Why 2017 is Going to be the Year of the Integrated Payment
With the ever-advancing movement in payment technology, 2017 is already viewed as a year that will be a turning point in many aspects of the payment process. Integrated payments are one area that will become more widely adopted in the coming year.
Defining Integrated Payments
Integrated payments involve putting various aspects of a business together, including customer relationship management (CRM) processes, accounting, and any other business application that might need to be linked to payment processing. Integrating all these areas of the business has been proven to create a much more efficient system that saves time and money. Other benefits include fewer errors, better experience for your own users and customers and a more comprehensive perspective on how your business is doing.
One of the many things that technology has done is to increase expectations about how quickly transactions can be completed, as well as how rapidly they can be made across any channel in a frictionless way. Obviously, every business wants to get paid as fast as possible because it means better cash flow. Anything that can be done to speed that up means that expectations are met and cash flow is improved.
Time and Money Savings
Integrating multiple business procedures can help the processes happen more easily. That’s because all data is housed within one system which all business processes tap into to get what they need. A very simple example is that rather than manually entering data for CRM and accounting separately, it’s combined so that information can be updated and corrected in one place.
As a small business owner, just imagine not having to spend extra time verifying, entering and re-entering, and reconciling the same data in more than one place. Instead, it’s automated and integrated so you can use the duplicated time doing your core business. Additionally, other types of automated features become available thanks to integrated payments, such as recurring payments and automatic updates to credit and debit card information. That translates into even more time and money savings.
A 360-Degree View of the Customer
Information about the company, invoices, receivables, and its customers is more closely tied together. As each payment is made, a record is shared about what has been purchased and when, which helps with record-keeping, with reporting, with reconciling and even with things like future personalized marketing strategies to that customer. This integration creates a single and comprehensive view of the customer that can help companies create the type of customer experiences necessary to attract and retain today’s B2B and B2C customers who are used to advanced customer experiences.
Increased Mobile and Digital Payments
The growing trend for mobile payments also is a sign that it’s time for integrated payments. The mobile environment requires integration to a certain degree for the process to even work. Therefore, any company that wants to accept mobile payments will have to adopt some type of integration process for the rest of their operations.
The other trend that is important here is the gradual movement to a cashless environment thanks to digital payments. In moving to digital transactions, integration would become even more relevant in order to track all payments regardless of where they are in the world.
Security is another relevant issue that is addressed more readily with integrated payments, making it even more popular in 2017 as security issues top a list of business concerns. Integrated payment processing is a one way for a company to ensure that all the payment data that is exchanged in the process is PCI compliant and adheres with PCI security standards, such as encryption and storage rules relate to PINs, CVV2 numbers, EMV, and magnetic stripe data. The integration process actually adds further layers of security as the various business processes offer options for more layers of reinforcement and further barriers against hacking.
More Readily Available Integration Solutions
With the growth in online payments and cloud-based business process software, it only makes sense that 2017 and beyond will be about integrated payments for all areas of the globe. More companies are developing software or offering APIs that allow for integration to take place across more areas of the business, indicating that the overall business environment is ripe for wide adoption of an integrated payments system.