Thinking of Your Gateway as a Funnel
A simple way to envision what a payment gateway is to think of it as a funnel, a funnel for revenue collection that both mirrors our business processes and reflects how clients and consumers expect to make payments in the most secure and convenient methods possible.
Adapting to the way people want to pay today includes acknowledging that an increasing number of people do not fit the traditional “nine to five” view of the world through an organization’s eyes. A decrease in employees working traditional hours (read: working more hours, according to Forbes) leads inevitably to the likelihood that clients want to pay when they want to pay, how they want to pay.
In this regard, gateways seamlessly fill gaps and inefficiencies in traditional payment collection methods. Further, these increases in efficiencies and ease-of-use, and the corresponding reduction in friction regarding payment collection all add up to a win-win situation for the organization (increased revenue) and client (increased satisfaction). This article discusses how you can get the most from your gateway, in terms of customer satisfaction, seamless reconciliation, and better ROI.
Filling Your Funnel With Multiple Revenue Streams
One of the best ways to get the most from your gateway, is to take advantage of all the payment channels they support. This will help you create a process that is frictionless for all your customers, no matter their preferences. Below are the payment channels CBOSS supports as part of our “funnel”, with more on the way this year.
Having a web presence is vital, as more and more of us look to the web for things like bill payments, setting up recurring payments, managing accounts, etc. Having an easy to use web presence for bill pay is vital, and allows for 24x7x 365 service. The payment window is always open!
Point of Service – Just as it sounds, a Client Service Representative will often accept payments for services or co-pays at the point of service. Usually this would involve a corresponding card swipe via a card reader device.
An organization may also elect to offer payment plans in order to conveniently allow the customer to pay over time. The card information is stored, and reminders are sent out prior to each posting to keep the customer informed, engaged, and happy. They are convenient for customers, and the organization as well by automating the recurring payment processing and removing barriers to one’s ability to pay in full.
POS and Virtual Terminal
CSRs can take payments in office with swipe or EMV POS devices or over the phone for customers that prefer to talk to a person. Being able to accept payment in person at the point of service.
IVR and SMS Texts
IVR, or Interactive Voice Response, is another means of a 24x7 payment availability option along with texting. IVR and texts allow patients to pay quickly and on their schedule, saving your staff valuable time, increasing collections for you and simplifying the bill pay process for everyone. They also open the door for things like payment reminders, appointment reminders, and so forth. With email becoming less reliable as a means of communication, people are adopting SMS as a preferred form of communication, which includes payments as well. Inc. Magazine published an article in 2015 that shows the writing was on the wall even then when it posted “Why Email Will Be Obsolete by 2020”… Seems SMS and cellphones are the new replacement, and one your customers are likely asking for.
Using Automation to Simplify the Output of Your Funnel
Once these frictionless transactions are collected by the gateway and sent for processing, they can be posted and reconciled in different ways depending on the needs of the organization. Bringing automation into the posting and reconciliation process is a key part in getting the most from your gateway.
CBOSS can post payments to your EHR, PM and/or accounting system in real-time. This ensures you will always be looking at the most up-to-date data and provides the most flexibility.
Automated File Transfer
CBOSS can securely transmit a nightly file with transaction information from the previous day. To update your systems.
Reports can be used to answer questions, aggregate totals by payment type, location, division, etc. Finally, a larger picture look at financial transaction data is used to spot trends to allow for adjustments on accepted forms of payment, POS terminal locations, and the like.
ROI Benefits of Optimizing Your Funnel
As a bonus, there tends to be a hard ROI from implementing smart Gateway solutions that optimize the funnel effect which also ease the payment burden and increase client satisfaction. A couple examples of this are:
Free Up Staff
Automating payments for some patients will allow your staff to focus on more high-level tasks and better use their time.
Increased Response Rate and Better Patient Engagement
Patients are much more likely to respond to phone based communications than email, leading to more bills being paid on time.
These are only a couple of contributors to increasing your payment ROI. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us today!
EHR / EMR integration, bank integration, unified reporting across the whole organization, payment plans, outstanding client communications, and more await those who embrace what their clients are telling them they need. Clients are asking for (and some would argue are demanding) frictionless payment options. As with most things in life, those who adapt the smartest tend to win the race.