The Supervision Exchange

& Supervisors' Guild

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Payment Methods

There are many ways to build business systems. Over the next several articles, we’ll present different elements that makeup one business-system framework from which you can benefit, customize for your use case, and extend as you grow.
 
When we say business systems, we’re referring to the methods, procedures, tools (software, websites, apps, devices), format, and experience that makeup how a business operates and interfaces with its customers.  While some companies offer all-in-one solutions, we will present you with a system made up of individual pieces that integrate well.  We have found integrated systems pay dividends in knowledge, wisdom, and flexibility when faced with new opportunities or challenges as a professional. 

Don’t be surprised if you see some systems that were originally designed with for-profit businesses in mind. If you haven’t already, we would challenge you to think about different aspects of your organization through the lens of a for-profit company from time to time. Use this lens when reading this series and we’ll sprinkle in ties specifically for non-profit organizations as we progress.

Payments

I’ll start with payments. How your clients or customers pay you. For businesses, this is the crucial link between customers and revenue. Having limited payment methods limits opportunities and produces inconvenient experiences for your clients. There are a few payment methods you should consider supporting at all times.

Credit Cards

Yes, credit cards are the first to mention. This payment method is not the newest, but it is the most mainstream and accessible for the coming generations. There are 2 different platforms I would suggest. 

You may already have a Paypal account, as it is common for receiving donations. However, Stripe may be newer to you. Both platforms offer great features for receiving payments through a credit card. Stripe can be connected to many different online applications, services, and websites. For each platform, review how it integrates with other business systems that you would use. Below are links to information regarding partner integrations for each platform.

Don’t worry if the integration options seem vast and a little overwhelming. Each platform has filters that help you narrow down the available integrations. Also, your action item for this part of the series is to create an account with each of these payment platforms, Paypal and Stripe. Both will be valuable to your operations. As we move through this series, we will refer back to how these payment platforms play a key role in the backbone of this business system framework. We’ll also explain how they interact with the other components of the business system. 

Bank Transfer (ACH or Wire)

You may find some of your customers prefer to not use credit cards for some purchases or do not have credit cards. In this case, the next option for electronic payment is a bank transfer. Domestic bank transfers can be cleared through ACH (Automated Clearing House) at a much lower cost than a credit card transaction. International bank transfers can be handled with a wire transfer, usually accompanied by higher fees than an ACH transfer.  

  • GoCardless®3 provides a solution receiving payments through ACH and International wire transfer. In addition, it has an integration with the Xero accounting software. 
  • Stripe also allows provides a built-in ACH payment method.
  • QuickBooks®4 also offers a built-in ACH payment method.

Cash

Last but not least, it is important to be able to accept cash payments. For those who primarily carry cash, are not banked, and don’t have credit cards, cash is king. Ensure you have a safe place to store cash, like a lockbox and safe. If you do not have a convenient way to deposit cash payments, consider thinking through how you can turn the cash into a cashier’s check that you can deposit into a bank. Some online business banks have no way to accept cash deposits, as they do not have ATM machines or local branches. Those online banks often include mobile deposit technology, where you could deposit a cashier’s check. 

Summary

Payment methods aren’t the most glamorous topic and some of the methods may already be incorporated into your organization. Take this time to assess how your payment methods are serving your organization and your clients.

  • Talk with your team about how easy it is to interact with these payment options:
    • Can your team easily accept payments? Are there any forms that are difficult to accept?
    • Can your team incorporate payments in digital invoices or can payments be accepted online?
    • How many steps does it take to accept a client payment?
  • Talk with your team about how easy it is for customers to initiate payment when ready.
    • If a client calls, can payment be taken over the phone?
    • If a client visit’s your facility, can they pay onsite?
    • If a client goes to your website, can they pay for what they need from their home? 
    • How many steps do your clients need to take to make payment?

Would you want to use your current system to purchase a membership or product for yourself? If not, consider working towards improvements and broadening your capacity. Serving others well involves some thought regarding their potential circumstances. Being prepared to easily accept what forms of payment clients have helps them feel included and displays a level of care.

Written by Evan Gress, CIO & CTO of Kovir LLC, Founder of Virtual Senior Center Solutions

Trademarks

This blog post makes reference to trademarks, registered trademarks, and other protected names and/or symbols of third-party companies not related in any way to WizeCove. Where they occur these references are for illustrative purposes only and do not represent an endorsement of a product or service by WizeCove, or an endorsement of the product(s) to which this website applies by the third-party company in question. Regardless of any direct acknowledgment elsewhere in the body of this document, WizeCove hereby acknowledges that all trademarks, registered trademarks, service marks, and other protected names and/or symbols contained in this website and related documents are the property of their respective holders.

  1. Stripe® is a registered trademark of Stripe, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 510 Townsend Street San Francisco CALIFORNIA 94103
  2. Paypal® is a registered trademark of PayPal, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 2211 North First Street San Jose CALIFORNIA 95131
  3. GoCardless® is a registered trademark of GoCardless Ltd PRIVATE LIMITED COMPANY UNITED KINGDOM 65 Goswell Road, Sutton Yard London EC1V 7EN UNITED KINGDOM
  4. Quickbooks® is a registered trademark of Intuit Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 2535 Garcia Avenue Mountain View CALIFORNIA 94043

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