Handling payments as a small business can involve tedious accounting. There is also a high potential for human error. 40% of small business owners say bookkeeping is the worst part of their job.
If you’re a business owner, how can you cut down on all the time spent balancing books? One solution is integrated payments. Integrated payment systems speed up the process of keeping finances straight. They can save you both time and money.
What Are Integrated Payments?
Integrated payments are defined as any process that takes in credit card information and automatically updates a business’s accounts and ledgers.
Most of the time this is done with software. This software is found in a payment terminal or tablet equipped with a credit card reader. Mobile payment integration can also turn any smartphone or tablet into a point-of-sale system.
Businesses may have one software that covers both card intake and accounting. Or, they may have separate programs that can communicate with one another.
How Do Integrated Payments Benefit Businesses?
Before integrated payments became common, the process of managing a business’s finances was much more difficult.
Businesses without payment integration have to save receipts and print out invoices. They must match paper and electronic invoices. Then they must manually adjust their financial information to match the day’s sales.
This process can take an hour or more and workers must do it daily to keep finances in order. Failure to properly integrate a credit card payment can also lead to fines for your small business.
Without this complex process, businesses do not know whether they are making a profit or what their average daily sales are. According to a study by U.S. Bank, 80% of businesses fail due to poor cash flow.
Integrated payments make it much easier to know your business’s financial status. Information is beamed from your point-of-sale system to your ledgers instantly. It can often be downloaded as spreadsheets or otherwise linked to your financial information.
Cash is also becoming less and less common. The rise of mobile payment systems and credit cards has combined with recent concerns about hygiene. As cash use declines, integrated payment solutions will become more important. They keep small businesses efficient and avoid costly errors.
Are Integrated Payments Secure?
Some business owners may be uncomfortable giving another company access to their finances. However, integrated payments streamline financial information into a smaller number of programs. So, they are less vulnerable to criminal activity.
All major integrated payment systems offer the latest encryption and security. For companies that deal with extremely sensitive information, additional levels of security are usually offered.
This means that integrated payments are a great way to reduce fraud and risk to your business.
More on Finance and Technology
Integrated payments are just one of many financial technology solutions that can benefit your business. For more on the intersection of finance and technology, visit our technology news tab.