Optimizing Payment Links on Invoices to Accelerate Receivables

January 27, 2022
Average Read Time: 4 minutes

Electronic invoicing has been around for decades, but until recently, only the largest enterprise organizations were able to issue invoices and receive payments electronically. That’s changing. Today even small and medium sized businesses can take advantage of the benefits of electronic billing and payment.

Simply put, e-invoices are helping companies get paid faster, and a primary feature driving this is payment links on e-invoices. Through the embedded link or button, customers are directed to a secure payment page, making it easier than ever to pay — and, more importantly, to pay on time and even early.

Payment links reduce friction by encouraging customers to pay instantly, reducing days sales outstanding (DSO) and in turn, providing greater cash flow management for sellers. Additionally, organizations can reduce costs, manual efforts and errors associated with managing paper invoices and checks.

Accelerating Receivables in Your ERP

With more organizations using payment links to accelerate receivables, it is important to recognize that not all links to payment pages are created equal, especially when you consider the context in which you are using the payment link. For example, businesses that manage their finance and accounting with an ERP system will operate more effectively if their payment processing and payment link are integrated in their sales order process within the software. The process of adding the link to invoices can be automated, and when paid, that payment information can be automatically applied to the customer or invoice record within the ERP system and be reflected in cash management reporting.

When selecting a payment link solution, it is important to understand both your business needs and the capabilities of providers so you can weigh which best serves your business model and customers. A good example from our clients’ experiences is with NetSuite ERP. NetSuite users have several options when selecting providers of a link to a hosted payment page, and understanding the differences will pay dividends in financial operations. NetSuite users have access to NetSuite’s own payment link that can be set to automatically apply to NetSuite invoices. It is a no-cost option that is perfect for many NetSuite users. For NetSuite users who also have a need for payment links on quotes and deposits, then MerchantE’s Link-to-Pay might be the better option. Figuring out which is better for a particular business is something our NetSuite specialists can objectively advise, because regardless of your chosen link provider, it is necessary to have a payment processor as part of the equation.

More Ways to Pay

Payment links are successful because they offer customers a convenient way to pay. But you also must be sure the payment page you take them to can offer customers a broad range of payment methods. Customer demand for convenience and flexibility in payment methods is critically important to driving adoption. From 2020 to 2021, the ACH Network showed an 18.7% jump in B2B payments, according to Nacha — strong growth, but it’s not alone. Across the board B2Bs are accepting more forms of digital payments to remain competitive in today’s market. Selecting a payment processor that allows you to accept ACH, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover should be a no-brainer.

Another payment option, often overlooked by U.S. businesses is UnionPay — the largest issuer of payment cards in the world. Most can accept UnionPay credit cards, but with the overwhelming majority of these cards being debit, U.S. processors have experienced unacceptable decline rates, until now. As the exclusive U.S. provider of UnionPay SecurePlus for online payments, MerchantE can approve what others decline, opening your business to an estimated 9 billion buyers. UnionPay SecurePlus adds an authentication step, sending a code to the cardholder’s cell phone, facilitating a high approval rate for those transactions. With a substantial number of UnionPay cardholders who are university students, U.S. residents, travelers to the U.S., and global ecommerce buyers , this can make your business attractive to a sizable new market.

Make sure when you select your payment link provider, you are asking the questions about the payment processor behind the payment page, and which payment methods they support.

The Payment-Acceptance Experience

While offering a wide variety of payment options means your customers can pay their preferred way, the payment acceptance experience extends well beyond just what type of payments are accepted. Here are additional features you should consider when deciding on using embedded pay links:

  • Partial or Custom Payments: Your customers need flexibility and one way to offer that is allowing them to make a partial payment or set their own custom amount.
  • Securely store Information: Customers don’t want to repeatedly enter the same information. Make it easier for them to submit future payments by securely storing their preferred payment method.
  • Statement Pay: Allow your customers to make a payment against multiple invoices at once.
  • Customer Deposit: Inquire about the compatibility of the payment link to support customers to make a deposit on an order.

Speeding Up Bill Payment

With pay link options, businesses are able to supercharge their e-invoicing process, and in turn, their account receivables. Simply put, by embedding the link directly on invoices, customers pay bills faster. Faster payments mean fast access to cash, which is vital to any growing business.

 

Get started with MerchantE’s Link-to-Pay for NetSuite in just 3 easy steps. See it in action!

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Not a NetSuite user? Check out MerchantE Invoice with embedded payment link.