By Christine Hunsucker, Senior Vice President and Global Payments Strategist, Wells Fargo
Commercial card declines can happen for a number of reasons, from exceeding legitimate controls (such as transaction and credit limits) to experiencing potentially fraudulent transactions. No one wants this inconvenience at point-of-sale, yet despite everyone’s best efforts, it does occur occasionally. What matters, in the moment, is how quickly you can resolve the issue and achieve your ultimate goal.
Just a few years ago, stepping out of the checkout line to call customer support was the only option available — especially for situations that occurred outside of traditional business hours. No matter how speedy and effective the call center staff, cardholders could count on at least several minutes to address an issue, and an unwelcome interruption to their plans.
Disruptive tools set a new bar for help
Fast forward to today. Digital tools that facilitate self-service and empower customers have proliferated. In the process, they’ve upended our expectations and set a high bar for how “help” gets delivered.
Consumers and businesses now have more options — and fewer headaches — when it comes to accessing information and resolving day-to-day operational challenges. Fortunately, commercial card platforms are no exception.
Self-service capabilities minimize disruption
Next-generation commercial card platforms use built-in service capabilities to take the hassle out of everyday service and support. These capabilities take advantage of three things: smart phones and connected devices, embedded authentication, and real-time information access. Together, all three put users at the center of the process, with an emphasis on simplicity and convenience.
With this innovative and intuitive functionality, tackling a declined transaction (or other issue) can be swift and painless. Cardholders simply sign up to participate in alerts, and provide their cell phone number to their issuer.
Your commercial card’s mobile app on your smartphone can validate your identity and credentials automatically. This “Remember me” functionality saves you time and protects your personal information. Using real-time access to card data, the app presents the declined transaction — including the reason for the decline, “Transaction exceeds single purchase limit.” This prompts you to re-examine the amount, and notice the cashier mistakenly keyed in an extra zero on the price. With the correct amount entered, your purchase is approved.
In just a few seconds, and completely on your own, you’re back in action.
Cardholders and program administrators both benefit
At Wells Fargo, streamlining the process starts by understanding the most frequent reasons that cardholders — and program administrators — seek assistance. Then, we leverage technology to help both achieve their goals in as few steps as possible. Mobile apps and alerts eliminate the need to contact a call center. Sophisticated data mining capabilities link issues to the most probable solutions, making digital tools fast and easy for users.
Cardholders, for example, most often need assistance when a card or transaction is declined. Program administrators, on the other hand, primarily seek help on behalf of a cardholder to order a replacement card. And while contacting the service center via phone is always an option, these issues — and others — are easily resolved from within the commercial card platform.
It’s all a matter of getting the right information, to the right person, at exactly the right time. By providing intuitive options and using digital tools for security and authentication, cardholders and program administrators can skip the wait. Self-service tools help users spend more time on what really matters, supported by seamless and efficient payment mechanisms.
For more information, contact your treasury management representative.