Beginners Guide to accept Digital Payments

January 28, 2019
Aakrit Vaishya

You have already undergone the daunting task of setting up a business with some bruises and hopefully a lot of smiles. However, getting paid for your work should not seem so hard. The global economy is all the rage right now over e-commerce and the magnificent changes it has brought about, bringing businesses from all over the world closer. So, setting up a digital system for your payment process should not be intimidating for you, once you get the basics right.

Electronic Payment Methods

While it is challenging for a business to migrate from traditional invoicing and paper checks to electronic payments, take advantage of the benefits that will come with this transition – you will have access to multiple methods to collect payments from customers, you can even program one time or recurring payments into the system that saves you time and even generate online payment forms that are linked to your website. Every business wants to get paid as quickly as possible, and making that happen often involves catering to a customer’s preferences.

Credit Card Processing

Digital payment systems available to small businesses now allow for credit card transactions. This makes it very convenient for your customer to pay on time.

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Funding Time for Digital Payments

Another element of electronic payments to consider is funding time i.e. the period of time during which the payment is processed. Standard funding time can vary between two to five days, depending on multiple factors, including the type of payment, the processor, and the solution provider (a software provider, a financial institution, etc.). Funding time is important to keep in mind because this is the period between when a payment is entered and when the funds from that payment are deposited into your bank account. Planning for this time is very helpful in determining when to enter payments and what type of payment form to request.

Authorizing Electronic Payments

Obtaining proper authorization for electronic transactions is important. Transaction authorizations come into play most often during a review of specific payments. Sometimes they are part of a random audit, or part of a dispute involving a business, its customer, and their respective banking institutions or card issuer.

Authorization can come in a few ways:

  • A document detailing customer and payment information
  • A recording of a phone conversation between your business and a customer
  • An electronic record of payment entered on a web page (including the business’s terms of sale)
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Your business should have a vested interest in obtaining proper authorization for all payments, not only to protect yourself during reviews and disputes but also to document your customers’ payments and to protect yourself against fraudulent activity.

Marketing Electronic Payments to Your Customers

When you make the decision to offer electronic payment methods, let your customers know about your new payment options through the communication method that is most relevant to them and effective for you, Be sure to communicate the value of this change, such as convenience and security.

Small business customers typically like supporting smaller organizations. Let them know that this change will make your life easier and they will likely be willing to help. There’s a lot to absorb and consider when you choose to go digital, but if you evaluate the most crucial aspects at the outset, you’ll be a few big steps closer to getting paid faster and providing better service to your customers.

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