Multiple Channels, Multiple Generations: Meeting Customer’s Demand For A Variety of Payment Options By: First National Bank of Omaha Senior Vice President of Treasury Services Russ Oatman
As consumers increasingly demand convenience, immediacy, and digitized services, businesses are working to meet those demands by offering multiple ways to pay, including digitized payment options and services. As they seek to bring a variety of options to customers in various demographics, some businesses are struggling to offer a consistent experience across all payment channels. Some, too, are wondering whether to target certain demographics with certain options, and/or whether to invest more in one channel than another.
Experience underlies all
At First National Bank of Omaha, we believe in taking a multi-channel approach that focuses first on the overall desired customer experience, regardless of demographic. Technology adoption and advancement have made it easier than ever for consumers from all demographic categories to use whatever payment mechanism best meets their needs and circumstances. People who live in rural areas that lack reliable internet service, for example, might become heavy users of mobile payments, simply because payment through an app is their most viable option.
As a first step toward defining the desired customer experience, businesses can create a “customer payment roadmap” that identifies common experiences across all payment types, as well as differentiators for each type. They can then decide whether to design a differentiated experience for some payment mechanisms that might appeal to certain targeted customers.
Even if some payment experiences are differentiated, a business should still define a desired, core customer experience that will guide its strategy for investing in payments technology.
As they craft their desired customer experience and payments strategy, businesses should consider potential future opportunities in real-time payments. Consumers will someday become accustomed to having real-time payment capability in person-to-person payments; they will then begin to expect it in business-to-business payments, too.
Real-time payments capability in combination with other new technologies—such as artificial intelligence and chat functionality—will enable businesses to engage with customers on convenient, customer-friendly platforms and offer payment options on the go—which some customers may be willing to pay for. For example, businesses could send their customers a personalized text reminding them that payment is due; the text would include the ability to facilitate a real-time payment via mobile device for a small fee.
As Amazon, Spotify, and so many others have proven, consumers are often willing to pay for convenience, immediacy, and a frictionless user experience. Moments like these will present opportunities for businesses to bring real value to both the organization and the customer.
Finding a multi-channel partner
One of the best ways to ensure a consistent customer experience through multiple payment channels—while also providing innovative payment options—is to partner with a multi-channel fintech provider. First National Bank of Omaha has a long history of pairing our customers with the right fintechs for comprehensive payments services and solutions. We then serve as the backbone of the payment process by executing those transactions through our secure, time-tested payments infrastructure.
Whether a business is seeking a simple solution or one with a full complement of leading-edge payments capabilities, First National Bank of Omaha can find the right solution and fintech partner to meet those needs. The business can then focus on delivering its desired customer experience with both consistency and excellence—to all customers, in every demographic.