The payments sector has been revived. Vast improvements in cloud technology and an eagle-eye focus on the customer journey, led by companies like Airbnb and Uber, has brought it back to life.
What was once a clunky industry and an afterthought, is now an area that has been completely disrupted by beautiful design and real-time data.
And this heightened focus on payments has both startups and big tech companies, including Apple and Google, looking at ways to make the experience even better.
Everyone is being impacted by this revived focus on reimagining how payments are made. From the explosion in P2P (peer-to-peer) payment rails, led by Square Cash, Venmo, and Apple Pay, through to emerging new players like Stripe, taking on the incumbents. And for small business owners, making it simpler for people to pay bills online, significantly reduces the time it takes for you to get paid. It also lowers the number of baskets abandoned at the checkout phase or customers leaving without making a purchase.
Simplify the way you pay
The entire industry is moving towards a scenario where payments isn’t even something a customer thinks about. It’s a transaction which goes on seamlessly in the background — like when you hop out of an Uber at the end of the ride.
At Xero, we’re continuously refining that payments journey so our small business users can get paid faster. Last year we released Invoice Reminders to encourage faster payment and automate the process of chasing payment.
Implementing a trusted system to deal with payments not only takes the hassle out of the process for a small business, it also provides peace of mind to a customer.
It’s important to keep the entire payments process simple, seamless and secure. If a customer finds it too hard to buy what you’re selling, it’s likely they’ll go elsewhere.
By automating this part of your operations, not only do you take the pain out of payments for your customer, you also free up some time to focus on growing your business rather than worrying about the basics.
It’s all about choice
Credit cards, cash, check, direct debits, bitcoin. The number of ways to pay for a product or service is growing. Giving customers plenty of options to select how they pay you is a big part of streamlining the payments process. On Xero, small business owners can now give their customers the flexibility to pay by a variety of payment options, from credit card, to Stripe and PayPal.
Follow the data
More online payments means there’s more data to analyze. Companies can use insights into how a customer paid for a service, and when they made a purchase, to help join the dots between a transaction and a customer profile. Making that connection can also help a business owner prioritize their offerings, help push repeat sales, or engage with a customer.
And make it all flow
With open platforms and cloud technology, it’s now simple to connect your payment data with your accounting software and online banking. Getting your data to flow means you have a real-time overview of what’s happening in your business.
With new technology and rapidly-changing consumer demands, there’s a lot of disruption in the management of payments but with a few simple cloud-based solutions small business owners can reap all the benefits of the revived industry which is so closely linked to their bottom line.
We are just at the beginning…