In today’s fast-paced world, online payment solutions have become an integral part of our lives.
However, no one wants to spend time clicking around and navigating different, unique-to-each-platform digital frictions when dealing with their daily or monthly bill pay obligations.
Regrettably, traditional payment systems have limitations that often fall short of meeting the needs of both billers and consumers.
“Consistency and ease of familiarity creates comfort and repeat users by reducing the amount of time that it takes consumers to understand a system,” Nicole Haskins, vice president, electronic billing and payment solutions and innovations at Paymentus, tells PYMNTS.
Different flows and processes for different payment methods and channels can be confusing and frustrating — and this is where the importance of a holistic payment solution comes into play.
Haskins explains that “one-stop-shops,” or holistic payment solutions, provide efficiency and comfort for both consumers and biller.
PYMNTS research in “Why Holistic Payment Experiences Will Win the Payment Platform War,” a PYMNTS and Paymentus collaboration, shows that inclusive payments are a top priority for consumers when paying bills.
More than 8 in 10 billers (82%) think a holistic bill payment platform would help streamline their processes.
Haskins explains that critical questions to ask include whether consumers are “able to look at consistent user interfaces? Are they able to have the same payment and checkout experience throughout regardless of what channel or payment method they’re using?”
She emphasizes that one of the biggest pain points for consumers when paying bills is inconsistency.
Additionally, as online payments continue to gain popularity, the need for secure and user-friendly bill pay platforms has become increasingly important.
According to Haskins, consumers are seeking faster payment options with fewer keystrokes, such as PayPal Credit or Google Pay. However, billers are facing challenges with poor integration, multiple vendors, and complicated reporting and reconciliation.
Haskins suggests that billers can enhance the user experience by incorporating features such as shopping cart payments, device recognition, and buy now, pay later options.
She also emphasizes the importance of scheduling one-time payments to help users stay organized and avoid late fees, adding that these little pieces of highly thoughtful technology can make a big difference for end-users and help businesses better retain their customers.
In today’s challenging economic environment, where consumers are met with a hostile landscape of inflation and rising interest rates — key to their financial stability is controlling their expenses.
While paying bills is essential, many consumers today find themselves frustrated by the lack of control and ease within the bill pay experience.
Research shows that nearly half of consumers (48%) pay more than six bills monthly, with 14% paying more than 10. But most consumers agree: Paying bills one at a time is frustrating and tedious; the common piecemeal approach is challenging to track and may involve limited payment choice, or even no choice at all.
That’s why integrating a holistic payment experience can improve efficiency, accessibility and cost savings across both sides of the bill pay experience, for both consumers and billers.
By prioritizing user-friendly payment processes, businesses can improve customer loyalty and drive revenue growth.
Given that many billers are facing challenges with poor integration, multiple vendors and complicated reporting and reconciliation, Haskins emphasizes that a truly holistic bill pay stack is necessary to support great systems and healthy business growth alike.
A holistic payment experience can not only address the pain points and challenges faced by businesses in using traditional platforms but also give them an edge in these somewhat volatile operating times.
With the help of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) payment systems can now process data more efficiently, driving better behaviors, and informing consumer acquisition and retention strategies.
Haskins explains that chatbots, ML and AI are already being integrated into payment experiences to provide a more seamless and convenient experience for consumers, as well as bolster the compliance needs of billers.
“Billers are really challenged with how to balance the PII, the PCI, now the NACHA requirements. On top of that, they have to think about how to keep that end user secure, fall within guidelines, and adhere to card brand regulations,” Haskins notes, adding that these are all areas where she sees future-fit technologies having an immediate, easy-win impact.