The ultimate guide to payment optimisation

Optimising payments is essential for business growth today, with online sales growing by nearly 21% last year to over £185 billion. Advances in technology are driving consumer preferences as they get used to digital products and services integrated with their daily lives. A seamless and integrated payment experience can strengthen consumer relationships, power modern data-driven businesses, and drive growth.

However, many merchants’ approaches to online payments vary widely and frustrate consumers. And it happens because consumer preferences, payment options, and payment architectures evolve so quickly, they just can’t keep up.

In a world more focused on digital technology, the merchant who can’t offer a simple payment experience or use the data generated by their payment technology will be left behind. The right blend of payment technology and optimisations can control costs, drive sales, and give them insights into their marketplace, so they gain a competitive advantage. All of which ultimately increases revenues.

With so many ways to optimise your payments available today, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your business. We created this guide to payment optimisation to help you learn about it, discover your optimisation options, and more. Keep reading to find out all the details on payment optimisation.

What is payment optimisation?

Payment optimisation is a holistic approach to your payment process and experience that improves conversion rates, delivers the data you need to make better decisions, and saves you money on back-end activities and fees. The three main categories of activities we include in this approach are:

1. Monitoring: How you quickly detect issues related to payment methods, approval rates, payment costs, and dispute resolution so you can take swift action.

2. Benchmarking: How you measure and compare your payment performance against relevant industry standards and internal statistics.

3. Improving: How you optimise your payment options, approval rates, interchange qualifications, acquirer choices, and chargeback processes.

There is no one tool or approach you can use to optimise payments for your business. Most companies implement a series of processes, procedures, software applications, and tools since each company has different business and financial needs.

The benefits of payment optimisation

  • Increase conversions by offering consumers multiple payment methods (credit card, bank transfer, one-click payment, in-app payments, etc.) Mobile payments are increasingly more valuable to merchants as nearly 25% of British people use their mobile phones to pay.
  • Reduce chargeback volumes and fees through automated transaction reviews by Payment Orchestration software.
  • Fight fraud and increase payment security with the latest payment technologies, such as PCI DSS 3.2 certification, two-factor authentication, and dynamic 3D security.
  • Identify areas for improvement in your business and proactively forecast initiatives to fulfil them.

9 ways to optimise payments

Here are a few ways your company can optimise payments to lower your payment costs, improve conversion rates, and create a better payment experience for customers.

1. Optimise payments for mobile

British consumers are spending more on eCommerce than ever before, as they spent over £92 million this year alone. And nearly 64% of them use their mobile devices to shop online. To capture all of these consumers, companies should offer a dedicated payment interface for digital purchases, so consumers don’t struggle to find their favourite payment option on the smaller screens. For example, adding one-click payment on mobile websites, storing payment information securely in a branded app to speed up payment, or using a mobile responsive hosted payment page on your website.

2. Look beyond credit cards

Consumers outside North America continue to forgo credit cards for online purchases and use other options. For example, 24% of European consumers prefer domestic bank credit or debit cards, with 84% of Dutch consumers preferring to use their local digital wallet, iDEAL. In India, nearly 70% of all online payments in the first half of 2020 were done through integrations with their national real-time payment system. Alternative payment options to consider include:

- Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) options
- Pay by instalments, such as Klarna or Clear Pay
- Dynamic payment options display based on your consumer’s location

3. Go local with your acquirers

Adding multiple local acquirers to your payment framework is another way to optimise payments for your company. You’ll increase card authorisation rates, lower scheme and interchange fees, and enjoy faster merchant settlement timelines. Most global merchants use a combination of global, local, and cross-border acquirers, but ensuring you’ve got several local ones integrated into your payment process always positively impacts your fees and rates.

4. Regularly review acceptance rates

Many companies review their payment acceptance stats semi-regularly, like once a quarter. However, according to some stats, 25% of all eCommerce credit card transactions are declined without a valid reason, meaning your company may be losing out on sales through no fault of your own. Reviewing acceptance data more regularly can reduce the number of declines by identifying the exact reasons, suggesting corrections you could make right away, and showing which routings work better for each transaction type.

5. Monitor risk management rules closely

More online sales equal more risks for fraud. Many financial institutions and online merchants are working with risk management companies to block fraudulent transactions and minimise fraud losses. But since these systems can also block genuine transactions, your company should regularly monitor those rules closely to ensure they aren’t blocking any.

6. Stay updated on the new entrants

Disruptive new financial companies (fintechs) are popping up every week, it seems. They’re really challenging the established industry structure and changing the payments ecosystem. With so many new customer-facing payment solutions coming online every day, companies may struggle to stay updated with the latest offerings. Partnering with a Payment Orchestration expert like CellPoint can reduce that stress since we’re the ones keeping track of what’s going on. We vet and add only the best payment options to our ecosystem so our clients can confidently choose the ones that work best for them.

7. Revamp post-purchase aftercare services

The proliferation of eCommerce has truly disrupted the customer journey for most modern retailers. In some sectors, conversion no longer happens when consumers click “buy,” but rather occurs when the goods have been delivered, such as in the fashion industry. Another option is to automate returns, refunds, and chargebacks. This reduces internal staff workloads while protecting relationships with customers who appreciate having the flexibility to do so.

8. Look for opportunities for value-added services

Most payment processes have areas that could be enhanced with value-added products and services. These include options like saving payment information in user accounts or mobile apps, offering point-of-sale (POS) financing for high-value purchases, and creating subscription packages. Some goods and services do well in the subscription model and could be a new source of revenue.

9. Leverage payments as a loyalty tool to grow

Creating a frictionless or seamless payment experience for customers is an essential way to generate loyalty and deepen the relationship. Offers like free delivery, coupons, and easy return policies increase customer loyalty because of the convenience of shopping with you. Free delivery is the number one reason people shop online globally (53%), while 41% use coupons and 33% shop online because of the easy returns policy. All of these increase loyalty and reduce their chances of switching to another retailer. Plus, each online transaction gives you more customer data that you can use to personalise messaging and interactions and forecast future product needs or desires.

Learn more

Payment optimisation goes beyond the nuts and bolts of your payment technology. It spans everything from streamlining the checkout process to automating internal staff processes and everything in between. And finding the right blend and balance of payment technologies and optimisations is more of an art than a science, but when it’s done right, it can have a dramatic effect on your business. You’ll control costs, drive sales, learn more about your customers, and get ahead of your competitors.

To find out how we can help you optimise your payments, reach out to CellPoint today. We’ll make payments easier for you.

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