22/11/2022

Improving customers’ payment journey

There is no doubt that customer experience, whether positive or negative, has a tremendous impact on customer acquisition, retention, and, ultimately, the success of any enterprise.  A recent report by Accenture revealed that companies lose more than $62 billion annually due to poor customer service. While this poor customer service can include more than the payment journey itself, payments are a considerable part of it.

This article discusses what differentiates a negative customer payment journey from a positive one and how insurers can enhance their customers’ payment journeys to boost satisfaction and retention.

 

Digitalisating customer experiences

If, like most insurers, you are looking to digitalise your customer journeys or have ongoing digital transformation strategies, you know that this is a lengthy and costly process. Many insurers are opting to launch new brands as a springboard for new product launches so they are not compromised by legacy systems. Furthermore, they can leverage insurtechs to enable a cloud-based modular infrastructure at speed and with lower IT costs.

For instance, AXA UK Retail has recently launched its new digital-only insurance brand, Moja. This brand is designed to appeal to digital natives and enable customers more flexibility, as they are able to customise their cover based on their unique needs and budget. The opportunities are there to be taken, as it is never too late to change.

Equally, insurtech partnerships are increasingly popular. Since 2017, there have been 180 publicly announced partnerships between insurance and tech companies (KPMG). Some of the insurers that have been more active in partnering with insurtech and innovative solution providers include AXA, Chubb, and QBE.

An example of such partnerships is Allianz and Dinghy. Allianz Insurance has partnered with Dinghy to provide business insurance to freelancers and install an “insure-as-you-work” model. Collaborating with insurtechs enables insurers to gain easier access to modern technologies that they can use to digitalise their services faster and at a much lower cost without having to involve their resources.

 

The role of payments in customer experience 

Customer experience is a broad term consisting of various steps and customer touchpoints. From the moment customers visit your website to search for a new policy to when they make a claim because something went wrong, every touchpoint matters when delivering great customer experiences.

For insurance, in particular, payments are a crucial area because it touches two essential steps of the overall customer journey: the moment customers sign up for a policy and start paying it off and when they make a claim and request a payout. Providing an excellent customer experience is about making the whole customer journey as seamless and straightforward as possible for customers. This includes the payments journey too.

Payments is a highly digitalised and innovative industry. There are countless payment solutions available that you can use to enhance your payment capabilities. Let’s explore some of the approaches you can take to deliver the best customer payment journey to your customers.

 

How to improve your customers’ payment journeys 

As we have seen in this article, payments are a crucial part of building an excellent customer experience. In addition to providing excellent customer service, there are many ways you can improve your customer payment journey. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

 

Provide multiple payment options 

Providing both country and region-specific payment options can truly contribute to an improved payments journey. This is crucial for both collections and payouts, as customers will have different payment preferences depending on the situation they are in. Offering push-to-card or vouchers, for instance, can be an easy way to improve customer satisfaction and make sure they get their funds right when they need them. You can easily access all of these payout methods by connecting to Imburse.

Imburse is provider-agnostic, so our team of payment experts can help you make the right decisions for your business and customer needs. Plus, Imburse supports enterprises every step of the way, from ideation to strategy to development and integrations. We also offer consultancy services to craft winning payment strategies and journeys.

 

Make recurring payments easier 

The preferred way to do recurring bill payments is through direct debits (SEPA, BACS, ACH, etc). Invariably these payment networks require a mandate. Managing these mandates the traditional way is cumbersome. Imburse has pioneered a unique paperless mandate management solution to manage the full life cycle of dd mandates, regardless of provider, effortlessly.

Clients that use Imburse can effortlessly benefit from our integration with GoCardless and other direct debit providers such as Bottomline and Citi. Through us, they can instantly start offering Direct Debits to their customers. Furthermore, the Imburse platform provides an automated Direct Debit scheduler, which enables insurers to automate their recurring payments. Insurers are also able to access a paperless management tool that allows them to easily store, update and manage Direct Debit mandates.

Our scheduler has been designed specifically to accommodate traditional insurance transaction request peaks that happen on specific days of each month, which is a unique feature setting Imburse apart from non-insurance-focused solutions. Additionally, with our scheduler, we make sure that all transactions happen on the date they are supposed to happen because it has the intelligence to account for all added timings such as weekends, PSP, and network-specific timings. Clients don’t have to spend time building schedulers; all they need to do is tell us when the customer needs to pay or to get the money.

 

Provide continuous support

Customer support is vital at all stages of the customer payment journey. Customers may be struggling to pay their premiums or miss deadlines, so it’s important to keep them in the loop and offer as much support as they need in the form of live chatbots, additional documentation, or easy access to the customer service team.

With Imburse, you can access payment descriptors and gain improved visibility over your payment data. This can be leveraged to improve customer communications, as you can easily find payment details and keep your customers informed. Furthermore, you can ease the refunding and chargeback handling to improve long waiting times and improve the quality of your payment data.

 

Provide easier ways to pay

Request-to-Pay is an excellent messaging service that enables you to request a payment from your customers. This method is straightforward, and the payment is processed in real-time, making it easier to collect missed premium payments. Plus, customers to communicate with their insurers if they have any questions regarding their payment. It offers more control to customers and opens a new communication channel should your customers have any queries or concerns. This makes for a much more seamless payment journey. Contact Imburse to discover the options of Request-to-Pay we provide.

Another innovative payment method you can use to simplify your payment journeys is Pay-by-Link. Pay-by-Link is a smart payment link you can send to customers via any digital channel, such as email, SMS or social media. By clicking on the link, your customers are directed to a hosted payment page that can be fully customisable according to your brand. All they need to do is insert their payment details and pay. This payment method removes unnecessary hurdles and avoids complex and long checkout processes. You can read more about Pay-by-Link’s usages here.

Offer real-time payments 

Real-time payments offer various benefits to both customers and insurers. They are particularly relevant for claims payouts because, in most situations, customers will want to receive their funds as soon as possible. There are specific insurance sectors where real-time payments are even more mission-crucial, such as travel insurance. Being able to disburse instantaneously is vital because customers may be in urgent situations where they need to money right away so they can buy food and necessities.

Offering real-time payments will ensure that customers receive a fast and seamless payment experience. But they come with an array of advantages for insurers too, such as improved visibility, better control of cash flow, and the opportunity to gather better insights into customers’ purchasing behaviour. In fact, over three quarters of organisations have experienced, or expect to experience customer service gains from real-time payments (Ovum report). All the journeys Imburse serves are both out-of-the-box compliant with regulations, PSP guidelines, and network guidelines.

 

About Imburse

Imburse is a cloud-based middleware connecting large enterprises to the payments ecosystem, regardless of their existing IT infrastructure. Through a single connection to Imburse, enterprises can collect or pay out using various payment technologies and providers around the globe.

In a world where consumers’ payment preferences and technologies are ever-evolving, Imburse works with insurers to future-proof their payment requirements. Regardless of the business area, market, or requirements, Imburse will connect you to your choice of technology and provider.

Reach out to our team should you want to discuss how Imburse can help you. Our team is happy to show you what our platform can do for your business and offer you a free demo.

 

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