Automated Billing vs. Manual Billing?
The message is clear. Any business that is keen to grow needs to automate. And as digital payments evolve, businesses have to deal with greater volumes of customers and transactions. This makes manual billing a tedious and time-consuming venture. Not to mention that it can be rife with errors and inaccuracies. All of this drains your time and costs, creates confusion, and annoys your customers.
Modern-day businesses are turning towards a mix of one-time purchases, subscriptions, and usage-based pricing to drive growth. It can be a nightmare to process the billing info from all these varied payments and pricing models. Without timely and accurate automated billing, it is tough to support these models or process this data.
Automated billing goes beyond just generating invoices. It plays a critical role in managing your cash flow and reconciling your payments. It also plays a major role in your collections, revenue tracking, and reporting, amongst others. It becomes simpler to test out the varied pricing and business models that drive growth when you have the right automated systems in place.
To create a strong basis to automate your billing, you have to merge it into your other business processes. This will give you more clarity and control over your billings, payments, and collections
How does Automated Billing help your payments?
There are several clear benefits of using automated billing. Some of these are:
1. Saves time and money
Raising invoices and billing customers manually is a time- and resource-consuming process. Recurring payment plans like subscriptions further make the billing process more complex. Making changes to customers’ payments plan or data can become very tough to handle when done manually.
When you use an automated billing platform, you save on time that would otherwise be spent on sending out invoices and collecting payments. You can also offer your customers self-service options, such as changing their preferences or viewing their billing data. This saves more of your teams’ time and effort.
2. Payment collection is simpler
When you automate the billing and collections process, collecting payments becomes much simpler. It becomes easier to spot which customers have not paid and sends out automatic past-due notices. You can also spot which payments have not gone through. This way, you can identify which clients need more of your attention.
3. Improves accuracy in billing
Manual billing carries the risk of human error. This leads to a lot of mistakes in billing, especially when the volume is high. This can be expensive, not to mention the damage to customer experience in the long term.
With automated billing, customer data is entered into the system only once. Thus, you have access to accurate data for all billing purposes. Recurring billing can be done automatically and without errors, even if you have a huge volume of payments to process.
4. Better insights and reporting
Automated billing systems provide you with deeper insights into your payments and revenue. They give you automated reports which help you to track your sales, cash flow, and revenue. You get a better understanding of what is working and what is not. This enables you to monitor the health of your business and plan your growth.
5. Seamless integration
Automated billing systems can easily integrate into your other business processes, including your CRM (e.g., Salesforce), accounting, payments, etc. This improves transparency and helps billing data to pass smoothly between internal functions. This, in turn, helps your teams to work better.
How do they impact your relationship with your customers?
Automated billing can have a positive impact on customer relationships in the long term. They help you to bill and process payments on time and without errors. Customers also get automated email notifications about their billing and payments. Automated billing gives you insights into your customers’ behavior and pain points, thus helping you to connect with them better. Thus, you can improve your engagement with them and reduce the risk of churn.
How can a payments partner help you with automated billing?
The right payments partner can help you to automate your billing and set up your payments for you. They should be able to provide you with automated invoicing solutions which save time, improves performance, and saves cost.
Look for bespoke solutions that match your business context and needs. They should be easy to merge into your existing systems and should support multiple languages and currencies. A payments partner who complies with PCI Data Standards and offers robust risk management is critical.
Manual billing is an inefficient and costly way for most modern businesses. They hold you back and slow you down from achieving the growth you would like. Thus, automating your billing makes your business more efficient and your customers happier. And this can do wonders for your business.
Jose Augustine is the Chief Business Development Officer at Novalnet AG with extensive experience in European payment industry and a knowledge powerhouse.