Frictionless ordering experiences are crucial to the customer experience, especially during the transaction process. No consumer wants to be told at the end of their shopping journey that their preferred payment method is not accepted, or their pending payment has been declined. In fact, a recent Finance Magnates study found that 62% of customers will not re-shop with a brand after facing a single obstacle when making a payment. Being inconvenienced is a major deterrent to consumers, and a single mishap during the transaction process can negatively influence their current and future buying decisions.
Moreover, there was a clear shift towards cashless and contactless payments throughout the pandemic, and to meet customers’ changing preferences, brands began adopting new payment methods.
Consumer expectations now include not only a choice of payment options but also optimal security against cyber threats and fraud, and extremely fast processing times. A proven way brands can deliver on the guest experience is through unified payments.
But what exactly is a unified payments platform?
What is the meaning of unified payments?
Unified payments, also known as payment orchestration, are the combination of a payment gateway, payment processor, online ordering solution, loyalty platform, and POS software, all from a single vendor. These integrated solutions provide brands with a more cost-effective platform that scales with them as they grow and allows them to manage the entire end-to-end payment process – including onboarding, payment authorization, transaction routing, fulfilling settlements, and support – all on a single platform. With unified payments, brands can enhance the customer journey by creating secure, consistent, unique, and seamless guest payment experiences in all locations.
Why are unified payments important for brand operations?
Payment orchestration platforms have revolutionized the transaction process for operators as they are designed to create seamless tech stacks, drive operational efficiencies, reduce vendor complexity, and enhance customer experiences. Operators looking to implement unified payments will only need to go through one vendor, or a one-stop shop, for all the technologies needed to establish these platforms, ultimately saving them valuable time when researching for systems. Additionally, unified payment platforms empower brands to build capabilities across various solutions for enhanced scalability as well as ensure they can keep up with customer behavior and implement the latest payment trends.
What are the benefits of unified payments?
With a unified payments platform, brands will be provided with numerous benefits, ranging from simple third-party integrations to enhanced scaling capabilities. The benefits offered by payment orchestration platforms allow brands to stay on top of customer demand as well as create more memorable and enjoyable experiences for both guests and employees. Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the many benefits brands can expect from a unified payments platform:
Simple Third-Party Integrations – One of the major benefits these platforms provide brands is their unified open APIs. Unified open APIs ensure brands are never locked into specific payment service providers and allow them to choose the ones that work for them and their guests. It provides brands with the flexibility to choose popular payment methods amongst their guests and implement new payment options as customer behavior changes. In turn, brands can reach more customers through more payment options.
Enhanced Scaling Capabilities – Unified open APIs not only ensure brands can easily integrate the end-to-end payment process on a single platform but also ensure the platform can scale with the brand. As a brand grows, and new locations launch, unified payment platforms can quickly and easily be implemented into operations without any special configurations. Whether it is one, multiple, or all service locations, these platforms create seamless and consistent payment experiences for customers, no matter where or how they choose to visit.
Centralized Reporting and Data Insights – Having control over the entire end-to-end payment process may seem like a hassle, however, it allows brands to receive centralized, real-time transaction reports accessible on a single database. Brands can receive digestible and actionable transaction reports on consumer behavior, fraudulent activity, current transaction trends, and much more, giving them the clarity needed to adapt. Operators can leverage this data to enhance customer experiences by understanding guest preferences and demands as well as uncover any operational opportunities, such as adding new popular payment methods.
Benefits of PAR’s Unified Payment Platform
For consumers, payment orchestration platforms have been game-changing solutions. Unified payment platforms not only create faster, safer, and frictionless transactions but also provide customers with a plethora of payment options, giving them the flexibility to pay how they want. Brands can leverage PAR’s suite of unified solutions – including PAR Pay, PAR Payment Services, MENU online ordering, Punchh Loyalty, and Brink POS – to work from a unified payment platform that takes the customer experience to the next level.
Create Frictionless Payment Experiences with PAR One-Tap Loyalty
With a payment orchestration platform centered around PAR solutions, brands can implement unique payment strategies, like PAR one-tap loyalty. PAR one-tap loyalty provides guests with the ultimate convenience by enabling payments and loyalty redemption in a single step. This unique payment option enables restaurants to provide all the benefits of loyalty while eliminating the friction an application or physical card tends to create. Guests can take advantage of rewards, discounts, and benefits with an Apple Wallet from wherever they may be at any time.
Brands, like Salsarita’s Fresh Mexican Grill, who have implemented PAR one-tap loyalty into their operations, have been able to enhance the customer experience and deliver frictionless payments. PAR One-Tap Loyalty gives the brand access to accurate payment data. With these insights into guest behavior, Salsarita’s can target customers with personalized campaigns and perform customer lifetime value analysis to increase revenue. According to Tim Carter, Chief Finance Officer of Salsarita’s Fresh Mexican Grill, “PAR One-Tap Loyalty elevates the performance of our loyalty program, making it a true competitive advantage.”
No matter the industry or size of the brand, it is crucial to establish convenient systems for customers, like unified payment platforms, which make their shopping journey that much easier and enjoyable. Unified payment platforms are incredible solutions brands can leverage to stay on top of customer demand, manage the entire payment process, create frictionless transactions, and take the customer experience to new heights.