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What are omni channel payments?

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Last editedAug 20236 min read

Omnichannel payments refer to a comprehensive and seamless payment ecosystem that enables customers to make transactions across various channels, including online platforms, brick-and-mortar stores, mobile applications, and other digital touchpoints. By integrating multiple payment options, such as bank payments, card payments, and emerging digital wallets, omnichannel payments provide consumers with a unified experience, allowing them to initiate and complete transactions effortlessly. This holistic approach not only enhances convenience for customers but also empowers businesses to optimise conversions, improve customer satisfaction, and drive growth.01

Here is a quick guide to what you need to know about them.

The basics of omnichannel payment processing

There are two main ways to implement omnichannel payment processing. They can be used independently or combined. Using the first option, customers on a single platform are presented with a range of payment options. They simply choose the one that suits them. 

With the second option, the payment options are adjusted to suit the channel the customer is using. This may result in the customer only seeing one payment option on each channel. However, it is usually possible for merchants to offer different payment options on a single channel.

In either case, the customer’s experience is kept as straightforward as possible. They see very little difference – if any – between omnichannel payments and single payments, as all the technicalities are handled on the merchant’s side. For practical purposes, that generally means they are handled by the merchant’s payment gateway and payment processor.

Omnichannel payments and omnichannel strategy

Merchants can use omnichannel payments even if they’re not operating an omnichannel strategy. By contrast, merchants who are using an omnichannel strategy need to support omnichannel payments. 

It’s very likely that the vast majority of modern merchants are using an omnichannel strategy, even if they don’t think of it that way. For example, many online merchants also offer the option to make an order over the phone. This is a very basic omnichannel strategy. 

It’s becoming increasingly important for merchants to leverage the opportunities that an omnichannel strategy offers. Quite simply, the more channels a merchant can use effectively, the more potential customers they can reach. 

The key word in that sentence is “effectively.” Be careful of over-stretching your resources. SMBs are particularly vulnerable to this. With that in mind, it’s advisable to expand into new channels slowly, mindfully, and strategically. In particular, make sure that you are offering the right payment options for each channel.

The mechanics of omnichannel payments

There are three key elements of omni-channel payments. These are customer experience, omnichannel payment processing, and omnichannel payment management.

Customer experience

It’s vital to keep the customer experience as straightforward and frictionless as possible. The starting point for this is using the right payment methods for each channel. Present the payment methods in a way that’s easy for the customer to use. 

Making the right choices can require you to look closely at the details of individual solutions. For example, some digital wallets are very simple to use on websites but very difficult to use for in-app payments, or vice versa.

It’s also important to note that implementing omnichannel payments does not require you to support every possible payment option. This would likely confuse customers and increase the risk of cart abandonment. Instead, strike a balance between choice and simplicity.

Omnichannel payment processing

Implementing omnichannel payment processing may require you to invest in new equipment or software. You will very likely need to work with more than one payment gateway or payment processor. If so, familiarise yourself with the costs and rules for each vendor.

Omnichannel payment management

The fact that you’re probably going to need to use more than one payment processor means that you may need to take a different approach to payment management. If you’re simply using your current provider’s tools, you have two options.

The first is to learn how to use the equivalent tools provided by your new vendors. The second is to invest in some form of third-party software to coordinate all aspects of payment management. Many accounting packages can handle this capably. This means that if you’re already using one, just add your new payment options to it.

Key Takeaways

  • Omnichannel payments allow customers to make transactions seamlessly across different channels like online, in-store, and mobile apps. It provides a unified experience.

  • Two main ways to implement: present multiple payment options on one platform or adjust options based on the channel. The goal is to keep the customer experience simple.

  • Omnichannel payments support omnichannel sales strategies. Merchants don't need an omnichannel strategy to offer omnichannel payments.

  • Important for merchants to leverage omnichannel opportunities to reach more potential customers. Expand slowly and strategically.

  • Key elements are customer experience, omnichannel payment processing, and omnichannel payment management.

  • Customer experience should be frictionless. Choose the right payment methods for each channel. Don't need to support every option - strike a balance.

  • May need new software/equipment and work with multiple gateways/processors – understand costs and rules. 

  • May need a different payment management approach across channels – vendor tools or third-party software.

GoCardless can seamlessly integrate into an omnichannel payment mix by offering a versatile and user-friendly payment solution – reducing the complexity of managing multiple payment providers. This ensures a consistent payment experience for customers across different touchpoints and improves customer satisfaction, convenience, and brand loyalty.

With GoCardless, businesses can leverage its robust API to streamline their payment processes, consolidate reporting and analytics, and gain better visibility into their revenue streams. Ultimately, this simplification leads to improved operational efficiency and cost savings for businesses.

Case Study: Funding Circle

Funding Circle, an online marketplace for business loans, achieved significant growth and needed to streamline its back-end processes. Implementing GoCardless, an automated payment solution, enabled Funding Circle to scale its operations, preventing payments from becoming a bottleneck or compliance risk.

According to Chris Latchford, Funding Circle’s Global Head of Payments Strategy,

We needed our processes to be able to scale with us. Moving to GoCardless was the natural step in our payments evolution to allow us to scale, without payments being the limiting factor.

Integration was straightforward, and by automating payment processes, Funding Circle started experiencing efficiency benefits immediately:

GoCardless’ API user documents are really clear, which allowed our engineers to build out the integration efficiently. We have significantly reduced the time we spend managing payments. Our team is freed up from some activities and has been able to shift their focus. We have also reduced risk since we no longer need to manually manipulate this data to be able to upload it into our systems. The whole repayment operation now takes much less time, and we have greater control and visibility.

This reduction in manual tasks allowed the team to shift their focus and have greater control and visibility.

Improving the customer experience was also a priority for Funding Circle, according to Chris:

We want to make sure that access to funding is as easy as it can be for eligible businesses. 

With GoCardless, businesses could sign up for Direct Debit online during the loan application process, resulting in a 97.3% success rate for completing mandates on the first attempt.

GoCardless provided timely reporting, allowing Funding Circle to respond quickly to customer queries:

The GoCardless solution gives us access to data we need to update our investor and borrower accounts quickly and react in the right way to customer queries. 

Chris continued,

As a trusted payments partner, GoCardless also supported Funding Circle's compliance needs. From a compliance perspective, we’re constantly having to evolve, and it’s really important that our chosen partners can support us in this. We were looking for a trusted payments partner - and we have found GoCardless to be one.

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Setting up payment collection is fast and efficient with GoCardless. By automating the payment collection process, GoCardless drastically cuts down the administrative responsibilities of managing and tracking invoices for your team. 

GoCardless makes it quick and easy to get started with no contracts or long-term commitment required. You can set up one-off or recurring payments in the merchant dashboard in just a few clicks. GoCardless automatically creates and sends all the necessary forms, doing all the heavy lifting for you. You can also connect to GoCardless via over 350 partner apps, such as Xero and Salesforce.

Discover how GoCardless can automate payment collection, making it easier for you to concentrate on what matters most – your business growth.

FAQ: Omnichannel payments

What is the difference between omnichannel and multichannel payment?

When it comes to online transactions, omnichannel payment, and multichannel payment are two distinct concepts.

While multichannel payment refers to the availability of multiple payment options across various channels, such as online platforms, brick-and-mortar stores, and mobile applications, omnichannel payment encompasses a more integrated and seamless approach.

Omni-channel payment goes beyond mere availability, focusing on providing a unified and consistent payment experience across different channels. It ensures that customers can initiate and complete transactions seamlessly, regardless of the channel they choose, with the payment process synchronised and harmonised across the entire customer journey. 

Is omnichannel still a thing?

In short, yes – omnichannel is still a prominent and crucial aspect of the modern business landscape. 

Despite the evolving digital landscape, the concept of omnichannel remains highly relevant and valuable. In fact, it has become even more essential in today's consumer-centric era. As technology continues to advance and customer expectations evolve, the concept of omnichannel will undoubtedly remain a crucial foundation for successful businesses striving to thrive in the competitive digital landscape.

What is omnichannel payment provider?

An omnichannel payment provider refers to a comprehensive service or platform that empowers businesses to seamlessly accept and process payments across multiple channels and touchpoints. 

This specialised provider offers a unified infrastructure that integrates various payment methods, such as credit cards, debit cards, mobile wallets, and online banking, allowing customers to choose their preferred payment option across different channels, including online platforms, mobile applications, brick-and-mortar stores, and more. An omnichannel payment provider ensures a cohesive and consistent payment experience by synchronising payment data, streamlining transaction processes, and providing centralised reporting and management capabilities.

By leveraging the capabilities of an omnichannel payment provider, businesses can enhance customer convenience, improve operational efficiency, and maximise revenue opportunities by providing a seamless and unified payment experience across all channels, fostering growth and success in the dynamic digital landscape.

Over 70,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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