By Anne Driscoll
As a small business owner, your days are busy enough without dealing with outdated payment systems that slow you down. Here are 5 tips to revamp your payment system to make the most of what you have so you can get back to running your business.
- Get Rid of Paper, Go Electronic: When banks went electronic, the banking system saved $1.2 billion a year, while consumers and businesses get $2 billion in benefits from faster payment processing (according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia). Why not cash in yourself? By getting rid of paper checks and moving to an online payment network you will save time, money and peace of mind (imagine less hassle chasing overdue payments). Additionally, an online payment network gives small business owners the financial visibility needed to grow their businesses. By simplifying the payment process, you free up time that can be better used to focus on customer service, brand awareness and even personal development.
- Trim Operational Costs: The cost per transaction of payment by check is double other forms of payment (Aberdeen). This cost is the reason 41 percent of men and 32 percent of women have stopped writing checks, according to Dwolla SMB. However, small businesses spend $4 billion a year on writing, issuing and sending checks. Why not stop the hemorrhaging and instead use a tool that saves your business big money every year? Money saved could be reinvested in your business.
- Know Your Business: On average it takes 17 days to process a check. In that time a check could be delivered to the wrong address, get lost in the mail or be stolen. In a world without checks, 19 percent of Dwolla SMB respondents say they would no longer be concerned that their financial information is exposed. That confidence, plus financial visibility into the status and completion of a payment, can a yield a big ROI for small businesses. For example, it can improve procurement cycles, allow business owners to make smart financial decisions, speed up budget approval cycles and help your business avoid late fees.
- Keep All Operating Systems Up to Date: Laptops, mobile phones, and tablets all play an important part in the day-to-day activities of your business. Before exploring electronic payments, make sure that you are taking the time to install the latest software. This ensures your devices are secure, your and your customers’ financial data is protected and your business is moving forward.
- Take Advantage of Secure Payment Features Like PIN-Based Authorization: Many of the largest payment networks and financial institutions offer enhanced security tools to bolster security. Features like PIN-based authorization offer additional layers of security and help reduce fraud.
Anne Driscoll is Vice President of Sales and Marketing at online payment network Dwolla.