With customer care being one of the fastest growing priorities today, determining how best to serve your consumers is crucial.
For companies or industries that require payment for anything from medical bills to tuition fees, bill payment kiosks provide accessibility and convenience to your customers and clients.
Here, we’ll detail the benefits of bill pay kiosks, where they’re commonly found, and how they differ from other self-service kiosks.
A bill payment kiosk is a self-service solution that lets customers pay a bill directly at the kiosk. Industries that have benefited from kiosk payment machines include transportation, healthcare, government, public utilities, and more.
As a whole, self-service kiosks provide many advantages, but bill payment kiosks specifically offer the following:
Bill pay kiosks often serve the underbanked community, a group that has little to no connection to banks and frequently pay for items and services using cash or other nontraditional methods. Cash payment kiosks provide an important avenue for the underbanked to pay utility bills, settle a medical invoice, or more without needing a credit card or checking account.
In addition, payment kiosks can be placed in convenient locations that extend bill payment hours and accessibility. DMV kiosks are a good example. With limited DMV hours and fewer offices, many states have placed car registration and bill payment kiosks at grocery stores and similar sites. This gives drivers better access to these services.
Labor Gap Solution
With labor shortages still plaguing businesses, bill payment kiosks free up existing employees without sacrificing service.
Frank Mayer account executive and kiosk expert Edward Roberto explains, “Offering self-service options can relieve pressure on current staff, resulting in more efficiency.”
He continues, “Not only does it save operating costs for businesses, but employing payment kiosks can deliver a better customer experience versus requiring a person to wait in line for an associate.”
With bill payment kiosks, customers and patients no longer need to share sensitive information across a reception desk.
Whether they’re paying tuition bills, a utility payment, or outstanding medical debt, people can discretely pay bills through a kiosk.
With benefits like convenience, enhanced customer experience, and privacy, bill pay kiosks have grown in popularity amongst both consumers and businesses.
Self-service solutions like bill payment kiosks can be utilized at countless locations and for multiple scenarios.
Whether it’s a utility payment kiosk offering area residents the ability to pay at a municipal building, or a DMV kiosk extending service hours at a grocery store, businesses have sought to reach more people at convenient locations using these self-service options.
Comprise Technologies teamed with the City of Milwaukee to offer the Smart Services kiosk, which allows individuals to purchase and renew city parking passes as well as pay parking fines. These are found at area police stations and the city tow lot. The kiosk can also serve other markets and can process any form of payment.
In addition, some businesses choose to offer bill payment kiosks at their own locations to free up staff. These are typically found at medical offices, college campuses, libraries, transportation hubs, and other similar venues.
Because bill payment kiosks are processing credit card transactions and cash, their security features and network connections may require more specific consideration than other self-service solutions.
“For cash payment kiosks, the level of security depends on the kiosk operator,” Roberto states. “How they want to manage the cash, who handles the cash, how much cash is being handled, and where the kiosk is located are all taken into account.”
Commonly, bill payment kiosks have secondary safes or secure compartments for cash handling mechanisms as well as auditing locks to document access.
For kiosks handling a significant amount of cash, companies can also go the extra step and pay to have their kiosk certified to the UL291 standard.
UL291 lists criteria for ATMs and other cash recyclers. It states kiosks must be constructed to prevent forced entry and access to cash within specific benchmarks based on location and hours of operation. Depending on the level of supervision on site, the kiosks must meet endurance requirements, like withstanding attempted entry within a certain time period, to be certified to UL291.
In addition to security measures, bill pay kiosks also require careful planning for network connections.
“Electronic payment devices need to either continuously or at some point connect back to the payment provider to reconcile or approve charges, so connectivity is important,” Roberto says. “The right solution needs to be considered so there’s no loss of connection during a transaction.”
Connectivity recommendations are based on reliability and data security.
When it comes to reliability, ethernet is best because it’s unaffected by signal interference from walls, multiple routers, or other hindrances.
For electronic payments, data security is benchmarked against the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, otherwise known as being PCI compliant. Your payment device may require a direct P2PE (peer to peer encrypted) connection with the payment gateway so that payment data can’t be stolen or comprised. In this case, hardwired is still preferred, but some devices have cellular connectivity built in. In these cases, Wi-Fi is not an option.
Whether you’re looking to extend service hours to your customers or want to optimize your staff’s time, a bill pay kiosk enhances the consumer experience and cuts back on operational costs.
The function of your kiosk will determine what features are required, so work with your manufacturer to outline what components are required to meet your objectives.