As a small business owner, you ideally want to work on your business, not in your business.
By automating or outsourcing repetitive tasks, you free up time to steer the ship, increasing the chances of long-term success for your small business.
An integrated payment system is an excellent way to automate repetitive tasks.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- What integrated payments are
- How integrated payments work
- Benefits of an integrated payment system
What Does Integrated Payments Mean?
Integrated payments connect payment processing and merchant services with other critical business functions and management software, streamlining the checkout process and making the accounting process more efficient and less prone to errors.
How Do Integrated Payments Work?
With integrated payments, data is shared between systems.
For example, you have a bar:
With an integrated payment solution, your accounts, records, and stock levels would automatically update when a customer buys a drink.
Let’s say two people want to separately pay for their drinks. With integrated payment processing, the staff takes both orders on a mobile device and the order changes are updated in real time. The staff can leave the mobile device at the counter, allowing the customers to pay via the device – and receipts are printed for each order.
The Benefits of an Integrated Payment System
Integrated payments provide benefits for both customers and internal business processes.
Here are nine key benefits an integrated payment solution provides:
1. Integrated Payments Improve the Checkout Experience
The checkout experience is the top pain point for 73% of consumers, so improving the checkout process is a good idea for small business owners. An integrated payment solution eliminates manual tasks, facilitating faster transactions.
By eliminating this pain point, you have a better chance of retaining existing customers, which is much cheaper than acquiring new customers.
2. Integrated Payments Save Time
Integrated payment systems save time on reconciling reports, accounting, updating inventory, and entering credit card information.
Are you or your staff currently handling some of the above tasks? If so, an integrated payment system would allow you to shift that time to strategic initiatives.
3. Integrated Payments Reduce Human Errors
An integrated payment system automates the flow of information between systems, cutting the manual component of routine payment and accounting processes.
This reduces the amount of mistyped numbers and incorrectly calculated sales, which have traditionally caused a lot of stress for small business owners.
And you can shift the freed-up time to creative tasks that cannot be automated.
4. Integrated Payments Reduce Payment Settlement Time
Three to five working days is a typical settlement period, but an integrated payment solution can significantly reduce this period of time. Gravity Payments’ integrated payment solution, for example, reduces your payment settlement time to about five minutes.
Shorter payment settlement times mean that payments hit your merchant account faster, improving your cash flow.
5. Integrated Payments Improve Security
A fragmented payment system leaves you vulnerable to security threats, as there are more access points for fraudsters. An integrated payment system improves your security, since you have one single system.
In addition, you can get a cloud-based integrated payment gateway, so you don’t have to rely on on-site servers – which are vulnerable to theft, failure, and high-maintenance costs.
Here are a few other security considerations:
- Use a provider that makes it easy for your small business to become and stay PCI compliant.
- Look into P2PE, which encrypts data when a card is swiped, dipped, or tapped.
- Look into tokenization, which secures a customer’s information in a “virtual vault” and substitutes the data with a unique code – used one time. The code is useless to a hacker, eliminating risk in the event of a security breach.
By making security a priority for your small business, you protect business and customer data and lower the risk of fees from card brands.
6. Integrated Payments Improve Inventory Management
With an integrated payment system, your inventory is automatically updated. This makes it much easier to stay on top of inventory needs, which is particularly important during the holiday season.
7. Integrated Payments Provide Immediate Access to Transaction Data
An integrated payments ledger shows up-to-date transaction history, providing you with immediate access to transaction data. So, you quickly notice encouraging (or worrying) trends, enabling you to stay ahead of the game.
8. Integrated Payments Reduce Headaches at Tax Time
Getting audited by the IRS is a nightmare scenario for many small business owners.
But an integrated payment system – with easy-to-create audit trails – can dramatically reduce your headaches in the event of an audit. The integrated payments technology removes the need to keep physical receipts, a game-changer for high-volume businesses.
9. Integrated Payments Decrease Late Payments
With a high-quality integrated payment solution, such as Gravity Payments’, you can email or text payment reminders with the embedded payment technology.
According to the “Working Capital Playbook,” a PYMNTS and YayPay collaboration, 93% of companies experience late payments from customers.
Late payments increase accounts receivable, which means that a company needs to keep a higher amount of working capital to meet short-term financial obligations. As a result, the company might have to pass on long-term investment opportunities.
How to Implement an Integrated Payment System
With the right provider, implementing an integrated payment is simple and straightforward.
Here’s how the purchase process works with Gravity:
- We start with a 30-minute discovery call to learn about your business and how integration can help solve your business challenges.
- You fill out and submit a merchant worksheet, which takes about half an hour.
- We prepare and send your application to you.
- After you sign the application, our underwriting team reviews and responds within 48 hours.
- Your account manager processes your order and schedules a hardware installation (while the review is occurring).
- Equipment ships within 72 hours of account approval.
- We – or the POS provider, depending on the system – facilitate setup and training.
Contact us today and work with us to build a customized integrated payments strategy for your business.