Collecting payments is vital for the health of any business. The importance of Time Value of Money is well known. Businesses never prefer slow-paying customers. Depending on business size and operating model, late payments can even bring business operations to a standstill. Beyond the reluctance of a customer sending a check, changing business models, compliance and regulatory requirements, and payment technology can introduce additional complexities in the payment collection process.
On the surface, we assume digital payments are simple. This is because — as a consumer — we’re used to a buying experience where we select products, enter payment information, and with a click of a button, successfully pay for those products. What we don’t realize is — as a business — there are layers of complexities to get through to be able to accept digital payments, and we need to get through those layers while also providing a seamless, easy, and fast buying experience to the end-customer.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) apply to all organizations that process credit card payments. It requires adherence to rigorous compliance protocols and controls to protect customer data. There are no shortcuts around PCI compliance requirements, so keeping up with these standards can be an ongoing burden that costs a significant amount of time and money. When a company lacks internal expertise for PCI compliance, using external resources to help on an ongoing basis can be an additional challenge.
The payments ecosystem involves complex layers of relationships with companies that specialize in discrete aspects of payment processing. Multiple vendors are involved when setting up a process that starts with customer payment submission and eventually results in funds deposited into the business’s bank account. Navigating this landscape to start collecting payments can be time-consuming.
Businesses need to find the right acquirer to work with based on fee structures, security considerations, the geographical footprint of operation, and other business considerations. They need to choose the right processors or gateways that work well with their acquirer. To make this even more complex, businesses that operate across multiple geographies might need to work with different vendors based on geographic location. Given this landscape, integrations with different payment gateways can vary dramatically and ongoing maintenance can become unmanageable.
Businesses, now more than in the past, frequently sell goods and services across multiple sales channels. In addition to direct and partner channel sales, businesses also invest more in customer self-service buying experiences as they try to expand their demand funnel and reduce costs. As a result, businesses have a need to collect payments via various sales channels and need a comprehensive solution to support this capability.
Accepting digital payments can be more challenging than it appears on the surface. These challenges make it difficult for businesses to collect timely payments, ultimately, affecting customer experience. That’s why it’s critical for a business to think through the nuances that go into the modern payment process to ensure a seamless payment experience for end-customers. This seamless payment experience can contribute to on-time payments and, eventually, a healthy operating business.
To see how we can help with some of the complexities in the payment ecosystem, watch this video.
And, learn how Salesforce Billing Hosted Credit Card Payments can help you process payments.