For small business owners, staying on top of cash flow and ensuring timely payments from your customers is the key to a smooth operation. Your business depends on on-time payments to pay vendors, suppliers, employees, and more – while a streamlined collection process for your customers means less frustration and headaches for you!
As payment technology continues to evolve, so does the expectation of a great customer experience – including the payment process. Offering multiple ways to pay – whether it’s online or on-the-go, means a more convenient experience for your customers, and a faster way for your business to get paid! Additionally, a streamlined collection process can mean less time spent on the phone, meaning less back and forth work for your back office to take on.
Send an online invoice
Invoices are frequently used by professional services or service-based companies to request a payment for services rendered. Invoices are often sent via mail; however, sending paper invoices can be a time-consuming and expensive process between printing, addressing envelopes, and sending them through the mail.
Online invoicing technology, like that available through Fattmerchant, allows business owners to streamline the collection of payments from their customers through a powerful online payment solution. Sending an online invoice allows you to email a balance due directly to your customer’s inbox, along with a convenient button to securely pay online! With more bill payments occuring online, customers have come to expect the convenience of sending a credit card payment with just a click of a button.
For the business owner, online invoices can significantly cut down on the amount of administrative work needed; plus, you can even include payment due dates on your online invoices helping you to better manage expectations with your customers!
Add a “Pay Now” Button to your Website
For many businesses, a website is more than just a destination for potential customers to learn about the business – it’s also a potential revenue stream, allowing them to securely accept payments online from customers, without having to physically be in the office to answer a phone call.
For example, a business that requires their customers to pay a deposit prior to an event or before any work is done could add a “Pay Now” button to their website, allowing their customers to submit a payment at their convenience – including outside of normal business hours. With the right technology partner, business owners can rest easy knowing that their customer payment information is securely stored, and online payments can be collected at any time of day!
Accept Payments On-The-Go
In a recent study by TSYS, only 11% of consumers prefer to use cash over credit and debit; with fewer consumers carrying cash, more business owners require payment technology that allows them to accept credit payments from wherever they may be – enter, the mobile app and mobile credit card reader. Although some businesses solely accept payments via an app or reader, like vendors at a farmers market or festival, some businesses require the ability to manage payments both in-field and in the office.
For example, some service based businesses with field technicians require the flexibility of having both an online invoicing platform with a mobile payment option. Using a robust virtual terminal, like Fattmerchant Payments Online gives these users the ability to create an online invoice from their office and complete the sale once they’re onsite. The ability to key in a payment on an app or swipe a card with a mobile card reader allows businesses to make any changes or updates to the transaction prior to processing the payment in-person.
This flexibility ensures that businesses are able to close out transactions as soon as the work is completed – meaning a more reliable cash flow, and faster payments without any of the hassle. Plus, from the customer’s side – the convenience of paying in-person means they no longer have to wait to receive a final bill or worry about trying to remember to mail in a payment!
Schedule a Payment in Advance
Payment automation platforms allow business owners to quickly schedule payments ahead of time – ensuring that late payments are a thing of the past. Scheduling a payment in advance automatically charges your customers based on a yearly, monthly, daily or even hourly schedule. Used frequently by businesses charging subscriptions, like a gym membership, scheduling a payment ahead of time allows you to streamline your payment process and save countless hours per month in billing your customers.
The main benefit of using a payment automation platform is that it allows businesses to securely tokenize and store their customer payment information one time, and save it for future auto-pay transactions. Plus, with card expiration notifications, business owners can easily see when a payment method is about to expire, allowing them to reach out proactively to their customers to update their card information before a transaction attempt!
Pre-authorize a Transaction
Pre-authorized payments are another way to quickly accept payments from your customers. For businesses like hotels or car rental agencies, where the final amount of the sale is unknown when the card is first swiped, pre-authorizations are a core function of doing business.
Pre-authorizing a transaction acts as a hold for funds on a credit card, and no funds will be deducted until the business processes a capture on the card. Using a payment platform like a virtual terminal allows you to easily see how much of your business’ cash flow is currently held in a pre-authorized state from your dashboard – and it can help you to plan ahead for any incoming funds.
What payment collection methods work best for your business?
In today’s day and age, business owners no longer need to rely on traditional payment collection methods – gone are the days of waiting for checks to be mailed into the office, or for customers to call in a payment. With a growing list of options for accepting payments, businesses simply need to understand what options are available to them and identify options that help improve the customer experience.
With the right technology partner, business owners can rest easy knowing that their customer payment information is secure, while also freeing up time and energy to focus on what matters most – growing their business! To learn more about Fattmerchant or to schedule a demo for your business, contact us!