Payments

Messaging app Podium now lets businesses take payments over text

  • Podium enables businesses to manage digital communications through a single platform.
  • The company is launching payments as an easy text-based way for businesses to bill their customers.
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Messaging app Podium now lets businesses take payments over text

Podium's messaging platform currently facilitates millions of customer interactions for more than 43,000 businesses of all sizes.

  • Podium gives businesses a single platform to manage their interactions over various channels, like SMS, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.
  • The company works with single location medical and home service providers to professional sports franchises and enterprise retailers with hundreds of locations.

"One of the largest things we have always heard from our customers was how difficult it was to conduct the $20B+ worth of card-not-present transactions that they transact each year," said Eric Rea, CEO of Podium. "Podium Payments allows businesses to modernize their payments by simply sending a text, solving everything from outstanding invoices such as medical bills or home services jobs to retailers wanting a more convenient way to close a sale through messaging."

The product: The company is launching Podium Payments, which gives local businesses the ability to utilize text messaging to securely take payment directly from the Podium platform.

  • By engaging with customers through simple text-based payment links, what has either been a resource-intensive phone call or a multi-week turnaround with mailed invoices can now be completed within minutes.
  • Traditional "card-not-present" transactions that are typically handled over the phone or via mailed invoice have roughly a 2 percent completion rate, according to the company. With the companies in Podium's Payments beta, that completion rate tripled as well as provided 80 percent reduction in staff time resources.

"Podium is now our go-to for payments, not just for Webchat leads, but for any payment with a fan," says Ty Wardle, vice president ticket sales & services with the Utah Jazz. "We went from spending two to five minutes per phone call trying to collect payments for tickets to just sending a convenient text. Not only does that make our team way more efficient, but it has improved our ticket buying experience to being one of the best in the NBA."

Context: Embedded Finance describes the trend of businesses from all industries increasingly offering banking and payment products to their existing customers.

  • Podium is one of a growing number of software platforms that have incorporated payments into their offerings.
  • Finix's Richie Serna spoke about what's behind software companies becoming payment companies at Tearsheet's Embedded Conference last year. Finix helps software companies bring payments capabilities in-house.
  • For example: Mindbody is a leading software platform that services yoga studios and other small businesses in the wellness industry. Its clients can take payments for classes and products through their Mindbody accounts.
  • For example: Travel spending management platform TripActions recently launched a physical and virtual credit card solution to help its clients control and reconcile their employees' travel spending.

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