Many companies treat their individual departments as interdependent components that all support the sales cycle. The conventional wisdom holds that improving areas like marketing or finance will increase the number of customers farther down the line, and this is certainly true.
However, savvy companies also realize that enhancing the payment process can positively impact all the upstream components of their organizations.
In this installment of “How Payment Acceptance Can Affect Your Entire Business,” we'll look at the relationship between payments and operations. Obviously, the more streamlined your operations department becomes, the easier it is to deliver high-quality goods and services to paying customers.
Yet how does this benefit work in reverse? How can your payment department influence the way your business runs?
Let’s take a look at some of the operational benefits you’ll receive once you become more payment-oriented:
1. Enhanced Customer Experience
The term "operations" traditionally applies to activities behind the scenes. Though in many industries, service delivery and payment are closely intertwined. They are both part of the entire customer experience.
You can enhance that experience by offering more payment options — especially those that shoppers increasingly enjoy using, including:
- Contactless payments via NFC technology. Imagine how much more productive your store's operations become if shoppers can simply wave their smartphones at the checkout counter.
- Mobile credit card processing. This strategy offers even greater convenience because you can bring the checkout counter to the shopper – no matter where they are in the store.
- In-app purchases. This is convenience taken to the extreme. You don't even have to interact with your customers face to face. Using their smartphones, they can buy your products and services without ever setting foot in your store.
2. Improved Payment Security
On the surface, payment fraud doesn't have any direct impact on operational management. In fact, though, fraudulent activity and data breaches can bring your entire business to a halt.
Not only do you potentially lose money and consumer confidence, but you also spend hours trying to resolve fraudulent charges — even when you are 100 percent free of blame.
Improving payment security helps to reduce these unnecessary disruptions. Common strategies include:
- Updating your payment processing to the new EMV credit card standard.
- Incorporating tokenization, point-to-point encryption, and other fraud management tools.
- Using hosted payment pages to help reduce your PCI scope.
3. Consolidating Payment Vendors
Companies that accept multiple forms of payment often rely on separate processors to handle each of these transactions. Yet by consolidating payment vendors, you're able to devote more resources to value-adding activities like operating your business. This is because consolidation typically leads to less paperwork and fewer:
4. Automated Payment Integration
With integrated payments, all of the departments in your business benefit from real-time updates about money coming and going.
Why is this important?
Detailed analytics allow you to make better-informed decisions about inventory and staffing. Some integrated payment solutions even let you automatically order new parts and equipment once your sales volume reaches a certain threshold. If your company has already sold 1,000 widgets this month, for example, your “integrated” system instantly places a new order for the parts required to create 1,000 more widgets.
No human intervention required.
Using Payments to Improve Other Aspects of Your Business?
Improving your payment infrastructure not only helps your operations, it can also streamline every other aspect of your business. In the next article, we’ll explore how payment enhancements can improve customer service.