For nearly 70 years, H&R Block has been on a mission to simplify the complexities of the tax preparation process for clients. Thanks to a recent collaboration with PNC, their customer experience has become even more streamlined.

Now, should an H&R Block client be entitled to a refund of their tax preparation fees, they no longer have to wait to receive these payments via a check in the mail. Instead, they can choose from a variety of payment types – including Zelle®, other popular online payment platforms, real-time payments, and ACH direct deposit – and receive a nearly immediate refund payment, courtesy of PNC’s ePayments solution. Through this platform, consumers receive a notification sent as an email or SMS text message that presents them with the option to choose a preferred method of payment.

For H&R Block, the solution not only offers value by providing quick and secure payments for their clients, but also by reducing administrative load. Recipients provide the details needed to receive the electronic payment. PNC executes the payment according to the client’s choice and, if applicable, securely stores all payment information, eliminating the need for H&R Block to maintain the information in-house.

Perhaps even more significant, ePayments greatly reduces H&R Block’s reliance on check payments, thereby offering considerable benefits in managing costs and risk. Prior to implementing the ePayments solution, H&R Block issued all client fee refunds via paper checks delivered through the U.S. Postal Service. Not only was the check issuing and mailing process inefficient from a cost and resources perspective, but it also led to a less-than-optimal customer experience, as clients could wait as many as 15 business days to receive their checks in the mail and could be exposed to risk in terms of mail being delivered to the wrong address and check fraud. Shifting to the digital platform allows H&R Block to combat the potential for check fraud by authenticating payments up front rather than issue paper checks.

“H&R Block’s decision to implement ePayments is a testament to the importance of effective communication,” said Sarah Billings, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Payments for PNC Treasury Management. “In conversations with H&R Block and other clients, our PNC team was hearing that check fee refund payments continued to have a negative impact on customer satisfaction. Knowing that this was an issue, we were able to proactively introduce them to the idea of a platform that could provide much-needed flexibility and is much more in touch with customer trends and expectations."

ePayments offers another distinct advantage for H&R Block in that it integrates easily with their enterprise resource management (ERP) system, which allows for robust reporting capabilities. The payment interface allows clients to receive electronic messages containing additional details related to the payment. Taken as a whole, the various components of the digital solution have led to a transformed experience for both H&R Block and its clients.

Ultimately, the collaboration to implement ePayments resulted from a key area of focus: customer-centricity. “H&R Block has always been all about making their clients’ lives easier, taking something as complex and cumbersome as tax preparation and making it manageable,” said Billings. “Our PNC teamwas thrilled to be able to help them continue to deliver this kind of value, because it aligns with our own primary goal – to create a better experience for our clients by helping them better run their businesses.”

Ready to Help

PNC’s team of treasury specialists is available to unlock business potential, navigate new technology, and overcome the challenges that come along with digital transformation. No matter the company's industry or size, the PNC Treasury Management platform offers solutions that are flexible in scope and geared towards driving measurable results and improving key performance indicators. For more information, reach out to your PNC Relationship Manager, or contact us.