Chatbot payments: are you missing out on a revenue opportunity?


Today, consumers regularly engage with chatbots to complete a range of routine tasks and get fast answers to their questions. AI-chatbots and virtual assistants are changing the way customers and businesses interact – they can assist and guide customers 24/7 and deliver information that make it easy to get recommendations and advice on increasingly complex products and services.

And the pace of innovation shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. New generations of ecommerce and customer service chatbots are capable of handling secure payment transactions on the go.

What does this mean? For consumers, it means no more waiting around to be redirected to a customer service representative to complete whatever transaction they want to undertake. For businesses, it helps create happier customers, streamlining processes and can lower their operating costs.

Smoothing the path to purchase

Organizations that make it easier for people to pay for goods and services without having to leave the chat with the agent or AI-chatbot are at a clear advantage. Those that put up too many barriers between a consumer’s decision to buy and the transaction completing are likely to see more abandoned carts, lower customer retention and significantly reduced customer satisfaction levels.

But it’s not just about speed when it comes to chatbots. From generating leads to increasing conversion and purchasing rates, embedded payment options in chat and messaging really appeals to consumers. For example, 67% of millennials say they will happily make purchases from brands using a chatbot. For businesses, this ability to sell products or services directly within an automated chatbot is a cost-effective and responsive way to serve customers ‘in the moment’.

This technology has a growing number of creative use-cases too. Outside of contact centers and customer service, we are seeing this technology being used to streamline processes and reduce friction across many sectors. One example is a Salesforce study that found that one in every five people would consider using a chatbot to pay their bills. That is a significant portion of your customer base that’s ready and willing to transition to a new and more convenient way of transacting with your brand!

Taking the hassle out of bill payment

Consumers want to complete everyday transactions and make secure payments in the most streamlined way possible. Paying bills is an essential part of modern life, yet it can routinely be more demanding and time consuming than it needs to be. Offering billing and payment solutions via bots has the potential to offer people a fast, seamless and less stressful way to stay on top of their finances. Customers are increasingly happy to give personal information to an organization if it is collected in secure and convenient way, as it improves their payment journey and makes the ordering of products or renewing contracts easier.

Let’s look at how this could work in practice.

Deploying a payment enabled chatbot on a bank portal can help customers to pay their account balances or utility bills. Smart chatbots can do much more than action responses and make payments upon request – many banks are already using automated chatbots to provide customers with account updates or suggestions. Notable examples include Citi Bank’s Citi Bot on Facebook Messenger, Capital One’s digital assistant Eno, the Erica bot from Bank of America and NOMI, the banking chatbot from the Royal Bank of Canada. All customers need to do is open a conversation, provide their payment details and confirm them. They then automatically receive a notification about the payment status.

Similarly, assistant bots can provide customers with an alert that their next bill payment is due, together with an option to quickly settle on the spot or request a nudge in a few hours when it’s more convenient. In many instances, interacting with a chatbot is preferred over interacting with a human.

As AI-chatbots continue to become a more prominent part of our daily lives, companies are exploring ways to automate customer service and move payment transactions to a lower cost base. It’s a strategic move that capitalizes on the growing tendency of consumers to view chatbots and voicebots as an everyday communication channel when dealing with brands. That should be a wake-up call for companies that still have to deal with the high volume of customers who have no other option but to pick up the phone to pay their bill or make a loan payment. All of which can typically cost organizations around $3-6 per call.

Is your business missing out?

AI-Chatbot payments can transform everyday tasks like billing and payments into rich customer experiences that deliver frictionless, on-demand bill-ready and payment-related notifications and reminders. That’s good for customers, but it’s also good for businesses. Principally because it smooths the way to a more automated and predictable revenue collection.

With contact center capacity restricted by the number of representatives available at any one time, accepting payments via bots can generate significant efficiencies. There is also no need for customer service representatives to undertake such a simple repetitive process repeatedly throughout the day. Agents get time back to focus on more strategic tasks and complex value-add calls. Meanwhile, customers are no longer obliged to wait their turn in call queues just to pay their bills.

Charcoal - Chatbot

Payments need to be secure and PCI DSS compliant

It’s only a matter of time before automated payments bots become a standard consumer interface. But if customers are willing to use chatbots to pay their bills and make other transactions, then payment security must be a top concern.

To reduce any potential customer hesitation, organizations need to invest in scalable payment security and a PCI DSS compliant solution. Sycurio.Digital generates secure payment links that are easy to initiate, monitor and manage. It empowers businesses to offer customers a choice of payment options that include digital payment wallets, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal, and account-to-account instant bank transfers, and leaves them free to use the payment service providers of their choice.

For organizations that want to seize the AI-powered chatbot opportunity and serve customers better, getting the right payment solution in place is key to building great CX and securing customer loyalty.