Payments are a critical part of any businesses with a digital presence. The on-platform experience is a determining factor when it comes to customers' perception, so having an efficient payment workflow will not only benefit your users at the point of payment, but it will also boost how your business operates when dealing with customers. Positive customer experiences can in turn transform users into loyal brand advocates, and positive word of mouth can ultimately lead to more sales.
The path to purchase has lengthened in recent years because buyers now spend more time researching brands on different platforms. Up to 81% of consumers read reviews and check ratings before making a purchase decision. Businesses that keep this behavior in mind and invest in consumer-centric business models can stay one step ahead of the competition.
With other business priorities at play, the effort required to manage a payment process and various payflows can be neglected when designing a digital platform, and this omission can become an expensive mistake. To deliver the level of service expected today, companies can use payment APIs to add value across their platforms. The initial investment can ultimately save businesses money by providing smooth purchasing and payout experiences, all while reducing manual labour and enabling businesses to allocate capital and resources in ways that improve customer service or that develop new products or services to meet customer needs.
How payment APIs can create a friction-free experience
Given today’s fast pace of life, ease of use is a critical metric when creating the payments experience for a digital platform. The customers’ on-platform experience and the back office payments process should be frictionless from start to finish. Robust technical capabilities for processing and managing complex payment workflows help businesses operate smoothly to make seamless service provision possible. This rewards customers with an all-round pleasant experience, encouraging them to use the platform and become vocal brand advocates.
Create the perfect pay in experience
In an ideal experience, payments should require minimal effort from the customer. A customer on a cryptocurrency platform, for instance, will want to pay into their wallet on the platform using their preferred method of payment, whether it’s a credit or debit card, bill payment or instant funds transfer. Payments should settle instantly, regardless of when the sale was made; this could be during business hours, evenings, weekends or even public holidays. In the case of card payments tokenisation makes the purchase process quick and simple by securely storing payment data for future purchases, saving the user the need to re-enter their details.
Create the perfect payout experience
Customers on a remittance platform sending money to relatives, friends or other parties, also demand a speedy frictionless experience. The expectation for the sender and recipient here is that funds arrive safely to the right account, in a timely way. If not, users would be justifiably upset if paid an incorrect amount, or not paid at all. Payment APIs ensure that these users get paid in a timely and automatic manner, with the correct amount paid into their chosen wallet, and in real-time for expediency.
If a customer accidentally overpays by keying in $1000 instead of $100, or if they accidentally pay twice, it can cost your business time and money to fix this mistake, whilst managing a customer stressing over their missing funds. APIs can help handle refunds or reimbursement requests, automatically disbursing funds to customers and reconciling the deducted amount. Customers are more likely to make future purchases after a positive experience, and in this case, a quick refund not only increases brand trust but also resolves a potentially stressful situation for the customer, for which they will likely be grateful.
Use API automation to gain efficiencies
By refining their payment processes, businesses have the advantage of moving money through their platform to earn revenue while also addressing customer expectations. API enabled payment workflows can help your business go a step further, as they can be configured to alleviate pressures on back office processes. Automation means you’ll need fewer staff to manually manage payments, reducing human error in the process. Instead, your staff could focus on other parts of the business, or you could free up budget and headcount, to focus on value-adding activities such as product development, R&D or competitor research to gain competitiveness.
Boost customer retention and brand advocacy
A smooth payments experience that is convenient, reliable and trustworthy meets customer expectations. A business that adds value because it dedicates time and resources to look after its customers will be perceived as reliable and trustworthy and is more likely to benefit from customer retention and greater brand advocacy.
While the numbers vary depending on industry and company, the cost of acquiring a new customer can be anywhere from five to 25 times more than that of retaining one. The same research shows that increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profitability by 25% to 95%, so retaining customers can be a financially rewarding business strategy.
Gaining new customers is equally essential for business growth. Especially when a large proportion of people (92%) trust word-of-mouth recommendations, social proof can be one of the best forms of advertising.
Given the importance of brand advocacy, focusing on improving the customer experience can therefore be critical, both for the overall brand perception and for the bottom line.
How can Zai help?
Having API integration within your payment workflow makes it possible to disburse and collect payments in real-time 24/7, 365 days a year. We manage payments for you so that you can focus on running your business in ways that add value. Whether you want to manage pay ins or payouts we provide flexible payment APIs that can make the most complex payment flows simple to administer and manage.
Whether it’s accepting cards, setting up direct debits, or transacting over fast payment networks, we can do it all for you.