Leveraging the benefits from digital technology

The benefits of digital technology include reduced cost, faster cash flow and a better customer experience.  Here are some insights into key trends, and some quick tips to leverage technology.

The digital age has given us technologies that have empowered consumers in phenomenal ways.  This is particularly true for payments technology.  Just ten years ago, most transactions would have happened direct through the merchant, with the customer either being present in the store, or speaking to someone over the phone to complete the purchase.  But with the innovative technologies available today, customers both have the capability and expectation of being able to pay how they want and when they want.

This raises two important questions for all companies:

1.     What types of payments technologies should be installed across the operational network?

2.     How do you leverage maximum value out of the technology?

What types of payment technologies should be installed across the operational network?

Because new technology is available all of the time, the temptation is to wait for the next enhancement before incorporating technology into the operational framework.  But the benefit of new technology is that it enables greater cash flow efficiency, reductions in cost, and an improved customer experience.  All of which should enable greater profitability for the business.

When considering what technologies to install, start with the customer.  Consider how customers like to make payments, and how any technology will improve the transactional experience within the business.  For example, customers are demonstrating a significant preference for online payments and, when they are in a store there is a preference for Tap’n’Go style payments.  The same considerations should also apply for business-to-business transactions. 

Fundamentally, the problem being solved is how to make the payment experience seamless, so that it is the least noticeable part of the transaction for the customer.

How do you leverage maximum value out of the technology?

The final consideration lies in leveraging the technology to get the best value out of it. In a lot of instances, businesses only use a portion of the capability of the technology available to them.

At one end of the spectrum are strategic considerations such as the ability to collect and use the data collected from technology in a profitable way.  At the other end of the spectrum are practical, operational functions that the technology can support the business with, such as:

  • Easily making additional payments to suppliers and staff over Christmas
  •  Increasing limits for seasonal purchasing to enable customer direct entry files to be authorized
  •  Enabling additional payment authorizers to cover annual leave commitments
  • Pre-dating direct entry files to ensure they are not missed during peak periods

Next steps

  1. Revisit the strategic plan and consider which payments technologies actively support ongoing business operations, and are likely to improve cash flow, profitability and customer experience.
  2. Start a conversation with your Westpac Relationship Manager to discuss: The right technologies to support your business, and hints, tips and insights on how to get the best out of the technology.