How can I automate the customer payment collection process?

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Automating the process of collecting customer payments has become essential in an age when everything is expected to happen instantly, and it helps you to ensure satisfied customers and optimal cash flow. 

Automating this process enables a company to avoid payment delays related to recurring transactions, as well as simplifying the process of managing their customers’ payments. Whether it’s for standing orders, SEPA Direct Debits or bank cards, automating B2B or B2C payments has become a key element of business strategy. SlimPay explains the value of putting this solution in place within your business, and how to do it.

Automated payments: a major time-saver

There are many advantages to automating payments: it saves you time and money, and offers you a more convenient solution. If a company does not have an automated process in place, it will receive payments from its customers – be they business customers or private individuals – in its bank account only after having sent them an invoice, once they have proceeded to payment, and once the money has been collected by the bank. This can all take a considerable amount of time, which can jeopardise the company’s cash flow. That is why it is imperative for a business to automate its payments. 

Apart from being paid more quickly, automating payments means you don’t lose time generating invoices, possibly having to send payment reminders, and following up with customers on a case-by-case basis in order to ensure they have fulfilled their payment obligations. By entrusting all of these tasks to a management software solution that has been designed for this purpose, you can dedicate your time to activities that have high added value for your company. Once you have ensured that your payments are taken care of, growing your business can become your top priority. 

Automating payments and invoices also represents a benefit for your customers. For example, if they have to fill in their bank card details or write a cheque and send it by post each time, they may be perfectly satisfied with your products and services, but be put off by their experience of the payment process. The frequency of their purchases will be affected by this, on an ongoing basis. As for recurring payments, these feature as one of the 5 key payment trends. Putting this kind of process in place is therefore also beneficial to business, since the purchasing process is made simpler and easier for the customer, who is then more likely to want to repeat the experience time and again.

What solutions are there to automate the process of collecting customer payments? 

There are a range of solutions available to automate the process of collecting customer payments. They must take into account both the interests of the company and the customer’s expectations, to ensure the right balance between the two. How can I automate my payments? There are different ways of doing this, depending on the frequency of recurring payments and the nature of the funds involved. 

Firstly, it can be a simple case of automating a payment made using a bank card, whereby the company can save the customer’s card details on its e-commerce website, for example. All the customer will have to do is select the card they wish to pay with when they check out their shopping cart, which speeds up the transaction. 

By agreement with the business customer in question, the customer can also choose to automate their payment via a SEPA Direct Debit. This involves the company getting the customer to sign a mandate that authorises them to collect the monies due, directly from their customer’s bank account. A standing order, on the other hand, is sent to the bank by the private individual who wishes the bank to automatically charge their account with the monies that are due to be credited to another party. 

For example, in the case of a rent payment, in general it is the tenant that makes a payment to the landlord, while for an electricity bill it is the provider who will collect the amount owed directly from the customer’s bank account.

How can I automate B2B payments?

Automating B2B payments is also essential. Even though companies can find themselves facing late payments, they may not necessarily put a solution in place to meet their needs in terms of securing payments. Does your business provide a service or product to another company on a recurring basis? Automating B2B payments ensures that you do not have to follow up on payments time and again. In the context of B2B transactions, there are often large sums of money at stake. For this reason, it is essential to minimise the risk of late payments, in order to secure stable cash flow for your business. 

A payment service provider can help you with this. They will take care of ensuring that transactions go through smoothly, and will provide a detailed summary of the transactions that have gone through and those that have failed. SlimPay enables you to monitor payments in real time and gives you the ability to quickly automate direct debits, thanks to the use of an electronic signature. Automating B2B payments makes it easier for you to place your trust in the company you are delivering a product or providing a service to. This leads to an improved relationship between you and your customer, as it enables you to work together without the financial aspect being the main topic when it comes to your interactions and discussions.