while ensuring that its security protocols remain state of the industry. Outsourcing these requirements to a payments platform is both a simplification opportunity and means of assuring you and your customers stay up to date.
8. Tax reporting is challenging and costly.
Using payments data to calculate total payments made for tax reporting purposes is another one of those “why does this have to be so complicated” topics. Using the data, so that every user can access their own information on demand for tax reporting purposes is one benefit of using a payments platform. But for Payers, an even more compelling reason can be the ability to offload production of 1099s as the platform creates a 1099-K for all US payees as a built-in part of its service. Depending on your business model, it’s also another opportunity for demonstrated cost savings that can be used to demonstrate the ROI of your solution.
If these eight aren’t enough reasons to take steps to improve your and your customers’ payment processes, please drop us a line and let us know what would be. We’re here to help.