When was the last time you paid a utility bill with cash? A long time ago, perhaps even years ago? Well, we all have seamlessly adapted ourselves to the convenience of electronic bill payments. If you think that online banking is the last frontier of convenience in e-bill payments, wait until you learn about chatbots. 

Chatbots are computer programs that are trained to respond to queries with canned responses. AI-enabled chatbots are capable of driving human conversations at scale on a website or a mobile app. 

They have proved themselves indispensable when it comes to automating repetitive tasks of similar nature that occur at large volumes. Phrased differently, chatbots have what it takes to make electronic bill payments even faster than what they already are, make them effortless for first-time users, and even provide superior customer service. 

How exactly does that work? Let’s dive into the finer details. 

4 ways chatbots are redefining the electronic bill payment experience

Chatbots have become commonplace on most websites. They have become well-integrated with the digital space that one might not even realize that they are talking to chatbots. Trained by Machine Learning systems and armed with Natural Language Processing, chatbots have become adept at driving conversations that mimic human language, tone, slang, and even sentiments. That makes them perfect for redefining electronic bill payments where customers need a sense of safety while enjoying the convenience. 

Let’s look at four specific ways how chatbots are redefining the electronic bill payment space. 

1. Swift responses to billing questions

Speed is the new name of customer service. Millennial customers are an impatient lot and are not willing to spend time waiting to get something done. They measure experiences in seconds and expect the same to be offered by the brands they interact with. 

Especially when it comes to transacting payments, they expect a seamless and glitch-free experience. Despite the improvements in checkout processes, advancement of paywalls, and whatnot, customers still find themselves pondering over basic questions at the checkout page. This could be when is the last date for payment, what are the delayed charges like, etc.

Source: Tidio

If their questions are not answered instantly, the chances of cart abandonment spikes. Fortunately, a chatbot can give some respite. It can act as an unmanned computer program that can dole out answers to the most common billing-related questions. Chatbots work in real-time and do not let customers wait on them. 

2. Streamlining the checkout process

The checkout page is the last and final phase in a user’s journey where they complete the transaction by making an electronic payment. Unfortunately, it is also at this stage that most customers abruptly discontinue the payment. There are several reasons that contribute to this occurrence. The usual top three are:

  1. Additional charges included in the final bill

  2. Inclusion of unannounced shipping charges

  3. Several inconsequential questions 

Chatbots can solve these challenges in several ways. To begin with, they can prompt customers of the applicable charges and also help them estimate the shipping charges, if applicable. This is a workaround compared to the information being presented as terms and conditions in a far corner of the website. 

The readily provided information will help customers make the right purchase decisions and not get put off in the last stage when they are confronted with unexpected charges.

3. Reminders for recurring payments

One of the most frequently forgotten tasks for most of us is paying our bills when they are due. It is true that electronic bill payments have made it easier to complete the payments. However, most users still miss their due dates and as a result, often have to eke out additional payment as fines and penalties.

Chatbots can easily avoid such situations. They can act as virtual assistants that can remind users, both B2B and B2C when it is time to pay their invoices. API integrations can help with integrating the chatbots with invoicing software like Invoiceocean that will let users originate and complete invoice payments with the help of the chatbot. 

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4. Offering assistance during payments

Have you ever tried making an online payment and got lost as to how the system works? Well, it happens to most users who are getting on to the digital bandwagon for the first time. And it is common knowledge that calling customer support or shooting an email is going to do little and take a long time to offer solutions.

amazon's customer service chatbot

Source: Helpshift

Chatbots can be positioned at this juncture as self-learning programs that can continuously learn customer transactions and offer solutions instantly. It can guide the customer throughout the payment process, suggest steps to follow, or even play instructional videos to put the customer at ease. In fact, if required, the chatbot can also help the customer raise a ticket if there is an issue with the payment. All this support during the payment stage can help the customer patronize electronic payments more than before. 

How chatbots can help process payments in a jiffy

Electronic payments have evolved in the past few years. They have become the staple form of payment. Now with the wave of wearable devices, they are stepping into the next level. However, there is still a large population of customers who want assistance while transacting electronic payments. Chatbots are here to help them solve their problems. 

Chatbots can be used to answer repetitive questions about payments, streamline the checkout process by removing obstacles for customers, remind customers when it is time to pay up, or even providing real-time support while the payment is being transacted. 

All these traits make chatbots worthy of the title of revolutionists of electronic bill payments. With the advancements that are happening in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, we can expect chatbots to become more adept at solving customer problems. The future of chatbots in the digital payment space definitely looks promising than ever before.  

Author’s Bio: Srushti Shah is an ambitious, passionate and out of the box thinking woman having vast exposure in Digital Marketing. She is working as a Digital Marketer and Content writer at Acquire. Her key focus is to serve her clients with the latest innovation in her field leading to fast and effective results. Working beyond expectations and delivering the best possible results is her professional motto. Other than work, she loves traveling, exploring new things and spending quality time with family. Reach out to Srushti Shah on Twitter or LinkedIn