Payer Portal | B2B Finance Glossary
What is a Payer Portal?
A payer portal, also known as a payment portal, is an essential digital solution. Payer portals allow a transaction to be fully processed, and help transfer the payment from the customer through the payment gateway and, finally, to the merchant’s bank account.
For customers, a payment portal is a digital interface on a particular company’s website that allows them to pay online. Online payer portals are common for many companies, such as credit card companies, cellular data providers, TV providers, and many more.
As online payments become increasingly ubiquitous, having a payer portal for your business can be essential for maintaining revenue.
What are the Benefits of Having a Payer Portal for Your Customers?
Payer portals greatly improve customer experiences by offering unique benefits: they can provide transparency into past billing cycles, show how much is owed at any given time, and store other critical account information. As a result, payer portals tend to make the payments process more convenient.
Payer portals also speed up payment processes by making digital payments more seamless. They reduce friction for customers and merchants, allow businesses to collect cash more quickly, and decrease labor costs for finance teams that would otherwise be spending time processing paper-based payment methods. Plus, payer portals increase customer satisfaction by significantly simplifying the checkout process.
What is the Difference Between a Payer Portal and a Payment Gateway?
Sometimes, confusing a payer portal with a payment gateway can be easy, but they play two very different roles in the payment process.
A payment gateway allows a company to accept customer credit and debit card payments. Payment gateways act as the gatekeeper of customers’ payment data by operating as a technological mechanism that reads and transfers payment information from the customer’s bank account to the business’s account. In the process, the payment gateway captures any necessary data from the customer. It verifies that the customer has enough money in his or her bank account even to make the purchase in the first place. Additionally, payment gateways can be used both in-store and online. Online payment gateways use cloud-based software to link customers to merchants to authorize credit or debit card payment processing in card-not-present instances. In-store payment gateways use software built into a point-of-sale (POS) system, payment terminal, or card reader that processes the payment when a customer physically swipes, taps, or inserts her debit or credit card.
On the other hand, payer portals are just the digital interface that allows customers to make payments online. They ultimately link to payment gateways to complete the online purchase.
What is the Difference Between a Payer Portal and a Payment Processor?
Payment processors are also distinct from payer portals. Payment processors – also called merchant processors – are vendors that help make it possible for businesses to accept online credit and debit card purchases from customers. Payment processors operate as the middleman between the merchant and the customer’s bank. They also authorize payments by verifying the customers’ billing information, confirming the funds are available, and transferring the money into the business’s bank account.
Again, payer portals differ significantly from payment processors since they are just digital interfaces that allow customers to purchase online goods and services. They allow the customer to initiate the payment process, using both payment processors and gateways to complete the payment effectively.
How to Choose the Best Payer Portal for Your Business
Payer portals can make the payment process much more seamless for your customers and allow your business to accept online payments more easily. When it comes to choosing the best payer portal for your business, or if you’re looking to build an in-house one, there are a number of different factors to consider. Here are some of the most important ones to keep in mind:
- Seamless integrations. If you’re choosing a payer portal provider, it’s important that their offering can seamlessly integrate with the software your company is already using. That way, you won’t have to change anything on your backend while you can still accommodate your customers on the front end.
- Multiple payment options. To increase your payment acceptance percentage (this is calculated by dividing the number of successful payments by the total amount of payments), it’s important to offer more than one payment option for customers. That way, if something prevents your customer’s credit card from going through, they will have another option, and you won’t lose the revenue.
- Easy access to information. Suppose your payer portal stores critical information for your customer (past payment history, billing cycle information, etc.). In that case, you’ll make the payment process even more seamless for your payers and significantly increase customer satisfaction.