Processing technology for merchants continues to evolve to keep pace with marketplace demands. According to PaymentsJournal.com:
“9 out of 10 consumers research and/or buy products online, 8 out of 10 bank online, and 6 out of 10 use their mobile phones to help them shop. Merchants and financial institutions need to meet these consumers in the channels of their choice.”
And one aspect of this growing online landscape is custom payment processing for recurring payments and online accessibility. If your company operates in a business model that includes recurring billing of your customers it’s worth taking time to understand your options.
What’s changed in merchant processing
In our last article we explained the changes that now make recurring transaction technology accessible to a broader merchant base. Traditionally special features were not offered to small and mid-sized companies due to their lower monthly transactional volume. The other barrier was implementation cost which put the functionality out of reach for companies under the enterprise level. However, the vaulting technology we’ve developed specifically for the small to mid-sized merchant makes this payment processing functionality both accessible and affordable.
Processing options for any merchant
Vaulting technology will support a host of payment processing options that can be customized to fit your business needs. We’ve outlined four common payment scenarios:
1) A recurring payment in a fixed amount is referred to as subscription based FNO (from now on) transaction. Examples would be a membership, a loan or a service fee such as your cable bill or lawn cutting service.
2) A recurring payment in a variable amount requires information exchange with a database to process the payment. Examples would be usage based transactions such as a home water or electricity bill or a house account at a local grocer, gas station or garden center.
3) A hybrid of fixed or variable amounts combined with self directed access allows a customer to make payments through an online portal. The advantage to your customer is the ability to store their credit card data in your database on the first visit and use it each month.
4) A customer service assisted payment allows a customer service representative to access a customer account to view enough information to verify the caller and see only partial credit card data.
Improve your customer service and cashflow
Since self service, automated payments and online access to information have become the norm it’s critical that your business keep pace too. And automating your recurring billing is beneficial to so many areas of your business. You are actually providing less customer service through self directed access and automation but your customer’s perception is one of improved customer service. And it’s obvious that cashflow is strengthened by the consistency of automated payment processing. Our technology makes a cutting edge, highly complex processing environment secure and user friendly for both your staff and your customers.
Have you made the move to automated payments? If so, are you seeing any unexpected benefits? We invite you to share your experiences in the comments below.