Beyond transactions: How unique payments tech helps businesses deliver a better customer experience

There’s a special type of satisfaction that comes with taking on a project that’s not normally in your wheelhouse. If variety is the spice of life, why not do a DIY experiment to construct a wooden crate coffee table or whip up your favorite novelty cocktail at home?

But not all projects are so low stakes. As an independent software vendor, you could code your own payment integrations from scratch if you wanted to. The better question is whether or not it’s the best use of your organization’s limited time and resources.

In order to meet customer expectations and stay competitive in a market driven by rapid technology developments, ISVs have unique pressure to work under agile principles, delivering a constant stream of high-quality integrations regardless of what setbacks or surprises pop up along the way. (No pressure or anything.)

Unlike 30 minutes for a DIY drink or a few hours for a custom coffee table, building your own integration for the latest in-demand feature could mean months of development time, hiring, testing and certifications… and that’s assuming everything goes pretty much to plan. Just like that, the revenue ramp up you were imagining has turned into a slog.

Meeting customers where they want to buy — and supporting their payment method of choice — is key to your clients’ success and your own profitability. In this blog, we’ll walk you through creating a stickier client portfolio for yourself by offering the latest and greatest payments tech for clients in any industry without doing the heavy lifting.

Read on to learn:

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Basic payments integrations aren’t enough anymore

It’s true. Clients expect much more from a payments integration today. It’s not enough to have fast, secure payments with broad payment acceptance types.

According to a recent study from Discover®, global cashless payment volumes are set to increase to almost 1.9 trillion transactions by 2025, representing an 80% jump from 2020. Equally relevant, a Salesforce report found 88% of buyers think the customer experience matters just as much as a company's products or services.

Electronic payments built into a robust tech stack are simply the base expectation for today’s business owners. The days of online check-in or accepting mobile payments being nice-to-have instead of a necessity are over. To stay competitive, your clients in every industry need fast, reliable ways to take payments and elevate the customer experience in any setting.

And that’s just a start. It sounds cliche, but connecting with customers where they are both physically and technologically is a challenge for even the most ambitious of businesses, but it’s essential. Technological innovation and customer experience expectations both continue to surge forward.

Elevate your offerings for every vertical

Up until now, we’ve been speaking in broad terms. Sure, it’s not a hard sell to see why businesses of all shapes and sizes need to offer quick and hassle-free payment options as part of making customers feel valued and leaving a great impression. But what does using that technology look like on a regular basis, and how does it vary between the many industries your clients work within? We’ve compiled a few snapshots to give you an idea of the challenges well-chosen payments integration enhancements can solve for your clients.

A graphic of a phone and a text bubble with a medical symbol in it.

Healthcare: Enhancing and speeding up check-in

How many times have you found yourself rushing to a doctor’s appointment, only to end up waiting anyway? Traditionally, healthcare offices have been notoriously slow at checking in patients. Chances are you, too, have encountered crowded waiting rooms, long lines and stacks of insurance and medical history paperwork at some point. Multiple negative experiences like this may have even made you consider switching providers.

Your healthcare clients don’t have to run this risk, though. The right tech will allow them to send patients necessary forms ahead of time, drastically cutting back on the time they have to spend in the waiting room, while reducing manual work for the office staff. Online form management cuts out manual transcription with digital entries that automatically upload customer data into the customer’s record, making data collection secure and effortless.

Plus, with online check-in tech, patients can access self-service check-in on their phones by scanning a QR code or hitting an “I’m here” button sent prior to the appointment, whether they just walked in the doors, are in the parking lot or are 15 minutes out from the office.

Now picture this experience instead: Instead of dealing with a line and disorganized check-in system, you take a seat and leisurely wait to be called. You’ve already completed paperwork online before even leaving your house, and you checked in for the appointment in real time when you arrived via the online customer portal using your phone. Talk about a better experience.

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Services: Scheduling appointments and sending reminders

Service businesses like spas and salons live and breathe by their appointments: If a customer is a no-show, that’s lost revenue for the business. But let’s face it: We’re human, and we’re surrounded by a lot of daily distractions. A customer blowing off an appointment is unlikely to have been done in contempt and more likely a case of simply forgetting. We get it, though: Calling every person on the books to confirm upcoming appointments is no quick task, and we’re guessing your clients aren’t excited to do so anyway.

The solution? Appointment reminder texts. With a two-way texting tool like Callpop — offered by Global Payments Integrated — businesses can open a text channel with customers once an appointment is scheduled. Not only can they text automated reminders — reducing missed appointments — but the customer can respond with a confirmation or a request to reschedule. The business can even set up autoresponder prompts for replies. On top of being a convenient solution for both the business and customer, it also helps the former provide a more responsive, personal experience for the latter — boosting retention and loyalty.

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Retail: Busting lines and running pop-up shops

Shopping is a favored pastime in any setting, but big, bright displays and seasonal pop-up shops cause the biggest stir. While your clients will always welcome the opportunity to boost brand visibility while moving merchandise, long lines caused by slow processing or a receipt paper jam can leave customers irritable instead of impressed.

With the right payments solution, retailers can cut through any line in no time.

  • QR code payments make it easy for customers to use their smartphones to scan the code and make a quick online payment.
  • By using their phone as a mobile POS, supporting tap-and-go payments and offering digital receipts, your client can delight customers with a truly streamlined shopping experience.
  • On top of that, your clients can use said mobile POS solutions as line busters: When the queue gets long, a backup sales associate can set up a mobile POS to get a second line started in no time.

A memorable, positive impression could lead to social media buzz, netting your client additional sales and heightened brand visibility.

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Events: Selling food, drinks and merchandise

At a crowded concert or rowdy baseball game, the last thing customers want is to elbow through the masses just to grab a beer or a t-shirt. With portable payment devices using Bluetooth capabilities, food and drink vendors of all kinds can complete a transaction while the customer enjoys the comfort of their seat in the shade.

  • No credit card on hand? No problem. NFC payments mean vendors never miss out on a sale just because the attendee doesn’t have their card on hand.
  • No cash on hand? No worries. Food and other vendors who sell in the stands no longer have to be cash-only; mobile POS solutions let them process payments right from customers’ seats.
  • Unattended payment solutions, such as self-service kiosks, enable attendees to place orders and pay independently. This frees up vendor staff to focus on food prep and improve customer service.

All in all, event attendees have a more enjoyable, rewarding experience while the venues and stadiums generate higher sales by serving customers more efficiently.

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Restaurants: Catering and streamlining in-person dining

It’s a tale as old as foodservice itself. A restaurant owner puts in endless hours to create an amazing concept and menu worth remembering. But the day-to-day chaos of restaurant operations keeps the owner from perfecting the vision and things get off track. Reservations fall through the cracks, catering invoices go unpaid and customers languish waiting for their card to be run by frazzled waitstaff. The owner could afford to ignore technology when they had a trickle of diners, but now it’s a deluge.

With the right tech, these pitfalls become a thing of the past. Customer experience capabilities like automated reminders prompt customers to confirm their reservation in advance or gently remind them of an overdue catering invoice. Tableside ordering streamlines intake and minimizes errors. Pay-at-the-table solutions allow guests to eat and exit at their pace. The faster payments can be processed, the faster tables can be turned, increasing your clients’ revenue potential without rushing customers out the door.

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Service professionals: Providing on-site payments

Whether it’s an emergency repair or routine maintenance, tensions can be pretty high when a plumber, electrician or other service professional arrives on the scene. Feelings can get even more heightened if customers don’t have itemized details of the services and costs or a simple way to get on-the-go updates about the work. It can be equally easy for the service provider to get disorganized, losing track of work orders, contracts and receipts between jobs.

With mobile payments tech and a smartphone or tablet, service pros can accept payments on the spot from backyards, ballrooms and everywhere in between. It’s also easy to send digital invoices and estimates or provide real-time status updates via text message. When it’s time to check an important job-related document, digital record-keeping helps with organization and facilitates information access from anywhere.

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Automotive: Taking payments at drive-through service centers

Car maintenance and repairs aren’t often inexpensive and convenient. Having to call repeatedly to find out if the right tire is in stock or reschedule a service appointment frays customers’ nerves even further. This puts mechanics in an unfortunate position, likely to find themselves in charge of de-escalating customer conversations and fielding difficult feedback on top of their normal technical responsibilities. Even if customers do have constructive criticism, it’s likely to get lost in sticky notes or one-off conversations.

Customer experience tech makes scheduling service appointments efficient. Features like automated reminders reduce the likelihood of no-shows while keeping customers informed, and mobile payments speed up the checkout process. When integrated with parts inventory management systems, service centers can quickly confirm they have the necessary parts in stock for repairs. After the appointment is over, sending out customer surveys helps managers zero in on the shop’s strengths and weaknesses. Suddenly, it’s simple to streamline operations, reduce wait times and improve customer satisfaction.

A woman entering her credit card information to make a mobile payment on her phone

Conducting commerce anywhere is good for you, too

Now you’ve seen a picture of what expanding your offerings could do for your clients, but let’s talk about you. Adding another layer beyond your core software has the power to make your portfolio stickier than ever before. Why? Because you’re doing two essential things: making your clients’ lives easier while making them more money.

Skipping the headache of setting up dozens of vendor relationships that exist in separate silos is a big pull for small business owners who already have enough on their plates. The more services you provide to help meet customer needs and create better customer experiences, the more your clients will depend on you — and the less their eyes will wander toward other providers promoting flashy solutions.

Don’t risk a DIY disaster — we do all of this and more

So how do you do it all? The answer’s simple: You find a partner with a history of building high-quality products for all kinds of verticals. Instead of going it alone or signing up for piecemeal partnerships, you rely on the right partner to deliver the perfect payments solution with all the latest and greatest must-haves your clients are clamoring for.

Best of all, there’s no painful development process required. Just follow our step-by-step SDKs and you’re done — we handle updates, maintenance and support from that point forward.

Global Payments Integrated is proud to offer innovative integrations, payments tech and customer engagement tools trusted by ISVs nationwide to create an exceptional experience for their clients’ customers from check-in to checkout.

Ready to gain a powerful advantage over the competition with our mobile payments tech? Contact us to learn more.

Peggy McDonald

Senior Copywriter

A senior copywriter at Heartland, a Global Payments company, Peggy has spent the majority of her career in the tech space. With specific expertise in payroll, payments and point of sale technologies, she shares data and tells stories to help entrepreneurs, enterprises and every business in between make decisions with confidence.