The way in which customers pay for goods and services has changed a lot in the last ten years. Paper checks have all but disappeared from point-of-sale situations. However, businesses still rely on them so that customers can pay the bills. Your company should adapt to the times. When it comes to accepting payments, electronic check processing is faster, efficient, and more reliable. IVR payment solutions make this all possible.
Checks Are Not Enough Anymore
In the latest Federal Reserve Payments Study, 46% of all checks paid in the United States were consumer-to-business. Compared to the rest of the world, this is a bit baffling. The UK plans to have checks phased out by 2018. Throughout much of Europe, checks have almost completely vanished in favor of electronic payments.
If fewer people using the paper check per year isn’t enough, maybe your business should listen to the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA). NACHA is the entity responsible for processing paper checks, and they recommend against using paper checks. A representative released this statement to Fusion online magazine, “The most efficient way for consumers to safeguard bank account numbers is to stop using paper checks. Since money transferred electronically passes through fewer hands than a paper check, electronic payments can be a safer option for consumers.”
Businesses should allow their customers to be able to make payments is a way that is most convenient for them. The question remains. Why do American businesses still cling to checks? Here are three possible reasons.
Accepting change can be difficult. As some customers, and businesses, are more familiar with this method it means that they may still use them.
In the latest Federal Reserve Payments Study, 46% of all checks paid in the United States were consumer-to-business. The number of checks people use, on a regular basis, is on a decline of about 9.2% per year.
Sticking to a traditional means of payment creates a load of work that could be handled much quicker using modern technology.
Some businesses like leaving a paper trail when it comes to important documentation.
Does your business print every vital email? Do you print out various industry blog posts onto sheets of paper and read them like it’s the Sunday Times? Do trees cry out of fear when you print the daily Twitter feed?
Payments don’t need a literal paper trail. When electronic payments process a receipt can be sent to you via text message. Records can be stored online securely so that only you can access them.
Some businesses still write checks because it allows them to have made a payment, without having the money withdrawn from their account right away.
While understandable, this is not without its risks. Maybe that payment got to its destination not when you intended. That means that it could still be on its way or have gotten there too quickly. Could you imagine if your customers tried to play a game of chicken like this with their payments?
When a customer sends a check by mail, you have to wait at least two business days for it to arrive. Then you still have to run it to the bank. Of course, some banks may not credit your account until the next business day. What if that check bounced? How would your business be able to stay running?
Electronic payments allow for quick and easy verification. Now it’s not in limbo, or in the wrong hands.
Introduce Flexible Payment Options
Consumers love companies that have flexible options concerning how they’ll accept payment. One of those options should be paying by phone.
The Federal Reserve Board recently conducted a report on Consumers and Mobile Financial Services. The research study reported how people use mobile devices with regards to mobile banking, making mobile payments, and with regards to how consumers felt about the security of these payments. 24% of mobile phone users reported that they had made a mobile payment in the last 12 months. That’s up 7% from the previous report.
The most common mobile payment activities among smartphone users were:
- Paying bills through a mobile phone web browser or app – 65%
- Online shopping – 42%
- Paying for something in a store – 33%
Start Saving Time And Money
So why would you, or your customers use a slower process when it comes to paying for your services? An IVR payment processing system saves your company time and money. It can take days for your company to get a payment they could have received in minutes. Your customers will also see an added benefit. They can call to receive an updated account balance after they make a payment and provide a secured payment by following an automated series of prompts.
When a customer makes a payment in a store, they usually get a receipt that provides proof of purchase. In the case of an IVR payment processing system, a confirmation number can be provided. This confirmation number allows a company to identify the transaction. It can not only be sent at the end of a call but texted to the customer.