Contact our Team

LET'S TALK

Confirm your details, and one of our friendly local team will get in contact to discuss your requirements.

How to Streamline Payments Using SMS

BAMBORA OPINION

24 September 2020

6 minute read

SMS payments allow you to send customers a text message and have them pay for a product or service they're buying directly from their mobile phone. Widely used in the utilities, telecommunications, and government sectors, SMS payments are growing in popularity, thanks to the variety of benefits offered. Many professional services take advantage of the benefits of SMS payments as well. If you've not considered streamlining payments via SMS before, we've compiled some of the benefits here.

Bambora au blog medium image SMS payments Bambora au blog medium image SMS payments Placehoder

You probably use Short Messaging Services (SMS) - better known as text messages - quite a bit in your day-to-day life. But did you know that you can also utilise SMS to collect payments for your business?

SMS payments allow you to send your customer a text message and have them pay for the product or service they’re buying directly from their mobile phone. Most people associate SMS payments with charitable organisations, but they’re actually a growing trend among many businesses.

That’s because not only are SMS payments easy to implement, they’re also a highly effective payment strategy. Text messages from trust sources can receive open rates of up to 98% - a rate you couldn't ever expect to achieve with email marketing.

Roughly 90% of recipients open text messages within the first three minutes after they are received. And 24% of Australians prefer to make online payments using their mobile devices.

So if you aren’t utilising SMS for your billing and payments, now's the time to consider the solution. Let’s look at how you can streamline payments via SMS and the benefits of doing so.

HOW DO SMS PAYMENTS WORK?

When you decide to send SMS payments, you’ll work with a company that will provide you with a phone number. You’ll also have a dashboard to manage your text messages and payments.

From there, SMS payments work like any standard text message. You’ll start by sending a text message to your customer’s phone number.

Once the customer has confirmed the product or service they'd like to purchase, you’ll send your customer a secure payment link. The customer need only follow the link, enter their card details, and they’ll receive a payment confirmation.

The process can vary slightly depending on your payment processor and the type of business you run, but those are the basic steps.

Bambora au blog medium image SMS payments demo 2 Bambora au blog medium image SMS payments demo 2 Placehoder

SMS initiated payment process

BENEFITS OF SMS PAYMENTS

SMS payments are growing in popularity, thanks to the wide variety of benefits they offer. They are already widely used within the utilities, telecommunications, and government sectors, with many professional services also taking advantage of the benefits SMS payments have to offer.

If you’ve not considered streamlining payments via SMS before, here are some of the benefits:

Convenience

SMS payments are not only beneficial for your business, but they are also more convenient for your customers. Most customers don’t want to scan their credit card to pay for a purchase, and SMS payments allow them to skip this step.

Instead, you’ll text customers reminders of upcoming bills and overdue payments. Once they’ve been reminded about the bill, they can pay directly from their mobile device. And they can save their payment information to save time on future SMS payments.

PCI compliance

SMS payments are more secure than most other forms of payment. That’s because, with SMS payments, you can simplify PCI compliance.

Sensitive card details are not accessible to merchants. When you leverage Bambora’s Custom Checkout option, the card data is sent directly from the customer’s mobile device to our payment processor.

Customer experience

SMS payments can help you improve the customer experience. You can remind your customers to stay on top of their upcoming payments, and they’ll receive an option to pay immediately.

This is a major improvement from the outdated reminder messages businesses used to send customers. These reminders provided no immediate payment options, and there were no actionable steps for the customer to take.

With SMS payments, you can streamline the payment process for your customers by using brandable hosted pages. Customers also receive email receipt options. These services promote trust in your business, and provide real-time results for your business and the customer.

Efficiency

The figures witnessed by a longstanding Bambora customer in the utilities sector, make a strong case for the solution's efficiency. Consider the following statistics:

  • 50% of customers who receive an SMS reminder pay within seven days
  • 37% of customers who click on the SMS-included link, make a payment
  • 98.8% of payments via the included link are for the full balance


Variety of options

Finally, SMS payments are a highly customisable solution, improving how businesses securely receive card payments. SMS payments come with a variety of options, including agent-assisted capabilities.

This allows customers to pay via a link while they’re still connected to a customer service agent. No card details are shared with the operator, and you’ll have instant visibility on payment results.

ARE SMS PAYMENTS RIGHT FOR MY BUSINESS?

While there are numerous benefits that SMS payments have to offer, determining if the solution is right for your business model is important.

SMS payments are ideal for companies that have repeat customers and whose revenue depends on recurring payments.

As with most payment solutions, customers will, from time-to-time, require support if any issues arise during their payment experience. Ensuring you've staff who are well-trained in the solution, and available to assist customers as necessary, is important to ensuring that the best customer experience is maintained.

And, similarly to email marketing, there's a right and a wrong way to handle SMS payments. Some customers won’t like receiving text messages from your business, so you should first receive customer consent. Always be sure to include a way for customers to unsubscribe from your text messages, too. This opt-out option should be easy to read and follow, so you don’t violate ACMA’s spam laws.

FINAL THOUGHTS

SMS payments won’t be the best option for all companies, but in many use cases, the benefits far outweigh any potential downsides. And one of the most important factors that will determine your success with SMS payments is the company you choose to partner with.

The different services can vary by company, so you'll want to choose the plan that’s best suited to your business model. Spend some time thinking about the features you’ll need, so you’ll know what to look for when you begin researching companies.

If you’re interested to learn more, or to achieve the enhanced payment experience that SMS payments provide, get in touch with our team today to discuss the convenient and secure payment solution.