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How payments and collections can enhance customer experience

In the world of e-commerce, companies can stand out when payment and collection methods enhance the customer experience. How can you tap on this opportunity?

May 24, 2024

6 mins

Mobile payment

As customers gain global access to commerce, they want a localised experience to pay using their preferred method and currency. Companies can stand out when their payment collection methods enhance the experience of their customers.  And, in the world of connected commerce, touchpoints shape perceptions and it is vital for payments to enhance the customer experience.

How payments are embedded in the customer experience

Today’s connected customers fluidly move between in-person, digital, and increasingly, virtual experiences. The possible combinations continue to expand. For example, customers may research products online and buy in-store or look at products in person but purchase online. They may order online and pick up curbside or try on clothes virtually using augmented reality applications. Mobile device in hand, customers are “always on” and expect transactions to be simple, seamless, frictionless, and secure to the point of invisibility – wherever they are and wherever in the world they are buying from.

Blending the physical and digital is table stakes for corporates looking to satisfy, if not exceed, customer expectations. There are more ways than ever for corporates to simply, seamlessly, and securely enable an expanding range of interactions with the ability for customers to pay easily. Beyond physical means such as cards and cash, e-wallet payments is one of the fastest growing payment method due to its ubiquity and ability to serve both banked and unbanked clients digitally.

E-wallets (also known as digital or mobile wallets) offer the digital equivalent of a physical wallet. Customers can use them to load, store, and exchange value via their connected devices. Representing approximately US$18 trillion in spending, e-wallets dominate e-commerce and point of sale (POS) globally.1 There is a rapid proliferation of e-wallet payment method in APAC and is the top e-commerce payment method in Europe.2

They are also an integral component of super apps (i.e. mobile or Web applications such as WeChat, Alipay, Grab, GoJek, Tata Neu) that integrates instant messaging, e-payments, and core functions such as e-commerce, logistics, and transport services. To enable connected commerce, banks, fintechs, and neobanks are offering digital wallets “as-a-service” to embed financial services into super apps. This allows the apps to enhance the experience for users while increasing stickiness through providing convenience.

“Standard Chartered’s Straight2Bank Mobile Wallet Payment is one such example.  It offers corporate clients a simple and seamless way to make payments to e-wallets – including unbanked beneficiaries – with bank-grade security and connectivity to multiple providers through a single account. Payers can now make fund transfers to their beneficiaries (banked and unbanked) and receive alerts and notifications through a single channel. This service enables the unbanked to receive payment from corporates in an instant, low cost and timely manner that was not possible before.” says David Rego, Global Head of Payments at Standard Chartered. “This service provides interconnectivity between account-based and wallet-based payment systems to expand Standard Chartered’s network coverage for our corporate clients.”

Social commerce and embedded collections

Social commerce is a subset of e-commerce in which creators interact through social media and online channels to promote and sell products and services. Social commerce will reach $1.2 trillion by 2025.3 It represents a major shift in power from corporations to creators, who use content, networks and influence to build brands and partner with businesses. Businesses want to go to where their customers lead them, and this means connecting payments into social commerce.

The ability to purchase without leaving a social media app or platform makes it easy for customers to convert social interactions into purchases whilst allowing creators, influencers, and resellers to commercialise interactions within their trusted communities. Increasingly businesses are embedding QR codes and payment links within social media posts and live-stream events and other channels such as text messages.4 For platform owners—whether social or e-commerce—solutions such as virtual accounts can work with QR code collections to make it easy to reconcile payments and increase controls without the need for multiple physical bank accounts to support multiple creators.

Making it simple to collect payments from customers

We’ve discussed ways to make payments more convenient for customers, but how do corporates embed collections for a range of online and offline payment journeys?

One way is to use an omnichannel digital collections gateway. As new payment methods emerge and customer expectations evolve, an omnichannel collections platform can make it easy to quickly bring additional collection methods to customers and ensure the continuity and consistency of the customer experience. A gateway such as Standard Chartered’s Straight2Bank Pay enables corporates to offer multiple payment options to their customers – both online and offline – without the need for multiple integrations or accounts with payment providers. A single point of integration can also help accelerate the ability for the corporate to scale digital collections across markets as the business expands into new geographies, whether online, mobile, face-to-face, or remote last-mile collections.

“Customers want the ease of localised options when making payments: from booking flights or hotels, shopping on international websites, or paying for purchases while overseas, they expect to see and be able to pay in their home currency. Digital has transformed global commerce, and businesses need to collect payments in multiple markets. These payment collection options must seamlessly embed in the customer experience whilst helping corporates meet cost management, risk, liquidity, and reconciliation needs,” says Omolara Adenusi, Global Head of Collections at Standard Chartered.

Beginning the journey

“The process of embedding (payment collections) starts with understanding your customer,” adds Adenusi. “What are the best opportunities for making the biggest impact with your target audience? What are the most important emerging payment and collection trends and methods in the markets where you do business? What is the most efficient way to go about improving the experience for your customers?”

Challenge your banking partners to provide insights on customer payment behaviors and payment system developments, by the markets your business is in. Begin a conversation about connected commerce and enhancing the customer experience.

1 FIS Global Payments Report, 8th edition, 2023, page 5.

2 Ibid, pages 30 and 74.

3 Robin Murdoch, Oliver Wright, Karen Fang Grant, Kevin Collins, and Laura McCracken, “Why shopping’s set for a social revolution,”, January 2, 2022.

4 “2023 Commerce and Payment Trends Report”, Global Payments Inc., December 2022.