SMS payments - the benefits of text to pay

By 
Chris Barley
January 17, 2022
October 28, 2022

Is your business struggling to get your invoices paid on time? 


When your accounts receivable process isn’t able to collect payments from your remote customers, this can quickly lead to cashflow problems. While finance teams widely utilize traditional credit control methods such as email reminders, these often fail to capture the attention of the customer.


This is one of the many reasons why SMEs should leverage SMS payments. The text to pay model uses text messaging to increase engagement and bring customer convenience to the core of your sales process. SMS payments enable you to capture the immediate attention of customers and, as there’s minimal payment friction, encourages them to complete the transaction there and then.


Would you like to get your customers to pay on time? This short guide breaks down all you need to know about making payments for your remote customers effortlessly simple.



Why should SMEs leverage SMS payments?


The problem with sending invoices via email is that they often end up ignored or in the customer’s junk folder. SMS however gets noticed and elicits a faster response.


Consumers are living busy lives, and it’s easy to lose track of what bills need to be paid. To quickly grab your customers’ attention and ensure they never miss a payment, you can use SMS to get customers to pay through a conversational experience that’s both fast and simple. 


If you’re on the fence about leveraging SMS payments, just look at the statistics.


Text messages have a 98% open rate. Comparing this to the average email open rate of 21% across all industries makes it clear to see where consumers’ attention is. It should also be noted that 90% of texts received are read within 3 seconds. So to prevent late payments from causing damage to your finances, connect with your customers via text.


The payment process can also be made highly secure for the customer. Businesses can connect their own subdomain to their payment site, creating links that include their own domain - for instance, payments.yourcompany.com. With secure links and recognized domains, customers can rest assured that they’re dealing with a trusted party.


As the customer is on their mobile, they can pay using their phone’s biometric authentication as a seamless part of the process. This provides compliance with SCA (strong customer authentication) payment regulations and avoids the customer having to switch devices for 2FA (2 factor authentication) when paying from a laptop or similar. 


Do conversational experiences result in faster payments?


The average adult spends 23 hours a week texting. Consumers are extremely familiar and comfortable with this form of communication - and many are now using it for business interactions. 


A recent study showed that 9 out of 10 consumers would like the option to use messaging to contact a business. For SMEs, in a world of instant messaging, having a way to connect, send invoices, and get paid via mobile is critical to an efficient sales and cash collection process.


In addition, 71% of customers expect companies to communicate with them in real-time. While this could involve human agents, many SMEs will likely prefer to automate this process using chatbots. 


Automating the payment process


Even though many chatbots are being used solely for customer support, they can also be used for tasks in your sales process, such as sending invoices and managing payments.


The present applications for chatbots are only just scratching the surface of what can be achieved through automation. Ultimately, it’s all about having the right tools at your disposal. Here at Converso we’re developing a range of chatbot functionality to help you personalize the customer’s payment journey without requiring expensive human resources. 


Customers may have questions on various issues, such as the ability to pay in installments, or the application of specific discounts for early payment. Using automation, a chatbot can respond to all of these issues 24/7 without input from a human agent.


We’re still in the early days, but the potential of this technology is certainly exciting. The increasing use of business messaging creates a treasure trove of conversational data to help personalize the payment experience. Artificial intelligence can also use this data to spot and identify trends that can help make messaging interactions more personal and relevant.


As adoption increases, the sophistication of chatbots and automated messaging services will only become greater. Companies can use this store of data to build automated sales experiences that are practically identical to agent-led experiences - and are in many ways better. With data to draw from, chatbots can create contextualized and personalized conversations with customers, without requiring an army of customer service agents.


How do you send an invoice through text?


It’s easy to get started with text communications. It involves sending a personalised message to your customer with a link to your unique branded payment site.  


The process is very simple:


  1. Send the message and invoice link to the customer, who can chat with support and ask any questions within the same conversation.


  1. The customer clicks on a payment link and pays either by card (eg Apple Pay) or pays with “Pay by Bank” with no data input required.


  1. Once payment is made, the customer is diverted back to the conversation where they can ask any follow-up or support questions.  



Invoices can also be imported from third-party accounting systems, such as Xero, with automatic accounts reconciliation when payment is made.


If you want to achieve faster invoice payments by seamlessly integrating with real-time messaging, now’s a good time to consider developing text as an additional communications channel. 


At Converso, our solution enables you to deliver a better customer payment experience by tapping into a channel that consumers already know and love to use. 


For more information, you can download our e-book “SME Guide to Remote Payments” here.


You can also get early access to Converso here, today!


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