Of course you are passionate about what you do and the product you create or service you sell. But realistically, if you don’t actually collect payment for those goods or services, you’re running a hobby, not a viable business. But successfully accepting payments isn’t as simple as just throwing up a PayPal button and letting people click through and pay you online, or having a Square device attached to your cell phone for retail payments.
Instead, rather than simply slapping together the easiest payment solution for you to get started with, it’s important to consider that a streamlined, simple, and speedy customer checkout will dramatically increase your conversion rate in a retail, MoTo or eCommerce environment. Some tips for providing a simple and speedy customer checkout include:
1. Send Electronic Click-to-Pay Invoices
An innovative way to simplify the customer checkout process is to send electronic click-to-pay invoices. This new method allows businesses to send detailed bills straight to a client’s inbox. The electronic invoice, like a traditional paper invoice, can outline the fees and money owed, but it also can allow the client to make the payment paperlessly and instantly.
Electronic invoices can be uniquely customized to fit the needs and style of your business. Depending on the program used to send the invoice, you could alter the document in a plethora of ways. You want it to be functional for your business, but you also want it to fit with your overall brand. Each invoice can have a professional look and feel with user-friendly forms for instant payment. They also can be set up on a recurring schedule where they are automatically delivered to a client.
An electronic invoice still would allow clients to use the payment method of their choice, including credit or debit cards, eChecks or other online options. This method simply centralizes and facilitates the payment process. When an invoice is paid, funds are delivered directly to your account and an electronic receipt is sent to the client. This payment process could be as short as one minute, and it ensures the payment is processed instantly.
2. Offer Online Payments
These days, everyone wants to make payments online. It’s easy, convenient and your payment can be resolved right away. It is significantly more reassuring to customers than mailing a check and hoping it arrived. With online payments, there is no worrying whether or not the money was received and the customer credited for payment. Rather, a customer can pay what they owe and receive a receipt right away. Offering that to clients can simplify the process for them and your business.
Most businesses that accept online payments do so by accepting payments through a form on their website. These forms are the digital versions of the customer checkout experience, so they should be efficient and straightforward. The design should be simple, and the information within them should be restricted to the necessities. The more convenient the process is, the fewer obstacles you and your client may face.
Your business should accept various online payment options to help clients make payments in a timely manner. Clients expect credit card payment options, but internet payment companies like PayPal also can be beneficial to businesses planning to accept online payments. This is a common payment type among professionals because it allows funds to be transferred easily. Accepting this form of payment can help your business receive its money safely and quickly.
3. Accept Mobile Payments
Mobile payments have been referred to as “the next big thing” for several years, and the trends within mobile technology continue to change and evolve. Businesses are beginning to accept mobile payments, and clients and customers are starting to use their smartphones, mobile devices and even smart watches to make those payments. This is particularly true in businesses that appeal to younger clientele, or which often accept payments outside of their retail location, such as eCig merchants.
Apps like Apple Pay and Google Wallet are becoming more popular because they allow people to make fast and safe payments all from one single app. All of their information is stores, and they do not have to worry about entering credit card data or handling cash when making a purchase. These apps can streamline the checkout process, letting clients pay almost anywhere and at their own pace.
4. Utilize Electronic Checks
Electronic checks are another way to make the payment process quick and simple for clients. The Payflow Automated Clearing House, or ACH Payment Service, lets businesses electronically collect payments from clients for one-time or recurring payments by directly debiting a client’s checking or saving accounts. This is a suitable alternative payment option for clients who do not want to disclose credit card information online.
If a client chooses to use an eCheck, he or she would fill out an online payment form to authorize one or more transactions. If the client pays on a schedule, authorizing recurring payments could prevent having to fill out the form more than once. When the payment is processed, the business would receive credit for the amount, the paying bank would validate the eCheck and client’s account would be charged.
Some clients may be concerned about the safety of electronic checks because they contain the same information, such as banking and routing numbers, and they can be used in any transaction where paper checks are used. The checks are safe, however, and, they are backed by banking regulations. Some safety measures include authentication, public key cryptography, digital signatures and encryption.
These are only some of the ways you can provide a simple and speedy checkout for clients. The best way to determine what checkout options and payment methods work best for your clients is to communicate with them. You should learn more about what payment methods are most convenient for them and research how your business can implement those options. Providing easy payments solutions can help you avoid payment delays and can keep your business running smoothly.