Online payments have grown steadily in popularity, going from a transaction method that inspired suspicion to an accepted process that many use regularly. In the last few years, especially, mobile and online payments are practically expected by many retail consumers, who are used to being able to simply click a button to make their purchases.
With online payment methods being so rampant across most industries, why have so many business services companies, or B2B companies, held back?
In general, B2B companies are very focused on providing the best services they can for their customers and generally contract for more than one-time transactions. For this reason, payment methods, which typically involve invoices for record-keeping purposes, have not been a major focus for upgrades and advancements.
It might be time for that to change.
Companies that provide business services based on contracts or emergency calls might be surprised at how much their customers would appreciate an online bill or invoice pay option. Considering that more than 224 million people in the U.S. shopped online in 2016, spending a total of $68 billion in the first quarter of 2016 alone, it’s obvious that American consumers enjoy making online purchases. Undoubtedly, some of those individuals were business owners and entrepreneurs. It’s a safe bet that they would love the same convenience in their business services transactions as they enjoy with their consumer purchases.
The need for B2B business technology expansion isn’t limited to the business services sector either. For B2B suppliers and logistics firms, a new trend called “click-and-collect,” is gaining momentum and popularity. With this quick online payment method, the customer can simply log into the company’s website and click to purchase. The items can then be picked up by the customer for store use.
While there are logistics and supply challenges specific to the click-and-collect method, the use of online payments to increase accessibility, convenience, and speed for the customer is just what every B2B business needs for the following reasons:
Online payments save money—for you and your customer. Traditional payment methods, like cash, check, or money order, all cost money in their own right. The paper they’re printed on costs money. The act of processing them costs money. You even have to pay to send the payment to the company via mail or a cash courier service. Why go to all this hassle only to slowly lose money in the process? And it is costly, for both you and your client. With an online payment option, your customers can easily manage invoices, set up payments as needed, and conveniently cover their bills to you, without all the extra paper and manpower for processing.
Making payments online is both more convenient and easier to track.
Even better, online payments are amazing for record keeping. You and your customers can keep track of past payments and payment totals fairly easily, which comes in very handy if conflict arises over costs paid or unpaid. Of course, every online payment system will be different, but most have the same basic functions. Any system would make paying bills more convenient for your customers, and easier for you to process.
An online payment system is the “greener” option.
Finally, the most important detail about ditching paper checks and installing an online payment system is the environment. Using less paper creates less waste and uses fewer environmental resources for a process than can be replaced by a more efficient method. While there may be some political battles going on right now concerning the environment, adopting more green practices into your business is still a good selling point for your business–and a cost effective one. Best of all, it’s a very easy step to take, as online payment systems are incredibly easy to acquire and implement.
Finally, It’s Just More Secure.
Ever lost a check? With online payments businesses don’t have to worry about checks being lost in the mail, or making tedious trips to the bank. With the incredible advances in online payment security and multiple levels of authentication (address verification, security codes etc..) – having clients pay online is just a more secure option, period.
Regardless of the business services or products your company offers, setting up a system for online payments is a wise practice. The easier you make it for your clients to pay their invoices or make quick purchases from your inventory, the more your clients will be able to pay their bills quickly and with the satisfaction of a convenient payment experience.
There’s a reason B2C companies have adopted online payments. Now, it’s time for B2B to catch up.
Looking to provide your customers with an Online Payment Option? Contact NTC Texas today to hear about our afforadbale, easy to use options!
About the Author – Ashley Choate is a native of Jacksonville, FL where she lives with her son, dog, and three cats. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Jacksonville University with a BA in English and holds an MAED in Adult Education and Training. She lives for reading and writing, learning and teaching, and figuring out the day-to-day traumas and joys of mommyhood. .
Top Photo Courtesy of Google CC