4 min read • November 30, 2017
You’ve decided to move on from checks and wires and implement electronic payments. Congratulations! But now the real work of getting started begins. You’ll need to select an online payment provider, transition all of your processes, integrate your other software systems and tools… is it starting to feel overwhelming?
Fear not – we’ve outlined the steps you need to take to transition from traditional payment methods to online payments. Trust us; it’s actually very straightforward.
Shifting all of your clients, processes, and resources to another platform or method is one of the most daunting aspects of transitioning your payments to another provider. The good news is that you do not have to transition everything at once. Trial the platform first or start by moving only one client or vendor to online payments so that you can get familiar with the new process without the full commitment. Look for an online payment provider that allows you to pay only for what you use or that offers a free trial (avoid ones that require you to pay for a monthly account). Starting small will allow you to transition at a pace that makes sense for you.
Change can be unnerving, especially when it involves money. There are likely going to be people on your team that find the prospect of online payments scary. The best approach is to handle these concerns up-front so that you can ensure everyone is on board and make the transition seamlessly. Ensure your team members have had a chance to consider and review security information, that they understand how online payments will fit into their accounting workflow, and that they know their role in the new process. Surprises generally don’t go over well, so keep the process transparent and deal with as many of the objections as you can before you begin the transition.
We all know that clients, vendors and suppliers like to be kept in the loop when it comes to payments. Ensure that you give all of your clients a head’s up before you transition to a new payment process, and let them know what they will need to do to make or accept a payment.
The information that you need to gather from clients and vendors to make a payment will vary depending on the provider you choose. Some providers (Plooto included) only require that you have an email address for the person you want to collect from or pay. Once the recipient receives the email, they enter their own banking details to accept or send the payment. Some other payment processors may require your recipient to create an account on their platform, or they may ask you for the recipient’s bank account number and bank information. When selecting a payment provider, the client/vendor banking information you will need to provide should be a consideration, as this factor could drastically increase the effort involved in transitioning to online payments.
You’re probably thinking that this part of the process will involve a lot of data entry, and unfortunately, this may be the case with a legacy payment solution. However, there are better alternatives. Modern, cloud-based payment platforms integrate with major accounting software platforms and allow you to import invoices directly from your accounting software. If you are using Plooto, all of the payee contact information in your accounting software, including email addresses, will be pulled in automatically as well, meaning you do not need to enter this information manually. Regardless of the platform you choose, using an online payment system will save you from manually filling out payee information every time you write a check or wire, so the overall effort is a lot lower.
Now for the fun part – the payments themselves. Since you have already tested the platform you are using (see step 1), this part should be straightforward. Ensure that you provide visibility to your team when the payments are complete.
Changing a process is never easy, but deciding to disrupt your business and improve is the most significant hurdle. Once you have selected a provider, follow these steps, and you will be making all of your payments online in no time.