Integrating payments with an online partner can speed up collections and improve cash flow.
However, this approach does have caveats, and small-business leaders need to tread carefully.
Rick Stanford, senior vice president for Sage Payment Solutions in McLean, Va., says, that “finding a trusted partner to integrate payments is not as easy as it may seem.
SMBs need to carefully research these relationships. Ultimately, the key to satisfaction is finding a partner that understands their needs as it relates to their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, is recognized in the SMB space for their expertise and is capable of providing all types of payments in-house through one platform."
Stanford offers the following benefits that small businesses may receive for using an integrated payment system:
- Reduced time to process payments. Enabling customers to accept credit cards within their ERP eliminates the need to use an external device for processing cards and the need to re-key transactional data back into the ERP system. Basically, it takes a two-step process down to one.
- Get paid faster. One of the keys to improving cash flow is recognizing slow-paying customers, and offering them multiple payment options, such as credit or debit cards, that will speed up the accounts-receivable (A/R) process.
- Reduced error rate. Cutting down on the amount of paper in the back office and practically eliminating re-keying errors saves SMBs both time and money.
“We recently conducted a study of our integrated customers and found that 91% of SMBs with integration reduced back-office expenses by at least 21%,” Stanford said. “This is a perfect way to improve cash flow through enhanced technology available to SMBs today."