Billing portals are a lifeline for any business, because they are the channel through which vital accounts receivables are managed and processed. Unfortunately, many businesses continue to rely on ones that are outdated or lack flexibility, security, and reliable vendor support. That’s why it so critical for decision makers to look for four key components when selecting a billing portal.
#1 Vendor Reputation
The billing portal may be exquisitely marketed and branded. But all of that is only as good as the integrity and experience of the vendor providing it. Before any decision is made, it’s prudent to perform due diligence to evaluate the reputation of the portal vendor.
Who are their clients? What do they offer in terms of customer support? Is their software designed primarily for B2B and B2C billing, or merely a derivative of a system geared toward the lesser demands of P2P transactions?
Find out if they demonstrate not just technical know-how, but also product innovation that can serve a business for the sustainable future. Asking questions up front to narrow down the field of potential vendors is always important. But it’s absolutely critical when assessing potential vendors for something as sensitive and critical as a billing portal.
Industry best practices and compliance regulation for safeguarding confidential financial information are essential. Choose a payment portal system hardened with security features such as full data encryption, tokenization, and PCI-compliant Level 3 processing. Billing portal services may also be disrupted if a company network is temporarily offline. But a portal with a web-based or cloud component can keep things running seamlessly through such transitions or unforeseen emergencies.
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Many companies stick with a billing portal because it is familiar to them and their customers. But allegiance to the status quo may be an obstacle to performance and productivity. Superior billing portals, by contrast, offer an elegant combination of user-friendly intuitive navigation, coupled with feature-rich power and streamlined adaptability.
Lower the cost of invoice sending and tracking, as well as issuance of statements and monitoring of collections. Enhance reporting analytics for more valuable data, verifiable audit trails and precise management. Enable automated payment reminders, as well as recurring and installment payment options and the ability to simultaneously process multiple payments from different locations. Robust, highly agile systems can also be set-up quickly and easily – with a businesses’ own customization and branding –without additional investment in IT infrastructure or on-site expertise.
Without comprehensive tracking and analytics, money can fall through the cracks and be lost. There may unnecessary delays in time-to-cash, or wasteful inefficiency due to a lack of organization, automation, and tracking. Double-billing can occur, making a business legally liable. But there are excellent systems that allow a variety of customized reports and analytics, and the ability to let invoices be sent and tracked by multiple authorized users. Reporting also extends to itemized invoices, confirmation of transactions, status updates, and virtual auditing tools.
The status quo may feel comfortable, like an old pair of shoes. But when the soles are shot, even a walk in the park can become complicated. The good news is that there are very affordable and capable billing portals that meet all four of these desirable criteria. They may even pay for themselves by saving time and money – while strengthening all-important customer relationships.