Transitioning your B2B Customers to Digital Payment Methods – Part 3

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In this three-part series, we've considered the issues surrounding the use of paper checks and explored the alternatives. In part three, we'll offer suggestions for transitioning your B2B (Business to Business) customers to digital payment methods.

Easing your transition to digital payments

As we stated in part one,  fewer consumers and businesses are paying by check, but some continue to do so. Even if you switch to the digital payment methods outlined in part two, you'll still need to be able to accept checks.

Thankfully the technology available to businesses today can streamline your acceptance of both digital and traditional payments. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

1. Choose a payment solution that integrates with your ERP system.

The payment system you choose must work seamlessly with the rest of your business systems, particularly your ERP solution. A  solution that embeds directly with your ERP will allow you to accept digital payments in your existing accounting infrastructure. You'll avoid the labor and error risk of moving information from one system to another. Choose a solution with pre-built connectors with your current ERP or a flexible API and a dedicated team that will work with you to ensure everything is integrated correctly.

2. Digitize and automate reconciliation for the checks you accept.

Yes, checks are declining, but they are still a  payment method of choice for some B2B businesses. You can simplify how your system captures and reconciles incoming payments with optical character recognition (OCR) and machine learning technology.

Using machine learning, you can automate your cash application process to match any payment type with open receivables. Capture and reconcile payment data, eliminate entry errors, significantly reduce manual effort, and speed up cash flow.

3. Automate cash application. 

Much of the difficulty around cash application stems from the fact that remittance information is often supplied separately from the payment. This is especially so with electronic payments such as ACH, EFT, wire transfers, and virtual cards. Because remittance advice isn't formally required and is technically a courtesy, sometimes there isn't any information accompanying payments.

Your AR staff has to spend time sifting through files—sometimes from multiple systems—to find a payment's matching remittance details or go back to the customer to request clarification.

There are tools that can help you manage the reassociation of payments and invoices. Versapay's advanced cash application automation functionality extracts remittance information from various data sources and automatically uses AI to match it to its corresponding invoice.

You can also resolve this challenge by having your customers pay you through a secure online portal. Whether they pay via credit card or bank transfer, you get reliable remittance information linked directly with the payment. Your customers are self-selecting which invoices they are paying so they become participants in the cash application process, alleviating some of the work from your AR team.

When your customers make payments within Versapay, the remittance information is automatically posted along with the payment.

4. Make paying online convenient for customers

To successfully encourage eliminating check payments,  you must make paying online an attractive option for your customers. Supporting a variety of payment options ( ACH, EFT, credit, debit, or virtual card) allows customers to pay in a way convenient for them.

Ease-of-use is essential when getting your customers to embrace online payment methods. Solutions such as click-to-pay invoicing that allow customers to make payments without having to create a login are a great way to encourage customer adoption.

Boost cash flow and customer satisfaction with digital payments

A top reason finance leaders cite for offering digital payment methods is that they're easier for customers to use. While checks are still likely to stick around for some time, most B2B buyers want to pay the way they do everything else these days—online.

Digital payment methods are convenient for your customers, and they benefit your business by saving resources and optimizing cash flow. Settlement times are faster, and you'll no longer have to deal with complications from check float. In a Deloitte study examining B2B business use of digital payments, 73% of organizations surveyed said that accepting card payments improved their cash flow, and 49% said it reduced their cost of doing business.

If you are ready to explore the world of digital transformation to online payment methods, contact our team of experts at Versapay and request a demo.

By Versapay, www.versapay.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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