An Opportunity for Financial Services Providers: Part 1

How Embedded Receipts Could Earn Customer Trust

Imagine you’re on your way home from a business trip, with plans to attend a friend’s anniversary party over the weekend. During your trip, you paid for your hotel stay, lunch with your client, and even some personal shopping, not once needing to stop by the bank or even use cash.

Of course, digital (or electronic) payments have been around in various forms for many years and have become very flexible and useful. And with banking services embedded into digital payment products, making a payment has become simple, fast and easy for customers. The Point of Sale (POS) processing of debit and credit cards, digital wallets and smartphones, QR and barcode-driven payments, and more, make the every-day process of buying goods and services very convenient.

These are part of the growing number of services that make up an “embedded commerce” ecosystem. Financial institutions, FinTechs and many service providers are very aware of these embedded services and are always looking for new ways to make the customer experience seamless and efficient.

An Opportunity for Financial Solution Providers

With this in mind, let’s add a complication to our scenario using a very common situation. Let’s imagine you’ve lost your printed receipt for your business lunch, which, of course, you will need to complete your expenses for the week. And while you did request the receipt be emailed as well, you have searched and cannot locate the email. Maybe the email address was entered incorrectly or perhaps the POS system has not sent the email yet. You think to yourself, “There must be a better system.”

Certainly we have made great strides toward digitizing receipts with the introduction of e-receipts using email and text functionality. So, what if we continue this journey by providing support for an “embedded receipt” model which allows financial solution providers to help ensure customer satisfaction by providing itemized receipts electronically at the point of sale?

The Embedded Receipts Process

So, what would this embedded receipt function look like for the customer? Let’s revisit the business lunch scenario.

When the bill is requested, your waiter arrives with a mobile POS fitted with the latest tech and asks how you’d like your receipt. “Print, Email, Text, or Embedded?” he offers. By selecting “Embedded,” your bill is presented on your smart phone app for review and to authorize payment. After the payment is made, a receipt is provided in some prescribed data format back to your phone app to be identified as a business expense. This receipt data is directed to a pre-defined storage, such as a cloud content system, as a file or message to be processed immediately, or based on a schedule, within your expense reimbursement system. You can also access your receipt history and copy or download the receipt, if needed.

Later you purchase a gift for your friends’ anniversary party, and you easily stash that embedded receipt under your personal purchases using the same app.

Building Customer confidence and convenience

There is something to be said for having evidence to confirm your payment has gone through successfully; that the payee agrees that the payment has been received. Even receiving a confirmation number when paying a bill online seems to boost customers’ confidence. In fact, according to Business2Community.com, “The best practice to boost customer confidence with an order confirmation email is to send the email right after the purchase is made by your customers.”

Embedding the receipts management into the POS experience would increase the customer’s assurance that payment has been made, coupled with the assurance they have proof of payment as well as an itemized listing of what was purchased.

In the second half of this article to follow, we explore additional potential benefits, as well as challenges, that could arise from providing embedded receipts.