The way we make payments has experienced several changes, and digital payment methods saw huge developments in the past four to five years, We are about to see many more changes in the coming future. As business and customer needs progress, it is clear that the global payments ecosystem must be adaptable and open to innovation without compromising financial stability.
Are your accounts receivables still reliant upon checks? Are your business processes still heavily manual, receiving payments by mail and dependent upon teams to prepare deposits and reconcile manually? Several macro-economic trends indicate that organizations now, more than ever, should be utilizing electronic payments. Not only to minimize manual processes and reduce costs, but to please customers who prefer the convenience. The added bonus of getting paid faster will delight finance teams who are focusing on cash flow.
Your customers want to pay you how they want, when they want, and where they want... And of course, they want the process to be as easy as possible. Whether it's choosing to accept alternative payment methods, allowing customers to pay invoices by ACH or credit card, or issuing and accepting gift cards on purchases, the more opportunities that exist to generate sales also presents the threat of increased manual processes and potential for more human error for your finance teams. Automation, however, eliminates these threats and allows you to offer a more customized user experience, in which your customers pay you according to their terms. Your Accounts Receivable process is a great place to start when looking to increase efficiencies across your business, while giving your customers what they want.
We all know the iconic scene in Friends when Ross and Chandler navigate a tight staircase with a large couch. Right now, many businesses are also yelling "PIVOT" as they transition multiple aspects of their business model in short order. For many businesses, it's pivoting to a work-from-home routine and ensuring their employees have what they need to accomplish their daily tasks and continue to be successful in their roles. For other businesses, its more extreme by pivoting their order and fulfillment process. Brick and mortar retailers are the most common example, who in many cases have had to shift to an online ordering and delivery system where one may not have existed before. And then there are the most extreme cases where manufacturers, distributors and retailers have shifted the very product set they make and/or sell to accommodate the changing demands of society. Through all these quick pivots, it's crucial to not "break the couch" and ensure critical pieces - like customer payments - aren't broken or lost in the process.
Recent conditions have forced a radical and sudden shift in the workforce, with employers scrambling to ensure employees have the remote access technology in place to perform their tasks at home. During this mobile workforce shift, the immediate need - once HR and IT sorted out work from home policies - was ensuring customer service and support was still available and able to address client issues. Certainly, sales required attention, and making sure that the order process was still intact was top of mind as well. Some businesses are having to adjust their order processes with a transition to online payments for the first time, finding themselves with the urgent need to adapt eCommerce platforms. It is crucial during this time to maintain cash flow, and the way to do that is to make it easy for customers to pay you.