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Accelerate your payments with automation for winning results

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Digital transformation and automation isn’t a new concept. For organisations, it’s driven by the need to stay competitive, save costs or increase the output of your business.

It doesn’t happen overnight. Both small and large companies have many different moving components that is either management’s ongoing responsibility to identify improvements and increase efficiency, a dedicated role within the business, or it calls for an outside opinion. 

The latter provides a “fresh pair of eyes” to map out processes and quiz business stakeholders with those, often difficult, questions of “Why do you do it this way?”, “How long does this normally take?” or “Have you ever thought about doing it this way?”.


The danger of habit

When teams get set in particular ways and embedded in a routine, sometimes the bigger picture gets missed. For many organisations, it’s a luxury to even have time to pause and reflect on why things are done a certain way.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that organisations should be constantly looking inward at the efficiency of their operations. The “why” is easy – to increase sales, to fulfil orders, to give a great level of customer service and to reach business goals. As much as you should be reviewing the sales strategy, customer feedback or stock levels, your internal processes should face the same scrutiny.

But, before we start “modernising” a whole department… remember the simple criteria; any new process has to move you closer to your business objective and save time, resources, or money. If you’re also able to improve service and customer experience, that’s a great bonus too.

The cost of not automating your payments

An example of how automation would benefit an organisation is to look at the average success of a call centre’s outbounding efforts.

If 50 out of 500 daily calls go through to somebody, there are a further 450 calls that have valuable time wasted. For this, we can simply apply some industry averages from across our other clients and the cost spent on this.

If the average wage for a collections agent is 23K, we’ll double it to include the true business cost to that member of staff, so £46,000 a person. It could be costing your business around £1,600 a day to pay a team to not take payments on those calls.

Another way to look at it is, if we take the total daily cost for the collection team, which is just over £1,760 and divide by the number of payments the business may actually be receiving, which is 25, each successful payment on average can cost over £70 to collect a day. By increasing the success rate, Key IVR can reduce the cost per payment.

The 'C' word​

If there’s anything a global pandemic taught us, it’s that things keep moving. At the start, while the world scrambled to piece together working from home setups, customer expectations hardly changed. Many wanted the same level of service from businesses and their teams. It’s quite the reality check to realise how much a business relies on the thousands of little steps, and individuals, to keep operations afloat. The hundreds of phone calls, the day-to-day payment administration jobs, the data entry of updating an account. All to ensure your business revenue is surviving and reacting to massive change.

And then, faced with making mass changes across customer operations with very little notice, entire industries had to refund millions of orders and bookings to customers, ensuring funds were returned as quickly as possible, or face a public backlash.

3 ways to automate your payments

To maximise the efficiency of your payments and communications, here are few key areas that you should consider:

Let the customer self-serve

For updating payment details, tweaking account information or managing when a Direct Debit should come out – asking a customer to call a number and speak to a contact centre between a set time is not only inconvenient, but it can damage how your brand is perceived. 

By using 24/7 automated telephone lines or web-based portals, you can ease a lot of pressure off your agents, reduce call volumes, save resources, and probably make their day-to-day discussions with customers a lot more interesting.

Automate the manual work

If you’re scheduling daily, weekly or monthly customer comms, reports or payment reminders, and it relies on a team to drive that activity every time – then there’s potentially a huge area for improvement.

A messaging platform can sync up communications with your customer database. It can listen for certain triggers and send templated emails, test messages and more, around the clock without human intervention. Combine it with the self-serve options, and you’re boosting efficiency even further.

Stop calling customers one by one chasing debt

Debt collection is a perfect example of lots of small steps and actions that affect your business revenue directly. 

How many one-to-one contact attempts are your team are making every day? 

How many of them fail or don’t answer? 

It could be as high as 90% or more, it could be an unknown figure that still needs identifying. 

Let’s go into more detail about what you could do…

Boost your debt collections

If you have a backlog of outstanding debt to chase, it can take months to catch up without hiring more staff. Not to mention the impact on their mental health due to a vast amount of repetitiveness or negative calls.

Let the systems handle 90% of the outbound dialling and communication attempts. This allows your team to stay positive and focus on the customers who are responding, rather than day after day of failed calls and wrong numbers, only to end the day with no sense of achievement.

With a platform in place that reports dead numbers, dials multiple customers at once, plays personalised voice messages, and sends text messages and email reminders – you can use your team’s expertise in other areas or allow them to focus on individual cases that might not be quite straight forward to resolve.

Start automating your payment processes

Could you be boosting your payment collection?

We’d be happy to evaluate how your organisation could automate some of your processes.


Submit your details and a payment specialist will be in touch.


Sophie Chan

Head of Account Management