Jun 09, 2020

Paperless Invoices: 7 Reasons to Take Your Community Payments Digital

Running an organization or community membership payment system can be quite a tough nut to crack. Even tougher if you’re still using non-digital transactions.

In all likelyhood, if you’re still using paper-payments, you’re also not using digital to follow up on those with late payments, keeping track of those with upcoming dues, and other manual means to manage your community memberships. Here’s a few reasons you’ll want to digitalize your payment system for your community and increase your ROI automatically.

It Reduces Labor Costs

It’s simple, the manual process of dealing with paper-invoices is a cost that only grows with your number of members. This is called the “labor cost” of dealing with transactions.

A report by GS1 France states that among transactions on average, in a given year, outgoing invoices on paper cost a labor of $9.03, and a staggering $5.64 for paperless transactions. A $3.39 in savings per transaction when using paperless.

Obviously these numbers factor in a more mature payment system, like something a bank would use, but the savings are still very apparent when you apply it to any transaction system, even if it’s in its infancy.

Reducing the time needed to deal with each transaction will always be preferable even in the short term, as it helps give breathing room for future membership growth.

Reduces Storage Costs

Storage costs are also another simple cost that can be avoided. It may seem like a nothing-problem, but physical, paper file storage can actually grow into a huge issue if not addressed early on and digitized as soon as possible.

Even if you prefer paper-transactions, at least you will most likely consider digitizing your documents so that they can be stored on computers rather than bulky filing cabinets.

As memberships grow, their files and records grow with their membership, so even if you never add on a new member, their payments year over year will only thicken their folders. So you can imagine how this can get out of hand for those communities that add on more members over time.

Using a payments platform can actually charge a per month fee, but that fee is much less than lost space, offsite-storage places, or other non-digital alternatives.

Easier Accessibility

Now let’s say you still opt for on-campus storage of payment records and invoices. How long will it take you to bring up a folder belonging to a member who’s furious over their dues?

Wouldn’t it be much more of a breeze to just search them up online or on a digital filing system?

I think the value should be quite apparent through this example, but if you’re still not convinced, then let’s cover a few other benefits of having better accessibility.

  • easily updated contact info
  • members can optionally update their information for you
  • rescind, return, and invalidate transactions without having to change the filing or filing on top of older records.
  • Create invoice templates
  • Duplicate invoices
  • Back-up records in seconds

Keep Records on the Cloud

Crazy idea. Someone overcooks their lunch in the microwave at the office, fire sprinkler system goes off, and you have paper records soaked to the brim, ink’s gone, records kaput.

Recovering records, any records, not just payments, can be a huge issue and a setback to any business or organization. We’d go as far to say that you need to store your records in the digital space, but a computer can get damaged just as much as any paper filing system.

What you really want is to keep your files saved on a cloud service provided, usually provided by paperless payment platforms. Having records on the cloud not only prevent in-office disasters putting sensitive business data at risk, but it also gives the benefit of accessing files from anywhere on any device with the right credentials.

Faster Transactions

Not much needs to be said here. transactions online and through digital means are simply faster. They arrive at banks and credit unions with the speed of your devices’ internet ping to the processor. Beats taking the checks to the bank, right?

Among the mere speed of sending money from A to B, the speed of dealing with invoices on a computer outpaces on paper transactions. Anyone can initiate processing, especially from anywhere if you’re on the cloud. Invoices with similar payments can be done in bulk, others can be done automatically if they’re recurring payments or subscription payments.

Time really does equal money when it comes to paperless transactions.

More Control

With the ability to control your invoices, as eluded to in our point above, you’ll be able to have better control over invoices on an online system, even having remove account controllers with the ability to access invoices even out of the office.

Managing bulk or recurring payments are even easier as well as automated systems can do a lot of the work for you that was once manual, like one digital signature assigned to hundreds of invoices (provided your state or local legislature allows for bulk-signatory of invoices)

Automated Processing

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could process payments automatically? Just kick your legs up and let the money fly in?

It’s actually quite realistic (to an extent). Recurring or subscription payments, like with a community membership payment for instance, can be set up automatically.

This means when there is a set price and date for payments that are recurring, a digital payment system can invoice, collect, and process payments on those recurring dates on it’s own. It can get more complicated if you have different tiers of membership, members may upgrade, cancel, or pause memberships, and so it’s important to choose a payment software wisely.

Nonetheless, the alternative of getting your ducks in a row every month or year to deal with paper-invoices for members with dues coming up is probably not your ideal Friday afternoon at the office, right?

Saves the Trees

You’re also saving the planet! No joke.

By going paperless you reduce your carbon footprint on the globe, and by going paperless you’re also reducing demand for our much-needed trees that are beginning to dwindle in the world.

Let’s also not forget that in the accounting world paper waste is already one of it’s biggest cons, as majority of sensitive data on paper gets File 13’d or shredded.

Ready to Go Paperless?

We made it sound like it’s easy to go paperless, and it can be, but for a lot of communities and organizations around and especially those that have been around a good long while that have yet to go paperless, no doubt you’ve got physical papers in columns already you’re dealing with.

It will very likely be a headache to digitize what’s already in-paper, but with the cost or time dedicated, it can create more savings in the future, and make it easier for your members to set up recurring payments, which is a great way to keep the ROI coming. So it might be worth the trouble.

If you need an easy way to manage your payments and take them paperless for your community or organization, contact us, and we’ll help show you how Paygage can help your payments thrive today.

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