Consumers around the globe are increasingly moving to digital payment channels. Research and Markets predicts that the digital payments market space will grow from $3,417 billion in 2018 to $7,640 billion by 2024 – a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.7 percent. Digital payment solutions are growing so quickly because consumers love the speed and convenience of the digital channel. In a Visa survey of more than 2,000 consumers, 78 percent said that digital payments methods were their preferred payment option. Moreover, enabling digital payments helps businesses increase revenue. The same survey showed that small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) saw revenues increase an average of eight percent after accepting digital payments, and a full 65 percent of the businesses surveyed agreed that customers purchase more when they tap, click or swipe.
Yet, despite the potential for increased revenue, many businesses today still have not fully embraced digital payments. In many cases that’s because enabling digital payments has traditionally involved adopting costly new technology like complicated e-commerce or m-commerce platforms, managing hardware or other equipment such as Point of Sale (POS) terminals, or switching Payment Service Providers (PSPs). Furthermore, security remains a concern for both consumers and businesses when it comes to digital payments channels. The risk of having their sensitive payment information exposed in a data breach is always top of mind for consumers and must be addressed by businesses, not only for the sake of security, but also for compliance purposes.
Fortunately, new digital technologies are emerging that make it easy for businesses of all sizes and in all industries to increase revenue by embracing digital payments – and to do so securely.
Easy and Secure Digital Payments
Businesses can increase revenue from existing customers as well as attract more new customers through additional channels by enabling digital payments. When it comes to making sales, it is important to meet and service the customer where they’re at and provide a fast and frictionless payment process to close the deal. These days, the digital channel is where customers are and how they want to pay.
Semafone’s Cardprotect Relay+™ enables organizations to securely and easily transact with customers in the channel of their choice, without needing to adopt complicated e-commerce or m-commerce systems. With Cardprotect Relay+, salespeople, field agents, customer service representatives or other employees can quickly and easily generate a secure payment hyperlink that they can send to customers through any digital channel, including SMS, QR code, online chat, social media, email and more. Customers simply click the link and enter their payment details. Their payment card data and other sensitive, personally identifiable information (PII) is securely routed directly to the PSP and never touches the businesses’ network infrastructure. By keeping sensitive payment data out of the organization in the first place, Cardprotect Relay+ reduces the risk of the business falling victim to a data breach and takes the digital payment channel out of the scope of compliance for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
In addition to providing a fast and easy way to accept payments and purchases in the digital channel, Cardprotect Relay+ also provides a powerful tool for measuring the effectiveness of collections processes and marketing communications efforts in the digital channel. That’s because it’s the only digital payments solution on the market that relays real-time progress updates on when the customer has opened the link, when they have entered their payment information, whether the payment was approved by the PSP and more. These real-time progress updates provide powerful insights on the customer journey, enabling businesses to see which marketing messages were most effective at getting customers to open the payment link, or at which point in the purchase process they drop off and more.
Enabling New Business Use Cases
Because of the simplicity and ease of using digital payment technologies and the fact that payment links can be used in nearly any channel and on any endpoint, businesses can enable new use cases that increase revenue through new sales opportunities. For example:
Face-to-Face Payments with No POS System
Digital payment hyperlinks can be used for face-to-face payments in situations where infrastructure is limited and there are no POS systems, such as at outdoor events and festivals. Field representatives can simply send the secure payment link to the customer’s mobile phone via SMS, or have the customer snap a picture of a physical QR code to pull up the payment page on their mobile device.
With the widespread availability of video conferencing tools, more businesses are relying on virtual consultations, meetings and sales. According to research by Salesforce.com, since 2015, sales professionals have increased the time they spend virtually connecting with prospects three times faster than the time they spend connecting in person. Virtual mortgage appointments, for example, are a fast-growing trend in the financial services space. With Cardprotect Relay+, customers can use their mobile device to snap a picture of a QR code displayed on the screen during their virtual appointment for a frictionless payment process.
Remote, Mobile Workforce
Businesses that rely on remote or mobile workforces such as insurance brokers, concierge services in the travel industry, work at home agents and more can leverage Cardprotect Relay+ for a fast and simply way to take digital payments on mobile devices without the need for special hardware like POS systems or dongles for swiping payment cards. Best of all, Cardprotect Relay+ keeps the workers and their devices out of the scope of PCI DSS compliance, making compliance dramatically easier and less costly for the business with large remote teams.
Enabling digital payment methods will make it easier for businesses to simplify the collection of outstanding payments and improve accounts receivable by eliminating obstacles for payments. It makes it easy for businesses to collect payments from customers on the spot, without needing to send them out of channel or requiring extra steps such as downloading a special application. By meeting customers where they are – whether it’s on a social media platform, an online webchat facility, or anything in between, businesses can bring in more revenue by increasing collections rates.
Improving the Effectiveness of Sales Campaigns
By leveraging the real-time progress updates that show when customers have clicked on a payment link, entered their details or dropped out of the process, businesses that use digital payment channels can better measure the effectiveness of their sales and marketing campaigns. They can see which communications messages or channels (email, social media, SMS, etc.) deliver the greatest response rates or where stumbling blocks may be causing customers to drop out of the purchase process. Using these insights, they can improve the effectiveness of their sales and marketing efforts to close more sales and increase revenue.
Digital payments are the future and any business that wants to attract more new customers, close more sales, improve collections and increase revenue must embrace digital payments solutions. Unlike in the past, they need not adopt complicated e-commerce solutions, invest in specialized hardware or enter into siloed, proprietary payments ecosystems. By enabling digital payments solutions, organizations in any industry can quickly and easily allow their customers to transact through secure payment links while at the same time strengthening data security and simplifying PCI DSS compliance.