Disbursements are still often made by putting a physical check in the mail. That’s right, whether it’s an insurance company sending payment for a claim, a consumer credit company making a refund, a utility company sending a claim. reimbursement or a higher education institution that reimburses students or teachers.
In fact, nearly 50% of policyholders still receive physical checks in the mail against insurance claims, according to Sanjay Gupta, executive vice president, responsible for the billing segment at ACI in the world. At the same time, he added, less than 20% of consumers want to receive payments this way.
“A number of consumers say the big concerns are about losing checks in the country / or taking time to deposit / cash them, but also the fact that they want to choose to receive their money directly on a bank account or other digital mechanism. “Gupta told PYMNTS in a recent interview.
Improve user experience
Digital disbursements not only provide choice for the consumer and make the process easier, but also make it more cost effective for the biller, as using checks is a very manual process.
From a biller’s perspective, there are three main themes when it comes to the benefits of digital disbursements, Gupta said. The first is that consumers’ expectations for user experience – whether they buy something online, take a drive, or stream music – are becoming increasingly demanding. When sending them a payment, billers find that offering choice is important to customer acquisition, retention and satisfaction.
“Consumers walk with their feet if they don’t get that from one company or one supplier over the other,” Gupta said.
Foster deeper engagement
Another theme has to do with grip. When consumers interact with a business, it is possible to numerically indicate other opportunities to deepen engagement in other aspects of the business.
“Where there is an available and open digital communication channel between the biller and the end consumer, it provides direct insight from the end consumer to the biller, and also helps to ensure a lifespan. longer from that consumer, ”Gupta explained. “For example, using digital touchpoints such as text messages or mobile wallets to send reminders and / or provide updates or information offers – think of new services or feature promotions – may improve loyalty through more frequent communications and cross-selling opportunities.
The third theme around the benefits of digital disbursements focuses on increasing efficiency, streamlining operations, reducing costs and eliminating friction.
“Using digital options with a payment hub for all kinds of inbound and outbound payments, including multi-party disbursements, is a great efficiency opportunity for the business,” Gupta said.
Promote other added values
Beyond disbursements, there is a shift towards consumers who want to prioritize digital and mobile in all transactions and communications with a business. As consumers become more comfortable with digital means, they expect them to be available in all facets of their daily activities.
Billers can benefit from these approaches, as any additional interaction is a chance for the biller to promote other benefits and services. “In some cases, [consumers] aren’t even aware of all the different added values that are being offered, ”Gupta said.
Provide a better end-to-end experience
Together, these elements contribute to a better experience for both the consumer and the biller. Unlike using physical checks, Gupta described a scenario where a consumer can file a digital claim for weather damage to their home very transparently – using their smartphone, they can provide insurer information and photos, monitor alerts and clarifications, and receive real-time payment seamlessly. And if other claimants are involved, there can be a digitally paid multi-party claim within minutes. For the insurer, this can be provided via a simplified payment hub that integrates disbursement, payment and invoice presentation and serves the entire insured’s claims journey.
“This type of end-to-end user experience creates a high level of satisfaction, reduces friction on both sides and can create a long-standing customer relationship,” Gupta said.