Stacy’s tutoring business is in need of a digital payments solution. She currently works with over fifty students and receives several forms of payment—Venmo, PayPal, cash, checks, even money orders. Many clients pay late, and with multiple platforms it’s a challenge to keep track of payment reminders, partial payments, and customer records.
It wasn’t always like this though. When Stacy was just helping a friend’s kid study for the SAT, it didn’t bother her that the peer-to-peer service she used didn’t support recurring payments and had expensive transaction fees. But now that her operation’s grown into a full-time business, payment is a serious issue. Like many small businesses, Stacy needs a digital payments solution that supports recurring billing, customer record tracking, and more.
This article discusses three key advantages modern payment systems have over peer-to-peer payments for small businesses. We’ll start with the ways recurring payments and invoicing can save small service businesses time and money by reducing late payments. Then we’ll look at how flexible payments allow options for multiple payments and for splitting a bill up for more than one payer. Finally, we’ll discuss the importance of integrating client details and records for customer relationship management (CRM).
Together, these features can lead to reliable income and suggest a revolution toward more stable payment streams for small businesses.
Recurring Billing and Invoicing
Recurring payments save small businesses money. That’s because one in three of all non-recurring payments to small businesses is late. Of these late payments, 60% are late by one month or longer. In total, this amounts to approximately $456 billion per year in stalled out cash. For businesses, this creates a cash flow problem. Funds that you could otherwise reinvest in your business, are simply not there.
With a digital payment platform like Finli, small businesses can take advantage of recurring billing and built-in management tools. The platform lets users easily setup memberships, subscriptions, and recurring invoices without the overhead of extra staff or legacy software. These measures alone have been shown to triple the number of on-time payments. Add to that automated messaging and reminders, and you’re on your way to serious savings.
Another way to save money is to offer flexible payment options. Many customers find it convenient to be able to split a payment with a friend. In the case of a large payment, some customers will benefit from the ability to separate the sum into smaller portions over an acceptable time-frame. Altogether these flexible payment options similarly increase the likelihood of on-time payments
Customers are people, and people are complicated. We know that consumers spend more when they have flexible payment options. According to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail survey, 30% to 35% of customers plan to stretch their holiday budgets using buy-now-pay-later options. Flexible payments lets your small business meet your customers where they are.
Know Your Customers
Small businesses know that customers are their most valuable resource. So, cultivating and sustaining ongoing relationships with those customers is a top priority for many. Digital payment platforms that integrate customer records offer an advantage to businesses looking to enhance their customer relationship management, or CRM.
CRM may be a new concept for some small businesses, but it’s an invaluable tool for sustainability and growth. There are numerous tools out there for managing customer data, but Finli directly incorporates CRM services into its digital payments solution to give small businesses direct access to customer data.
Easily send promotions or special offers to clients who have made a certain number of on-time payments. Or use a custom message to check in with those who are past due. Together, such measures help ensure more of your customers represent reliable streams of consistent income.
Payment Streams — A Revolution
Digital payment platforms like Finli are leading a revolution toward reliable payment streams for small businesses. Venmo and PayPal are great when you’re paying a friend back for dinner. But when it comes to managing reliable payment streams, small business owners like Stacy are learning the benefits of digital payment platforms. Specifically, they see the value in recurring billing, flexible payments, and CRM integration. Small businesses are ready for the payment stream revolution.
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