Using automated payment workflows to improve customer experience

Using automated payment workflows to improve customer experience

Of all the parts of a customer relationship, the payment process is arguably the most sensitive. Payments are not merely transactions. The difficulty or ease with which customer can make a payment reflects on your brand.

Yet optimising experience around payments is no small task. Payment workflows involve multiple steps. Just a simple payment collections process involves several steps:

  • Collecting funds in return for a provided product or service
  • Reconciling the payment against accounts
  • Allocating funds to the right wallet

A basic disbursement could also involve multiple steps such as:

  • Checking liquidity
  • Making sure the funding account is correct
  • Verifying whether you have the right beneficiary details
  • Aligning dates on when to make the payments
  • Tracking that the payment went out correctly
  • Reconciling those payments against accounts

Whether it’s a disbursement or a payment collection, the payments workflow gets even more cumbersome when including other processes such as split payments, or exception processes such as refunds.

To incorporate these functions into the payment workflow, many businesses hire additional headcount to perform manual operations or to stitch together multiple systems that don’t talk to one another. This can lead to costly manual errors, not to mention loss of brand trust. A late disbursement or bungled request to suspend service can lead to angry customers and a tarnished company image. Getting all these processes right is therefore vital.

Customers today expect service that ticks like clockwork, regardless of complexity. In the past, offering an attentive service on a large scale was time and resource-intensive. But today, businesses can achieve that level of service with less overhead using payment APIs that automate all their workflow.

APIs that help you scale

Automated workflows bring flexibility to your business. Tasks that would otherwise have to be done manually, such as managing the collection and disbursement of payments, can be automated with APIs, creating efficiencies and reducing overhead costs. McKinsey Global Institute estimates that up to 42% of finance activities can be fully automated using current technology, creating efficiencies and potential savings.

Creating an efficient, automated payment workflow can give your company a competitive advantage. Once in place, an automated workflow can support your business as it scales up, allowing you to process more orders while maintaining a high level of customer service. Automation using payment APIs can also help your business improve day-to-day operations, ultimately increasing overall revenue.

The result? Smarter operations, that process payments quickly and accurately while empowering employees to focus on more value-adding aspects of the business.

Payment workflows that work around your business

With payment APIs, businesses can streamline multi-step payment processes, automating and integrating each step. Your business should be able to pick and choose  steps to include in a custom workflow - automating manual operations along the way.

Take property management platforms which handle payment flows from multiple tenants to agents. The against on the platform usually have several rent payment schedules, fee collections, and fund disbursements to maintenance staff and property owners. Using API calls, each individual step can be automated to ensure everyone gets paid accurately and on time. Incoming payments can be automatically reconciled to the correct tenant account and paid to the landlord or tradie. Management fees are also automatically calculated and disbursed to the agent, while tenants can pay in their preferred method.

With Zai, your business can create complex payment workflows and execute on them reliably, with minimal friction. No matter what industry, we can help you manage and automate payment tasks such as:

  1. Collecting payment from one or many platform users in exchange for a good or service
  2. Reconciling those payments automatically to confirm all payment have been made
  3. Ensuring the goods or services provider collects what is owed to them
  4. Collecting commission fees for your services
  5. Processing a refund easily if the original payee requests it.

We also help you integrate with various payment methods so your customers can make or receive payments using their preferred payment method. Automatic reconciliation reduces mistakes, while timely payments mean no one is left waiting for a payment or wondering where it ended up.

Reducing mistakes and manual efforts

Research suggests that in the near future, around 30% of tasks in up to 60% of current occupations could potentially be automated, particularly workflows that involve a lot of repetitive tasks. Many industries are already seeing increased benefits from the integration of automation. Your business could too by automating complex payment workflows and executing them reliably, with minimal friction and with zero human effort.

This is especially important when considering that chasing payments is a common problem amongst businesses. In fact, half of the businesses in a survey by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman state that more than 40% of their invoices are paid late. Tracking down missed payments or performing other tedious tasks can be very time consuming for staff. Automation could save labour hours, freeing up your staff to focus on value adding activities such as product and service provision.

Another advantage of automation is that you can reduce costly errors that often accompany manual processes. While it’s difficult to quantify precisely how much payment errors are costing businesses, these types of errors give customers the wrong message about your business. Companies often struggle in this area and they happen often enough to be a concern. Some consistent invoice errors involve price, customer account numbers, or units of measure. By reducing the number of manual processes, you can ensure that there are no incorrect reconciliations, no incorrect amounts being entered, and no missed steps.

Zai can automate your payments for you

An automated workflow and friction-free payment processes that are tailored to your business can improve the customer experience. Reducing manual tasks frees your staff to identify and undertake important new roles around customer service and/or product development. And all while providing you with the ability to scale your business and maintain positive customer experiences.