An integrated payment solution (IPS) is a business tool that combines payment processing with customer relationship management, accounting, and other business methods. With an integrated payment solution, you can streamline many of your business processes, and help your bottom line.
The benefits of an integrated payment solution
Generating a healthy inbound cash flow takes more than just a strong sales process. Cash itself has to be managed, recorded, handled and stored. This in and of itself is an important business operation. However, most businesses will have multiple disjointed elements handling the cash management process, using a variety of tools in accounting, CRM and other systems.
An integrated payment solution combines all these splintered systems allowing a business to:
• Eliminate or drastically reduce redundant data entries. This will help save time and reduce errors.
• Manage tasks better – smaller companies have one person handling a variety of processes. An IPS removes the need to re-verify and re-enter credit card information and other customer data, thus allowing you to better manage other tasks.
• Control financial information from a central hub – when financial information is split across several business functions, it’s very easy for errors and redundant entries to pop up, and very hard to maintain a clean overview of the financial situation. An IPS allows you to access and manipulate financial information from a central hub, improving your cash flow in the process.
• Secure credit and debit card transactions – integrated payment solutions often come with all the tools and mechanisms needed to ensure that all transactions meet PCI Security Standards, making all card transactions are much more secure.
Finding the right IPS
There are many different products when it comes to IPS, depending on which vendor you purchase from. Some vendors integrate a wide range of business processes into their solution, while others offer a budget option with more limited integration. Ideally, you want to find an IPS that integrates as many processes as possible, including processes that you think might become useful in the future.
However, you might find that you have to go with limited integration, in which case there are several factors to take into consideration. First, what is your most profitable payment method? Most small business transactions come from credit cards and checks, and as such, it’s important to find a solution focused on these two payment methods.
You then want to consider which business processes most need to be integrated into a single system. For a majority of business owners, the answer includes accounting and CRM. Integrating these two processes has the highest impact. You then want to consider security features, the level of automation provided by your chosen solution, and whether you have to open a merchant account on your own, or if it is provided by the vendor.
For more information about integrated payment solutions, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.