Every business wants to get paid faster. This improves your cash flow and reduces the time you have to spend chasing down clients to pay you. You can do plenty of things to get invoices paid faster, such as sending text payment reminders. In addition to the various tips you will find to encourage customers to pay on time, text-to-pay is another excellent tool.
What is text-to-pay?
As the name implies, text-to-pay lets your customers pay you via text message. You send them a text message with a link to the ability to pay. From there, they can choose from various convenient payment options like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and credit cards.
Customers can then pay in a matter of minutes, right from their devices. This lets them pay on the go, whether the invoice is a few bucks or a few hundred dollars.
Text-to-pay takes advantage of the convenience that it offers customers, as well as the fact that text messages have a 98 percent open rate.
How to get paid faster with text-to-pay
The process of getting paid faster using text-to-pay is straightforward, as the best platform will handle everything for you.
Step 1 – Text-enable your number
Start by text enabling your business phone number if you haven’t already done so. You can technically get a separate number for texting customers, but it is typically better to use the same number for voice calls and texts. This makes it easier for customers to remember it or to recognize your calls and messages. It also reduces the number of phone numbers you have to list online.
Remember that you will use this text-enabled number for more than just text-to-pay. You will also want to use it for other SMS marketing, sending transactional messages, and customer support.
Step 2 – Choose a text-to-pay provider
This step is among the most important when setting up text-to-pay. Make sure to choose a platform that will help you improve the customer journey and have all the features you need. For example, the best platforms will integrate with other functionality, such as SMS campaigns and customer support via webchat.
You should also make sure to choose a platform that lets you customize your invoices. This will help you close more sales, as customers will see your logo and branding and feel more confident.
Don’t forget to make sure that your chosen platform also gives you data, including the ability to export it to whatever accounting software you use.
Step 3 – Get support for the right payment methods
Once you know what platform you will use for text-to-pay, it is time to make sure that you set up all of the payment methods that your customers expect to use.
Remember that you want to offer customers their preferred payment methods. This will improve their experience and reduce the number of unpaid invoices. Customers want to save money, so they prefer to use payment methods they already have. This also helps them gain control of their finances. Even if they don’t need to spend extra money to open your approved payment methods, they won’t want to use their spare time to do so.
For example, maybe your customers want direct deposit or direct debit. Or perhaps they are okay with ACH payment and eCheck payments instead. At the very least, you likely want to offer credit card payments. Most small businesses should also consider accepting Google Pay and Apple Pay.
Step 4 – Set up your text-to-pay
Now all that is left to do is set up your text-to-pay system. Your chosen platform should make it easy to do this.
Step 5 – Advertise text-to-pay
You don’t want to just randomly text customers asking for payment. While text-to-pay is growing in popularity, it is still relatively new. As such, clients don’t necessarily expect to get a text from you saying that their payment is due and offering a link. They may think it is a hacker spoofing your number and a fraudulent link if you don’t announce it.
Overcoming this is simple. All you have to do is let customers know that you offer this option. Have your social media manager mention it on your social media pages. Mention it on your website—text or email existing clients to notify them beforehand. Be sure to add the information to your payment terms.
Step 6 – Start using text-to-pay
Once you have done all of the above, you are ready to start using text-to-pay. Your customers should not be surprised by the texts with a payment link, and you will notice that you start getting paid more quickly. Your business bank account will have improved cash flow and capital.
Remember that you can send multiple messages for text-to-pay. This means that if there is a late payment, you can send another text to remind clients about it. That saves you the hassle of making phone calls.
The impact of text-to-pay
Take a closer look at the benefits of text-to-pay, as well as the few disadvantages that you should be aware of.
Ninety-eight percent of text messages get opened. This means that customers are incredibly likely to see your text message requesting payment as well as the link to pay. In other words, you get to overcome the challenge of making sure customers see their invoices.
It adds a great deal of convenience for your customers. They can pay from their smartphone no matter where they are. There is no need to wait in lines, log into their account on the computer, or visit your physical location to pay. They could even pay while doing something else, like donating plasma. This lets them keep more money in their bank account, as they don’t have to pay for transportation.
Get paid faster
The high open rate and level of convenience mean that you will get paid faster. This is especially true given that most people have their smartphones with them all of the time.
Text-to-pay works well for payments of any size, from a few dollars to more.
You can accept multiple payment methods, giving clients complete control over their chosen method.
Saves you time and money
While it is not passive income, text-to-pay also frees up your team to handle other responsibilities. Your administrative and accounting teams will spend less time calling, texting, or emailing clients to remind them to pay invoices.
Text-to-pay is a paperless method, saving you money on office supplies and reducing your impact on the planet.
You can integrate data and information from text-to-pay platforms with your accounting software.
Improve the customer experience
Paying via text messages can also improve the customer experience and journey. That is crucial as happy clients become repeat customers and are more likely to recommend your company to others. They are also more likely to post reviews praising you online and positive online surveys, boosting your reputation. This, in turn, will help you find clients.
Text-to-pay is highly secure. You don’t have to worry about the security of your customers’ data or your funds. This will also improve customer confidence, especially when paying a large sum.
Customers will recognize the number texting them for payment, as it is the same one you use for transactional messages, customer support, and more.
The fact that you get paid quickly with text-to-pay also helps your clients by adding convenience and the ability to skip a trip to the local bank. They will appreciate that they don’t receive annoying reminders for unpaid invoices or accumulate late fees or interest rates. After all, they will be less likely to have a late payment that requires this type of reminder.
Remember that for your clients to take advantage of text-to-pay, they have to have a smartphone that accepts texts and lets them connect to your payment link. This will be the case for the vast majority of your clients. Some, however, may not.
If you accept credit cards over text-to-pay, prepare to pay card-not-present fees from your processor. These are typically slightly higher than card-present fees.
Get started for free
With text-to-pay, you add convenience to the lives of your customers, encouraging them to pay promptly. This gives you money fast via online payments on your customers’ terms. You will get paid sooner, freeing up extra money to spend on your business.
As mentioned, the platform you choose to use for text-to-pay makes a significant difference in how much it speeds up your payments and the ease of use. Podium is a solid option loaded with features, and you can even get started with a free trial.