Pay Heed to Payment
Management and Prosper
We’re all managing through the roughest
U.S. economy in decades. Waning consumer spending has had a dramatic effect
on retail volume, and credit availability
issues stand to dampen the commerce that continues. It’s
forcing all of us to consider how to maximize the value
of every sale and of every payment made. For direct
response merchants, this environment provides extraordinary opportunities to capture buyers who continue
to favor direct-to-consumer sales channels and your
approach to payments can certainly help.
How can DR merchants improve payment performance, enhance efficiency and even gain revenue in this
environment? Better payment management, versus simple payment processing, can play a role in minimizing
expenses, streamlining operations and growing revenue.
Today, merchants are in desperate need of a payment
processing company that takes a vested interest in their
overall business objectives. Now is the time for payment
processors to elevate their merchants’ offerings, to closely manage and analyze processing data, and to provide
tangible solutions that will help them survive — and
even thrive — through these tough times.
Merchants have more choices than ever when it
comes to managing payments and selecting their operating platforms. What you sell, how you sell it and the
medium through which most of your payments are received should dictate how you process. A direct response
retailer with significant direct sales and explosive Web
sales will have different needs than a large retailer whose
payments predominately come through traditional
First, merchants should understand their real process-
ing costs and the hidden opportunities to maximize rev-
enue by grasping what their processing trends tell them.
Take advantage of free payment management analysis
offers that help you better understand the complexities
and demands of your entire supply chain. Make sure that
the analysis will look at all facets
of your payment processing, not
simply the price thereof, but the
potential lost value from correct-
able inefficiencies and foregone
Investigate platforms that can reduce declined authorizations, improve re-authorization success rates,
lower your percentage of refunds, and help you facilitate
easy adoption of competitive service differentiators. Alternative payments, for example, can expose your products and services to new consumer audiences, helping to
boost your revenue. When a card is declined, a solid payment management strategy might investigate additional
approval options or help to identify trends that may
yield an increase in successfully processed transactions.
Recurring billing also can be a powerful source of
revenue for products or services delivered periodically or
repeatedly. This strategy can substantially increase the
number of consumers who try your product or service, as
well as the number of consumers who continue to use it.
To take full advantage of recurring billing, you should
seek a payment management provider that has extensive
knowledge of related card association regulations and experience helping companies like yours with installment
and recurring billing solutions.
At the same time, there are some key questions you
should ask when considering a new payment management partner. Do they help to uncover potential problems before they exist? Does their insight lead to revenue
growth opportunities for your business? Do you get data-rich analysis in your reports? Do they explain what the
data suggests about your payment trends? Are you presented with periodic thorough reviews of your processing
and payment performance?
It’s increasingly clear that a processor’s ability to fundamentally understand your business can add real, measurable value to your business. While you undoubtedly
have access to your processing data, the most valuable
payment management solution provides the analytics to
capture and capitalize on key business intelligence to improve your business model while positively influencing
your bottom line.
By taking a holistic view of the value of payments,
you will start to see profound results within your business. The current economy only reminds us all that we
should be learning how to derive the greatest value from
each transaction. In the current economy, only those
who devise a strong payment management strategy will
survive and flourish.