Hi! I’m Irina.
As well as the CEO of GetLocals.com I’ve been in the payments industry for 10 years and I live, breathe, and eat payment topics. If you cannot offer customers seamless hassle free payment options the competition will just eat you up.. I see payments as not just a way for customers to pay at checkout, but as a function of a company that can be used to acquire and retain customers, as well as generate new sources of revenue. A good payment system is one of the key elements of gaining customer retention.
Many may ask “Why are payment options so important” ?
Fair question. I’m happy to share a bit of my knowledge in the exciting world of payments!
Let’s start with the basics. Why do companies need Payments seamlessly without problems ? Well, if you need to collect money from customers, you need to have infrastructure that allows you to do that.
Whether it’s at the garage when you pay with your credit card, or online when you checkout using Google Pay, the infrastructure has to be built maintained and regularly updated.
One question to ask yourself, when you purchase something online is, are you always able to pay with your choice of payment? I once had a phase of obsessively collecting airline miles with my American Express card. When a website didn’t have American Express as an option, I would immediately look at booking through other websites without looking back. I wanted those airline miles.
I also remember one time I was waiting for my new debit card to be delivered, but I needed to purchase something online. I thought to myself, no problem — I’ll just use my PayPal account. When PayPal wasn’t an option, I found myself forced to wait for my debit card to arrive. Not cool Not Good!
These types of incidents happen all the time across the global markets, and it’s up to the Payments department at companies to continually optimize how people pay, and ensure a smooth journey along the way.
Our mission at GetLocals.com with Payments is very simple.
We have done our lordly duties with honor and valor, there are two outcomes we aim for at the end of every customers checkout:
Customers can’t even remember the payment portion of their online shopping because it was so simple, and they could pay however they wanted.
They were happily surprised — for example, that they were able to split the final payment into 4 installments and pay over time instead of all at once. Not necessarily paying with that cryptocurrency they’ve recently been profitably investing in, though.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Money is emotional, yes it really is!
One thing I always tell people is that money is emotional. What I mean is that if anything goes wrong with how you spend or receive money, it’s an emotional matter. Imagine not getting paid one day from your employer because something went wrong with the payment. That’s stressful.
Or if you buy something online and you were accidentally double charged. You wouldn’t be a happy camper. At GetLocals we strive to continually improve how things work so that problems don’t arise in the first place.
Let’s imagine another scenario that isn’t related to problems during the payment process.
You’re browsing GetLocals for your upcoming trip to Bucharest. You have a budget of 150 and you can’t go over. You book the Romanian class, the street food tour,. Total = 180… over your budget. But you can’t spend more than 150 or else you won’t have enough money for the other purchases on your trip.
If you’ve ever had this experience before, it can be stressful and emotionally draining. Luckily in the world of payments, we’re looking into these scenarios. For example, implementing split payments that can be paid over time, or reserve now and pay later schemes, so that in the end, you can do everything your heart desires during your precious holiday time.
A recent new feature we have just implemented is “Reserve now pay later” Bearing in mind with what has been happening around the world for the last few years we hope this feature will put a few customers’ minds at ease knowing there is no need to pay for your experience until you are actually on your travels.
An exciting but continuous road ahead
So what’s in store for the Payments department at GetLocals?
If you add up all the payment methods from every country in the world, you can imagine any Payments department has their plate full — more like a bottomless plate.
In the next few years at GetLocals, we’ll focus on our target countries, and make sure all customers can pay how they like, and without friction. We want you to have a great customer experience and hope to see you time and time again.
Safe Travels everyone.