If you’ve been hesitant to accept electronic payments, let me welcome you into the 21st century, and assuage your fears. Not only are electronic payments a fast, secure way to get paid, but they’re more convenient for your customers, who aren’t carrying around wads of cash. When it’s easier for your customers to pay, they’re more likely to pay you quickly, which has the potential to transform your cash flow issues. And when you need to pay your suppliers, automatic payments are there for you too.
Let’s break down a few of the reasons why you need to make automatic e-payments a part of your business right away.
Security’s Not a Worry
Ever heard of PCI compliance? It means that your provider is agreeing to adhere to a data security standard in which credit card information is secure, whether it’s being accepted, processed, stored, or transmitted. While credit card fraud is an issue that transcends any one industry, there are simple ways that you can keep it at bay, like validating large or next-day orders and verifying all credit card information before accepting any order, large or small. If you and your employees are educated, your business will be more secure accepting e-payments than you would be accepting cash and checks.
You Don’t Have to Create Your Own Reports
You’d love to know how much money you made month by month last year, but accounting takes time, and you don’t have the cash to hire an accountant to do the books for you. Fortunately, when you accept e-payments, you’ve got a record that’s automatically being created by your service provider. The best ones will break them down into annual, quarterly, and monthly reports so you can consistently stay on top of trends and make plans for the future.
Cash Flow Stress Disappears
Does waiting for a check to come in the mail ever cause you financial troubles? If you have suppliers waiting to be paid, you’re likely stressed to the max with little to do but continue to hope that you get the money in the mailbox. With e-payments, clients have no excuse for delays. Their ability to pay you is dependent only on their ability to click their mouse or trackpad a few times—they can even do it from their phone, so travel is no reason for them to delay your paycheck even one minute.
Automatic Payments Fix Your Accounts Payable Woes
When you’ve got automatic payments set up, it’s easy to schedule them for times of the month when your cash levels are at their highest. You’ll also avoid late payments, which means you won’t get slapped with late fees or penalties when you forget to pay (again). Having a reputation for paying late not only harms you financially in the short term, but it makes you a less reliable client. Paying on time, every time is a great way to get better sleep at night. You can even recognize problematic times during your monthly cash cycle that you may be able to permanently fix, just by recognizing when they happen and determining why they do.
Will Lipovsky is a full-time personal finance freelance writer. His work has been published on Yahoo Finance, Credit.com, the Department of Defense Technical Information Center, Lifehacker and elsewhere. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, “I’ll just Google it.”
DueÂ is a payments, eCash, online invoicing, time tracking, global payments, and digital wallet solution for freelancers, small business owners, and companies of all sizes.