Payments By Text
Secure payments by text,
What you need to know
Learn how payments by text will add a new modality for your customers.
Payments By Text Messaging
SMS or text payments via smartphones enable customers to make immediate payments of electronic bills from sources such as healthcare providers, utility companies, municipalities, insurance providers, and many more. As we enter a post-COVID19 world, touchless and no-touch payments are becoming more and more top-of-mind for consumers. For some people, even the act of opening a paper statement from the mail seems like a risk. With mobile wallets seeing an increase in payment activity at retailers, the shift to using our phones to pay bills is the logical next step. What could be more “touchless” than texting “pay” to your electric utility for last month’s bill?
However, text messaging is not an inherently secure communications method, and simply adapting an IVR payment modality isn’t enough. Businesses need to take special care through a modest degree of process automation. A secure payments by text messaging system will:
- Accept balance queries from customers
- Push payment alert notifications to customers
- Enable customers to enter payment information through a secure form
- Allow customers to simply text “pay” when payment information is on file
- Integrate with your payment gateway or processor
- Update customer records in realtime
- Immediately send a text receipt with confirmation number
- Allow the customer to engage via text with an agent when needed
- Follow TCPA compliance for text messaging
Your Customers Want To Pay By Text
78% of consumers are using their phones to make payments.
60% of consumers prefer their phones to make payments.
98% of consumers are able to receive text messages.
79% of consumers aged 18-45 prefer text over voice for customer service.
81% of consumers report that multiple bill-pay options increase their satisfaction.
84% of consumers expect “national brand” service quality from all brands.
Just 21% of consumers who prefer text, receive texts from businesses.
Only 3% of businesses and municipal entites offer a pay-by-text option for paying bills.
Sources: Fiserv, Aite Group, Harris Interactive, Mobile Marketing Watch, Federal Reserve, TSYS, CreditCards.com
The first payment by text message occurred in 1997. Customers in Japan could send a text message to a specific Coca-Cola vending machine to dispense soft drinks. The payment showed up on the customer’s mobile phone statement. SMS continued various types of use cases; however, it struggled due to the (then) high cost, lack of security, and poor reliability.
Today, texting and social media messaging apps account for more than 60% of the way we use our smartphones (Gartner). The next logical step is to offer payments by text. Continue reading to see how easy it is for your customers to use.
One-Step Payments With Text Messaging
Text “PAY” To Make A Payment
The ultimate customer experience is rapid, painless, and accomplishes a mundane task with little or no effort.
When you have permission to text your customer, and they’ve saved their payment information, the process can be incredibly simple. Just send them a payment reminder:
Hello (customer), your water bill of $93.26 is due in five days. If you would like to pay now with the credit card ending in XXXX, reply with “PAY” in the next 60 minutes.
With a simple response of “PAY,” the customer confirms their payment desire, and the pay-by-text system takes care of the rest. The next message they receive is a payment confirmation number.
Securely Accepting Payment Information
Text “PAY” To Make A Payment
In situations where your customer payment information is not securely retained, we can still help you offer an exceptional customer experience.
When you have permission to text your customer, send them a payment reminder, but without the saved payment information:
Hello (customer), your water bill of $93.26 is due in five days. If you would like to securely pay your bill now, simply respond with “PAY” in the next 60 minutes.
In this use case, the response offers the customers two secure links for text payments. One link is for credit card payments, and the other is for ACH bank transfers from checking or savings.
Secure Payment Information Form
The next step is to provide the customer with a secure form to enter their payment information.
It’s essential to make sure this dedicated form for pay-by-text is properly branded to give your customer both peace-of-mind and a great experience.
At this stage, if necessary, we can also provide you with a “payment amount” field if you’d like to offer your customer the option of making a partial payment. If we encounter issues with the payment information, there are several options for exception handing after the third failure. We can push the transaction to a pay-by-phone IVR system, initiate a call with an agent, or have an agent call the customer back.
After they enter their payment information, they’re brought back to the text message exchange.
Once the payment information is confirmed, and the transaction is complete, we update your customer records in real-time, or, by SFTP file transfer (whichever you require). Then we give the customer the confirmation number that was generated by your payment gateway or processor.
We can also provide the customer with the option to save their payment information securely. The saved data will make the next pay-by-text operation effortless.
Ending The Transaction
At this stage, many companies like to introduce a brief text survey to get customer feedback. In our experience, short text-based surveys have a uniquely high completion-rate. You can ask anything from their opinion of the pay-by-text experience to feedback on new products or services.
And that’s it!
Payments by text can deliver a pleasurable touchless experience for your customers.
PCI DSS Level 1 Certified
The PCI DSS standard is a comprehensive set of security controls that requires merchants and service providers that store, process, or transmit customer payment card data to adhere to strict information security controls and procedures. It was created by the founding brands of the PCI Security Standards Council, which includes American Express, Discover Financial, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa Inc.
We use an industry-leading PCI DSS Level 1 Certified payment platform for all of our transactions equipped with AES-256 Payment Encryption and do not store any credit card information.
A PCI DSS Level 1 Certification is the highest level of certification for securing online electronic transactions. We can provide you with our most recent PCI DSS Attestation from our annual audits
Additional Reading From Our Blog
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With today’s news of an increase in vigilance and restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, it’s important to take a look at how text messaging, and especially a text broadcasting solution is critical for healthcare companies.
Pay-By-Text For Your Customers
If you think it might be time to deploy payments by text, contact us to set an appointment. We’d love to learn more about your issues, your customer’s expectations, your customer’s journeys, and how we help you surpass your business goals.