When was the last time you dealt with a government agency?
The experience is rarely something to write home about.
But when it comes to payments, that could be changing.
He joined me on a recent podcast to talk about how PayNearMe’s new platform, Portal, is helping to make dealing with the government a little easier.
In this episode, we discuss:
- How to fix less-than-stellar payment experiences
- Why consumer expectations for payments are at an all-time high
- PayNearMe’s growth philosophy
The problem with government payments
Have you ever had to go to a government payment portal?
It’s like stepping into a time machine.
It’s not uncommon for the experience to be similar to waiting for a picture to load on a Geocities site back in the ‘90s… Though, usually, there are fewer dancing baby gifs.
For government agencies — and smaller businesses —with limited resources, delivering a killer payment experience is holding on for dear life at the very bottom of the to-do list.
“If you’re AT&T or Verizon with unlimited resources, you’ve probably built a great payment portal experience. But for the vast majority of businesses and government agencies, those experiences stink.” — Danny Shader
All too often, business operations and other more pressing considerations often get in the way of finally retiring these living relics from the last millennium.
Even if it’s a priority, most government agencies don’t have the time — let alone the development resources — to deliver what consumers expect from a payment portal these days.
And, predictably, the experience you end up getting is atrocious.
PayNearMe is one of the few companies — possibly the only company — poised to actually solve the problem with government payments.
Their platform offers agencies and small businesses the ability to bring the payment experience they are delivering into this century, without needing to divert vital resources from other areas of the organization.
But despite its simplicity, the platform is designed to be endlessly flexible for the user, allowing them to tailor its functionality to suit their needs.
That also extends to which payment methods the platform accepts, which includes everything from ACH to Apple Pay to Venmo.
And of course, cash.
Despite the inroads that digital payments have made in recent years — especially in light of the pandemic — cash payments are still vital.
This is particularly true for government agencies, who have much more contact with the 18% of the population who are underbanked and reliant on cash.
Why consumers expect more
Now, maybe you’re still wondering why government agencies need to prioritize their antiquated payment systems, even if options for doing so have become so much simpler.
Well, it’s not just that the experience is out of date.
It’s what consumers have to compare it to.
“I can’t drive home enough how much consumer expectations around payments have changed over because of how great experiences are at the commerce sites.” — Danny Shader
Think about your last experience paying for an Uber, deliveries from Amazon or even buying software.
Now compare that to paying for anything on a government website.
That’s what government agencies are reckoning with. Consumer expectations are at an all-time high while their payment portals are gathering digital dust.
Just like any other business, these agencies typically want to do right by their customers.
So, it makes sense to take as much of the friction out of their experience as possible.
Integrity is how you grow
PayNearMe’s near-infinite reconfigurability to suit any customer’s business needs is a strong selling point for the company, but it’s also an indicator of the growth philosophy Danny is bringing to the market.
The “classic” — though, definitely not “classy” — enterprise play is to get people locked into the product you sell and start raising the prices and charging exorbitant amounts of money for modules and upgrades.
But this only creates acrimony between you and your customers and, in the long run, that’s just bad business.
“We think the best way to grow the business is to get everybody to love what we’re doing.” — Danny Shader
Danny hopes that, instead of seeking out 10 different vendors to cover what PayNearMe’s platform offers, customers will see the obvious benefit of consolidating these services and dealing with one.
But the proposition isn’t appealing at all if the company doesn’t trust their one and only vendor; instead, it’s just putting all your eggs in one untrustworthy basket.
For Danny, the only way to grow is to win customer’s over because they can’t help but love what you’re doing.
It’s good advice no matter what business you’re in.
Until next time!