Are you tired of writing overdue payment reminder emails and ringing around trying to connect to your customer’s accounts department to chase up payments? Still writing down customer credit card details over the phone, only to find that one number is incorrect? Feel like you're drifting around in an endless sea of overdue invoices?
Did you know that Australian small business owners spend an average of 12 days a year chasing unpaid and overdue invoices? (Late Payments Study, PayPal/Intuit Australia, 2015) Less than a third of Australian businesses have integrated online payment systems, which would enable them to be paid faster and on time.
That’s 12 days that could be better spent in your business, engaging with your customers, or sourcing new and exciting products. Or 12 days that you can’t spend on that lush tropical island, enjoying the sun under the coconut trees.
It’s time to stop chasing, phoning, nagging and entering payments manually. Step back, relax and let an integrated payment solution take charge, and assist you with getting paid on time.
1. Digital, mobile and remote payments are becoming the norm for small business
The use of mobile payments has increased exponentially in the last few years. In 2017, 144 million users completed mobile payments, compared with 20 million in 2015 (World Payments Report, 2017) It is even possible to pay for goods in store with contactless technology using your phone or wearable smart device using Apple Pay, Google Pay, or even your Fitbit.
If you’re still using cheques and cash to get paid, it’s time to move into the current times and introduce digital and mobile payment methods to your business to keep up with current payment technologies.
2. It will be easier and less frustrating for your customers to pay you
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a moment – have you ever been shopping online and had to navigate through five or six pages at the shopping cart to reach the payment screen at the checkout? It’s frustrating trying to reach your end goal.
With an integrated invoice payment system such as Stripe or PayPal, you can add a “Pay Now” button to your digital invoices. Once issued and emailed, one click will take the customer straight to the payment page and help your business get paid faster. If customers are offered a selection of payment methods, they will pay on average, 20 days sooner if they can use their preferred method (Xero Small Business Guides, 2018)
3. You’ll have more financial visibility for your business
Has this invoice been paid? Has my customer paid their 50% up-front deposit? Can I ship this order yet? No more sifting through paperwork or trying to check with your staff members whether an invoice has been paid. With an integrated invoice payment solution, the invoice will automatically be marked as paid (or partially paid) in your accounting system, as soon as your customer has made payment. If a scheduled payment has failed to process, you’ll be notified in real-time and can promptly follow up. You’ll be able to get more up-to-date financial reporting and sales staff can also see when invoices have been paid. Easily handle percentage deposits and know how much is still owing if pre-payment is required upfront.
4. The risk of human error will be minimized
Have you or your staff accidentally typed $100.02 instead of $100.20 into an EFTPOS terminal resulting in an 18 cents underpayment? Or taken a customer’s credit card details over the phone, only to find that a single digit is incorrect, and you need to call the customer a second time to check if that number was a 4 or a 5 (costing both your valuable time and your customer’s valuable time)?
Integrate an EFTPOS terminal such as Tyro with your point-of-sale, meaning when it’s time for the customer to pay, the amount is transferred directly from the point of sale across to the EFTPOS device. No more manually keying the payment amount in, which saves your staff time, and potentially avoids costly mistakes. Settlement at the end of the day is much simpler.
5. Recurring invoices can be set up to automatically send or charge at set intervals
Do you offer recurring subscription-based services such as monthly services or repairs? Don’t like having to set up a new invoice every month? Let an integrated online invoicing system do the hard work for you. Stripe have partnered with Xero and other providers to create a seamless online payment solution that handles credit card payments for invoices sent directly from an integrated system.
If you’re integrating with Xero, the reconciliation of Stripe payments will automatically occur matching the statement line to the correct Xero transactions. It’s a set-and-forget solution that will give you more time back in your business. GoCardless gives merchants the ability to set up payment plans, offering flexible direct debit arrangements based on fixed or variable payment amounts, or number of installments. The automatic direct debit pre-authorisation means you’ll get paid on time - every time. Your customer will be notified in advance prior to their scheduled payment being processed, so they’ll have time to top up their funds if required.
6. Payments and credit card information are stored and transmitted securely
Has your business got an old, battered paperback book containing handwritten customer banking details, or a spreadsheet stored on your computer containing BSB and account numbers? Are you constantly referring back to these records every month and having to call the customer to provide authorization to charge their account every time? What would happen if these records were compromised?
Online payment providers such as Stripe, PayPal and GoCardless give your customer peace of mind, using strong and secure encryption to securely protect your buyer’s payment information. They support international direct debit payments and currency conversion as well.
As an experienced cloud integrator, Coconut Consulting can help you get set up and mobilized with integrated payment solutions for point-of-sale (POS), inventory and accounting cloud software. Our aim is to make payment processing simpler and more efficient for you and your business, so you can get those 12 days back to spend under the coconut trees and catch those waves.
Do you need assistance with integrating an online payment system or EFTPOS terminal for your business? Register your interest in this service at our Integrated Payments page.