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To paylink or not to paylink? The pros and cons revealed

Businesses, increasingly concerned with the deliverability and effectiveness of their invoices, have been turning to paylinks. How do paylinks work? And are they really that effective? Read on and find out. 

 

The decline of the ‘traditional post office’ is a universal theme all over the world. If your payment collection process is primarily based on sending out traditional letters via the post, you’re probably seeing the effectiveness of your strategy declining year over year. 

 

Consumers, especially younger generations, have either adopted or have grown up with a digital-first mindset. They travel a lot, they often move from city to city in search of job opportunities and see homeownership as less of a priority when compared to their parents’ generation. 

 

Paylinks – digital payment made easy

For many people nowadays, the last thing they need is a paper envelope in the mail containing ‘important information.’ As far as they are concerned, if your message was really that important, you could have reached them in better, more immediate ways. 

 

One strategy for improving the effectiveness of invoices is to embrace the digital experience and send payment links instead. Payment links or simply paylinks for short, are personalized URLs embedded in email, SMS messages or printed in letters as scannable QR-codes. Once clicked or scanned, the links redirect the customers to a secure online environment where the payment can be made.

 

Are paylinks the ultimate solution for payment requests? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of sending out paylinks through e-mail.

 

The pros of using paylinks

 

Cost reduction

Sending out paper letters costs money, both in terms of postage and the raw materials required. By comparison, going paperless means getting similar results at only a fraction of the cost. 

 

Lower DSO

A paylink redirects the customer to a payment page for the specific invoice in question. Since all the information is pre-filled, a paylink saves the customer a lot of time. Moreover, when customers pay via paylink, businesses are instantly made aware of the payment. With digital paylinks, keeping admin up to date is a breeze.  

 

More payment methods

When a customer enters the payment page, they are presented with a wide range of payment methods. These include the local, regional and international payment methods customers know and trust. Customers may be delighted to find out that they can use a credit card or Paypal when making a payment to a local company. 

Sustainability

Sending out traditional letters isn’t very good for the environment. Most companies nowadays are aware of their ecological impact and many have even aligned themselves to some extent with the sustainable development goals put forth by the United Nations. By going digital, companies reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a greener planet.

 

Broader strategic options

Though paylinks are often used in e-mail, it’s important to realize that paylinks come in various forms. For example, a paylink can be sent via SMS or presented to the customer when they engage with a chatbot.  Another benefit is the fact that e-mail paylinks can provide businesses with the opportunity to properly register more customers – in accordance with GDPR – by driving them towards creating an online account. 

 

Wide adoption 

Paylinks are also an opportunity when it comes to reaching older demographics. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought everybody together in the online world an accelerated the process of digital adoption. Older demographics are now also creating SaaS accounts, paying their bills online and engaging with others via video calls, emails and social media platforms. 

 

The cons of using paylinks

 

Permission

Sending out digital invoices isn’t something companies can do from one day to the next. European businesses are legally bound by GDPR. This means they need to acquire a customer’s explicit permission before sending them a paylink via e-mail or SMS. Some businesses, as part of their general business practices, may have already acquired permission from some customers, but not for others. 

 

Luckily, as previously mentioned, a major benefit of paylinks is the ability to drive customers to create online accounts. In other words, the proper implementation of paylinks accelerates customer registration and helps businesses remain GDPR compliant. 

 

Trust issues

Everybody with an e-mail inbox receives SPAM or phishing emails. Some are savvy enough to tell the difference instantly, others may not know what the signs are and how to separate legitimate emails from scams. Companies need to make sure their e-mails are consistent with their brand and tone of voice. 

 

Deliverability

Sending out thousands of transactional emails as a business is not the same as sending out marketing newsletters to customers. To ensure deliverability of transactional emails, SMTP servers and IP addresses need to be whitelisted and list maintenance needs to be carried out regularly. 

 

Open rates

Inbox fatigue is a real issue. Many people receive hundreds of emails per day. It’s totally conceivable that a message could slip through the cracks and never be seen.   

 

Paylinks – a must-have tool

When it comes to paylinks, the pros outnumber, outweigh and resolve the cons. In fact, when implemented correctly, the personalized paylink is a cost-efficient and highly effective must-have tool in a company’s payment collection arsenal. 

 

From lowering costs and improving GDPR compliance to making the payment experience quicker and more customer-friendly, it’s safe to say that the benefits of implementing paylinks within a dunning strategy are clear.

 

My advice? Align yourself with a partner who can help you navigate the legal and technological hurdles your customers face. The potential pitfalls, though notable, can easily be mitigated by working on the implementation of a paylink strategy alongside experienced professionals. 

 

At Alphacomm, we’re happy to help manage risks and provide you with the means to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. If you’d like to spar about how to improve the dunning process within large organizations, reach out to us anytime. 

 

Catalin Draghici

Product Owner Paymaxx

Major upgrade for Voice Reminders service

We’re pleased to announce that the upgrade is now official. Key improvements are the new API and increased flexibility of call paths. With the new API, customers can integrate our solution into their own services, enabling them to monitor the steps their debtors are taking. 

 

Moreover, with the increased flexibility of call paths, we’re able to integrate voice calls into different features and situations. For example, our customers can now allow their debtors to start a call by clicking a button on a web page. Another added benefit is that we can also match the call speeds or forwards depending on the activity and availability of call centers. 

 

To find out more about other technical benefits and real-world applications, we recommend you get in touch with the product owner of our Reminders service Rick Kraaijeveld (rick[at]alphacomm.nl).

 

Here’s a list of all the updated features:

 

* API accessibility. The voice service is ready for integration in client services.

* Better tracking of call results, which are updated during a call, where we can follow all results.

* More flexibility in the usage of variables in voice scripts.

* Increased scalability. Scale up when the traffic peaks and scale down once it reduces.

* Easier to add new voices and languages due to automatic conversion of sound files.

* Possibility to add web hooks to give customers real-time information via API and faster result handling.

* Possibilities to handle scheduling better and more flexible.

Introducing SMS Dashboard

Collectmaxx, our reminder & dunning solution, already offers a dashboard overview of outbound calls. Today we present the SMS dashboard. If you are using SMS scripts you can find insights in our new dashboard.

 

 

In this overview, you can see the total amount of created, failed and delivered events of the current day. It is also possible to search in past days for clear overviews and details.

If you are not currently using our SMS service, but you are interested to do so, then you can contact us to discuss your options. With the SMS service, you can send paylinks very easily and your customers will be re-directed to the payment page in a blink of an eye.

 

 

New Currencies added to our Reminders platform

As European companies continue to expand beyond their own borders, the ability to ‘speak the same currency’ becomes more important.

We’ve recently added new currencies to our Reminders platform. Your customers can now use the Czech Crown and US Dollar in their forecasts, reports, quotes and other currency fields.

The US Dollar can be used in the following countries:

  • United States of America
  • Puerto Rico
  • Ecuador
  • Republic of El Salvador
  • Zimbabwe
  • Guam
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
  • American Samoa
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Palau
  • Marshall Islands

If you want to offer these new currencies to your customers, you can contact us, and we will set it up for you.

Additionally, if any other currency is requested from your customers, we can add it! Contact us, and we will make their reminders as international as their organization.

Understaffed Call centres?

We offer you a solution for less calls at the same time

Most emails and SMS with pay links are being sent at the same time in the morning. For some companies, this comes paired with a lot of calls with questions from customers. Taking into account COVID-19, some call centres are understaffed. This can cause a problem for all the incoming calls from customers.

So we offer you a solution. We can configure your campaigns to spread the sending of emails/SMS over the day, instead of sending them all at the beginning of the day. This will result in customer calls being spread throughout the day and your call centres will be able to answer all of your customers’ questions.

If you are interested in this solution please contact us, and we will arrange it for you.

 

Are you already an Alphacomm customer?

You can check your current Delivery times as follows: Go to the Scripts overview page and click on the script name. Then open the PayMail or SMS tab. There you can view the “Delivery time start“ and “Delivery time end“ settings.

Note: Only people with the manager role can view the configuration of campaigns.

New payment method: Carte Bancair

Are you active in France and do you want to offer your French customers an optimal payment experience? Then you can not do it without Carte Bancaire.

Carte Bancaire has more than 60 million cardholders

Carte Bancaire is the most used payment method in France. Before Carte Bancaire it was called Carte Bleue. The payment card is still popularly known as Carte Bleue.

Carte Bancaire is a Visa-branded debit card and is the most popular payment method in France. This is evident from the fact that Carte Bancaire has more than 60 million cardholders, which makes the payment card indispensable for an entrepreneur. This popular payment card is issued by all major French banks. Half of all payment cards are suitable for making online payments. This concerns all Carte Bancaire cards on which the “Verified by Visa” logo can be found.

Carte Bancaire is now added to our payment methods and all customers with these payment cards can pay securely online through our 130R Platform.