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9 Tips To Evaluate A Customer Payment Portal

3 January, 2022
5 min read
Kiran Rana, General Manager, Mid-Market
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What you'll learn

  • What is a customer payment portal?
  • How multiple payment options make it convenient for customers to pay
  • 9 critical questions to ask when evaluating a customer payment portal.
CONTENT
Introduction
9 Tips to Evaluate a Customer Payment Portal
Conclusion
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Introduction

Businesses are actively looking for alternatives that can help them fast-track receivables payments and increase the value of the service they provide to customers. This is where a self-service payment portal becomes important in accounts receivable management.

A self-service payment portal allows customers to view invoices, make payments in their preferred formats(card payments, ACH payments, Bank transfers), and raise disputes easily.

Automating your AR operations will help your customers to:

  1. Save time and pay in their preferred payment mode
  2. Get easy access to all their invoices
  3. Pay multiple invoices at once
  4. Raise disputes quickly

Implementing a self-service customer payment portal is a win-win for both your business and your customer. In this article, we’ll look at the key features and questions that will help you evaluate and select the right self-service payment portal for your company

To know more about how a self-service payment portal helps, read our blog on the anatomy of a self-service payment portal.

Let us look at the key features and questions that will help you in evaluating and selecting a self-service payment portal for your company.

impact of adapting digitalization on customer satisfaction

Source:  PYMNTS

9 Tips to Evaluate a Customer Payment Portal

Here’re nine questions that you should ask your software vendor before choosing a customer self-service payment portal solution.

1. Is the platform intuitive?

A good payment portal should be simple, intuitive, and easy to use. First-time users shouldn’t require any additional training or help to use it. Check the number of clicks required to complete different tasks on the payment portal to evaluate the intuitiveness of the platform.

2. Does it support multiple currencies?

Most customer payment gateways have limitations in terms of the countries and the currencies they support. Such geo limitations restrict business opportunities especially if you’re looking at customers from countries not supported by the portal. Be sure to choose a payment gateway that supports the countries and currencies you plan to do business in.

3. Can it integrate with my ERP, accounting, and other systems?

Be sure to choose a customer payment portal that integrates with other systems currently used in your company. The portal should provide all relevant data – outstanding invoices, total outstanding amount, payment records, paid invoices – in a single place.  The dashboard feature in the self-service payment portal helps customers track and manage their invoices, payments, and disputes.

4. Is the self-service portal secure?

Digital payment channels are often targeted by hackers and fraudsters for unlawful gains. Ensure that the payment portal you choose has strong security measures such as encryption and is compliant with regulations such as PCI-DSS.

Here’re some questions around security that you should ask your payment portal vendor.

  1. What are the features in the portal that help to detect and prevent fraud?
  2. What are the best practices that you suggest for preventing fraud on the portal?
  3. Do you store the customers’ payment details, and if yes,  what kind of encryption do you use?

5. Does the portal support multiple payment options?

A good payment portal must support multiple payment options like ACH payments, credit cards, debit, PayPal, and bank transfers. Choose a portal that offers multiple payment options such as debit cards, credit cards, e-wallets, etc. to enable your customers to pay with their preferred method. The payment portal must also allow users to pay multiple invoices at once or to make part payments.

impact of digital payments on finance

Source:   PYMNTS

6. How efficient is the portal’s reconciliation process?

Choose a customer payment portal that is efficient and effective in its reconciliation process. The portal you select must ensure an easy and hassle-free reconciliation process. It should be able to track missing payments, duplicate payments, and deductions. The system must automatically complete the reconciliation process and minimize the human involvement needed.

7. Does it support tax compliance of different geographies?

Federal and state tax rules and regulations differ by jurisdiction. If you are a business that has clients and operations in multiple locations, you must choose a portal that complies with the tax codes of all the countries or states you are planning to do business in.

8. Does the portal support deductions management?

A self-service payment portal must be effective and efficient in deductions management. It should be able to identify, report, and keep track of under-payments as well as over-payments of invoices.

9. What are the customer support options that you provide?

It is important to check the customer service options offered such as 24/7 support, regular updates and upgrades, business continuity plans, and data backups. Also, check the turn-around-time (TAT) for resolving different types of issues including technical glitches, cyberattacks, etc.

Questions to ask your vendor include:

  1. What kind of customer support do you offer?
  2. Will we have a dedicated customer support executive?
  3. How quickly will you resolve open issues?

Conclusion

Self-service customer payment portals provide better customer experiences and hassle-free AR operations. The key features to look out for in a self-service payment portal include support for multiple payment options, access to all invoice data, and ease of use for the customers. Ask the vendors the right questions to help you evaluate whether the tool will work well for your business.

Check out our other articles to explore how you can excel in accounts receivables management.

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