If you accept electronic cheques, you give your clients an alternative payment method that benefits both of you. When you pair them with online invoicing by smartphone, electronic cheques offer a great payment option for those who don’t want to use credit cards, but some clients or customers prefer using landlines and paying bills with paper cheques.
To win them over to electronic cheque payment, you need a plan that shows them the benefits of moving into the digital age.
How Electronic Cheques Work
After your software processes the e-cheque, your computer program passes it on to your bank for further processing. Your bank contacts your customers’ bank, and the funds transfer from their account to yours. Both banks validate the funds electronically when the institutions add or subtract funds based on the payable amount.
The process of an e-cheque follows a similar one to writing and cashing a paper cheque except it all happens electronically. Like paper cheques, the payer authorizes the e-cheque and your business endorses it. Rather than a printed cheque with handwritten signatures, e-cheques use digital signatures that operate via smart cards and digital certificates.
Safe and Secure Electronic Cheques
For e-cheques to work, your computer system and accounting software must meet security requirements so your customers can transmit information securely from their payment system to yours.
That’s where secure online payments from QuickBooks Online come into play. When you send an invoice with an online payment option, customers know you can accept credit cards, debit cards, ACH transfers, and e-cheques as a fast, safe, and secure payment method.
Electronic Cheques Offer Convenience
Your clients trust you — that’s why they give you business. If they still pay by cheque, you might want to tap into that trust and have a gentle face-to-face conversation about switching to online payments. One of the main advantages of this payment method is convenience. With electronic cheques, you simply send invoices via their email accounts and they pay you directly from their computers or mobile devices.
This means that customers and clients can settle up with you from anywhere and at any time. While some might be set in their ways and nervous about technology, most everyone likes things that make their lives convenient. If you show them how much easier it is to pay online with electronic cheques, you might win them over.
Electronic Cheques Save Time
Time is money for both you and your patrons. Paying with electronic cheques saves them time by eliminating the need to write out a check, put it in an envelope, and mail it, and it saves you time as you don’t have to wait on your payment.
Using an online cheque requires only that customers know and enter their transit number and account numbers, and the bank transfers the money without delay or extra paperwork. Since the process takes place over secure networks, your customers have little risk of data theft that can occur due to lost or stolen mail.
This makes electronic cheque payment both fast and safe. Also, since electronic cheques clear almost instantly, your customers always have account balances with up-to-the-minute accuracy.
Electronic Payments Save Money
With electronic payments, your customers save money on buying printed cheques. Since electronic payments use no paper, paying online also helps conserve natural resources and reduce the need landfill space. Once they adapt to paying online, it’s up to you to make it worth their while.
Consider offering them a small discount for paying their invoices early and electronically. When they’re comfortable with the process, the benefits of paying their invoices in a click or two may outweigh their desire for a discount.
Keep in mind, if you offer a discount and plan to discontinue it after a period of time, you should let your customers know up front to preserve their trust in your small business.
One way to do this is to use the discount as an introductory offer to online payments and limit it to a set number of transactions. For instance, you could offer a discount for their 10 transactions or 90 days, depending on how frequently they pay you.
Getting people to change their ways might seem challenging, but the time you spend showing them how to pay you online cuts down on stress for both of you. For them, it ensures they’re always up to date with invoices, and for you, it eliminates the slow arrival of paper cheque payments and bounced checks.
If you’re not 100% successful in converting your patrons to ditching the paper and paying by electronic cheques at first, don’t be discouraged. They might come around sooner than you think. While you wait, consider investing in point-of-sale software that turns paper cheques into electronic cheques.
QuickBooks Online helps you create and send smart invoices that help you get paid two times faster. Try it free today.