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Running a business is always a big task, no matter the size of the business at hand. As a result, business owners are notoriously pushed for time, often taking on a multitude of tasks and duties. Depending on the size of the business, business owners can end up running the marketing department, organising logistics, and ensuring the best customer service is being delivered, all at the same time.
Inevitably, with so many different facets of a company to be managing, payments processing is not always at the forefront of merchants? minds. But the fact is it should be, as optimising payments is an important factor in many aspects of the business journey and should not be overlooked.
Payments optimisation can have a profoundly positive effect on the user experience (UX), and transaction conversion, as well as providing merchants with crucial data to improve their operations. Optimising the payments process can also enable merchants to monitor their costs efficiently, if they work with the most competitive acquirer for each payment method used by consumers.
By ignoring optimisation, business owners risk not only alienating and losing customers but also inefficient management of their costs by missing important savings on acquiring fees.
Understanding how transaction processing functions
All transactions, whether online or instore, involve a huge number of different parties to handle the transfer of funds from a customer to the merchant bank account, while maintaining security. In total, this process involves a payment gateway, the acquirer, the issuer, the card network, and then the retailer themselves.
That's a huge web of people involved in every single transaction that takes place, and inevitably there is room for error. However, when done right, the payment should pass from each link in the chain, all the way up to the acquirer at the top, within a matter of seconds, without the customer even thinking about it. However, when the payments process is not optimised to achieve all this quickly, it can be clunky, result in errors, and in the end, cost more money than expected
At the end of this chain, merchants need to be sure all of their transactions have been processed, but also that all the money has been sent to their bank account. So, getting all this information in a single, comprehensive view is a key asset for merchants, providing them with full visibility over their processes. It also ensures all payments are completed through a seamless, effective and easy to manage reconciliation process.
The benefits of a streamlined operation
Ultimately, streamlining your payments process is all about increasing conversion rates. Businesses work incredibly hard to gain customers, whether by driving traffic to their website or getting customers out of their homes and into their stores. But as shopping has become an experience increasingly based on convenience, customers have even more reason to be picky about where they spend their money when almost every retailer is attempting to cater to their various needs.
So, when your checkout is slow, or results in a failed transaction, customers will simply spend their money elsewhere. And not only do you miss out on this transaction, but you miss out on this customer's repeat custom and the influence of their word of mouth.
How merchants can keep customers on their side
Simply put, optimising your payments process should be a top priority for all business owners, especially for mid-tier merchants who want a fast, stable, plug and play solution. However, putting measures in place to ensure the payments process you provide is quick and seamless can be time consuming and complicated.
That's why, instead of trying to do it all themselves, merchants should make it a top priority to partner with a competitive acquiring provider who can do it for them. If the process you provide gives customers the convenience and speed they?re looking for, they are more likely to turn into repeat customers because they?ve had a good experience with your business before, whether that's in-store or online.
As well as this, having full visibility over your payments process will give you the foresight to manage your costs effectively, thereby increasing your room for profit.
By utilising an omnichannel solution, merchants can provide a payment's experience across channels and borders that is fast and secure and gives customers the familiarity they require to keep them returning time and time again.
To learn more about Ingenico Enterprise Retail, visit www.ingenico.co.uk/omnichannel.
Marc Docherty, HEAD OF UK ACQUIRING / LARGE - STRATEGIC BUSINESS, WORLDLINE