Payments masterclass: How to ensure your customers have a smooth payment experience
It's no surprise that more businesses are prioritising their online sales infrastructure, with the scale of this growth clearly illustrated by a projected 19% growth in the UK.
While selling products online offers a great many benefits, such as a wider customer base and increased revenue, it also increases the payment methods open to customers exponentially, which can be confusing and difficult for a business to manage. That is why it is crucial for entrepreneurs and those getting a startup off the ground to carefully consider the key factors when choosing a payment partner and to be aware of the factors that are indicative of the best on the market. Here, I’ll explore the key considerations new businesses should take into account to avoid payment pain down the line.
The payment options available
New businesses need to offer a seamless payment experience with an array of suitable payment methods to meet changing consumer needs and purchasing behaviours. Doing so will ensure the payment process is more convenient for customers, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Additionally, offering a wide range of payment options, such as credit and debit cards, ACH, or Apple Pay and Google Pay, can give businesses an advantage over competitors that only accept traditional payment methods.
Ease of integration with existing systems
Businesses that sell online rely on multiple systems to manage different aspects of their operations, such as customer relationship management, accounting, inventory management and payment processing. The benefit of having just one payment partner that can easily integrate with these systems will result in streamlined operations, reduced risk of errors, and ultimately saving time and money. This can lead to increased organisational returns.
Prioritise those with security knowhow
Security is arguably the most important factor in every aspect of business, but this is particularly true when it comes to payments. As such, providers should aim to protect customers' financial information and prevent fraudulent transactions. The most reliable providers offer features such as SSL encryption, tokenisation, compliance with relevant data security regulations and two-factor authentication to verify the identity of the parties involved in a transaction. Additionally, providers should be compliant with relevant data security regulations, such as PCI DSS, and conduct regular security audits to identify any vulnerabilities. The phrase ‘better safe than sorry’ is never as applicable than when it comes to a growing business’ payments solution.
A seamless user experience
A smooth payment experience is an invaluable ingredient to prevent cart abandonment, build customer loyalty, encourage repeat business and ultimately increase revenue and growth. A huge percentage of people now do most of their shopping online and are used to this ritual being straightforward without any glitches. If the process lacks intuition, they will quickly move on to a less confusing vendor. By reducing friction within payments, businesses can make the payment process quick, easy, and convenient, reducing the risk of cart abandonment.
Reporting and analytics
Reliable data is the key to good decision making, which in turn is the key to good business. High quality information through reliable reporting and analysis is vital to greasing the wheels and ensuring success. By providing detailed data on payment transactions, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer behaviour, payment trends, and revenue streams, helping to identify areas for improvement and track key performance indicators. This will help them grow and succeed in a highly competitive market.
Choose an end-to-end payments solution
A wholistic payment solution can help businesses manage their payment processes more efficiently and effectively, providing a competitive advantage. Without such a solution, businesses would have to use one platform to accept payments from their customers and a different platform to make payments to their suppliers, with separate reporting and reconciliation processes. With each piece of the payments process seamlessly connected inside a single platform, businesses access new ways of getting paid to build up cashflows, something that is needed more than ever in today's current climate.
It is not understating it to say that choosing the right payment partner is crucial for a business’ success, particularly if it is selling products and services online. By keeping these key considerations in mind, businesses can offer a seamless payment experience, boost customer satisfaction and loyalty, increase revenue, streamline operations, maintain high levels of security, and gain valuable insights into payment trends and customer behaviour.
About the author
Anant Patel is President, International Markets, at ConnexPay. With over 20 years of payments experience, Anant joined ConnexPay in January 2022
The company’s technology simplifies an antiquated workflow, eliminates the need for pre-funded accounts, reduces supplier risk and the cost of accepting card payments while safeguarding consumer spend. Founded in 2017, ConnexPay is an industry leader in payments for industries historically viewed as high risk to payment providers.