How Effective Are IVR Payment Systems?

Rebekah Carter

The answer might surprise you  

How Effective Are IVR Payment Systems?

Interactive voice response (IVR) is a staple for contact center operations, so it makes sense to leverage this existing system for payment processing.

The technology allows customers to process payments automatically without interacting with (or waiting for) a live agent. Such convenience can dramatically improve customer experience.

On the other hand, concerns exist around IVR complexity and navigation challenges that might impede seamless payment processing.

So, are IVR payment systems effective, and do they make sense for a modern contact center environment? To answer this question, let’s first consider how IVR payments work.

How Do IVR Payment Systems Work?

IVR payments – and IVRs in general – are a stalwart feature of inbound contact centers. They route incoming call queries and sometimes solve them without a live agent’s presence.

There are three ways in which IVR payments could work:

  1. Fully Automated Payment – The customer calls with the explicit intent of making a payment and is directly routed to the payment processing IVR.
  2. Mid-Call IVR – Here, the agent triggers the IVR payment process between a call, and the customer is redirected back to the live agent after completing the payment.
  3. Post-Call IVR – Typically used for debt collection, an automated call-back is initiated after the customer has conversed with an agent, which guides them through IVR payment.

The IVR uses DTMF recognition or speech recognition to securely accept payment details in all of these cases.

In the case of DTMF, the customer can enter the card number, CVC, and other details via the keypad, and the IVR will capture and process the necessary information.

Those harnessing speech recognition will require the customer to share these details.

What Makes Them Extremely Effective?

IVR payments offer many benefits to contact centers. For starters, they are much more secure than payments processed via live calls.

After all, there is no human being listening to the conversation, which makes the payment compliant with PCI DSS standards.

In addition, there is no need for the contact center to pause or resume call recordings to avoid inadvertently storing card details.

IVR payment systems also help businesses to:

  • Save Time: As there is no need for contact center agents to take payments, companies can lower handling times. Doing so, allows them to address other customers faster.
  • Increase Security: Most IVR payment systems are often more secure than having a human employee handle sensitive customer data. Also, they do not store card details, as businesses risk when agents take payments through their call recordings. Meanwhile, most of these tools are also PCI DSS-approved.
  • Improve Customer Experience: IVR payment systems allow customers to complete their transactions faster without waiting for an agent. They can also access greater peace of mind, knowing another human being isn’t hearing their card details.
  • Offer Round-the-Clock-Service: With automated IVR payment systems, companies can provide their customers with round-the-clock access to solutions for managing transactions. This means a company never misses out on payment just because an agent isn’t available to handle a call.
  • Capture More Business Insights: The solution allows customers to complete their transactions faster without waiting for an agent. They can also have greater peace of mind, knowing another human being isn’t hearing their card details.

Also, the automated nature of IVR payments allows businesses to integrate them with the necessary record-keeping and audit mechanisms with minimal manual effort.

Finally, successful payments on the first try will encourage customers to return with repeat business, thereby, increasing lifetime value.

Leveraging IVR Payment Systems for CX

Automated payment systems help businesses to save time, streamline processes, and make the most of their resources. Meanwhile, they may also deliver a better quality of service.

Moreover, in some cases, an IVR payment system can increase security and compliance in the eyes of regulatory leaders.

IVR systems can also integrate with other business systems to help with reconciling accounts and financial information. This leaves less work for team members to do at the end of each call.

Moreover, around 60 percent of customers not already using self-service say they would be happy to connect with a tech system over a human being. When it comes to making payments, this percentage likely climbs much higher.

Yet, they are sometimes expensive, costing up to $1750 per line. Such a rate will likely include the costs of hosting, software integrations, and payment integrations.

To learn more about the IVR systems of tomorrow, read our article: The Future of Voicebots: Much More Than an IVR Alternative



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