#10things payment providers need provide for Black Friday

Enterprises preparing for Black Friday need to ask their payment providers some hard questions, says Andrew Pillay, Head of International Sales at Peach Payments.

Enterprises that are preparing for Black Friday need to ask their payment providers some hard questions, says Andrew Pillay, Head of International Sales at Peach Payments, citing the lessons learnt about payment platforms and Black Friday. This is what Pillay advises:

1. Avoid systems crash: Black Friday and outages – of networks, websites and banking systems – are almost synonymous because systems crash during that time under the deluge of discount-seeking shoppers. While local businesses have learned to plan much more effectively over the years, the spectre of payment gateway and website downtime still looms large for ecommerce site decision-makers. Steps must be taken in advance to avoid this.

2. Redundancy: If a business is sending all of its payment requests to a single bank and the bank’s infrastructure gets overloaded, the payment will fail. Ideally your payment gateway should be able to send a transaction to a different bank if the first one is unavailable for whatever reason. The ability to switch banks proved invaluable to a large local online marketplace a few years ago, when one bank’s payment interface buckled under the pressure of shopping volumes.

3. Re-process orders: If customers’ attempts at processing a payment fail, the gateway should be able to re-process the order via a different payment method.

4. Provide alternative payment methods: During Black Friday, it’s imperative to be able to offer customers a range of different ways of paying, without making them go through the order process again. This prevents the sale from being lost.

5. Conversion rates: Redundancy in payment methods ties into another critical aspect of Black Friday sales figures – improving conversion rates. Businesses spend a lot of money to get people onto a website to buy products, but if they’re not actually checking out their basket, what can be done?

6. Remarketing: This is where remarketing should be built into the customer journey to entice people who may be dithering – or waiting for even just a small additional discount – to complete the purchase. Enterprises should double check that their payment platforms can assist with this process, and activate payment platform modules that facilitate remarketing.

7. After Black Friday: Business leaders tend to focus on couriers and delivery issues after Black Friday, but spare a thought for Accounts departments that have to reconcile payments into the business’s bank account with dispatched orders. This can be a nightmare because Black Friday volumes push the whole business into overdrive, including the back office.

8. Bank reconciliations: This is one of the biggest challenges faced by any online business, particularly when faced with a deluge of Black Friday transactions that have to pass muster with auditors.

9. Payment gateways: Make sure your payment gateway plays nicely with your accounting system, and double-check with your staff that they are receiving the information they need to do their jobs. This will prevent Black Friday from becoming an accounting black hole.

10. Engage with payment providers: Ensuring Black Friday runs smoothly without ecommerce failures, means engaging with payment providers in advance to find out their mitigation strategies – and asking the hard questions.


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