As a small business owner, you’re always on the lookout for ways to increase sales and improve customer services. One way you can do this is by providing your customers with easy and convenient payment options, such as automatic payments for your products or services.
So how can automatic payments work for your small business? Find out why you should offer these payment options and how you can set them up at your business.
Automatic Payments and Your Small Business
Automatic payments are much like recurring payments in that they occur repeatedly. If your business offers services or products that your customers come back to frequently, then automatic bill payments could be a great way to streamline the payment process for them, and the billing process for you.
Suppose your business offers monthly lawn services that provide manicured lawns and weeding. If you have a large customer base that regularly uses your services, you may want to start offering automatic billing. This allows your customers to receive their usual services without the need to actively pay you each time.
Your fee will automatically come out of their account each month after a one-time verification process. This streamlines the process for both the customer and your business.
Other business types that benefit greatly from automatic bill payments are subscription-based services. If you or someone you know uses Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, or subscription box services, they have signed up for automatic and recurring monthly charges on their credit card or bank account.
What is Auto-Pay?
Auto-pay is just a short form of automatic payments. If a business is referencing auto pay, or you are considering offering auto-pay services, this means that the service of automatic payments or recurring charges is being provided.
When do Automatic Payments Come Out?
So, what time do automatic payments go through as charges on a person’s account? The time and date that automatic payments come out of the attached account will depend on when an individual signed up for them. Typically, an account will be charged the same day every month.
Finding Secure Payment Systems
When it comes to recurring bill payments, you want to ensure the services and systems you are using are secure. As these charges can only occur with your bank details or credit card information, there is sensitive data passing between you and the systems. Therefore, safeguarding your finances when signing up for automatic payments should be one of the most important things you do.
First, you will want to research the providers you will be using before jumping headfirst into the payments. Finding trusted brands online is relatively easy thanks to search engines and the current state of online security.
Auto Payment Service Providers
Service providers and online software can be your business’s best friend when scheduling automatic payments or offering auto-pay options to your customers. Various secure payment systems can help your business streamline the autopay options for your customers. The main three we will be looking at are:
- QuickBooks Online
How to Set Up Automatic Payments with QuickBooks
Auto payment and billing services with QuickBooks Online are easy to set up and use. Scheduling for auto-billing and invoicing means that this accounting software will generate invoices for your customers, with their payment information, and send them out monthly without your prompting.
Follow the steps below to set up recurring payments QuickBooks for your customers:
- On the dashboard, click the Plus (+) and choose Sales Receipt.
- Select the customer that wishes for autopay.
- Select the product they require.
- Choose the card within the Payment Method option.
- Click Make Recurring.
- Create a Name for the template that is recognizable.
- Choose Scheduled as the Type.
- Choose the Interval that QuickBooks will use to charge a customer.
- Enter the Start date for these automated charges.
- Enter the number of Occurrences, or how many times, you want to charge your customer.
- Click Save Template.
Before you sign up your customers for auto pay on QuickBooks, you will first need to get their permission for recurring charges on their account. This is a legal requirement and should always be adhered to before beginning this process.
Setting Up Automatic Payments with PayPal
If your business uses the PayPal platform, then you will also be able to take advantage of recurring and automatic billing options. To set up PayPal recurring payments and subscription services you must first sign up or log in with your PayPal Business account.
Once entered into the online portal, click on the Tools option, and find Recurring Payments. From there, PayPal will guide you through a step-by-step process on creating subscription payment buttons for your services, allowing you to auto-bill customers at regular intervals throughout the year.
Setting Up Automatic Payments with Square
Square is another great secure payment system option to use for your business. If you use Square for collecting payments from your customers, you’ll easily be able to set up auto pay options with them.
To set up Square recurring payments you will first need to sign up or sign in with your business account, and then follow these steps:
- Click Invoices on your Square Dashboard.
- Select the Create Invoice option.
- Go to the drop-down menu and select Recurring.
- Choose the Frequency with which to charge your customer.
- Click Automatic Payments to bill customers with their card on file automatically.
- Find the Customer Directory and choose the appropriate customer, or enter a new name and email address.
- If you do not have the customer’s card on file, check the box for Allow customer to save their card.
- Fill in the remaining invoice information.
- Click Schedule.
If your customers’ card information is already on file, their account will be charged automatically at the intervals you prescribe. However, if their card is not online, they can pay you through the automated invoice sent to their inbox. Once charged, the money will hit your business account within one to two days.
Benefits of Accepting Automatic Payments at Your Business
The benefits attached to providing autopay options to your customers is immense. These days, people are looking for the quickest and most convenient way to do things. Providing customers with automatic and recurring payment options offers them efficiency and an easy to use service that they won’t have to worry about.
Customer satisfaction could go up, as they receive their product or service weekly or monthly, without the hassle of having to provide their banking or card details every time.
From the side of your business, it will improve cash flow immensely. The more people sign up for this payment method, the more revenue your business will be making, without the extra work hours of having to initiate these payments each and every time.
As auto payments happen online, using this method is also good for the environment! It creates less waste with paper usage and streamlines the whole sales process for efficiency.
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