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The top 6 benefits of online payments for invoices

Businesses can accept a variety of payment methods from their customers, including cash, checks, bank transfers and online card payments, to name a few. 

Online payments, in which the customer enters their credit card details into a secure webpage, have become increasingly popular over the past few years. This was not only due to the ease & simplicity of remote online payments (especially during the COVID-19 pandemic) but also because of the speed at which the merchants received their money. 

This article will guide you through the benefits of online payments for your invoices and how to accept online payments with SumUp Invoices.

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What are online payments?

The term ‘online payment’ can refer to any method of payment done online. However, for the context of this article, we’re only referring to online card payments by which the customer enters their credit or debit card information in an online payment portal or uses an alternative payment method such as PayPal.

The benefits of online payments

Online payments offer several advantages over traditional methods such as bank transfers or cash. Here are just a few of the benefits that businesses can enjoy by making the switch to online payments:

Faster payments & improved cash flow

The most apparent advantage of online payments is the time it takes to receive your money. On average, 49% of SumUp Invoices users that offer online payments get their invoices paid within 24 hours.

In this day and age, businesses and consumers are accustomed to entering their card details to make a purchase and find it easier to do than submitting a bank transfer through their online banking account. They may also have their card details securely saved in their browser, making it effortless to enter the required details.

With online payments, businesses can receive payment faster and improve their overall cash flow. With SumUp, you can receive your money the very next day.

Convenience

Consumers like convenience - that’s why online shopping has skyrocketed over the past decade. Customers can pay their invoices anytime, anywhere with an internet connection. This is especially beneficial for businesses with customers in different time zones. 

It’s simple: The easier you make it for your customers to pay you, the faster you’ll receive your money, and the more likely the customer is to return to make another purchase.

Automatic payment matching

An important part of bookkeeping is matching your payments with their corresponding invoice or receipt. This process is known as payment matching or bank reconciliation. If done manually or by your accountant, this can be time-consuming and costly. 

Most invoicing software offers automatic payment matching for online payments. This means that once your customer has paid the invoice online, the invoice will be automatically marked as paid and the payment matched - without you lifting a finger. 

Security

Security is the most common concern when businesses explore the option of offering online payments. But there’s no need to worry. Online payments are processed through secure channels and must meet PCI (Payment Card Industry) data compliance standards. This helps protect businesses from fraud and data breaches.

When a consumer enters their credit card details in an online portal to purchase something, the online payment gateway immediately encrypts the data into code. This code is then securely sent to the acquirer (e.g. Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, etc.) that confirms with the cardholder’s bank that the payment can go through. 

During this process, a 3D-Secure (3DS) prompt may be attempted in which the cardholder has to manually confirm the payment by opening their online banking app or entering a one-time passcode received by text. 

Once the bank and/or cardholder confirm the transaction, the money is released from the account. Although this seems like a complex process, it’s usually completed in a matter of seconds and is completely secure.

Using online payments can also reduce unwarranted chargebacks as the customer usually needs to complete a 3DS step, manually confirming their intent to purchase. 

Using an authorized payment processor, like SumUp, to facilitate your online payments will protect your business and customer from fraud.

Flexibility

Offering multiple payment methods gives your customer the option to choose their preferred method. 

Some online payment providers give customers more payment options, such as credit and debit cards, Apple Pay and even PayPal. This makes it easier for your customers to pay their invoices fast through their preferred method.

Boost your sales

The easier you make it for your customer to pay, the higher chance that they will be prompted to go with your company rather than a competitor. 

Additionally, offering online payment options means that you could expand your business to a wider audience. You could even think about expanding internationally. Since your customers can pay from anywhere, expanding could boost your sales and profit. 

How to accept online payments for invoices

With SumUp Invoices, you can create professional invoices in less than 1 minute and accept online payments. 

The online payment option is straightforward and quick for your customer and allows you to receive your money the very next day. Once the payment has been received, it will automatically match with your invoice, saving you time on manual payment matching.

SumUp Invoices also offers additional payment options including cash, bank transfers, checks and in-person card reader payments. Get started for free with no credit card required.

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Katie Ziegel