With the advent of fintech advances in the 21st century, where a payment is completed within a blink of an eye, it’s an enigma that a refund is processed at 20th century speed. Messages like above, ranging from a cancelled food delivery order to a cancelled flight booking, lead to a nightmarish last-leg product experience for the user.
This long cycle of processing refunds is a significant problem with every popular payment mechanism in the payments industry.
In the last 5 years, as one of the fastest growing payment gateways in India, Razorpay has seen a subtle change in the dynamics of the payments ecosystem. A young India has emerged, where the consumers are obsessed on one-click payment on merchant checkouts and prefer non-OTP based payment methods like UPI for completing a payment. This indicates the apparent restlessness of the new Indian consumer.
In this era, asking people to wait for a week for an amount processed in 5 seconds is not just unfair but a poignant question on the technical advancements being made in the fintech ecosystem.
From 7200 minutes to 2 minutes
Instant Refunds – Razorpay’s Instant Refunds tackles this lengthy and opaque life-cycle of refund. By using this feature, as a merchant you can now do away with sending the aforementioned messages and be assured that the refunds shall hit the end-customer’s account within 2 minutes of the initiation.
Here’s what a typical customer scenario for an online business looks like:
A frantic and irritable customer calls up the customer support demanding refund of the INR 14,000/- flight he just booked with wrong user details. Even though the booking was refundable, the long time mentioned in the SMS for the amount to reflect back in his account is driving him crazy. The Merchant is practically clueless and is completely relying on the payment gateway’s promise of the refund timeline. The payment gateway, in turn, is relying on the promises made by the entities across the payment layer who’re responsible for parking the amount in the customer’s account .
This chain of promises is the biggest barrier that Razorpay overcomes with Instant Refunds.
Razorpay’s Instant Refunds feature not only ensures that the refund is processed at a 3600x faster pace than the normal expected time, but also gives the last-leg visibility to the businesses on the processing outcome of the refund.
Currently, Instant Refunds is supported on several major Credit Card providers and UPI payment methods.
The 99.9% problem
With Instant Refunds, Razorpay tries to deliver the refund in the fastest possible time-frame to the end customers. However, with any complex technical process like a payment or fund transfer, there are small chances of failures. In these cases, Razorpay takes the complete onus of pushing the refunds successfully at whichever speed possible. In these rare cases, the merchant can be assured that the amount will eventually reach back to the end-consumer in the due time communicated by Razorpay. This shall be done as a response in the Razorpay’s Refund Status API, which shall empower the merchant to do a real-time tracking of the refund process speed and refund status.
Razorpay levies a small fee for processing Instant Refunds, which is deducted from your Razorpay Balance while processing the refund. This fee is primarily charged because Razorpay has to bear the subsequent cost of processing the fund transfer to the customer’s account for refund. This deduction takes place only if you decide to process the refund instantly. In case, Instant Refunds is not successful, and the refund takes 5-7 working days, the levied fee is reversed back to your balance.
The experience economy
Instant Refunds aims to curb several key problems that you end up facing as a business. It lays the foundation for a 7-star consumer experience for a customer completing a transaction with you. To sum up, Instant Refunds helps in:
- Increasing Customer Retention: A customer is more likely transact with you if you return his money back as soon as possible
- Improving Reliability and Trust: More trust between you and your customer as you righteously and timely move the money back to the customer’s account
- More control and visibility on the refund lifecycle: No more back and forth on hundreds of customer support conversations that trouble your operations team
We are currently rolling out this feature for 6 of the major credit card providers and UPI. In the next phase we will be adding support for all of the aforementioned credit cards and debit cards.
Also read: Why Online Payments Fail