When it comes to running a small business, most owners and startup managers will agree things can be pretty frantic from month to month. The chase to find sales and investment, hire good staff, and deal with exponential growth can easily create 14-hour workdays for those involved. No surprise, the administrative side of a business can suffer greatly as the priority is to get the product or service to customers and keep the business moving. However, it’s the administrative side that one needs when it comes time for obtaining larger financing, dealing with tax agencies, and meeting regulatory compliance. So it can’t be ignored. Here are three simple tips that will save a start small business lots of headaches in the long run using them early and often.

First, don’t rely on paper accounting records. Use a mobile accounting system to track all the business expenses, and make sure daily receipts and transactions are all recorded and closed into the system at the end of the day. Why? Mobile tracking reduces human error significantly, ensures entry of data is done correctly, and it produces clean reports for decision-making when needed. Daily reconciliation avoids the month-end crunch of paperwork, keeps expenses tracked as they occur, and helps a business manage cash flow far better. After all, one of the biggest challenges of a small business is balancing cash flow versus revenue. You can have lots of sales, but cash in the bank is still needed to actually pay bills.

Second, check and prepare clean accounting reports with your mobile payment facilitator every month with an organized archiving of receipts, invoices, and paperwork supporting that accounting. Why? One of the top three reasons a business can end up in bankruptcy is going sideways on tax reporting and taxes. And tax agencies win almost every time when a business says it can’t find its records to explain a deduction or new funds coming in. The taxes due, plus penalties and interest can skyrocket in a matter of weeks, going well beyond any ability to pay them and keep the business going. Good record-keeping is a must to stay out of tax trouble.

Third, take advantage of electronic payment processing and purchasing as much as possible. It provides an extra defense against fraud in that the transaction can be reversed if an issue is caught within the first 24 hours or so. Even afterwards chargebacks can be initiated where a party doesn’t follow through for a business. Paying in cash or by check doesn’t come with these benefits. And your customers will definitely appreciate a business that takes their credit card, especially if operating online. Businesses of all types see significantly more sales with electronic payment than other methods.

Propay’s payment systems are a huge advantage for small businesses in executing the above three tips. They provide accurate activity statements, process payments of all types, and allow a business to function in the digital world seamlessly. Run your small business the right way and grow fast!

Businesses need payments to flow on a regular basis in order to generate cash flow for operations. However, that doesn’t automatically mean that every business is an expert in or wants to have a core skill in payment processing and related accounting. In many cases, companies have their core skills in the manufacturing of a product or the performance of a specific skill that is generating the sales in the first place. Because of this fact, the administration of the payment process can then be a drain on valuable staff resources if not allocated properly. So the use of a third party payment processor can be extremely helpful, keeping the bright minds working at what they do best in a given company, and keeping the payment processing handled versus neglected. That said, not all payment processors are created or perform equally.

Payment Service Provider

The most basic service available is that of a payments service provider, or PSP. These vendors have a payment infrastructure already in place, giving client companies the ability to accept payments right away without having to design their own processes. With PSP contracts that have additional benefits, a company could have customer support built in as well as regulation compliance, ensuring that payments are for allowable purposes at all times. Each PSP is different, so it takes a bit of research to know what each one offers.

Gateway Company

A second option is a gateway company. These entities are interfaced with a given bank, allowing the client to have payments come in and be transferred directly into given company bank accounts as they are received. These systems are unique to a given bank and are not portable. They don’t move from bank to bank, depending on what company management would prefer. As a result, a company could find itself having to deal with multiple banks, which makes total accounting and tracking far more complicated in the long run. These systems have a lot of flexibility in design and tailoring to a business, as well as experience in guidance, and they provide lower fees per transaction because they are the bank, not the middleman processor. On the other hand, they don’t work for small companies, they are extremely complex and a pain to negotiated with, and the startup requires a business to incur lots of internal security risk prevention costs to be eligible as a customer.

Independent Sales Organizations

There are also Independent Sales Organizations, or ISOs. These operations are middlemen in the payment-processing world, and work best for end-point retailers. The upside is that working with an ISO makes it a lot easier to get a merchant account with a bank. The disadvantages are that this tool is really geared for e-commerce, it can be very technical to get started with, and bigger operations trigger compliance and risk prevention costs in a client business.

So clearly there are a number of choices to work with, depending what a client company needs. Which one works better depends on matching the benefits offered with the client company’s biggest needs. New clients shouldn’t just take the first processor that comes along. Instead, they should map out what is needed, what is desired in function, and what extra aspects are included. Then vendors should be matched up to see which one provides the best deal overall.

The more you do to make things easier for your customers and clients, the more likely they will become loyal users of your products or services. Whether you are a small startup firm or a major company looking to improve your bottom line, one area where you can really offer them convenience is in the payment process.

If your business has been relying on traditional payment methods, such as one or more cash registers in fixed locations with lines of people queuing up to pay, you should know that mobile payments are a superior alternative that will save your customers time. Implementing a mobile payment system will reduce your transaction costs and improve security.

Mobile is Always Where You Are

Traditional payment systems slow down the purchasing process. Mobile payment capabilities make it easier to finish the sale. When a salesperson is done assisting a customer in making a selection, he or she can finish the transaction on the spot instead of having the customer walk over to the cashier.

If you’ve been running your business on a cash-only basis, such as at a farmer’s market or food truck, you can easily use mobile payment technology to process credit card transactions, noted a recent article at American Express.

Improved Attention to Security

Identity theft and other forms of cyber crime are a growing problem and companies that address the security issues in their payment system can advertise this fact to their customers to ease their safety concerns.

ProPay’s secure payment options give you the ability to accept credit card and debit card transactions and ACH payments without having to store, process or transfer the data. ProPay’s ProtectPay® service provides encryption and tokenization of sensitive customer data to ensure it is secure.

A single security breach can spell disaster for your business, leading to a public relations nightmare and the exodus of your customers as they look for a company that is able to properly manage their financial details.

Savvy business owners looking to improve their customer experience will want to take advantage of mobile payments with the ProPay swipe device. You’ll speed up each transaction and will enjoy improved security, while also keeping better track of your inventory and the purchasing trends of each of your valuable customers.

More than ever, it seems that individuals have either had their credit card information stolen or knows someone who has had their credit card information stolen. It is vital that you protect your credit card information and identity in today’s technology-based marketplace.

Pitfalls of Old Security Methods

For many credit and debit card users, it wouldn’t be reaching to guess they have been using the same cards for years. And, while their credit cards are remaining unchanged, hackers are using technology to find more advanced methods for stealing private information from consumers.

It isn’t just the credit cards which remain the same, security measures have been inconsistent, outdated, and faulty, putting card users at risk of having the information stolen. We have seen the consequences of faulty security measures in retail security breaches, which have left many with the responsibility of trying the mend the damage done to their credit.

Implementation of New Methods

New security methods are currently in place or just around the corner, with big changes expected as soon as 2020. What can we expect with the impending credit card security transformation?

  • Tokenization: In the future, all credit cards with use a smart chip instead of the traditional magnetic strip. This chip uses tokenization, meaning the chip creates a one-time transaction code for each payment. Tokenization removes the account number from the equation, and chip-enabled cards are expected to be much more secure.
  • PIN as standard: Debit cards require the use of a PIN for transactions already, and new credit cards are beginning to require consumers to use a PIN to make a payment as well. It is believed that use of a PIN will quickly become a global standard for debit and credit cards alike.
  • One card for multiple accounts: With time it will become common to use one card to manage multiple accounts. This change is expected to reduce risks of loss, theft and fraud. Additionally, it will simplify card management for users and reduce costs for credit card companies.

How You Can Prepare with EnsureBill

With so many changes to credit card security in the not-so-distant future, it is important that individuals and businesses are prepared to protect credit card information. The use of a payment facilitator through ProPay, which takes advantage of the advances these credit card security trends have made, is an excellent way to make sure credit card information remains secure. Payment facilitators are used to compiling credit card information on a secure server, which will prevent this information from falling into the wrong hands.

ProPay uses point-to-point encryption and tokenization to guarantee that credit card information is safely transmitted from the merchant to the payment facilitator. Point-to-point encryption simply means that credit card information is immediately encrypted at the point of input and is not decrypted until the payment facilitator processes it. Tokenization replaces sensitive data with non-sensitive data, so that only those who have token access can gain access to sensitive information.

EnsureBill is a service provided by ProPay to companies with customers who make automatic payments. EnsureBill is a secure and streamlined system for storing customer credit card information for recurring payments. Use of EnsureBill is shown to reduce declined transactions by maintaining customer credit card information.

Conclusion

There may never be a guaranteed way to keep credit card information safe 100% of the time, but payment facilitators have multiple credit card security measures in place which keep customer credit and debit card information secure. As credit card security measures are transforming over the next few years, make sure you choose a company that makes keeping your or your customer’s information secure its top priority.

Did you know that approximately 30 percent of credit card accounts annually incur changes in account number expiration dates, or when the account is closed? When you think about it, that’s a lot of information to track, and the job of your credit card processors and accountants can quickly become a daunting one. Moreover, merchants who choose to bill using the wrong credit card information incur higher rates and continue to lose money on an annual basis.

Not only that, but when these transactions fail, your customers become frustrated and start taking their business elsewhere. After all, no one really likes to be turned away from a purchase, especially in today’s fast-paced society.

In fact, the experts from major credit bureaus say that the actions from customers have measurable effects, including lost revenues, lost fees, and even customer loyalty. These are things that you definitely can’t afford to lose as a business.

So, how can your company reduce credit card declines and increase revenues? EnsureBill from ProPay can help.  This service is designed to update customer information for recurring billing, auto-shipments, subscriptions, and other functions. EnsureBill’s account update process is also transparent to customers so that they don’t have to worry about updating their own credit card information.

EnsureBill customers also enjoy uninterrupted service, and better peace of mind by minimizing declined credit card transactions.

It may sound obvious, but accurate credit card information is of the utmost importance to any company that accepts credit cards for payment and ProPay has the solution for you. EnsureBill does the work by reducing declined transactions and authorization fees, putting more money in your business coffers, and in return eliminating any headaches.

Get rid of the time and money consuming problem of declined credit cards through ProPay’s EnsureBill. You’ll be glad you did.

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