Five Payment Pitfalls That Irk Customers—and How to Rectify Them

Keeping customers happy is essential to the success of every business, no matter its type. And one thing that makes customers very unhappy is problems with payments. In fact, payment experience and customer retention go hand-in-hand: The more difficult and awkward it is for customers to pay for goods or services offered by a merchant, the greater the risk that those customers will not patronize its business again—resulting in cash flow disruption and compromised future revenues.

What’s deterring your customers from making payments, or, at the very least, making their payment experience a negative one that could cause problems for you down the line? The answer isn’t always obvious, but there are several sneaky culprits that could be detracting from a positive customer experience. Here are five possibilities—and how to turn the tide.

  1. Your payment process is simply too complicated. According to Statista, 22 percent of consumers abandon online shopping carts primarily because the merchant requires that an online account be created before the transaction can be completed. For nine percent of consumers, the main rationale for doing so is a long, complicated checkout process. To minimize or eliminate this pitfall, consider doing away with the log-in requirement for simple or regular billing and cutting down on the volume of demographic information you collect from customers in the course of account creation.
  2. Your technology is not conducive to mobile payments. No doubt about it—these days, consumers are far more likely to use a mobile phone or tablet to make payments than they are to use a desktop computer. The more difficult a website makes it for customers or prospective customers to complete a payment on a mobile device, the higher the likelihood that the website will be abandoned before payment takes place. In fact, statistics published byStatista indicate that nearly 33 percent of consumers abandon a website because it was non-responsive during a payment attempt. For this reason alone, it’s imperative to optimize your payment acceptance solutions to accept mobilepayments. This may even include accepting text (SMS) payments.
  3. Your payment system doesn’t work—or functionspoorly—because of errors and bugs. These days, customers are in a hurry. For them, “error” messages, frozen screens, being sent into a seemingly endless loop of payment screens, and the like is frustrating. Instead of wasting time continuing their efforts to make a payment to your business, they will moveon—and not return to your website. Errors and bugs also raise security concerns among customers—which also causes them to look for goods or services elsewhere rather than take a chance on the security of their accounts. Only by choosing secure, stable payment software can these risks—along with cash flow headaches and time wasted collecting payments manually—be eliminated.
  4. Your payment system lacks the capability to store payment information and accommodate recurring billing. Paying for recurring receivables is a nuisance for customers, as is entering the same payment information into a company’s payment system every time they must pay a bill. In fact, both of these put a significant damper on the customer experience.  Fortunately, a good recurring payment solution and PCI-compliant software that stores payment information can improve the situation, letting customers set up convenient recurring payments and making the payment process faster.
  5. Your payment solution does not look secure. Some customers may not think twice about being directed to a generic, unbranded payment gateway to pay for products or services. But today, those customers are few and far between given all the attention being paid to payment security in the media. Stick to robust payment gateway software—software that’s branded with your company’s name—to engender customers’ trust and keep their payment experience a positive one.

While you may not consider any of these pitfalls to be serious—that is, making their to induce people to take their business elsewhere—your customers almost certainly think otherwise. Addressing these pitfalls now—and ensuring a positive payment experience for customers—is well worth the effort for businesses of all types.