Many businesses that were household names vanished from the landscape because they were slow to develop websites and an online presence. Now businesses that fail to automate run the same risk, particularly when it comes to payments. Here are five reasons why businesses, regardless of their size, need to automate their payment systems.
Sped-Up Revenue Cycles
Automating payments means shortening the time it takes for payments to be deposited. Instead of waiting days or weeks for payment confirmation, businesses can process the funds in a matter of minutes. That also makes account reconciliation much simpler and quicker. It’s even possible to integrate credit card surcharging software into an automated payment system. Doing so ensures that businesses fully comply with surcharging rules and regulations, while paying zero merchant fees. All of these features shorten the revenue cycle and strengthen the bottom line.
Research shows that using checks for B2B transactions can wind up costing businesses as much as $20 per check, because of the added time and labor involved. But businesses can lower their accounting costs by as much as 75 percent by simply using an automated payment system. Automation drastically streamlines office work, and also reduces the time it takes for outside vendors like CPA firms to process financials. That creates a savings multiplier effect to make automated payments even more affordable and profitable.
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Stronger Security and Fewer Errors
Although checks rank as the number one most common payment method, they rank fourth in overall satisfaction. But only 10 percent of small businesses take advantage of online payments. More than 90 percent of major companies and government agencies, by contrast, use online payments systems. That’s because an advanced automated payment system handles multiple payment methods, in various currencies, with robust encryption technology and PCI compliance. Businesses get better fraud and theft protection, with minimized human error.
Easier Financial Analysis
Without an automated payment processing system, it can be very labor intensive to gather data and generate useful accounting reports and accurate financial projections. Trying to generate those reports when checks have not cleared is a an additional headache. Oftentimes office personnel are tasked with retrieving paper invoices and payment stubs from file cabinets or downloading archived bank statements. Manual reporting is also extremely susceptible to costly errors. Meanwhile, storing financial data in-house increases the chances it will be lost, misplaced, stolen, or knocked off line. But an automated platform can securely store records in the cloud and generate customizable reports with the push of a button.
Enhanced Customer Service
With an automated payment system, it’s a cinch to offer customers the frictionless and intuitive luxury of a “pay now” button and mobile payment options. Customers can be instantly invoiced and receive an immediate receipt, making returns and exchanges easier and faster, too. Automated platforms can also give businesses attractive customer service features such as recurring payments, subscription services, and installment payment plans. That makes businesses more competitive, while boosting sales and enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction. Those kind of benefits can be priceless, and are compelling reasons why every business today should be automating payments.