Easing Preauthorization Pain

Preauthorizations can cause customers a lot of confusion and anxiety. ZippyAssist's new workflow addresses some of the problems.

Easing Preauthorization Pain

Payment preauthorizations come part-and-parcel with cashless payments, but when something goes wrong they cause customers a lot of confusion and anxiety. The result is often time-consuming calls from customers calling foul and operators seeking to reassure customers. Now, with recent enhancements to ZippyAssist's refunds feature, there is better way.

The problem with cashless payments.

Cashless payments are pretty great. Less and less people carry physical cash these days, and handling cash comes with all the risks and overhead of, well – handling cash. And when you partner cashless with guaranteed delivery mechanisms, you’ve got a dream combination.

Until something goes wrong. Then things can get confusing and complicated.

For customers, using cash did have at least one important advantage: it was easy to understand. And when something went wrong at least they knew where their money was – if not returned to them, it was still in the machine. That isn’t the case with cashless. Much of what makes cashless so magical is the very thing that makes customers think their money has “vanished into thin air” when things go wrong.

Which is why handling the preauthorization scenario can be tricky and time-consuming.

Click the image above to watch the introduction video.

Opportunities from uncertainty.

ZippyAssist now has a solution to preauthorization headaches, which I explain below. But before that – why even spend time and money to figure this out?

Great companies understand that customer support is a golden opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition. This is even more so in unattended retail where the products themselves are generally undifferentiated. And competing on price is simply a race to the bottom.

So in unattended retail, how a company handles the unexpected is a great opportunity to demonstrate how they are materially different from the others. At the very least, no worse.

So what’s the solution?

Like all things with ZippyAssist, our approach is to help the customer feel reassured that any small problem won’t grow into a big one – all done without phone calls or emails.

With cashless preauthorization, we’ve done that by making significant behind-the-scenes modifications to our normal refund request flow. These modifications allow us to:

  • Continue to get information needed for a service request in case equipment needs fixing
  • Create a draft refund for future use if needed (and avoid customers needing to recall details)
  • Let the customer know their set-aside funds should be automatically released by their card issuer
  • Let the customer know we’ll check-in with them in a few days to make sure
  • Text the customer after the estimated preauthorization expiry date date, and if they need to they can continue their refund request.

We’ve also introduced enhancements to manage this flow for a range of cashless payment methods including credit/debit cards, ApplePay® and GooglePay™, US Connect cards, and PayRange.

And last (but not least), we can now securely ask the customer for their card or device details if the operator prefers to reverse a transaction – essentially put funds back onto the customer’s card or digital wallet.

Keeping the magic

People delight in the magical experiences of technology but when things don’t go as planned it’s important for companies to have a solid backup. That’s often when people learn whether they’ve made the right or wrong decisions in working with a company.

When things go wrong is where operators with ZippyAssist have the advantage. Zippy makes it easier for customers to seek help if they need it, giving operators key information at their fingertips and tools to get things done quickly and efficiently.

ZippyAssist’s preauthorization workflow has many features not covered in this brief article, but we’d love to give you a demo – just get in touch.