The headline of this article suggests that businesses should focus on invisible payments which raised my hackles since consumers should show intent before making a payment. As it happens the article is really discussing how B2C payments for incentives, rebates, and disbursements can be made more impactful to the recipient – which is kind of the opposite of invisible?
All that said, Mercator has identified 40+ Payments as a Service platforms that are available to implement the services described in this article that support prepaid, debit push, and ACH:
“Compensation is another business process that has everything to gain from invisible, embedded payments — which may come as a surprise to anyone who currently takes direct deposits for granted. For instance, freelancer payments can often be a chore for both payers and payees. Making payments outside of the payroll cycle can be administratively burdensome and costly for organizations, while 2018 research from Bill.com (via Small Business Trends) found that for over half of freelancers, payments don’t arrive fast enough. In addition, today’s workers can benefit from more flexible options, like the ability to make cross-border deposits. Companies should develop systems to enable payments in a few clicks — whether it’s a one-time virtual payment for an ad hoc project or a transfer to an international worker’s bank account.
Organizations that plan to make progress toward truly invisible payments need to first start by reimagining the customer experience. That means meeting customers where they currently are — which largely means on mobile today. As of 2020, 227.5 million people in the U.S. were online shoppers — about 69% of the current population. And as consumers increasingly relocate aspects of their lives to virtual spaces, I’ve found that they also expect to be able to receive payments like rebates, refunds and earnings through these channels. To fulfill consumer preferences, businesses should streamline and update outdated processes, like cutting checks, and offer customers their choice of how to receive payment. From an organizational standpoint, innovative firms can build out cross-functional payments teams that integrate elements of finance, operations, marketing and customer experience. These teams should be charged with leveraging payments to elevate their companies’ financial efficiency objectives while also delivering better customer experiences and lifetime value. These days, many of the tech companies, telcos and other players I’ve worked with that are seeking to build digitally-enabled customer experiences have dedicated payments teams, and I expect to see this trend continue in earnest.”
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group