Digital ways to pay - why should SMEs bother?

Digital ways to pay - why should SMEs bother?

Is going digital for your payments really worth the hassle of changing over? IntegraPay CEO Chris Urry explains some of the benefits that digital payment services offer busy business owners.

If someone had told you 10 years ago that we would be producing invoices on our phones, you would have laughed, especially when we were all working on Blackberries.

Roll forward to 2017 and so much has changed!

With businesses and start-ups all over Australia looking for ways to compete on the world stage, getting paid faster than you were yesterday will always put you in front.

There is no doubt every business needs to embrace the benefits of modern payment technologies into their operation. No matter your size, the solutions on offer are scalable, and so are the benefits.

Quantify the saving

In a recent business payments study completed by IntegraPay, research shows that an average Australian SME will save $15,000 a year by adopting an automated payment system. How’s that for a saving?

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This figure does not even account for the time saved by the customer and the soft benefit of them enjoying the automated experience of paying your business.

Our research demonstrated that once business payments are automated, there is a significant cost reduction in wages. That is, once a business implemented direct debit, half spent less than 30-minutes per week collecting and chasing payments.

So what would it save you?

Overall, there is a 30 per cent reduction in time spent administrating and chasing money when businesses use an automated solution. Imagine refocusing this time and using it to grow your business instead of badgering customers for money.

Frictionless payment experience

The challenge today is being able to enter payment details easily on small devices, therefore many companies are attempting to eliminate the friction that occurs along the digital path to purchase.

For example, creating an electronic form which authorises future payment to be debited reduces the future friction of redoing a payment over and over.

Easy to use processes can cement a consumer’s relationship with a specific business or brand. By increasing the customer satisfaction level with a frictionless payment experience, the customer is less likely to cease the service or switch to a competitor.

Eliminating the consumer’s role in the transaction is key to the prosperity of the digital payment type.

The former RBA governor, Glenn Stephens, was right last year when he said both individuals and businesses were demanding greater immediacy and greater accessibility in all facets of their day-to-day activities, in particular payments.

Although the market is being flooded with a variety of solutions, the reality is creating a single integration will drive a more efficient experience and immediacy.

Integrating social platforms with digital payment

Many experts predict integration with social platforms as the key to monetising digital payment assets.

As an example, last year IntegraPay launched an in-video payment system, enabling a purchase while watching a video. This concept was heavily accepted by charities and online retailers who successfully create a faster road to fulfilment – firstly creating demand and then enabling purchase and finally payment in an instant.

The childhood dream of reaching into our TV sets to get what we want is almost a reality. There is no denying the fact that there is a growing consumer appetite for faster fulfilment.

The battle for ownership of the digital payment experience will only be tamed by regulation, which does not seem forthcoming. The banks that ultimately benefit from the ever-increasing digital payment flow are letting the smaller, more nimble players take a front seat.

There is no denying that the pace of payment innovation is accelerating. The explosive speed and constant entrance of innovation have meant the emergence of new products, which will only continue to put pressure on the traditional business model.

While the journey is complex, with many players racing to get the mix right to build customer acceptance, the size of the market is growing.

Keeping it secure

Security of payments is a fundamental way of getting consumers onboard. Investing in communicating the security of the payment channel greatly increases the potential for usage.

Therefore, working with a PCI compliant solution has untold benefits, as it means you can focus on the business you are in and let the payment experts manage credit card details.

Backed by a strong customer appetite for streamlined solutions

It is a great time to be an SME. With many barriers to entering the global market disappearing, it is a race for efficient use of systems.

With money making the world go around, the dollars are at the centre – payments must be collected one time for all of it to work.

Chris Urry is the CEO of payment solutions provider IntegraPay.

Digital ways to pay - why should SMEs bother?
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