Nowadays, consumers can pay their bills via countless digital channels, from the familiar SEPA procedure or credit card to smartphone apps such as Apple Pay and Google Pay to Klarna (formerly Sofort Überweisung) or Paypal. What is perceived as a convenient feature in an undisturbed customer relationship takes on a completely different meaning as an offer in the context of a payment disruption. A customer-specific offer of different payment methods is particularly valuable in the dunning process if it is ideally suited to the personal situation of the defaulting customer. And within the framework of personalised customer communication, it is also presented according to the respective situation.
Avoiding system discontinuities, enabling intuitive reactions
A basic prerequisite that is often forgotten in the discussion about the sense and purpose of different payment procedures for defaulting customers is: there must still be sufficient funds available, otherwise the whole effort is not worthwhile. Only then can the defaulter be put in a position to pay the outstanding amount in the simplest and most convenient way. Via a digital payment procedure that he can actually use and that enables him to react intuitively. This can be, for example, a direct link to a payment method in an SMS or e-mail message or a barcode on a reminder letter, which the customer can use to settle his outstanding bill in cash at the nearest supermarket.
The atriga receivables management platform combines an individual approach with a concrete payment method proposal in the context of customer communication, if it makes sense in the situation. For example, in the case of a car insurance policy, if the vehicle is at risk of being immobilised at short notice and the atriga system recognises that the defaulting customer might not have access to his bank account at the moment, the offer of a cash payment procedure is a promising option.
Payment methods as customer relationship management
Digital payment methods offer a decisive advantage, but you have to be able to use it: The atriga collection system recognises that an amount is in transit even before it has been posted. Due to the processing of such information in near real time, further reminder steps and escalations can be avoided, and the process effort is noticeably reduced because there are no queries. Ideally, the customer relationship is even improved if – as in the example with the car insurance – the defaulting customer immediately receives a customer-oriented payment confirmation and, in addition, a recovery process can be initiated, controlled according to the client’s specifications.
atriga Web Payment since 2008
Stefan Scheller, Head of IT Development at atriga, has been involved in the development of atriga Web Payment since 2008. He gives an insight into the history of the solution: “Back then, we started the first online-supported payment service with Deutsche Telekom as a test under the name ‘Online Sofortüberweisung’, later ‘SOFORT Überweisung’ was used. For the first time, customers in arrears were able to settle an outstanding debt directly online without a system break. We immediately realised the future potential of this service. That’s why we structured the platform from the ground up in such a way that we can integrate unlimited payment methods without much effort, no matter how exotic they may be. This also means that our clients can offer their customers any payment method in their white label/software-as-a-service solutions from atriga in the commercial dunning process.”