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By Gavin Waddell, Director of Strategic Accounts at Modulr 

We’re a society fed on instant access – where you can now get the slickest of digital experiences at any time, anywhere.

And as more and more recognise this as fact, it has become ingrained as a societal norm. If, as a firm, you want to be taken seriously, customer experience has to be impeccable. Those companies that slip up face a very real risk of losing customers and falling behind in the market.

But there is so much more beneath the surface that goes into wiring these services than meets the eye – customer experience is just the tip of a very deep iceberg. Below are layers and layers of infrastructure working together to make things happen, instantly. It’s instant experiences by instant services and instant information, that we call the Instant Economy.

Payments in the Instant Economy

A huge part of what makes the Instant Economy instant is fast payments. Customers from all industries have now come to expect the ability to seamlessly pay for things as a given. And as demand is here, it isn’t going away. It also isn’t strictly restricted to the younger generations, according to new research which delves into consumer attitudes towards payment experiences.

Almost two thirds (65%) of over-65s that use online banking are also open to using new financial services or payment methods that make processes quicker and more convenient. A figure ratified by the fact that nearly three-quarters (74%) of the same over-65s say they prefer to use bank transfer and payment apps to make instant payments to friends and family.

But many businesses aren’t making the most of this opportunity and are falling victim to outdated, inefficient payments infrastructures that require manual processes and complex and slow payment flows. Past research has shown just how critical payments infrastructure is for customer experience. Poor payment processes cost businesses a staggering £1.5m per year on average, and 64% expect these costs to increase over the next two years. Additionally, 62% of payment professionals now believe that the hidden costs of these payment processes outweigh the hard costs.

To survive in the Instant Economy, it is vital businesses address these issues, and account for all customers in their customer experience strategies, and quickly. If they are to match the Netflixication of payments, payment processes must be seamless and enhance rather than detract from the customer experience.

Tackle payment troubles 

As a first port of call, organisations should locate hidden payments inefficiencies. There are a number of ways to do this, but the most effective is by looking at processes from the perspective of the customer. For instance, take moving from batch-based payment processing, to single, immediate Faster Payments for loan disbursements, with instant notifications. As a customer, the positive impact of this change is tangible and greatly enhances their end experience.

If businesses are to implement changes such as this, adopting, supporting and harnessing innovation is vital. Ultimately, automation is key to driving efficiency as it replaces manual, error-prone and time-consuming systems with faster and more responsive digital solutions. A solid API framework, added into an organisation’s payments architecture, can not only enable these changes but also have a positive impact on the customer experience.

Meet customer expectations 

A small change to the payments infrastructure can make a world of difference to the customer experience. And enable organisations to keep up in the Instant Economy and feed the growing demand for fast, frictionless services.

The Netflixication of payments is just the beginning and it’s an area where competition will drive innovation. It’s vital that business leaders recognise this if they are to not only survive but thrive in the Instant Economy.

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