Long before the COVID-19 pandemic began, eighty-three percent of consumers reported that they preferred online digital payments. There are numerous reason for that, including five that are at the top of virtually every consumer’s wish list.
#1 Health and Safety
Paying online may now be the only option for people working from home and practicing social distancing. Online transactions require zero physical contact. But everyone still wants to do their part to support the community, and online payments enable them to safely and easily purchase gift cards or make donations, in support of charities and small businesses. Consumers also enjoy the 24/7 convenience of paying with a mobile device or payment app. That’s never been more true than today, as people rely almost exclusively on electronic transactions to ensure their health and safety and that of others.
#2 Easier Financial Management
There are powerful financial safeguards and management tools built into online payments. That’s why agencies like the Federal Trade Commission recommend using them instead of cash, for many kinds of business transactions. There’s clear documentation for such things as insurance claims or government assistance and emergency loan programs. Credit card companies will fairly mediate and resolve any payment disputes. Refunds, when necessary, can be processed quickly and automatically. Those features give consumers added confidence and much-needed reassure when doing business, particularly in a time of crisis.
#3 Flexible Payment Features
In unpredictable times, consumers have urgent borrowing needs, and using their credit cards is the most popular way to defer payments or repay over time. Businesses that offer that option by accepting online credit card payments can be a financial lifeline. An advanced online payment platform can also provide flexible, innovative features like subscription plan billing, customized installment payment plans, and recurring billing for such things as monthly goods and services. There are also benefits only possible with online bill pay like a “pay now” button to make every consumer transaction seamlessly friction-free and easy.
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#4 Rewards, Discounts, and Savings
Online payments also facilitate perks such as cash-back rewards from credit card company loyalty programs. Those can deliver added value to consumers every time they pay, and many customers only do business with merchants who have the ability to accept those cost-saving cards. There are also additional savings possible when paying educational institutions and government agencies, if they utilize online flex-pay options. Instead of paying an additional payment processing fee, taxpayers can be given the option to pay online with a debit card instead of a credit card. If the payment is made to an entity that uses flex pay, only those who pay with credit cards are surcharged, which is more equitable for everyone.
#5 Paperwork Reduction
Another reason why consumers like to pay bills online is that the practice helps them reduce their carbon footprint and annoying paperwork. There are no paper receipts and invoices to store and manage, and no envelopes and stamps to buy. No longer do bills clutter the workplace, home office, or family’s kitchen table. Without paper, the CDC-recommended steps that need to be taken to ensure that mail and paper documents are sanitized are not necessary. In those ways, online payments promote the health and well-being of everyone on the planet, while also helping sustain the planet for a greener world.