payment software

4 Key Features to Look for in a Payment Software Solution

We’ve all been in situations as a customer where our interaction with a business was going well. But then it turned sour when it was time to pay. Perhaps you were presented with an invoice that stated, “Payment via cash or check” when you were only prepared to pay with a credit card. And as seems to be so frequent these days, maybe you paid for a service with a credit card which then became compromised.

Field service companies are not immune to these types of situations. When they happen, customers are left with a bad taste in their mouth and the company is left without the repeat business. However, using payment software that is integrated with your field service management platform to manage financial transactions is an imperative piece of not only making your life easier, but making your customer’s overall experience seamless.

We’ve put together a few items that you’ll want to watch for as you consider different solution providers.

payment software

Credit Card Payment Processing

It never fails: When things break or go wrong in a home, it’s at a most inopportune time – an HVAC unit dies in the middle of summer, the roof springs a massive leak during rainy season, a pipe freezes and bursts in the winter. These can be expensive fixes that a customer might not be able to pay for outright. If their only option is to pay for your services with cash or a check, this creates a problem. Don’t be surprised, either, if your customer tells you they don’t even use checks – the U.S. Federal Reserve reported in its 2019 Federal Reserve Payments Study that check payments are on the decline by more than seven percent

Providing your customers with flexible payment options, including credit cards, is an important part of giving them top-notch service. You’ll want to consider what this looks like for your business. Are you only looking to give customers an online option to make a credit card payment from a link on an invoice or in an email? Or are you interested in taking mobile payments in the field, as well? Do you need the ability to automatically take payment for recurring customers? Many payment software providers offer flexibility in credit card processing methods, so be sure to ask about the ones that are most important to you.

Data Security and Payment Software

A sure way to lose a customer is to compromise their credit card information – and they’re certain to spread the word, which will cost you even more revenue. With credit card fraud more than doubling between 2017 and 2019 to 271,000+ reported cases in the US, customers no longer hope that you will keep their data secure: They expect it.

Using payment software as part of a field service management platform adds a level of security to your business that may only exist currently in the form of a locked file cabinet or a paper shredder. You want to look for a solution that offers features like point-to-point encryption and tokenization to protect sensitive cardholder data. If your business caters to recurring customers, ensure your solution provider can not only store your customers’ payment information, but does so securely. With the right provider, you should also benefit from reduced administrative time and cost associated with maintaining PCI compliance.

Lighter Lifting in the Office

How much extra time do you have at the end of each day for reconciling invoices and transactions and entering them into multiple platforms? What about drilling down into transaction details, pulling reports, or performing voids, refunds, and other similar actions? Our guess is that you could think of many other things you’d rather do with extra time – if you had it.

While using payment software helps to improve your customer experience, it should also make your life easier. In addition to eliminating the need for manual reconciliation, it saves you the time it takes to find and pull the data that you need and simplifies the process of things like voids and refunds. Look for a provider that integrates with your field service management software so that payments are accepted and funneled directly into it, transforming it into a single source solution.
payment software

Low Fees

As the saying goes, “It takes money to make money.” It makes sense – you invest in your business every day on tangible things like equipment, vehicles, and other types of assets. But if you are new to credit card processing, you may not be familiar with the costs associated with the business of accepting card payments from your customers (our friends at CardConnect have put together a Merchant Services 101 to help walk you through it).

While these costs are unavoidable, smart shoppers won’t have to break the bank on them. When you’re looking for a payment software provider, ask questions that will help you understand their rates, transaction fees, interchange fees, and any other monthly recurring fees you will pay for having a merchant account. How aggressive are they in managing rates and helping their customers to qualify for the lowest possible ones for each time they process a payment? Some fees are set by payment processors themselves, so don’t be afraid to ask if they’ll match a low percentage from someone else.

Moving Forward

You want to leave your customers feeling good about their start-to-finish interaction with you and feeling confident in continuing to do more business with you. A payment solution is just one piece of a complete field service management solution, but it is an important one that goes a long way in giving your customers secure payment options and lightening the load for your office staff. We consider that a win-win!