Jan 03, 2018

Improving payment choice for subscription‐based businesses

We were recently interviewed by our partners, Global Payments  (Realex Payments) about the importance of offering a range of payment methods.


Realex SmartDebit blog


At a time when consumers have never had so much choice, whether it is music, clothes, groceries or a vast array of other goods, customers expect to be able to choose a range of options when they make a payment. Recent research from Barclaycard1 pointed out that consumers are reluctant to shop if their preferred payment method is not offered. Consumers have benefited as choice and access to goods and services have grown in recent years, so it makes sense to let the customer decide the preferred method of payment that meets their needs, in order to maximise a frictionless customer journey and optimise sales.

In the first part of this blog entry on the Global Payments (Realex Payments) website, we started exploring choice of payments with Direct Debit. We continue by looking at recurring card payments and alternative payment methods with Global Payments (Realex Payments). 

Many businesses already accept one-off card payments. Can you tell us a little bit about recurring card payments?

A recurring card payment is where customers provide your company with their debit or credit card details, with their consent for regular payments – which will deliver automated revenue for your business and less time spent on administration. If your business wants to offer recurring card payments to customers, you need to work with a payment gateway provider with access to a virtual terminal. With the Global Payments (Realex Payments) Virtual Terminal, you can add card and payment details, set frequency and even check the validity of the card before storing for future payment.

Why is the validity of cards so important?

For recurring card payments, validity of details is everything. Checking card details helps you to know that the card you have on file can be used for payment. You can also identify and update expired cards with Card Updater. This helps you to update cards on a regular basis, so you can replace old cards that have been lost, stolen, or reissued due to card expiry, with new valid payment information, so you don’t lose revenue when card details change or expire.




What are the main payment issues that businesses face when selling internationally? 

The sheer volume of different payment methods in international markets makes cross-border sales a complex issue for some businesses – but offering relevant payment methods is essential for cross-border e-commerce success. This is because international customers use a wide range of payment methods online, beyond mainstream credit and debit cards. These payment methods range from digital wallets to bank transfers and Direct Debits.

How will this evolve over time?

The new EU-wide directive, PSD2, which will allow Open Banking to take place, is just around the corner. This means that businesses and customers will have more payment and banking choice than ever before. This is not a sales pitch. Recent research has revealed that SMEs lost an estimated £1.6 billion in 2016 through not accepting “next generation” payments technology1. We live in generation “choice”. A consumer has to be the one to decide whether they want to pay by card, bank transfer, Direct Debit or even bitcoin – and businesses must facilitate that choice to maximise revenue from online customers today, and in the future.

For more information on recurring card payments, visit Realex Payments.


1 https://www.home.barclaycard/media‐centre/press‐releases/sme‐retailers‐forego‐1‐point‐6bn‐as‐tech‐savvy‐shoppers‐search‐for‐innovative‐ways‐to‐pay.html

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