Long gone are the days when customers forked over cash when paying for products and services. Today, there are many ways to pay, and some customers may pay after services have been rendered.
However, with so many more options, it can be difficult for customers to know how to pay, and with the digital age we live in, it can be dangerous to pay digitally.
Take some time to think about how customers pay and you can come up with ways to make it easier and safer for them, as well as easier and safer for you.
Consider a Domestic Merchant Account
The fees associated with collecting payments can get out of hand quickly. If you want to skip the fees, you may want to consider a domestic merchant account instead of using other third parties to collect payments on your own.
A domestic merchant account allows you to work with your own credit card processor to facilitate the transfer of funds. A few benefits of collecting payments with a domestic merchant account include:
- Increased revenue by allowing you to take multiple forms of payment.
- Ease of taking online payments.
- Improved cash flow by reducing the time between making a sale and receiving funds.
Get Sneaky About Getting Paid on Time
Getting paid on time isn’t an issue if you have simplified transactions where a person approaches the counter and pays for an item before they leave your store. If instead you bill or invoice customers after the fact, it can be difficult to get your money on time.
Most people who pay for services have every intention of paying you, but they may have a slightly different idea about when to pay than you do. It’s worth your time to think of ways to encourage customers to pay invoices on time.
Having a good relationship with your customers is a good place to start, but you have other options too. You can consider a retainer model where customers are billed automatically each month. Upfront payments can help too, as they enable you to get paid before services are rendered.
Accept Flexible Payment Methods
As it stands right now, almost everyone still accepts cash. Every vendor understands the importance of accepting credit and debit card payments, but if you really want to make sure it’s easy for customers to pay, you should also think about accepting payments from apps.
A few examples include:
- Square Cash
- Google Pay
- Facebook Messenger
You can also consider contactless payments. For example, customers can use their cell phones to create a digital wallet, then simply tap the pad or card machine to transfer their personal information and make a payment.
Lock Down the Security of Online Payments
The internet has opened up a world of clients, enabling people from anywhere to pay for nearly anything online. However, you shouldn’t accept payments online unless you are ready to do it safely and securely.
A few ways you can protect your customers, and in turn, yourself, include:
- Enable two-factor authentication for customers making payments.
- Choose a secure e-commerce platform with a proven track record.
- Use a personal verification system for high-ticket items.
- Never store customer payment data.
- Make sure your site is secured with an SSL certificate.
- Make sure your hosting provider has safeguards in place for online payments.
Notify the Right Parties If Personal Data Is Compromised
Even if you do everything right and you go above and beyond to secure your customers’ information online and you secure your computer systems, you can still get hacked. Even the biggest, most secure companies can succumb to hackers who can find important information on existing and past customers.
If you find that you have been hacked, it’s important to know what to do next. First, make sure you’re fully informed on the extent of the event. That also includes understanding exactly how it impacts your business.
Although it may be tempting to keep the information to yourself, it is very important that you notify the correct parties. That includes online service providers, it may include the authorities, and it definitely includes your customers. They have a right to know what has happened so they can keep a closer eye on their accounts.
Paying is more convenient than ever, but it can also be scarier than ever before. Give your customers some peace of mind and make it easier to receive payments with the tips on this list.