Get Out of the Way, and Let Your Customers Pay

Yes, You Need Technology

It’s the end of 2019, so you must get comfortable with software developers who insist on lecturing you about the need for automated processes in your business. This particular lecture, is about automated, secure systems to collect money from your customers.

Re-imagine Your Business Model

Many service businesses render services, then get paid when those services are completed. If you perform ongoing services for a customer and manually collect payment each time, you are doing it wrong. You need to build and run your business like a CRM. This includes letting your customers sign up for your service, manage their own account and payment information, and control the frequency and duration of their services.

Outsource Storage of Customer Payment Information

Let’s be clear. You need to stop storing your customer’s payment information on your own systems. It is not secure. There are others better suited for handling that task. Let’s take Stripe, for example. Stripe stores payment information in their managed facilities. Stripe is also a PCI Level 1 Service Provider. Even better, a developer can securely integrate a payment method collection form in your website, that is powered by Stripe. With proper integration, the customer’s credit card number never touches your servers or your system. This alleviates you from maintaining separate PCI compliance. From the customer’s perspective, they can easily manage their stored payment information and have assurances the information is securely stored.

A secure form for storing customer payment information

Automate Payment Processing

Whether you have a recurring revenue model, or you bill customers less frequently, utilizing the aforementioned payment storage methods streamlines the process of billing your customers.

Sequence diagram for collecting and outsourcing customer payment information

Conclusion

I encourage you to keep an open mind in 2020. Think about how to start transforming your service business into a CRM system. You are most likely great at what you do, now make your service shine by embracing better technology. Securing and streamlining the way you process and handle customer payment information is the first step in the right direction.

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Matt Pitts

Matt Pitts

Ex Amazon Engineer and Founder of @AdonousTech. A technology company focused on #VoiceFirst #Serverless and #Cloud applications for small businesses