The Home Run of Digital Payment Adoption

Adoption Thought Leadership

By Kristen Lemoi, Manager of the Client Adoption Success Team

One of the most iconic quotes in all of movies may come from the award-winning film Field of Dreams: “If you build it, he will come.” In this instance, the “he” referred to by the mysterious voice is our main character’s estranged father, while the “it” he must build is a baseball field.

We have seen many billers adopt a similar mindset when implementing new payment methods, channels and even a new solution:

While it really is that simple in the movies, ingrained customer behaviors and preferences are challenges billers must solve to drive digital payment adoption. Here’s how you can attract new customers to your most cost-effective billing and payment methods and channels that you’ve built up and invested in.

Launching New Channels Does Not Equal Adoption

One of the greatest benefits Paymentus offers billers is the ability to give their customers more ways to pay. This revolves around our comprehensive, inclusive set of digital payment offerings that give customers more flexibility, choice and convenience in how they pay, and enables billers to save through these more cost-effective channels and methods.

But data from the most recent How Americans Pay Their Bills report shows that offering digital payments or payment capabilities such as AutoPay does not ensure adoption.

What The Data Is Telling Us

The most important takeaway is that there’s a lot of opportunity – and a lot at stake. While almost all billers do offer some form of digital payments, recurring payments or online payment portals, it’s obvious these are underutilized. And this can have a major impact on a biller’s bottom line.

The cost of processing checks (estimated at $3/per), risk of late payments from those making one-time payments each month and the challenge of collecting cash payments necessitate the adoption of more effective and cost-efficient digital billing and payment channels and methods.

In my role as manager of the Paymentus Client Adoption Success Team (CAST), I have had the privilege of working with many clients that have exceeded industry average adoption rates by following these three strategies.

1. Deploying Comprehensive Marketing Awareness Campaigns

One of the most important conversion drivers for our clients is a commitment to an ongoing, omnichannel marketing campaign promoting their billing and payment capabilities to customers. These campaigns generally involve a mix of web banners, social media, emails, in-office signage, bill inserts and even PR.

The goal is to both surround customers with promotional materials and reinforce your message at multiple touchpoints. The key is to remember your audience and the objective of your campaign. If you’re looking to turn in-person cash bill payers into digital adopters, in-office materials are essential. If you’re targeting younger bill payers, social is a must.

Ideally, campaigns should run for three months at minimum to ensure visibility and reinforce the messaging. Though often, we recommend our clients commit to at least a six month campaign.

2. Incentivizing Adoption

Question: Which of these messages has been proven to drive greater customer adoption?

A. Sign up for AutoPay and ensure your bill is paid on time

B. Sign up for AutoPay for your chance to win a $500 gift card

If you said “B”, you are correct. CAST clients implementing incentive campaigns have experienced a 40% higher average growth rate in online payments versus those relying on awareness campaigns.

Of course, both incentive and awareness campaigns outperform relying on organic growth. But it’s clear that when customers are offered an incentive to try a new payment method, they are likely to respond. What’s more, the goodwill earned makes for great PR and social media content that your team can further use to promote your new offerings.

3. Measuring and Adjusting Tactics

Driving adoption through marketing is far from set-it-and-forget-it. Measurement and reporting is the key that ties every successful campaign together. Tracking adoption metrics and weighing them against various campaign tactics allows you to course correct and ensure the right mix of marketing materials.

CAST works to provide our clients with actionable data to help guide our efforts in the development of follow up campaigns or the creation of new campaigns for similar clients. This data provides a roadmap that has allowed us to deliver a 15% average increase in transaction volume versus those without a campaign.

For billers with around 100K bills per month, we have seen this average increase of 15K per month benefit them in terms of accelerating revenue, reducing call volumes, reducing days sales outstanding (DSO) and driving cost savings by limiting the need to process checks and mail-in payments.

Taken together, the stats show that, unlike in the movies, building a best-in-class billing and payment platform does not mean that your customers will come. Your offerings must be marketed with relevant messaging and through strategic channels.

Whether you choose to work with an agency, with CAST or want to keep it in-house, the results show that marketing your offerings does work. With 2024 just underway, now is the perfect time to strategize and create a campaign (or two) that will create new digital adopters all year round.

Interested in marketing your billing and payment offerings but not sure where to start? CAST is ready to help! Our team can craft tailored campaigns to meet your specific goals – at no cost to Paymentus clients. Learn more about CAST and view case studies showcasing CAST client success.