For customers, faster is usually better, and streamlining processes to ensure that payouts are made promptly is an obvious way of improving your customer experience.
There are real benefits to businesses from speeding up disbursements too, from boosted reputation and lifetime customer value to reduced resource usage and a reduction in complaints and customer service requests.
Real-time payments are a growing trend both in the B2B and B2C spaces. Open banking technology combined with Faster Payments is making it possible to pay out funds instantly to customers’ bank accounts, while prepaid cards offer a similar experience with added brand recognition and convenience benefits.
While it’s not ideal, customer returns are part of doing business, and the way your business handles these has a huge impact on your customer experience. Two thirds of shoppers say that refund times are an important factor in their decision on whether to return to a merchant.
Being able to offer refunds instantly, either to a prepaid card or direct into a customer’s bank account, could have a real impact on customer retention and repeat purchase rates. Some companies, like Amazon, even offer to process refunds before the returned items have been processed – while this might seem risky, Amazon has clearly found that the improvement in customer experience and increased loyalty from honest customers is worth the extra hassle it might cause with a few bad eggs.
Reward and incentive payments
Reward and incentive programmes are proven methods of increasing customer engagement, loyalty, and lifetime value. The most effective reward is one which happens as soon as possible after a customer completes the required tasks – instant gratification helps link the thrill of receiving a benefit or reward to the action they took to earn it (a purchase or recommendation, for example). This means that the behaviour is reinforced much better than with an incentive which takes some time to come through.
While discounts or points can be a good incentive mechanism, they require long term action to build up, and this can reduce the “instant gratification” element somewhat. To get the maximum bang for your buck on incentive programmes, consider depositing cash straight onto a prepaid virtual card for users to spend right away – not only does this give them instant reinforcement of their decision to support your brand, but it means they’ll be able to use their reward straight away, rather than waiting for enough points to build up.
In the gaming industry, fast payouts can significantly increase customer engagement and maximise the chances of repeat business – if a customer receives the funds from a big win straight away, they’re more likely to reinvest some or all of it into more gameplay, compared to receiving it several days later when some of the excitement has waned.
Gaming companies can also increase customer loyalty and engagement by offering payouts on a branded pre-paid card. Not only does this allow funds to be deposited instantly, but it ensures that a customer’s winnings are separated from the rest of their finances, maximising the chances that they’re re-used for more gaming rather than absorbed into day-to-day expenses.
If you do business internationally, you’ll be aware of how stressful cross-border payments can be. With longer settlement times and hefty fees compared to domestic bank transfers, sending money to foreign bank accounts can be a challenging process, and this can affect your reputation if the client or customer on the other end is getting impatient.
With B4B Payments’ corporate payment accounts, you can send cross-border payments quickly and efficiently over banking rails, reducing settlement times and keeping your overseas customers or clients engaged.
For customers who need refunds or other payments quickly, a virtual prepaid card could even reduce settlement times to zero. By transferring funds on a virtual prepaid MasterCard or Visa card, your customers receive their funds instantly via email, and can withdraw it from an ATM or spend it in millions of locations worldwide.
If you’re in the insurance industry, the benefit of making an instant settlement goes deeper than simple customer experience. The faster an insurance claim is settled, the lower the likelihood that a customer will challenge the payout, and this can reduce the overall value of claims paid out, significantly increasing profit margins.
Paying insurance claims quickly via instant bank transfer or onto a prepaid card can mean both happier customers and improved business performance.
For travel insurance, virtual prepaid cards could make it easy to get funds to customers for fixed-price claim items such as delays or cancellations, or even to cover the cost of emergency alternative travel options or subsistence costs. This saves your customers the hassle of having to cover expenses up front and claim back later, and could be a major USP for your policies.
Make faster, easier payments with B4B
Whoever you need to get funds to, B4B Payments can help you take advantage of cutting edge technology to make payments as near to instantly as possible. To find out more about how we can help, get in touch today.