No-one likes it when their vehicle breaks down. But what is already a stressful time can be made infinitely worse for the driver if delays in supplier payments keeps the vehicle off the road for longer than is really necessary. It may damage the customer relationship beyond repair and also reflects badly on the garage.
In an already soft market suffering “relentless price competition” this year, warranty providers must find new ways to streamline the outdated and inefficient B2B payment process. Fortunately, innovative new platforms exist to help them do exactly that, and get claimants moving again as quickly as possible.
Driven to despair
We’ve all been there at some point or another. It might be on the way to work, on a dark country lane in the middle of Winter, on the way to the airport, or – worse still – abroad on holiday. Vehicle breakdowns still happen more regularly than many drivers think. In fact, there were over 187,000 recorded incidents in 2015/16 alone, according to the government.
When the worst-case scenario finally happens, all the driver wants to do is get their vehicle fixed and be mobile again as soon as possible. However, most garages won’t release them until payment by the warranty provider has been made. This is when the wheels can really come off due to manual payment processes that haven’t changed for decades.
Cheque and BACS-based payments are time consuming, insecure and inefficient. These challenges are only exacerbated by the complex network of suppliers many warranty providers have to manage.
A new way
Thankfully, there is a new alternative. Virtual Account Numbers (VANs) are 16-digit, automatically generated card numbers used to facilitate supplier payments quickly and easily. VAN payments are also backed by the guarantee of the chargeback facility through card companies such as Mastercard.
Warranty providers can personalise each payment via parameters such as amount, currency and merchant category, to improve security. But most importantly, reconciliation can be automated, reducing overheads, eliminating manual errors and speeding up the release of repaired vehicles.
It’s all about keeping things as fast, simple and secure as possible. VANs can lower overheads, improve security and help provide clear audit trails for warranty providers. But when it comes to vehicle breakdowns, they most importantly facilitate immediate payment to suppliers to minimise inconvenience for the claimant.
That’s the kind of service that will keep both supplier and customer happy and loyal.