February 2015, Cape Town, South Africa: Merchants should implement recurring payments within their businesses to improve their own cash flow and reduce costs, but automatic billing can also help build customer loyalty through the added convenience.

In much the same way that shops with longer hours and a better selection will often do more business than others, merchants who can offer recurring payments can earn loyalty from often busy customers that appreciate added convenience.

“Providing your customers with extra convenience is an excellent reason to move automatic bill payments to the forefront in your business,” says Glen Ross, sales director at MyGate.

“Merchants should develop clear strategies for promoting automatic bill payment programmes, offering benefits to their customers in terms of efficiency and easing their own processes and cash flow issues.”

When considering the rollout of an automatic bill payment programme, merchants need to be aware that not all customers will want to take part, but those that do are likely to be busy, successful people. Any strategy, therefore, needs to keep this customer in mind and make the process quick and easy.

Customers can be persuaded to sign up to recurring payments schemes in a variety of ways. Different people respond to different messages, while most will need to be told about the benefits of the programme on a number of occasions before they sign up.

“You should sell your programme at every opportunity,” says Ross.

“Clearly invite your customers to take the necessary action to enroll, and offer a clear sign-up process. Opportunities to do this come up all the time while running your business. Include calls to action on all invoices, statements, letters or newsletters. And get all your employees on board. Whenever a customer gets in contact with your company, they can be persuaded to sign up.”

A simple way of doing this is informative on-hold messages, which essentially offer free advertising opportunities, and making sure employees are motivated to to sign people up to the programme, perhaps through a short-term employee incentive programme.

The internet can also be used as a powerful tool to market recurring payments. Customers that sign up for automatic bill payments are usually more tech-savvy than others, so merchants would be well-advised to use the internet when marketing. Information should be clearly displayed on the company website, while banner adverts can also be implemented. It is also important to enable customers to sign up for recurring billing online, saving them the effort of calling, while they should also be able to manage – and cancel – their automatic bill payment online.

About MyGate

MyGate, one of Africa’s largest and fastest growing online payment gateways, helps thousands of merchants accept payments online and process billions of Rand annually.
Processing methods provided include online, MOTO, recurring payments and debit orders. The company also offers a tokenisation system to eliminate the need for merchants to store customer credit card data.

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, MyGate serves merchants throughout Africa, such as DSTV, Naspers, HomeChoice, Mr. Delivery, and Web Tickets. MyGate’s enterprise payment gateway solutions, guidance and expert advice help merchants accept more payments from their customers and sell more.

For more information on MyGate, please visit www.mygate.co.za or call 021 555 3260.

MyGate. Sell more.