Importance of Payment Options for Customers

by | Jan 30, 2016 | Customer Service | 0 comments

Importance of multiple payment options for customers

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“Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple.” – Sir Richard Branson

Customers have a wide range of options. So many companies offer similar products and price points. Would it not make sense to give customers multiple options through your company, so they find it hard to leave? A variety of payment options for customers is one retention method. Earlier, when customers shopped at a store or local shop, they had one mode of payment – cash or credit card.

With the technology now, gone are the days when you needed to carry large sums of cash or wait for a payment to process. Payment options for customers are now faster and safer than ever before. Customers can have a choice in this matter. Not offering varying payment options for customers could lead to decreased sales and damage the reputation of your company. Your company would appear redundant, rigid, and unwilling to accommodate customer expectations. You can also use interactive decision trees to help you deliver the right information to your customers.

Multiple Payment Options For Customers Reduce Waiting Time

It makes great business sense to offer a wide range of payment options for customers. It reduces waiting time, eliminates the hassle for customers, and makes your company appear more attractive to them. Human nature dictates that whatever one is forced to do is the thing that people resist the most. If your company puts together different payment options for customers, they would view this as a commitment to make things easier for them. Providing different payment options for customers is beneficial for the company as well. Given the ease of payment, customers are more likely to pay faster than with limited options. With smart devices and apps dominating the digital scene, most customers use these methods to operate their businesses and make payments.

Payment Methods for Customers can Be Personalized

Customer service makes things easy for customers and a company that claims top-class services should translate the claims into action. Providing a variety of payment options for customers is just one way. A company must demonstrate its understanding of each individual customer before presenting them with payment options. For example, the time they need to pay, payment timelines, pending payment amounts, and more. This lends a feel of personalization that works wonders to any customer-company relationship. Customers need to be aware of the problems your company may face in setting up different payment options for them to appreciate your efforts. When signing a business agreement, mention the kind of payment options and that your customers choose a method that they can change if the need arises in the future.

Payment Options Safeguard the Company’s interests

Having a number of payment options for customers and ensuring that everything is written down, safeguards the company’s interests too. A company has the right to receive its dues and provide different payment options to customers. It ensures that customers are able to pay conveniently during each cycle. If customers are unable to pay immediately or need to pay in installments, your company should provide an easy and realistic payment option that is convenient for them.

Financial matters can often get complicated and become cause for a break in the customer-company association. It is, therefore, essential to ensure a proper process before finalizing payment options for customers. Companies should make a background check of the customer’s payment history to understand a preferred method and cycle of making payments. Based on this information, a company can suggest a few payment options. Once the customer agrees to an option, they put it down in writing and have both parties sign the agreement.

Payment Methods for Customers

What are some of the payment options that customers use in your company? Are they working to everyone’s advantage? The most obvious, and oldest form of buying is through cash. While this method of payment is fast, it has its share of limitations. One cannot make purchases with cash when buying online. Hence, companies with online businesses cannot offer this as a payment option. Accepting cash as the only form of payment in your store is not a good option either. Sometimes people may fall short of the required amount and end up feeling embarrassed if they do not have sufficient money. In addition, people prefer to carry less cash and prefer to use one of the many other payment options available.

Checks

Check payments are still an option. However, research reveals that it is not a popular option as only about 7% of transactions happen through this method. Check fraud, bounce, and other such problems make this option unpopular. If your company offers checks as one of the payment options for customers, you need strict procedures for the kind of checks you accept. For example, it is not a good idea to accept outstation checks as they take too long to clear and checks problems are many. Ensure that customers are aware of the policies regarding late payments and bounced checks. They should be prepared to have collection agents follow up with them in the event of delayed or dishonored payments.

Online Wallets and PayPal

Online ‘wallets’ and PayPal are perhaps the most flexible and easy modes of payment. Companies usually charge the 2% fee that comes with such payments to their customers. Given the ease of operation and reach of these payment options, customers willingly pay. Other options like Bitcoin are also available as payment options for customers. Your customers should be aware of the policies and procedures for using these payment options and that your company strictly adheres to them. While making business easy for customers, it would be prudent for a company to protect its own interests as well. Ensure complete transparency in payment processes and allow customers to make their decisions and seal them in writing.

Credit Cards

All now commonly use credit cards, once considered a luxury of the rich. Most customers willingly put in their credit card details when shopping online. Credit cards are probably the most used payment option for customers. Hence, it is the responsibility of a company to ensure that they provide safe and secure transactions. With hacking, account, and identity thefts becoming more pronounced, it is crucial for companies to maintain safety checks when accepting credit card payments. Companies could find themselves in complicated litigations if they fail to protect the vital personal data of customers.

Bank Transfer

Transferring payments from the customer’s bank account to the company’s account is one of the easier payment options for customers. Companies should ensure that they provide a safe and secure connection to the customers who conduct bank transfers. The benefit of using this mode of payment is that a customer can issue a standing instruction to their bank, depending on the payment cycle. This is a one-time activity, after which, payments continue as scheduled without additional effort from the company or the customer.

Why Multiple Payment Options Are Important

It would be beneficial for a company to provide varied payment options for its customers. A survey revealed that at least 48% of shoppers want more than one payment option. 61% of people that shop online prefer companies that offer both credit or debit card payments. On the other hand, 55% of customers first check on payment options before they actually make a purchase. It is obvious that if a company does not provide multiple payment options, they are likely to lose a large percentage of its business. You can stay relevant by offering customers what they want. It’s necessary to have different payment options as the success of your company depends on this.

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