To understand how payment processing integration can benefit your business, it is first important to understand what integrated payments are and how they work.
What are integrated payments?
In one sentence, integrated payments are a way of automating the business accounting process.
For example: imagine a restaurant that accepts credit cards from customers but does not operate on an integrated payment system. In this case, the restaurant takes the customer’s unique order, enters their credit card into the terminal, saves the specific transaction receipt and invoice, and then matches the paper invoices to the electronic invoices and manually adjust the accounts receivable to reflect the payment from the customer. This process is time-consuming, inefficient, insecure, and prone to human errors. It also limits the customer to paying with credit cards, instead of paying with a mobile phone or app, thereby decreasing a business’s accessibility in the eyes of the customer.
If the same restaurant had an integrated payment processing system, the process would move much more smoothly. The restaurant receives the order, enters the credit card number into the accounting software, and the integration software takes care of the rest.
What are the benefits of integrated payments?
Payment integration allows for transaction data to move from Point A to Point B much more efficiently and effectively than non-integration systems. Payment integration also allows businesses to capitalize on offering multiple forms of payment, without the downside of trying to keep track of the different cash flows and how each one affects accounting operations. In short: the payment processing integration systems do this difficult work for you.
As a result, consumers receive the benefit of flexible payment options. Now, they can not only pay in credit or debit cards, but also with Paypal, Venmo, Afterpay, eWallets, Vouchers, and mobile payments. Businesses get the arguably larger benefits of an integrated system. Under an integrated system, all forms of payment – no matter what the new, trendy, third-party payment platform system is – are tracked and processed in one place, so there is no need to keep track of the different cash flows and how each affects accounting operations. Additionally, businesses have the added benefits of virtually error-free accounting and reduced labor costs. Gone are the days of late-night closings, hunched over a calculator: now, we have (much smarter!) computers doing the work for us.
Does payment integration make sense if my customers are international?
Leaders of the integrated payment processing development industry have developed payment processing services that can be uniquely tailored to a business’s needs. So, even if your customer base is in California or Cambodia (or both!), your business can meet customers where they are at. Payment integration also makes sense if you aren’t international yet: providing a variety of payment processing services allows businesses to expand their global reach and hook customers that would have to turn elsewhere to purchase goods and services. And, because of the nature of the software involved in the integrated payment processing system, these transactions are safer for both the customer and the business owner.
Payment processing integration is undoubtedly the way of the future, and it is a smart business decision whether you are just opening a new, online boutique for your crafts, or whether you are an established restaurant that has operated in your geographic area for 30+ years.