Advance Your Business with Text-to-Pay and Online Payment Portals
With the BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) movement in full-swing, many industries have already adopted flexible payment options. This includes text-to-pay with online portal options for their customers. In the automotive repair industry, this has not been the case. However, customer demands would suggest that this should be capitalized on.
Convenience and time-saving features are top of mind for consumers. It would seem that no one has time to wait in line anymore. Most of us are so time-focused that our phones are now widely used for payments because putting a credit card with a chip into a card reader takes too long.
This article will go over the features and benefits of text-to-pay, and how this system can make consumers’ lives a little more convenient and how using text-to-pay can give your business a more modern look and feel – enabling you to potentially serve more customers.
First, it is critical to make sure your provider for your business’ online payment portal is payment card industry (PCI)-compliant.
PCI compliance is the technical and operational standards that businesses follow to secure and protect credit card data when it’s processed. You can talk to your provider for more details. But, be sure to ask for everything in writing, including and & all fees and charges.
One feature of text-to-pay is the convenience of the process. In the steps to complete the transaction, the customer is sent a text with a link to a website that will collect necessary information to then complete the transaction.
Countless studies have shown that text messages are read nearly 100% of the time and within a 10-minute window. And with 77% of the U.S. population owning a cellphone, text-to-pay is quickly becoming the preferred method of communication. Customers can choose to finish the transaction when they first get the text message or wait until later at a time that is convenient for them.
Automation adds to the overall convenience of text-to-pay. One benefit of automation is that it cuts down on unproductive work, like manually cashing out a customer, printing the invoice, securing a signature and closure. In an automated environment, a text is sent; the customer takes on the task of reading and reviewing the invoice; enters their credit card, debit card or ACH payment information; and completes the transaction. The salesperson is then sent a text notifying him that the invoice is paid for. And depending on integration with the shop’s point-of-sale software, the salesperson may not have to do anything to finalize the ticket or may simply have to click a few buttons to complete the process. Ultimately, this can dramatically reduce administrative costs year over year. Salespeople can now be more productive - focusing on closing incremental sales.
Additionally, under the umbrella of flexibility, your business has the option of using a simple web portal, which can be fully customized (if appropriate) enabling sales people to quickly access invoice and payment history – making the entire process seamless.
Also, when paired with an outdoor, secured key management system, your staff can avoid the rush of pick-ups and cashing out customers that so many locations experience every day. While many of these businesses prefer conversational interactions with human beings, integrations like this can streamline pickups at an effective speed and at their convenience.
Ease of use is another feature. Many customers already have their credit card information uploaded to their phones, so when prompted to use the link to go to the portal, they won’t have to even enter the credit card number. It will be auto filled. For most modern cell phone users who prefer texting as a communication tool, this is a safe, “no-brainer.”
Flexibility will be key in moving forward in auto service industry. Customers are increasingly looking for personalization in nearly all their retail experiences. They also perceive flexibility as something that puts them in charge. As with choices in products to buy, consumers are looking for multiple methods to make their purchase.
Take the time to invest in the future of your business and make buying your products and services simple for your customers. Invest some time in comparing text-to-pay as well as alternative payments options and channels, all with your customer in mind – ensuring you can adapt to the ever-changing marketplace.
To learn more, and find out how partners including Snap Finance can help you and your ecommerce business exceed customer demands, click here.
This article is part of the SNAP! Finance series. As more articles are released, they can be found below:
The Near and Long-Term Future of Automotive Service Financing