You’re Sending the Bills, Why Not Handle the Payments?
As a transactional print/mail service provider, you’re more than a vendor. You’re instrumental in the success of your client’s business. What you do directly affects cash flow. The problem is that while you control when invoices hit the mail stream, you don’t control when and how the bill gets paid. That function is equally important. If you off-load it from the client, they benefit from a single point of contact for all things cash flow.
Small to medium-size companies like insurance brokers or utilities are in the same situation. These organizations are often uncomfortable about handling electronic financial transactions or they’re concerned about their abilities to integrate payment processing into their bill production workflow. Though their customers want to pay online, they have yet to offer this choice.
Trends in Consumer Payments
Consumers want to pay bills when it is most convenient for them. People are on the go, and they expect their bills can go with them. Mobile bill pay is standard across the marketplace.
Consumers count on the flexibility to pay at the biller’s website, through financial institutions, or a phone app. They want the option to use a credit card, debit card, ACH, or cash. They also want to control the payment amount and decide whether it’s a one-time or auto payment. And they expect notifications no matter the channel.
The options for making payments are expanding as consumer adoption accelerates in digital, mobile, and social channels. They include services such as Apple Pay, merchant-branded payment apps, and even Facebook. Instant payment is a service that consumers use every day.
Why Customers Want to Pay Their Bills Online
Checks are no longer popular. According to the Association of Financial Professionals, only 50% of organizations make B2B payments via check. Consumer behavior is similar. Check writing is a hassle and a cost. Check writing rarely occurs while on the go.
Allowing customers to pay bills online is safer than accepting checks. It reduces the risk of financial information falling into the wrong hands. There is also the chance the check is lost or delayed in the mail. Online payment reduces the risk of human error.
Customers benefit from online payments because payments arrive in their accounts within minutes. They needn’t worry about a check bouncing and paying overdraft fees.
Time, Hassle, and Postage
Online payments require no stamps, envelopes, or trips to the post office. Customers can pay their bills while standing in line at Starbucks.
Why Payment Processing Makes Sense for Printers-Mailers
Many of the benefits mentioned for the customer are also benefits for the biller. Banks can credit business accounts for electronically deposited funds on the next business day, instead of waiting for checks to arrive and clear. Workflows built around payment processing can remind customers when they do not pay on time or inform them at once if a payment method fails. Automated systems can send secondary messages to customers that do not open their initial bill notification emails within a prescribed time period. Integrated bill production and payment processing makes all this functionality possible and allows print/mail service providers to add massive value to their services.
Payment services create a new revenue stream for print/mail service providers. It attracts new clients, helps retain current clients, and provides a competitive advantage. Clients are eager to off load the entire process to a single vendor. They are seeking a complete financial billing and payment product, and the organization that is already producing the bills is an ideal place for them to get it.
Technology, Workflow & Pay+
Though the trends and preferences are clear, some printer-mailers still do not offer payment processing. We often hear that they are unsure about how payment processing works, or they are concerned about the technology required to interface with a payment system. Smaller companies may lack the IT resources they believe are necessary for them to add payment processing. Fear about the responsibility of handling their client’s financial transactions also keeps print/mail providers from offering payment solutions to their clients.
Those challenges voiced by our customers prompted Racami to build Pay+. We wanted to create a product specifically for print/mail service providers or small to medium-size businesses that are sending invoices but have yet to address the payment preferences of their customers.
How Does Pay+ Fit into Your Operation?
Integration is a big concern. Nobody wants to embark on a project that requires expensive IT resources to connect their bill printing system with a payment system. Cash flow is critical, so any interruption caused by technical problems is a big deal. Racami understands those worries and created Pay+ to be a nearly seamless addition to your bill production workflow.
Pay+ increases digital adoption to drive paperless invoicing and payment. You already print and mail the bills. Send the same print files to Racami Pay+ and the workflow technology takes over.
Pay+ takes the existing bill printing data as input to the payment processing solution. Workflows built into Pay+ do the rest for you. Pay+ is a standalone product. It works in environments that include Racami’s Alchem-e™ software, but our workflow dashboard platform is not required.
The system securely stores documents and sends notifications to customers. Consumers and businesses will find it easy to pay using a biller-branded Racami Pay+ website whether companies send the bills directly or has them produced by a print/mail service provider.
A state-of-the-art payment platform has cost-saving benefits. For printer-mailers, the investment in a new payment solution will be well worth the initial cost, as you will spread the service to many clients. Payments should be as simple as clicking a button. Pay+ is just that; an intuitive platform that customers will use. Your clients will realize increased customer satisfaction, cash flow improvements, and opportunities to optimize the customer experience.