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How to drive better customer experiences through payments 

The payments landscape has changed quickly in recent years, with more digital options available, as well as Open Banking payments. This is the case across most sectors, including financial services where customers must make regular and one-off payments for products like mortgages and savings accounts.  

People want fast, frictionless and secure payment options from their financial services provider – which was evident from our recent survey of 2,000 consumers, aimed at uncovering behaviours and preferences around payments. The results are detailed in our report, Charting the course: understanding payment trends in the financial services sector in 2024.

In a competitive market, effective payment processes are becoming a key factor that sets firms apart. However, the challenge lies in delivering the level of choice and service quality that customers expect in the most streamlined and efficient manner. So how can this be done?  

1. Prioritise security 

In the digital era, safeguarding sensitive customer data is paramount for financial institutions. Our research reveals that 40% of respondents prioritise secure payment processing when selecting a provider, highlighting its critical importance. Payment processing software plays a pivotal role in addressing these concerns. 

To effectively combat risks such as data breaches and identity theft, multi-channel payment solutions offer consumers flexibility without compromising security. Implementing robust encryption protocols, maintaining continuous monitoring for suspicious activities, and providing regular cyber security training for staff are all essential measures to protect customers and maintain their trust.  Prioritising security not only shields customer data but also fosters trust and confidence in financial services. It signifies a steadfast commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity and reliability. 

Opting for the latest SaaS (Software as a Service) payment software ensures that your system undergoes regular checks and updates, reducing the risk of data loss. 

A solution that meets PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and GDPR standards minimises the risk of fraud, while also helping to improve and streamline your fraud and risk management capabilities. These include Identity & Verification (ID&V), Know Your Customer (KYC), and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks. 

2. Give customers a choice 

Our research highlights how much people value a range of payment options – and this is where multi-channel payments come into play. Customers can choose their preferred payment method depending on what is convenient for them at any given time. 

While many are comfortable completing transactions entirely online or via an app, others may need more support either in branch or via a contact centre.  

By using technology to improve their efficiency, you can deliver an impeccable service while also controlling costs. For instance, a semi-automated or fully automated IVR (interactive voice response) in contact centres can handle large volumes of calls, ensuring staff are allocated to the most complex cases. Another option is sending secure payment links which may be via SMS or live chat. This eliminates the need for customers to read out their card data when on the phone to an advisor and can strengthen their trust in online payments 

3. Consider how Open Banking could make payments easier 

Open Banking offers financial services businesses numerous advantages when it comes to payments. Well over half (56%) of our survey respondents have used it or would do – and the appetite is only likely to grow over the coming years.  

Through Open Banking APIs, businesses gain access to customers' account information, enabling personalised payment solutions and streamlined processes, resulting in faster settlements and improved cash flow management.  

Leveraging Open Banking allows businesses to not only reduce fraud risks as a result of enhanced security, but could deliver superior customer experiences through tailored recommendations and loyalty programs.  

As well as ensuring compliance with regulatory standards, Open Banking presents an opportunity for businesses to optimise payments, drive innovation, and build trust with customers and regulators. 

Read more: Charting the course: understanding payment trends in the financial services sector in 2024

4. Make payments part of customer experience 

Payments are a key part of the customer journey, and the ease with which people can complete a transaction will influence their perception of the brand. All-too-often, providers invest in their websites, but their payment pages are unbranded and functional at best. 

Given the time and finances involved in nurturing potential customers towards making a purchase, any risks of them not completing the payment should be avoided at all costs. Consumers are increasingly aware of the potential for online scams or fraud, so changes to the look and feel of the customer journey to this point could be enough for them to reconsider.  

Your payments software can help you to create a bespoke payment page, so you maintain the trust and brand equity that has culminated in a transaction. 

5. Deliver value to customers 

Standing out in a competitive market is essential, and payments are a key differentiator.  

Over half of customers in the survey (52%) found high street banks best meet their payment needs – with building societies, which ranked second, a long way behind at 18%, and fintechs even further down at 9%.  

Major financial institutions have been honing their payment systems for many years – however, there are opportunities for other providers to make improvements and capitalise on their USPs. Since building societies don’t pay dividends to shareholders, they can plough any savings they make into rewards for their members. Similarly, fintechs don’t need to fund branches so the savings they make could be used to improve customers’ experience when using the website or app.  

Automation via your payment software helps to speed up and reduce the cost of processing payments. It also offers an unrivalled level of accuracy and allows you to concentrate your staff in the right areas to support customers. Taken together, this gives even smaller providers a chance to compete with the biggest names in financial services. 


The good news is that offering a seamless payment experience is within reach, thanks to integrated payment systems that support Direct Debit, Open Banking, telephone and online banking, and more.  

Frictionless payment software from a reliable and trusted provider can streamline your payments effortlessly. Access PaySuite has over 20 years of experience in payments, and is FCA regulated and a BACS Approved Bureau, so you have peace of mind that your customers financial data is secure.  

Want to know more?

If you're ready to elevate your payment experience and boost customer satisfaction, Access PaySuite is here to help. Contact us today to explore tailored solutions for your business.