Barriers to Online Payment Processing
Many technological advancements have been made over the last few decades, giving businesses and their clients new ways to do business. Customers now have the option to pay for goods or services online with companies that offer online payment processing. While this process has been around for years, there are still several barriers that companies face¬†from vendors, business relationships, and customers that the company serves. Below are several barriers affecting online payment processing, and the reasons and techniques to overcome them.
Lack of Vendor Tools
The biggest obstacle that vendors may¬†face is a lack of the tools necessary to complete the process. This can include software, mobile apps, and other technologies that make online payments possible. Whether this comes down to disagreement over the effectiveness or necessity of a given tool, companies that understand the importance of online payment processing are all the more likely to lead¬†in today‚Äôs fast-paced marketplace.
If you are struggling with convincing your company to sign off on the idea of online payment processing, you could consider having a presentation on the many benefits (both financial and environmental) that online payments offer. If you need help, consider having the accounting and IT people advise you on a budget analysis. This analysis will undoubtedly prove the profitability that can be achieved when the company uses the right tools for the job.
Getting Employees Onboard
The biggest obstacle companies must overcome with employees is accepting electronic payments for their paychecks. This usually occurs when employees either do not see the importance of the company going paperless or are used to keeping physical copies of their pay stubs on hand. The important thing to remember (in this case) is that each check costs the company money. Businesses recognize the need for electronic payments because each employee that receives physical compensation is associating an unnecessary cost with their payroll expenses.
An easy solution if you cannot convince employees to voluntarily switch over to electronic payments is to make it mandatory. Set a deadline, and require all employees to set up direct deposit. You can make this transition easier by giving employees without bank accounts a direct deposit card upon which their paychecks will be loaded. Give each employee secure access to their own records, and allow them to print them off whenever they need to.
Customer Comfort Level
Another obstacle that companies face with their customers is those that have a high level of comfort with paper billing and statements. Many customers (especially those in older generations) are very comfortable with the paper billing process — it is what they are familiar with. For this reason, they prefer to use paper checks and mail out their bills. They may even be unaware of the extra time it costs them to work on paper. These customers may be less willing to switch to electronic payment processing. Smart businesses, however, realize that reaching these customers is critical to cutting back the costs associated with paper billing.
In this scenario, the best thing you can do is work to educate these customers about the waste that occurs in each step of the paper billing process. Each billing cycle can cost a company between $4 and $20 alone. Over the course of the life of a company, or even a year, this amount of money will add up. Additionally, as a company grows, so does the amount of their paper waste if they do not switch to electronic payment processes. Once customers understand the environmental urgency of switching to paperless billing, they may be more willing to switch. You could also consider offering bonuses, credits, or rewards to customers that make the switch.
Another obstacle caused by customers is technophobia, which describes customers that are hesitant to enter information online. These individuals worry this information could potentially be accessed by hackers and other cyber-criminals. In most cases, this discomfort is caused by fear about the safety of data that is stored online. Businesses work to overcome this barrier by helping their customers realize the value of online payment processing, and communicating the methods by which their transactions are kept safe.
Businesses can use two different techniques to get customers on board with the idea of electronic payment processing. One of the most important things to do is to make sure the security of electronic processes used in your company is PCI compliant. Establish high-quality security by keeping PCI standards, encrypting customer data, and using username/password protection. If customers still seem reluctant to switch, offer discounts or bonuses to customers who switch to paperless online payment processing. For most companies, the small cost to offer a discount or bonus is far outweighed by the advantages that online payment processing can offer, particularly with direct-rate¬†online processing solutions now available to businesses, such as those offered by Fattmerchant.
Getting Customers Onboard
Some customers do not realize the importance of taking these steps while others just do not want to set the short amount of time aside that it takes to set up the payment process. Businesses must work and overcome this barrier to get customers on board with their ideas, which is critical to continued success. Help them understand how these processes will save both money and time, and work to ensure that this added value is realized by your customers rather than simply communicated. You have an opportunity to undercut the competition simply through more efficient methods — take it and your clients will thank you for it with their continued patronage.
Lautaro Martinez¬†is a freelance writer and professional student who offers practical, down-to-earth advice on the challenges facing the business owner and aspiring entrepreneur, as well as their solutions.