Why the Rental Industry Needs Better Payments Technology

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The following post is a guest blog by our partner company, TSYS, which can help your payment process become simpler and more secure.

For many businesses, especially those in the rental industry, the payment and checkout process is an afterthought. It’s understandable—rental companies already have a lot to worry about. Items are being rented and returned constantly, and have to be maintained and repaired to ensure they’re still in working order. If something breaks while it’s rented, it requires sensitive interactions with customers about damage. Not to mention the constant deadlines and schedules.

So it makes sense that, amid all of this, payments are not most companies’ number 1 priority. But for many rental companies, they’re missing a big opportunity. Better payments technology can make a massive difference in customer satisfaction, checkout speed, and overall success.

Leverage Payments for Return Customers

The rental industry, perhaps more than almost any other sector, depends on repeat business. Customers who rent an item are very likely, whether in the short or long term, to need it again. Annual rentals are a common occurrence—think leaf blowers in the fall—and some customers will come back far more often than that. Car rental chains can have loyal customers showing up at locations across the country, for instance.

So for rental companies, it’s crucial to ensure a pleasant experience for these customers. After all, it is times cheaper to retain customers than to find a new customer, according to the Harvard Business Review. And such a large number of return customers creates a unique opportunity to boost customer satisfaction through payments.

The Difficulties of Deposits

There are many ways in which the retail industry is uniquely positioned to benefit from better payments. Take deposits, for instance.

In rentals, deposits are almost always a requirement for any customer rental. In case anything goes wrong, a deposit needs to be taken—or a payment needs to be on file—so that the rental company isn’t on the hook if there is damage when the item is returned.

Not only that, sometimes customers pay with one credit card and put the deposit on a second, which creates various technical and logistical problems. Luckily, new solutions have enabled technology that can refund payment to one card first, and the remainder to another. It allows customers more freedom to pay as they choose, which creates happier customers and frees up associates from having to create unique solutions to this issue.

How Customer Satisfaction Improves

The best payments experience makes the process easier for return customers–think of the leaders in the industry, whether online or at brick‐and‐mortar locations. The best checkouts boost profit by embodying the two essential qualities: speed and security.

If a rental company has a return customer, there should simply be no need to re‐enter payment information. Re‐entering frequent customer data is time consuming and makes the experience less appealing. It’s inefficient to write payments for every single separate contract that a customer takes part in.

Instead, payment is a simple, secure, and speedy process if you choose the right technology. There are a few pillars of modern payments that can simplify life for rental companies:

  • Tokenization. Tokenization is a cornerstone of secure modern payments, encrypting information so that it’s safe to store and keep behind. Any modern payment system needs to utilize tokenization to keep customer information safe.
  • Card account updater. Expiring cards are a huge issue in recurring payments, but modern payment technology is able to find out the new number when a card expires. That way, the customer doesn’t have to re‐enter a card every time they get a new one.
  • Keeping data off the POS. Customers often see recurring payments as inherently risky because of the data being stored. But the best technology securely stores data away from the POS, which can still be recalled for recurring billing/frequent clients.

Technology that includes these features will speed up checkout and keep your customers’ data safer, leading to more satisfied customers. The rental industry has a lot to gain from utilizing the latest in payments tech, and as more rental companies adopt this technology, it’s going to become expected by most customers. That’s why rental stores that want to keep ahead of their competitors are adopting now.

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