Among the many lessons we’ve learned in 2020 is how convenient—and safe—it is to shop and pay digitally, by laptop, mobile phone, tablet or other device. But when it comes to the contractor, the accountant, the lawn service and the myriad of other services we use in our daily lives, digital transactions aren’t always an option. We’re either mailing a check or waiting for them to pick up a check.
If service providers do not offer a digital solution for payments, invoicing and customer service, their customers miss out on some key benefits that could make their lives easier.
Here are seven reasons that service providers should be offering you digital payment options:
- To provide a safe, secure customer experience. Service providers who accept credit card and ACH payments online and by mobile app minimize personal contact from in-person payment and mitigate safety concerns for you and them. An online payment link or contactless payment eliminates the need for the service provider to collect a check or swipe a credit card.
- To enable you to use the payment method of your choice. Digital payment solutions give you the flexibility of using the payment method you choose whether it is a card on file, credit card or ACH payment. Paying by credit card is also preferable if you earn rewards or cash back with your credit card account.
- To help you manage your expenses. Paying by credit card can be an especially critical option during uncertain times when your cashflow may be tight. It can also help manage routine budgeting.
- To give you with better access to your account. An essential feature of digital payment solutions is that they can include a customer portal to provide you with 24/7 online access to your account information. A customer portal can allow you to review your payment history, update your payment method and contact information, make service requests and communicate other information without calling or spending time on hold.
- To simplify invoicing and billing. Instead of leaving an invoice in the door or having it get lost in the mail, digital solutions with electronic billing can deliver invoices to your email and online account. For recurring services, invoices can be automatically generated so you can schedule and budget payments when it is convenient for you.
- To ensure security with encrypted payment information. Digital payments use SSL, an encryption method for online security which is used to secure data that is transferred from the customer to the service provider’s website or payment portal. Using SSL helps to encrypt the information so that the card details and all other sensitive data is protected.
- To send you automated reminders. Digital payment solutions can automatically generate notices to you for payments due, upcoming scheduled appointments, service upgrades or any other customer account information so you can stay up to date.
Prior to the pandemic, you may have been willing to settle for traditional methods of paying for services. As all types of businesses have transitioned to digital payments since the COVID crisis, you should expect the same from the service-based businesses you patronize. When hiring a service provider, it’s important to ask if their business uses a digital payments platform so you can enjoy the best customer experience possible.