March 30, 2020

How to Remove Online Payment Obstacles in the Wake of “Social Distancing”

For some of your customers, paying their bills just got a whole lot harder. With self-isolation, recommendations to stay home, and social distancing, paying bills in person may not be an option anymore. In order to keep your customers safe through these challenging times and take some of the worry out of their days, make sure you’ve done all you can do to make paying bills online easy for them. We’ve put together some ways to remove the traditional barriers to making online payments to get you started.

Increase Access

  • Make account sign up and the online payment process easy to locate with multiple, prominent access points on your website to your online payments page. The fewer clicks, the better. A few places to target first are your homepage (leverage an image slider if possible), menu links, and an FAQ page. Don’t forget about your mobile site. Whether you have a mobile app or responsive website, make sure these links are even easier to locate and access on smaller screens.
  • Consider adding instructions on how to sign up for e-billing and pay digitally on physical bills. If you already include this information, make it easier for customers to access these web pages through direct website links and QR codes.
  • Modify existing system-generated emails like bill notifications and payment reminders to include additional information on what customers can do if they can’t pay a bill or need to disconnect. Put quick links to payment pages in email communications or other notifications to make access quick and simple.

Raise Awareness

  • Update your IVR with messaging to highlight the online payment options available and what steps customers need to take when they can’t make payments. Also, make sure your CSRs are informed on all available payment options and equipped with the knowledge and tools to help support customers with payments as needed.
  • Leverage social media to inform customers of all payment options available, including quick links for easy access to payment pages. Also let customers know what they can do if they can’t make their bill payments, how to make partial payments, and how to view their bills online.
  • Create banner ads on e-billing sites to inform customers on ways to pay digitally. Highly visible, clear information will remove the uncertainty for new users.

Calm Security Concerns

If the misconception that online payments are not secure is what is holding customers back, educate them on the security solutions you have in place. Being open and transparent about how you are protecting their personal data will alleviate some of the concerns they have about online payments. 

For instance, let them know:

  • Encryption keeps data safe by using an algorithm to transform plain text information into a non-readable form. An algorithm and encryption key are required to decrypt the information and return it to its original form. Without the encryption key, personal data cannot be deciphered and companies change the encryption key often. 
  • Secure Stateless Tokenization protects data by turning a meaningful piece of data, like an account number, into a random string of characters called a token which has no meaningful value if breached.  
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards that help protect organizations against network security threats and data breaches. By adhering to these standards, organizations are better able to understand and implement standards for creating secure payment solutions.

 

For more information, check out our blog post “5 Ways to Drive More Electronic Payments.