What is omnichannel payment processing?

money moving in and out of a portal
Andy Tweddle, Payments writer
22 Dec 2021

What is omnichannel payment processing?

Omnichannel payment processing refers to the process of accepting multiple payment options, integrated into a single, consistent experience for the customer. When they’re ready to pay, your customer is presented with different payment options tailored to their preferences. This could include everything from credit cards to digital wallets and instant bank transfers.

Customers commonly shift between online and offline interaction with businesses, with 48% transitioning between digital and physical. Omnichannel payments include a selection of online and in-person options to meet customers where they are, seamlessly providing them with important purchase information.

No matter the payment method chosen, the customer should see the same consistent company branding from start to finish. A smooth, secure online checkout process can increase sales and conversion rates.

Types of omnichannel payment processing channels

Omnichannel payment processing encompasses multiple channels, both online and offline. Here are some of the primary channels which are commonly used in an omnichannel payment platform:

  • credit and debit card payments

  • Manual bank transfers

  • Instant bank transfers (powered by open banking)

  • Direct Debit payments

  • Mobile wallets

  • Email invoicing with links to secure payment

  • Keyed transactions for phone orders

  • Recurring subscription payments

  • Point of sale (POS) systems

Omnichannel payments include physical, in-person transactions, as well as card-not-present and in-app purchases. You don’t need to offer every option on this list – omnichannel payment processing is best when tailored to suit specific customer preferences. For example, a global clothing retailer might combine online orders with in-store interactive catalogues, while an ecommerce store might blend one-off checkout payments with subscription services.

Benefits of omnichannel payment processing

One benefit of offering omnichannel payments is a better customer experience. Customers are more likely to finalise a purchase when they can use their preferred payment method. According to a recent survey, 44% of UK shoppers would stop a purchase if their preferred payment method wasn’t available. Omnichannel payment processing ensures a wider selection of payments.

Merchants also benefit from the consistency of an omnichannel payment solution. An omnichannel payment solution can:

  • combine multiple payment methods into a single unified system

  • offer all-in-one reporting for simplified accounts reconciliation

  • make it easier to monitor sales and inventory

  • consolidate customer purchase journeys across channels

  • reduce management and maintenance time

Rather than maintaining multiple systems to manage each individual payment method, you can monitor payments from a central dashboard. And by generating data from multiple transaction types, omnichannel payment services allow you to fine-tune your sales and marketing strategies.

A Harvard Business Review study shows that omnichannel customers spend an average of 10% more than single-channel customers online. Those that conduct prior research on the retailer’s website go on to spend 13% more in-store.

Considerations for omnichannel payment processing

There are a few factors to consider before implementing your omnichannel payment processing methods.

1. Security

Some payment methods are more secure than others, and different payment methods have different compliance and security standards. For example, if you accept online card payments, you’ll need to follow the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This ensures that customer data is handled according to best-practice security methods.

2. Consistency

Customers crave consistency when making a purchase, so it’s important to ensure that your payment processing has a uniform experience across each payment channel. For example, it shouldn’t matter whether the customer buys online, then returns some of the goods to store, the entire process should feel like one integrated journey.

3. Data sharing

Alongside consistency comes the need to gather data for a smoother payment experience. Online customers are fluid, shifting from physical to digital interactions – all of which generates unique data. Look for omnichannel platforms like Magento and Shopify Plus that unify the data to create a snapshot of each customer’s buying habits. Customise the user experience with real-time, accurate data sharing.

Omnichannel payments give businesses an all-in-one, comprehensive payment processing solution. By integrating multiple processes into a single platform, you gain a bird's-eye view of customer interactions. You can take this into account to target your marketing efforts as well as enhance the purchasing experience.

Why should you provide instant bank transfers as a payment method?

Open banking payments - often called ‘instant bank transfer’ at checkout- are a growing payment method in online retail. 74% of businesses say open banking is a part of their long-term strategy, and 63% of shoppers are already comfortable with instant bank transfers. Get in touch with us here at TrueLayer to find out how open banking can transform your payment experience.