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The role of invisible, real-time payments in fueling the future of CX in business

The role of invisible, real-time payments in fueling the future of CX in business

By Frederick Crosby, Chief Revenue Officer, Nium

Customer experience (CX) is paramount for any business, but few may realise that it can be heavily influenced by the experience customers receive at checkout. Whether paying for a product or service, basket abandonment is a significant problem – according to a survey by Barclaycard, the UK’s inclination to website window-shop leads to retailers losing more than £18 billion in sales each year. Concerningly, the survey also highlights that retailers and merchants are often unaware of the reason behind the abandonment, with six-in-ten unable to identify the average abandonment rate on their website.

Fueled by inaction or a lack of supportive data, the problem is often left to compound itself until customers neglect the brand entirely. Research shows that one-in-three customers would walk away from a brand after just one bad experience, while as many as 90% would do so after multiple bad experiences. Conversely, a Forbes Insights report highlights the importance of CX, with almost three-quarters (74%) of consumers saying they are likely to buy based on experience alone.

In this highly competitive market, no business can afford to wait to improve their CX. Their bottom line depends on it, and with so much riding on the payment experience, enterprises need a modern payment solution that satisfies consumers’ needs right now. Here’s how they can get started.

Make payments invisible to consumers

The first step toward building a better payment experience is invisibility. In other words, consumers don’t want to be bogged down by a lengthy or complex process. They want to get in and out as quickly as possible – and with any payment method they choose. This is especially important as consumers switch from using just one centralised bank account to several best-in-class fintech solutions to manage their needs. Businesses can offer what consumers want by providing a frictionless payment experience that is driven by three core principles: simple, seamless and scalable.

First and foremost, payment experiences should be simple enough to deploy that when consumers finally encounter it, they don’t need to think twice or have any complaints. They should also run seamlessly on the backend, incorporating all necessary aspects, such as identity verification, regulatory risk and compliance, without issue. Lastly, frictionless payments should be easy to grow, with real-time APIs and new payment rails serving as critical components to unlock new business use-cases and innovation at scale.

Use real-time insights to drive superior results

Businesses that rely on legacy systems are struggling to keep up with today’s increasingly digitised marketplaces. But in addition to the risks that come with using outdated solutions, enterprises are overlooking an added benefit of upgrading to a more modern alternative: real-time payment insights.

This is no longer a nice-to-have feature – it is a must-have innovation that allows businesses to see how customers interact with their platforms. As a result, organisations can better satisfy customer needs and help ensure day-to-day liquidity. For example, payment insights can help businesses understand the potential increase in credit days and potential delays in payments. This, in turn, makes it easier to manage their supplier payments and liquidity.

Payment insights can also provide a deeper understanding of customer spending patterns to optimise sales and marketing efforts, like offering timely discounts, and can help spot anomalies including fraud and performance issues.

Embed payments to keep consumers in one place

Embedded payments are the way of the future. Considering that many services already offer them – the one-click user experience of the Uber app, for example – it’s hard to believe there are still businesses that require outside support. This forces consumers to temporarily leave the platform they’re shopping with to confirm their order before returning to finalise the purchase. To say that this is a clunky and cumbersome process would be an understatement. By embedding payments, businesses can allow their customers to do everything they need in one place.

A great payment experience is integral to any CX strategy

E-commerce has made shopping easy at any time and from any location. As a result, consumers no longer have to stick to one particular platform. They can and will switch as desired, so it’s important that retailers and merchants recognize the value a superior payments experience brings to loyalty and sales conversion. The aforementioned Forbes Insights report noted that the top three qualitative benefits of CX are improvements in customer satisfaction, loyalty and brand awareness. Each of these attributes are vital to future success. By providing consumers with a payment experience that is embedded and invisible, and by obtaining the insights to learn and improve, brands can deliver superior results.

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