You've decided to finally ditch the checks and move to online payments in your contracting business. But which online payment platform should you choose? There's so much noise in the construction technology space, it can make your head spin before you even narrow your options.
The following is a step-by-step guide to choosing the best online payment solution for your construction business so you can start the transition immediately.
Here's why you'll want to ditch the checks
When choosing which solution will work best for you, start by considering why it was important for your company to move away from your old system of paper payments. Then you'll know which solution can move you forward without suffering similar pitfalls.
The worst thing about checks is that they're a colossal time-waster. Your business has better things to do than print, sign, mail, and reconcile a check. You want to streamline the payment process for yourself and your suppliers and subcontractors so that everyone can get back to doing what they do best. Research shows that 88% of suppliers collaborate with clients who are transparent about payment times and pay quickly, so saving that time is good for business relationships and your bottom line.
Checks are a costly way to pay. The costs to create and administer the payment process could reach between $15-25 per payment. Let's fix that with a payment system that costs a fraction of that and is easy to understand and account for.
Checks are far too easy for fraudsters to fake, find, or reconfigure for their own devices. Check fraud is the number one payment fraud, accounting for 60% of attempted fraud on deposit accounts at US banks. Businesses who've been victims of fraud know this is no small risk. Fraud costs businesses up to 5% of their annual revenue each year. Construction projects already suffer from minimal profit margins. Nobody needs the additional risk of fraud to endanger their livelihood.
Clearly, your choice to ditch the checks is the right one. But choosing to change is only half the battle. How will you manage the move to online banking? The first step is choosing the payment platform that best fits your needs.
Here's how to tackle choosing the right online payment system for you
Step 1. Look Inward
Looking for new solutions to improve your business processes is exciting, but don't forget to do some introspection first. Companies that succeed with digitizing their operations report having a clear strategy for their tech. Before choosing the right platform for you, you have to decide what you want your new solution to achieve.
Go back to your business's vision statement, values, and goals to prioritize certain operations over others, and help direct the decisions you'll have to make down the line. For instance, is it most important to your company to:
- Provide a seamless experience for clients, suppliers, and contractors who work with you?
- Keep overhead low so you can provide the best price possible for your clients while protecting your margins?
- Offer your partner businesses the highest level of security during each transaction?
- Make the transition to online payments as simple as possible to make your employees' jobs easier?
By getting your priorities straight, you'll be able to rank all of the online payment solutions you identify during your research according to how well they fit your needs. As a bonus, this introspection will also serve you when assessing other new tools, equipment, and solutions you encounter down the road.
Step 2. Decide how you'll judge success
Before diving into any new tech solutions, decide the metrics upon which you'll base your judgment on its success or failure. When you invest financially in a new solution, you also invest emotionally. You'll want to go to bat for your new system, whether it's going well or not.
Set up a system for assessing success before diving in to remove that emotional element from the equation. You can use metrics like:
- Time spent billing
- Average time from invoicing to payment
- How long it takes to reconcile at the end of each month or quarter
- Cost savings
Use these specific indicators as well as feedback from employees, partner businesses, and clients to understand how things are going.
Step 3. Research your options
Now for the fun stuff. Dig into all the online payment solutions you can find, and begin a list, ranking them according to how they seem to fit with your business goals.
Talk to the tech companies you're considering, and attend a demo session to see how things work. Assess your options based on what you can see before diving in:
- Estimated time to get the system up and running in your business
- How much support you'll receive
This research will take some time, but don't get mired down in it and let it stall your progress. Once you've narrowed the field, it's time to make a purchase! Don't be scared – have faith!
Step 4. Conduct ongoing assessments
Now that you've begun the adoption of an online payment solution, you can sit back and celebrate. You've taken an important step to streamlining your business operations!
But don't celebrate too long. Your job isn't done yet. All the careful introspection and research you've done doesn't guarantee you've found a solution that fits. Conduct regular assessments to check how well your new payment processing system works for your goals. Use the metrics you designed in step two to judge progress. Get some feedback from your team about usability, too.
If the system you chose didn't turn out to be a good fit, don't sweat it! Don't be afraid to ditch it and try something new. You've made progress just by having tried!
Specific factors to watch for when choosing an online payment platform
There are many options for online payment systems. It's up to business owners to choose which will work for each unique company, but some key characteristics can increase the chances of success.
We know that checks are a risky method of payment. But for many people, online payments seem risky too. Fear of a security breach remains one of the topmost concerns for users. Pick a system that demonstrates a commitment to security within their transactions.
MazumaGo offers bank-level security through its partnerships with large financial institutions, privacy through its stringent information access policies, protects transactions through encryption, and blocks bad actors through fraud-detection algorithms.
You'll never have to worry your payment will be returned NSF, as MazumaGo validates adequate funds through its online bank login feature.
Ease of use
The harder it is to set up a new system, the harder it will be to get buy-in from owners and general contractors who owe you money. Fully 88% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its product or service, emphasizing the importance of a simple and direct interface. Your partner businesses (or, more rightfully, their accounting teams) just want to pay you and move on with the rest of their considerable workloads.
Choose a system that's intuitive and seamless for everybody involved. Does it include features that meet your needs, available without a lot of back-end setup?
With MazumaGo, you can send online invoices by email that include a unique payment link. Your clients simply have to log in to online banking to pay your invoice in minutes.
Maintain supplier relationships by paying them electronically to get the funds to them fast. No complicated routing numbers are needed. You just need their email address to get them set up.
Integration with existing systems
Adopting any new digital tools means a certain amount of change, but it's no time to reinvent the wheel or do more work through multiple input points. Focus on platforms that are easy to reconcile, provide payment trails for audit purposes, and reflect in your bank account as soon as you've sent a payment. These integrations will reduce manual entry and resulting errors while reducing processing time.
Your business is ready to do away with paper payments and adopt an online payment system, but not just any system will do. You must look at your business and goals to find the solution that will work for you and your team. Figure out exactly what you're hoping to achieve with the new system first, then use that as a scorecard to rate the solutions you research.
Above all, your new system must be user-friendly, secure, and work with how you do business.
MazumaGo lets you make large construction payments in one go, with no batched payments or limits on the number of users, and with minimal setup. Reach out now to change the way you pay and get paid!