For Payfare, fast and accurate customer experience is not just a nice-to-have, it’s essential.
The Toronto-based fintech, which hit 1 million active users in December, provides financial services to drivers for the biggest gig companies in the world, including Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash.
“Our cardholders are busy. They need to trust that Payfare is here to power their earnings, every minute of every day,” says Chief Strategy Officer & Chief Compliance Officer Su Chun. “When they reach out for support, they need speedy service and correct information so they can get back to work and back to their families.”
Chun sat down with Ubiquity as part of our CX Innovators spotlight series to discuss financial inclusion, scaling exceptional CX, and finding an agile partner to grow with you.
Ubiquity: Have you always outsourced CX?
Su Chun: At our core, we’re a fintech innovator. Payfare focuses on building powerful payout and technology platforms and the best neobanking experience for gig workers. We have always looked to an external partner with expertise and focus on customer support to best service our cardholders.
Ubiquity: You went through prior partners before connecting with Ubiquity. What are some of the challenges you’ve had on the customer support front?
SC: We hold our partners to a very high standard of quality and attentiveness because this is what our clients and cardholders deserve, and why they can count on Payfare. We’ve tried different CX vendors—onshore and offshore—and struggled with quality. Giving inaccurate information to a cardholder asking about how they can access their money is not acceptable, and we’ve parted ways with previous vendors who couldn’t provide the consistent level of quality and service we require.
We need a partner that understands the urgency for our cardholders and is ready to adapt as we make improvements to our banking apps and rewards, and expand our offerings.
What’s really important to me is the relationship, making sure that we have a support partner that gets who we are and why we care so much about what we do.
Data drives CX optimization
Ubiquity: How have you been able to improve CX?
SC: Over the past year, we’ve revamped all of our processes and improved tools and systems so we can provide the best, fastest service possible.
Claims for unauthorized transactions, for example, are now completed over 80% faster than before, and overall ticket completion and handling is 25% faster.
We’ve also made changes to our banking apps to make self-service more intuitive and reduce the need for cardholders to call in, dropping the inbound call rate by over 40%.
Ubiquity: What was your strategy for improvement?
SC: We started by looking at why customers are calling in, and that’s an ongoing effort. Either something is confusing or isn’t working properly—and we focused not just on the app but on our agent-facing tools, as well. We spend a lot of time looking at internal processes and how we can get the agents the right information faster and easier, so they can better support the cardholder.
Small changes can have a big impact. For example, agents were copying and pasting names from one system into another. However, if a customer’s name appeared in the CRM in all capital letters, then the agent had to retype it while trying to talk to the customer. We eliminated that process altogether by changing how names were populating in the CRM, which saves time and eliminates the potential for typos.
Ubiquity: What are some other ways you’ve revamped your processes to get those results?
SC: Improving call handling quality and speed has definitely been a huge effort. We’ve made pretty tremendous changes across the board. We’ve updated our training curriculum and increased training time—the upfront investment is worth it. The QA team is very attentive, and internally we are spot checking tickets and calls every day. There’s a lot of collaboration that happens within the Payfare team.
Our Product and Engineering leaders recently came onsite to see what it takes to service our cardholders, and the vast knowledge the agents need to be able to answer any questions that come up. Both our Product and Engineering Teams listen to cardholder calls every month to stay close to our cardholders and agents and continuously think of ways that we can do things BETTER. Joint feedback across our internal teams and Ubiquity helps us improve our agent knowledge and products.
We care about the agents, just like we care for our customers. We want to make their jobs easier. If we take care of the agents, the voice and face of Payfare, we are taking care of our cardholders.
Founded: 2015 by Ryan Deslippe, Keith McKenzie, and Marco Margiotta
What they do: Help workers get paid faster, offering a full range of banking services, including a debit card and premium cashback rewards. DasherDirect, powered by Payfare, has been ranked the #1 finance app in the U.S.
Partners: Leading platforms and marketplaces, such as Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash. By providing instant access to earnings, clients see immediate positive feedback from gig workers and higher retention, reduction in cost of acquisition of worker supply hours, and higher supply hours.
Headquarters: Toronto (serving partners globally)
Funding: Raised C$65.4 million in 2021 IPO; trades as PAY on the Toronto Stock Exchange
Impact: More than 1 million active users and more than $2 million in monthly cashback rewards redeemed across the portfolio.
“We know there’s a deep need for what we are providing,” says Su Chun, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. “Instant access to earnings provides greater financial control, especially for those who are new to the country, or may not have regular hours they can work. A Payfare account provides financial inclusion for the underbanked—there’s no fees to apply, no credit check or minimum account balance requirements.”
Connecting departments for better CX
Ubiquity: How has your compliance background influenced how you view CX?
SC: I came into Payfare focused on regulatory and legal compliance and expanded out from that. The deeper I’ve gotten into the operations, the more I’ve seen how connected we all are and need to be.
By listening closely to feedback from cardholders, we can discover so many areas of improvement. Minor wording changes in email communications and changes in UX of our apps, for example, can lead to a better, more seamless cardholder experience, and thus fewer calls and cost. Great CX requires all facets of Payfare to be working together—Compliance, Product, Engineering, Marketing, Fraud—they all play a role in how we can improve CX.
I think in many organizations CX and other departments are siloed. That approach is a huge wasted opportunity to learn directly from the end users. We’re constantly looking at our top call drivers so we can find ways to improve the cardholder experience.
Ubiquity: As you grow, how can you make sure silos don’t form?
SC: The bigger you get, it’s definitely a growing risk. At a high level, it’s about elevating awareness of what the support team does. It’s important to bring the experience of the agent and the cardholder to the wider organization. I play cardholder calls for our Product Team and even all-staff meetings, to share friction points to see if there are ways we can help solve problems together. We also celebrate wins together, those moments when we are able to really help a cardholder.
Ubiquity: You’ve talked a lot about cardholder feedback. What’s the most important feedback you’ve gotten from customers?
SC: I’m fortunate in my role to see feedback from our cardholders every single day. I value it all because it helps us get better, but it’s powerful to hear about the impact of our products. Payfare powers instant pay and for our cardholders, having their money available in seconds after finishing a ride or delivery, can be life changing. I hear from cardholders all the time that because they have immediate access to their earnings, they don’t have to choose between using gas to go to work or driving their kids to school. That’s why we are so driven and passionate—we’re empowering access to key financial services through instant pay.
Seeing the positive impact our product and services have on our clients and cardholders fuels us to expand our reach. We’re working on exciting new product features to provide an even wider range of payout, rewards, and financial services to our clients and cardholders.