Why should businesses use payment automation?
If your business is looking for new ways to reduce costs without compromising on the quality of operations, then you are not alone. Many companies now turn to automated payments to streamline financial processes such as cash flow payments.
Investing in an automated payment system provides the perfect opportunity to be proactive and take financial control of your business by increasing efficiency, leading to higher profits and reduced operational costs.
What is payment automation?
Payment automation helps businesses process funds faster by automating the making and receiving of payments without the need for human intervention.
This article examines the benefits associated with an automated payment system. We’ll also shed light on the challenges of manual payments and why moving to a more efficient, automated system will future-proof your business.
Manual payment challenges
Historically, manual payments were the way for all businesses to run. However, using manual payments in today’s technologically advanced world can hold a business back from achieving its full potential. Let’s take a look at the limitations associated with manual payments.
- Liable to error
Human errors mainly occur while manually handling payment processing. This can lead to misplaced payments and discrepancies in financial records. As a result, the customer experience is affected, and you have to spend extra time and money trying to fix your mistakes.
Processing manual payments is a time-consuming process. Many activities are also repetitive - such as manually reconciling paid invoices and entering bank details for recurring card payments. A recent survey of small and medium businesses found that an average of 3.6 hours a week are spent manually reconciling payments.
These admin-heavy tasks cost businesses time and money that could be better used in other areas, such as process improvement, business analysis or quality control.
- Higher costs
Manual transactions also cost much more than automated processing - and not just because you have to employ more staff. For example, many business banks charge higher account fees for manual transactions than automated ones.
- Restricted scalability
As a business grows, manual payment processing becomes increasingly difficult. The increased volume of payments and administrative tasks can become overwhelming for employees. This also uses valuable resources that could be better focused on attracting new customers or developing new products. Ultimately, the business’s ability to scale and grow is severely impacted.
How does payment automation serve businesses?
An automated payment system is a real game-changer for any business wanting to improve efficiency, get an edge over the competition, and grow.
Companies implementing automated tools can manage their finances much better than those still using manual processes. Payment automation leads to economies of scale as the business can continue to grow without adding more resources to deal with the admin.
In addition, businesses can offer a much wider variety of automated payment methods by using a one-stop platform such as Blink. This leads to a better customer experience and, as a result, a more satisfied and loyal customer base.
Recurring card payments are often considered the best way to collect regular payments. These use Direct Debit services to ensure that payments are processed promptly and with minimal hassle for both parties. Blink’s direct debit solution is customer-friendly and secure, giving businesses improved budgeting and cash flow control.
Whether your business works on fixed or variable payments, automating repeat payments avoids the risk of late payments. It’s also flexible and convenient. When you automate recurring billing through Blink, you collect payments on time and eliminate customers' need to pay manually each time. It’s the perfect solution for subscription-based services.
Invoicing automation is already revolutionising the payment process. As a business owner, you don’t need to rely on staff to send out invoices, as the system will handle everything. Blink also enables you to include QR codes and payment links in your invoices, making it a fast, secure and stress-free way to get paid.
Timely and accurate information, such as tracking and managing transactions, is essential to any business keen to improve efficiency and competitiveness. Through automated reporting, Blink lets you make data-driven decisions with strategic insights and details of any payment schedule changes.
Automated payments - The bottom line
Automated payments offer numerous business advantages, making processes more manageable and reliable. Automation offers faster invoicing and payments, helping with cash flow, cost-efficiency, visibility and scalability. Manual processes simply cannot compete on this level. Options such as a direct automatic recurring payment or recurring card payments would simply be impossible - and the more payment options businesses can offer customers, the better the customer experience and loyalty.
To learn more, reach out to one of our experts to see how Blink can help you automate payments for your business.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are recurring payments?
Recurring payments are automated transactions used by businesses to automatically charge customers for ongoing subscriptions on a fixed basis.
Is payment automation safe?
Automated payments are completely safe and reliable due to the implementation of robust security measures such as data encryption.
Why use an automated payment system?
Automated systems offer customers more convenience, and businesses benefit from the ability to automate recurring billing processes, making them more efficient.
How long does an automated payment take?
The length of time depends on factors such as bank policies, payment methods, etc. However, most automated payments are processed within a few minutes to a couple of business working days.
What is AP automation?
Accounts payable process automation combines different payment workflow processes, such as accounting systems and invoicing software, into one system with a single login. This makes payments and financial processes more efficient and reduces the overall AP workload.