Are you omni or out? Why omnichannel businesses thrive

Omni-channel is no longer a buzzword. It’s been proven that businesses that provide omnichannel experiences are likely to see increased loyalty and higher average transaction value (ATV) across the board.

The ol’ single-channel

Back in the day, every business started with a single-channel. In fact, some businesses still are. Just picture an old family bakery down the street whose baked goods are so fresh and tasty the whole town knows about it. Sometimes word of mouth and years of quality are enough to keep a business running for more than one lifetime, even while everything else changes around them. Nowadays, very few businesses are truly single-channel. Taking orders and addressing clients by phone already turns an old bakery into a multi-channel business. Moreover, any enterprise looking to meet their client’s preferences will need to develop an online presence at some point. So what if the old bakery decided to build a website and engage with their audiences through this medium? Well, that’s 3 channels.

From multichannel to cross-channel

Multi-channel businesses offer various channels, but these channels aren’t integrated. For example, you might visit the website and chat with a representative, yet go to the physical store and come to the realisation that they have no idea what was discussed and zero knowledge regarding your online purchase history. On the other hand, cross-channel businesses have integrated their channels and are able to identify their customers regardless of the channel they use. For example, purchasing an item online and picking it up in a physical store. Or another example, purchasing a voucher offline in a store and redeeming it online on the company website.

So what is omnichannel exactly?

Now, this is where it gets interesting. Cross-channel and omnichannel are fairly similar. So similar in fact, that some experts even disregard term cross-channel altogether. However, the main differentiator is the goal of achieving total and complete ubiquity. It’s a goal that businesses never fully achieve since the possibilities for integration are always evolving and new devices or technologies will always push the goalpost just a tiny bit further.

You know what they did last summer

Omnichannel is all about allowing consumers to access your services in a seamless manner, no matter the channel. Through it all, their identity is always known and the experience is always the same. Your website, app, physical store and call centres are one and the same in the eye of the consumer. He moves seamlessly through all of your channels without ever feeling any sort of disconnect.


Omnichannel leads to ‘omnifraud’

Going down the rabbit-hole makes a lot of economic sense. For starters, omnichannel consumers spend more! Also, omnichannel consumers are loyal and their loyalty travels along with them when they are abroad. Being an omnichannel business also means offering secure payments across all devices and platforms. Needless to say, fighting fraud on multiple fronts is a huge challenge. According to a 2015 report by ACI and Forrester Consulting, consumer thirst for omnichannel experiences have left retailers with more questions than answers. The report found that 65% don’t think they have access to the right fraud management tools to operate in the omnichannel world. More than half stated that company staff didn’t have the necessary skills to tackle omnichannel fraud challenges while only 46% said they had fraud management solutions across all channels.

How to eliminate omnichannel fraud?

The more sales channels in use, the more possibilities for fraudsters. A one size fits all approach doesn’t cut it. The fraud challenges in CP and CNP environments are quite different, as are the technical differences between devices and platforms. Simply put, fighting fraud in an omnichannel environment requires omnichannel fraud management tools and the right team of experts to manage them.


Are you offering your clients a safe omnichannel experience? If you’re not sure, you might want to give us a call. At Alphacomm, our goal is to secure revenue. To that end, we offer guaranteed payments and fraud consultancy services for the omnichannel environment. Get in touch with our team for more information on our business solutions.

Alphacomm Solutions whitepaper: how automated payment reminder systems boost your credit management performance

Andrew Collins New Business Development Manager

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How automated payment reminders reduce DSO

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you know what it’s like to sell without actually making money. The very act of selling costs money and when customers don’t pay (on time), the cost of selling, coupled with overall costs of business can really put a strain on day to day operations.

It’s unfortunate that nowadays, fully staffed departments are needed in order to ensure due payments are received. From sending out payment reminders to making and answering phone calls with sometimes difficult customers, dunning takes up a lot of time and it also costs money.

There has to be a better way, right? How can businesses collect payments on time, reduce DSO and improve liquidity? The answer is automation.

Here are three big reasons why automated payment reminders are effective at reducing DSO:

1. Customer friendly

Stay friends with your customers by reminding them of due dates and offering a complete range of secure payment methods. When customers don’t pay, it usually comes down to one of two things: either they forgot to pay or they lack the funds to do so. In both cases, a friendly reminder along with a wide range of payment options is your best bet.

Automated payment reminders make this entire process a whole lot easier. For example, the available payment methods, including the option to pay later or in instalments can be selected and agreed to by the customer, without the need to converse with company staff.

Moreover, by sending personalised reminders, customers feel more at ease and in control. This is especially true for millennials. They respond well to a friendly approach. A 2013 poll found that millennials were more forgetful than seniors. Among the possible causes were high levels of stress. In a 2015 report by the American Psychological Association, this was proven once again. This generation, marred by high debt and financial stress could definitely use a bit of TLC.

2. Relevant and effective

The traditional letter in the mail doesn’t cut it anymore. On the whole, many consumers have adopted a ‘digital first’ mindset. In other words, if you don’t expect customers to show up with paper money, why limit your approach to paper letters?

Automated payment reminders can be sent via the communication channels your customers prefer, whether it’s WhatsApp, interactive video, QR code, email, SMS, voice etc. Communicating with your customers through the means they prefer is cost-efficient and highly effective.

Voice reminders are especially effective at freeing up staff so they have more time to focus on complex matters like helping customers with invoice queries and custom payment plans. Learn more about voice reminders by checking out our Effective Payment Collection whitepaper.

Moreover, by segmenting your customers you could use different communication channels for different customer groups. For example, you could send payment reminders via WhatsApp to a millennial audience and traditional mail to baby boomers. Clear messages sent through relevant communication channels increase conversions and reduce DSO.

3. Insightful

Automated payment reminder platforms like the one offered by Alphacomm Solutions offer valuable insights into customer behaviour. Use the business intelligence data to find out which methods yield the best results and adapt your strategy accordingly.


Your people are your most valuable asset. Make sure they are free to focus on valuable tasks that push the company forward by automating the payment collection process. Contact Alphacomm Solutions for more information on our Payment Reminders solutions.

Get in touch with our team for more information on our business solutions.

Alphacomm Solutions whitepaper: how automated payment reminder systems boost your credit management performance

Michael Martens
Head of Sales

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Cash is king but for how long? Alphacomm Solutions

Cash is king, but for how long?

The latest Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts report by RBR, released in February 2019, highlights the sharp rise in the acceptance and usage of payment cards. But are merchants ready for a cashless economy?

In 2017, approximately $25.1 trillion worth of purchases were made with payment cards compared to 2016. In this same period, e-commerce card expenditure reached $4.5 trillion; an increase of 13%. According to the study, card expenditure worldwide is expected to be valued at $45.2 trillion by 2023. E-commerce will make up a substantial part of this figure as it is predicted to hit $11 trillion.

Low value payments are becoming more frequent

One explanation for the rise in card expenditure is consumers are increasingly using their cards for low value payments. In recent years, mainstream adoption of cards as methods of payment has been buoyed by improvements in convenience.

One notable exception to the trend is China. Chinese consumers generally reserve cards for high value purchases. Nonetheless, the Asia-Pacific region, with its 28% share in payment volume, is still responsible for 50% of global card expenditure.

Access to cash in a cashless economy?

Consumer attitude is changing when it comes to commerce. In Europe, many businesses and festivals have started to eliminate cash as a payment option. Another development in the payment landscape is the passing of the Payment Services Directive (PSD2) by the European Parliament. The directive provides a much-needed regulatory framework within which European banks and fintech companies can coexist and allows for greater access to alternative banking options.

However, these changes and shifting attitudes have left some wanting. As younger generations do most of their banking online, brick and mortar bank branches have been disappearing across Europe. According to analysis in the UK by Consumers’ Association Which?,  ATMs are disappearing at breakneck pace, especially in rural areas. In 2018, approximately 200 British communities either had poor or no access at all to cash machines. As access to cash becomes a problem, card expenditure will undoubtedly continue to rise. But are merchants ready for the cashless economy?

Securing revenue in the online world

The more we spend online, the more we need to be aware of the pitfalls. As the value of card transactions drops and the frequency of use rises, merchants will increasingly see the need to take measures to protect their business by securing their revenue. Avoiding costly chargebacks and outsmarting fraudsters are among the top challenges for online merchants.

Furthermore, as e-commerce spreads to new markets and international consumer purchases become more prevalent, the need for tools like as SEPA e-mandates and digital payment reminders will only rise. How are you preparing for the cashless economy?

Get in touch with our team for more information on our business solutions.

Alphacomm Solutions whitepaper: how automated payment reminder systems boost your credit management performance

Andrew Collins
New Business Development Manager

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An explanation of the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2)

What does PSD2 mean?

PSD2 is the acronym for Payments Services Directive 2. It’s the follow-up to PSD1 which was adopted in 2007. It’s considered a maximum harmonisation directive. As such, after approval by the European Parliament, it takes effect in all countries within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) albeit with minor differences.

PSD2, which was adopted in 2015, officially came into force in January 2018. In the Netherlands, implementation actually took a bit longer as the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) came into effect in February 2019.

What does the Payment Services Directive do?

The purpose of the Payments Services Directive is to improve the European payments industry by promoting healthy competition and increasing the participation of non-banks. It also provides protections by facilitating the harmonisation of rights and obligations of consumers and payment providers across the European Union.

What’s the difference between PSD1 and PSD2?

Compared to 2007 when SEPA was introduced, the landscape for banking and digital payments has changed quite a lot. It is essential that regulations keep up with the pace of technology and consumer trends. To that end, PSD2 takes things a step further by planning for the future.

Fintech companies are increasingly handling more banking duties on behalf of consumers. PSD2 makes sure that these third parties play by the rules and that consumers have the final say on how their banking data is managed.

Whereas PSD1 was introduced in order to harmonise financial regulation, PSD2 aims to foster innovation within the industry, empower consumers by giving them more control over their data and improve security for online payments.

What are the implications of PSD2 for the fintech industry?

As of the launch of PSD2, banks are now required to provide third parties with access consumer’s banking data once the consumer has given explicit approval. This change has the fintech industry buzzing with excitement. Fintech developers are now able to create apps that directly interface with the consumer’s banking data and pull information from various bank accounts.

In other words, somebody with bank accounts at three different banks could download a third party app, provide the necessary permissions and thus gain never before seen insights into his or her financial situation through a unified dashboard.

Another aspect of  PSD2 is that consumers can now also authorise payments via these third parties. Registered service providers can act as acquirers and deal directly with the banks on behalf of the consumer, completing transactions without the need of an intermediary.

Find out more on PSD2 at the following resource:
Payment services (PSD 2) – Directive (EU) 2015/2366

At Alphacomm Solutions, we’ve been working on getting the most out of PSD2 since day one. Our solutions are always up to date and implementation is always quick. Get in touch with our team for more information on our business solutions.

Alphacomm Solutions whitepaper: how automated payment reminder systems boost your credit management performance

Andrew Collins
New Business Development Manager

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mastercard, apple push back on free trials and dodgy subscriptions

Mastercard, Apple, push back on free trials and dodgy subscriptions

The internet is littered with free trial offers. One thing these trials tend to have in common, is they ask the consumer for their credit card information. Once the trial ends, the consumer often forgets to cancel the subscription and is consequently automatically signed up for recurring billing.

The same can be said for offline commerce. Physical products, especially within the health and wellness industries, are often offered with supposedly no strings attached only to bait the user into a recurring payment scheme.

In all fairness, free trial offers can be highly beneficial to both consumers and business alike. However, in many cases, there is a lack of transparency that does more damage than good.

Unwanted payments cost money

Unwanted recurring payments are costly for both consumers and banks alike. The unsavoury practice, though generally accepted, often leads to payment disputes and costly chargebacks.

MasterCard recently announced a rule change that requires merchants to gain approval of cardholders at the of a trial period before billing can start. The move is aimed at protecting consumers as well as curbing costs at a time when shoppers have an ever-expanding range of banking alternatives to choose from.

No more mystery transactions

Moreover, merchants are now required to send a receipt after each payment. The receipt, specifying the merchant name and transaction details can be sent either by email or text message and inform the consumer of cancellation options. This way, consumers will always have control over how and where their money is spent.

Additionally, credit card statements are also required to include the merchant’s name a well as a web address or phone number. It’s a move that is sure to boost consumer confidence in both the payment method and the merchant’s business practices.

In 2018, Apple took a similar stance on deceptive free trials in apps. One requirement is users are now prompted to opt in for recurring subscriptions. Another is that the billable amount, referred to as the ‘true cost,’ must always be displayed prominently. Recently, Apple followed up by making it easier for iPhone users to manage their subscriptions from within the App Store.


Do you offer free trials for your products and services? Not sure whether you’re playing by the rules? Are you losing time and money as a result of disputes or chargebacks? Perhaps it’s time to speak with a payment consultant.


Alphacomm Solutions whitepaper: how automated payment reminder systems boost your credit management performance

Andrew Collins
New Business Development Manager

Latest articles
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