Will we build trust for online payments?

In last month, I have been read this non-customer oriented article “RBI notice on online credit card transactions hits the Uber taxi app“. I run a my service and we have online payment incorporated for Indian students and also take payment via cheque and cash . When you work with customers evangelize and make him happy and not able to get payment, it is frustrating for everyone.  Should that means find a way to hold him tight in unfair way?  Can we not do business in win-win relationship with customers?

I do not think that Indian customers are matured for payment in the form of recurring charges .  I keep hearing and reading the dark side of credit card recurring payment woes  form American students and American people and my own experience being in USA. I would like people cribbing on RBI move to learn of the dark side of credit card industry and educational loans.

As I am not against online payment as such personally, I want to start with positive things. I want payments mechanism in India similar to my bank. My bank offers me 3 type of payment mechanism to pay my utility bills, credit card bills and also insurance.

  • One-time payment
  • Confirm & Pay. I sign up for this.
  • Auto-Pay . I do not sign up for this.

As customer, I prefer to make use of Confirm & Pay after saving the first time. This option gives me comfort feeling that money is not going to be taken by someone with out my consent.  If there are are issues in bills, I have an option to talk to them and get them resolved and then make payments. If the issue is not resolved, I pay what I consider valid and hold the disputed amount. It gives me mental peace as customer.  Positive experience

I use My Bank’s Payment option for Credit Card. The minimal amount gets transferred from my savings account to credit card. To make full payment, it is under my control. Here too I have the power as customer to dispute. With the power given to me, I trust my bank and have not faced major challenges.  Positive experience

Let us start with LinkedIn? I always get this annoying email from LinkedIn that  talks why I should try their trial version.  As I liked trying new products, I  genuinely try to activate the same, the process asks  me for a credit card and they will charge at end of trial period and I can discontinue before 30 days. Why did LinkedIn invitation email not share the information that they need credit card to activate the trial? if They have done so, I would not wasted time to going to the payment page. There was a recent survey and I marked my reason is I do not want to provide credit card and I got invite again 2 weeks back. The payment page has no connection to FAQ. It says “Did you know?You can cancel your Premium account anytime.” and observe there is no link. Googled and found this page Canceling or Downgrading Your Premium Account and observe the redirection without information as ” You can cancel or change your Premium account from your Privacy & Settings page.” I have not purchased and do not know. People who have purchased can visit “Accounts & Settingsobserve the difference in page name from Privacy & Settings.  I find it difficult to trust LinkedIn with my credit card details. Am I being scamed?

 Let me start with online credit card service. At the same time,  this is my bad experience going the physical way. I placed a different bank cheque for my credit card payments through ATM drop-box. After a week, it was not encashed. I called the bank and the bank did not acknowledge the receipt of the cheque. I cleared the Credit card amount from my savings account. Two weeks after the cheque was deposited, the different back cheque was placed without my knowledge and different bank charged me for no bank balance cheque presentation charges. My own bank charged me for cheque bounces charges even after reporting loss of cheque and making payment. In addition my bank  failed to honor my credit card payment and the credit card was blocked without my knowledge. The customer service representative on a call is not able to see old payment and is pushing me why I have not made the payment. It took my 2 hours across 6 calls spanned over 2 hours to get my credit card activated.  No responsibility of the bank and pathetic customer service

Two weeks back, I charged my 74 year old fathers’s SIM card and when I gave him the phone, he checked for the balance in the received message and found it increased. There was one more message and  there was unnecessary charge of 4Rs on pre-paid SIM card and he was worried.  He shared with me that this has happened earlier in last 2  months. He is concerned. Let me mention my father was senior professional who used mobile when there was charges both for incoming and outgoing calls while working. No customer service and Customer Exploitation by service provider related to payment and no easy refute process. I know that he will be charged for calling to complaint also.

Now comes my wife experience. She goes to deposit money in the bank in the regular hours and the bank refuses to take money and directs her to different branch that is not nearby for people who walk and cycle at that time. She takes extra effort and deposits there. I come back and visit the bank an raise concern. The bank justifies that they helped her. When I pointed that bank would not be able to refuse deposit in savings account and whether they can give that they refused in writing. I also shared that I would fax to RBI and then RBI would take action not on branch alone and the whole bank.  The manager acknowledge the extent of the mistake and justified that the computer system was down that day and the staff  did not know  how to perform their banking work without the computer system. Skill of the staff is a problem with banks and payments and no fallback mechanism in place. People know “what?” and “How?” only using computer. They do not know “what?” and “How?” of their process and neither the “Why?”  My wife is high value customer for the branch and why is the bank implementing  CRM. This skill gap problem is also observed when one goes to demat your shares in physical format today.

As customer,

  • I want to be in control of  conversion from  Freemium to automatic billing after the trial period ends. The service is bad in trial version and then why should I take extra efforts to stop the  automatic conversion. Most providers make it hard to stop auto conversions.
  • I want to be safe-guarded from exploitation from build in auto-renewals and continuity plans for subscriptions. There are no easy way to stop auto-renewals
  • Periodic notifications and consent are an absolute must, before invoicing and billing the customers in a recurring manner. People increase the billing amount without even communicating the same with us and this is not acceptable. Need sufficient time to leave your service. Invoices and bills are required for income tax filing purposes.
  • People need to  follow RBI safe-guards for customer. Welcome people working with RBI and making it win-win for both customer and businesses.  We should not use back door entries to overcome the regulations brought by a larger society?

I find that Flipkart.com, amazon.in and snapdeal.com have done better things and we learn from them more. Let us come with some mechanism where people have control to trust online payments.