Common collection problems
The payment collections process is often beset by a few major problems.
First, the process is usually manual, meaning you have to make time to reach out to each individual customer and ask for payment. If you don’t have a set script or email template in place, then you have to come up with a new way to word your request every time.
Second, the process is usually inconvenient for your customers. In our daily lives, we’re used to simple payment solutions, like contactless payments at a gas station or mobile payments at a pop-up store. How easy do you make it for your customers to pay you? If they have to go through several complicated or tedious steps, they’re less likely to pay promptly.
Third, the process is usually exhausting. If you can’t get ahold of customers, you’ll have to invest time and energy into following up. Especially problematic customers can drag this dance out for weeks or even months, draining your resources and damaging your cash flow. Your time, energy, and emotional bandwidth can be better spent on more important aspects of the business.
Payments are essential to the health of your business. If left unresolved, late or missing payments from customers can devastate your cash flow and your bottom line.
That’s where accounts receivable collection tools come in.
1. Integrated payment application
If you’re looking for an easier way to accept credit card payments from your customers, you need an integrated payment application.
Accepting payments with an integrated payment application will help you speed up your payment collections right at the point of payment capture.
An integrated payment application allows you to accept credit card payments directly in your accounting software. Instead of spending unnecessary time on double data entry or reconciling payments at the end of the day, you simply run the card in your accounting software and the integration automatically applies the payment to the invoice.
The automation will remove several steps in the accounting process, reduce the chance of human error, and give you more time back in your day. You’ll spend less time running credit card payments and get paid right away.
2. Email pay
When you send out an invoice, you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to pay. But customers don’t always have that luxury. Maybe they have to call your business and pay over the phone, or maybe they have to go through a clunky online interface. But what if your customers had the option to pay right from their email inbox?
Email pay is a convenient accounts receivable collection tool that allows you to simplify the payment process for both you and your customers. When you create an invoice in your accounting software, email pay automatically sends an email to your customer. This email includes the invoice and a link to pay it off. Customers are notified that they have a payment due and can click right in the email to settle it. The link takes them to a secure online form where they can quickly make a one-time payment. Once they’re done, the payment automatically syncs back to your accounting software, and the payment is posted to the invoice.
Email pay helps you get paid faster by giving customers a seamless, easy way to pay right when they get their invoice.
3. Recurring billing
Depending on your business model, you may have customers that pay the same amount each month, each quarter, or each year. Recurring billing can help you automate this process and passively collect payments.
With recurring billing, you simply set your customers up on their desired payment schedule. Once their payment date rolls around, they’re automatically charged, and the payment is posted to the invoice without any double data entry.
Recurring billing schedules are great for improving cash flow, because your customers are automatically charged without any extra work on their part or yours.
4. Customer payment portal
If you have customers on terms, or if you want to give customers more control over their payments, a customer payment portal might be the best AR collection tool.
Regular customers can log in to the online payment portal, view their entire transaction history with your business, and make full or partial payments on outstanding invoices. You can also set up the portal to automatically notify customers when an invoice is due or past due. Once your customers make a payment, it automatically syncs back to your accounting software.
Customers will enjoy the convenience of making payments on their own time. They also have the option of making payments on the go, as they can access the portal from any internet-connected device.
A customer payment portal gives your customers the power to simply and effectively manage their payments and allows you to automate the outreach and collection. When your customers have convenient payment options, everyone benefits.
Accounts receivable collection tools make payments easier for both you and your customers. They simplify the accounting process by removing the stress and difficulty of collecting payments. Instead of spending hours reaching out, following up, and fretting over late payments, you can sit back, let the AR tools do the work, and increase your cash flow without extra effort.
If you need AR collection tools for your business, choose a payment solution like EBizCharge.