Creating a Good User Experience for Online Payments

Tara Wildt

In a recent blog post, we discussed the benefits of improving the online payment experience. We detailed how a good online payment experience can decrease customer service calls, lower print and mail costs, speed up collections, and improve customer satisfaction. Now that you have a clear understanding of why a good user experience for online payments is to important, the next step is learning how to identify the Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment platform that will drive the best user experience for your customers.

As we’ve mentioned before, many online payment systems claim to offer similar features and functionality on paper, but in practice deliver difficult to use interfaces that hurt the customer experience. This is why so many organizations struggle with selecting an online payment plaform. It can be difficult to tell which one will drive the kind of e-payment and self-service adoption you’re looking for–that is, if you don’t take the user experience into account.

For customers, it’s about convenience

At the end of the day, an online payment platform is only as good as its ability to engage customers. This means prompting them throughout the payment route to enroll in the kind of cost and time saving services your organization needs, such as AutoPay and paperless billing.

To better understand the most important reasons why customers choose to pay online, we conducted an online survey from a random sample of Invoice Cloud payers. The survey results showed that the number one reason why customers chose to pay their bill online was convenience.

primary reason for paying online

This is an important takeaway, because it highlights the fact that, to be successful, an online bill payment platform needs to provide a convenient, simple user experience. Customers won’t take an action if it isn’t simple and convenient. So, the online payment platform that’s best equipped to help you meet your business goals will be the one that is the simplest and most convenient for your customers to use. Providing this type of platform is the only way to drive up self-service rates and enable organization to realize the full benefits of this type of platform.

Understanding user experience: Questions to ask

It’s difficult to create a true ‘checklist’ for what to look for in a well-designed user interface—namely, because a good online bill payment platform is about more than a feature list. It’s important to look for design and functionality that will engage your customers. Your organization should use some high-level guidelines for what to look for, to select the online payment platform that will deliver the best results.

When evaluating an online payment system, ask the following questions:

  • How does a user enroll in self-service options (like AutoPay or paperless billing)? The online payment platform should prompt payers throughout the payment route—ideally with one-click-enrollment capabilities—to enable these services.
  • Can the payer make a one-time or guest payment? At Invoice Cloud, 40% of payers use a one-time payment or guest payment route to make payments. This is why it’s critical that online payment systems allow guest payments (or payments that do not require user registration) to enable the highest level of online payment adoption.
  • Can the payer clearly tell they are paying a bill from my organization? Consistent look and feel throughout the payment process is important to give payers the peace of mind that they are in the right place and their payment information is secure. The payer should never receive any communications that do not appear to come from your organization.
  • What are the options to communicate with payers? Relevant payer communications and payment reminders are one of the most important aspects of an online bill payment platform. That’s because the most common reason why bills are not paid on time is the payer forgot. An online payment system should ease this issue by utilizing intelligent and timely communications.

It’s not enough to just meet customer expectations

When it comes to online payments, the user experience is important—not only for improving customer satisfaction, but also for driving positive results such as decreased costs, increased efficiencies and decreased staff workloads. To achieve this, an online payment platform needs to have a user interface that is easy to use and prompts customers to enroll in self-service options and make payments through the online or mobile portal.

Invoice Cloud’s platform continuously engages customers throughout the payment process to encourage higher rates of self-service, online payment adoption, and AutoPay and paperless enrollment. To learn more about selecting an online payment platform that will provide the best user experience, download our ebook below. 


Tara Wildt

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