The Internet and social media have made consumers more empowered than ever before, changing the dynamics of many industries. Instead of depending on a salesperson or piece of company literature to learn about a product, it only takes people a few minutes to go online and get a truly candid scoop about any product they’re considering.

In addition, consumers have more options than ever before. Most companies can no longer depend on positioning themselves as the only option in any market. The awareness that has come along with the growth of the Internet means that most consumers are going to know about a company’s competitors. So if a company wants to win someone’s business, they need to provide a great product and superior experience.

So, how can companies differentiate in order to stand out? A lot of the customer experience happens at check out. Improving the payment process makes a big difference and as consumers become more savvy and aware, the bar for what they expect from a payment experience has gotten higher.

When you’re thinking about how to handle or improve the payment process for your consumers, keep the following options in mind:

Payment Security

Though consumers may not actively think about payment security, it should be your top priority as a business. Most consumers may not be fazed by issues they encounter while shopping, but any security red flags they may see will definitely be a deal breaker. The good news is there are several ways to emphasize security during your payment process.

Making PCI compliance a priority is a great starting point. For in-person payments, using a terminal that allows chip cards to be inserted instead of swiped is key. And for online payments, displaying relevant trust badges that show your site takes payment security seriously is a smart move.

Processing Speed

Consumers generally want a fast check-out experience, whether they’re shopping online or in person. Although EMV terminals generally result in payments taking a little longer, you can speed up this process by looking for any opportunities to optimize how quickly someone gets checked out in person. With online payments, pre-populating fields with any relevant information and offering payment options like Apple Pay can make paying a breeze for consumers.

Convenience & Reliability

No consumer wants to feel frustrated when they go to pay. That’s why it’s important to train your team to promptly address any issues that may come up when people pay in person. Making smart decisions about how much information you require during an online checkout can help make this process straightforward instead of frustrating.

It can take some time and effort to optimize the payment experience you offer to consumers. An essential element of making this experience great is the right payment processing company. If your current provider has some issues or shortcomings that are holding you back, making the switch to a better payment processor such as our FullPay Gateway can be a big win.