Managing your business finances effectively and efficiently is something every business should be actively involved in. While it is important that you get paid and make payments in a timely manner, this part of your business shouldn’t take up the majority of your day.
You should be using a payment processing solution that allows you to take care of the money side of things and get back to growing your business. So today, we are going to look at how you evaluate what you are currently using and what you should be looking for to assess whether you need to find an alternative solution.
Evaluating Your Business Finances
Review Your Current Situation
To get a clear idea of just where your business needs improving, the first thing you need to do is fully assess your current situation.
Look at your recent transactions over the past few months to get an idea of how many payments you process daily. Then look over the payment processing routine you go through.
By looking at these, you can get a better idea of where inefficiencies lie. Maybe you waste time re-entering payment details. Maybe the dashboard of your payment processing system is not intuitive and you waste time there.
The point is, you have a lot of things to do and spending hours processing payments shouldn’t be something that holds you back.
Streamlining The Process
Building on the above point, you should look to see how you might be able to streamline making payments or creating invoices.
Does your current set up allow this? Are there new technologies that other providers offer that make things easier?
Take some time to do a little research and learn the ways you can streamline your process and the software choices that allow you to best do this.
Make The Most Of The Technology That Is Available
Depending on when you implemented your payment processing routine, it may be time to consider alternatives. This is a growing market and thanks to technology, new providers are the easiest way to take advantage of the latest technology.
For example, for my business I use a third-party to help me with my email outreach. I’ve been with them for 5 years now and things have been good. Good enough that I haven’t looked at switching.
But recently I’ve run into a few hiccups. When I was out networking the other week, I learned of a few new players in this field and how they were more technologically advanced they were compared to my current provider.
I was literally blown away. I could solve some of the issues I have recently run into and save myself hours each week with their streamlined process.
I realize that email providers and payment processing isn’t exactly related. But the point is, you may be wasting time and energy on things without even realizing it.
Payment Processing Options
If you are considering a change or just want to see what is out there, how do you even begin your search?
For starters, you want to look for these features:
Payment acceptance: You want a provider that will allow you to accept credit cards, debits cards, ACH transfers and mobile payments. As digital wallets become more commonly used, having the ability to accept mobile payments will be even more important.
The bottom line is, the more payment options you can accept, the less likely you will run into issues.
Hosted payments: Maybe you aren’t doing any direct selling through your website now, but having the option to do so is good to have. As a result, make sure any provider offers you a shopping cart or other hosted payment option.
International payments: If you are online, chances are you are going to have people want to pay you in various currencies. If your provider doesn’t accept international currencies, you are going to lose sales.
So, make sure they accept international payments. The biggest ones are the US Dollar, the Euro, the UK Pound and the Canadian Dollar.
Layout: Ease of use is huge. The clearer things are and more efficient it allows you to be, the faster you can get things done. Be sure to look over the layout of the dashboard and how it is set up to make sure it fits your needs.
Security: In this day and age, you want to make sure any provider you partner with has a solid security system in place. There is nothing that can harm your business faster than a security breach.
Make sure they have CVV and CVV2 authentication, geo-ip address verification and PC DSS compliance in place. There are other features that are important too, but these are the biggies you should look for first.
Cost: Obviously cost is a factor. But don’t make a decision solely on cost alone. A great service is going to cost you money.
For example, in another area where I do business, I went with the cheapest option I could find. I was only focused on cost. Well, as a result of the low price I was paying, I was manually dealing with a lot of updating and revising of things. I eventually said enough is enough and paid more for an option that was more automated.
While I am paying a little more per year, I save myself many hours and headaches each week. So be aware of price, but don’t let it make the decision for you.
Payment Processing Options
I gave you a list of things to look for in a provider, but what about giving you a few providers to start your search with?
Most people will start their search off with PayPal since that is the most well known. While it is well known and a widely accepted form of payment, it really doesn’t have the options or ease of use of others. It’s a good place to look to get ideas from, but there are better options.
One great option to consider is Paysafe. Why? They offer the features I noted above and the service is easy to use. The dashboard is laid out well and you can access your account at work, home or even on the go.
At the end of the day, to be a successful business you need to spend your time on the most important tasks which include growing your business and keeping your current customers coming back.
While payment processing is an important part of a well run business, it should not eat up the majority of your time. By choosing a provider that fits your needs and has the options that you will need as your business grows, you will save yourself not only time but many frustrating headaches as well.
So take the time to review your current process and see if it makes sense to look into a new provider for processing your payments.
Hi, my name is Jon and I run Penny Thots. I’ve been interested in personal finance since high school and love writing and talking about it. You can learn more about me in the Authors section of this site.