Most HVAC pros have been there at least once during their careers. Their accounts receivable are out of hand and they’re hearing every excuse in the book from customers on why they’re not getting paid. Some still insist, “The check’s in the mail,” even though technology has largely made writing checks a thing of the past, especially among residential customers. Let’s not forget, checks can bounce. And while cash used to be king, permitting service technicians to accept cash payments also increases the risk of loss and theft, miscounts, and off-the-books transactions.
How to Get Paid Faster
The good news for HVAC service providers is that innovations in payment technology are replacing checks, cash, and even credit and debit cards as the go-to ways of paying bills in a wide range of industries.
Many HVAC businesses are issuing their technicians iPads or other tablets to send and receive scheduling updates, keep notes on service calls, and more. Is yours one of them? The simple addition of an app such as Venmo or Zelle to company-issued devices permits service people to collect funds on the spot.
Discover New Payment Options
The increasing popularity of new payment platforms such as Apple Pay and Google Pay means more customers have the ability to pay for services immediately, without writing a check, visiting an ATM, or using their debit cards. As cybercrime and data privacy issues move to the forefront of customers’ minds, the greater security offered by these platforms has become more attractive. Training service technicians to not only use but routinely offer these payment options to customers can result in improved accounts receivable stats. While it may not entirely offset every customer’s reluctance to hold on to their cash at the expense of their HVAC service provider’s cash flow, some customers will appreciate the added convenience and security of working with a company that’s on the cutting edge of payment technology.
What’s more, with coronavirus pandemic stay-at-home orders in place in many states, many customers are reluctant to leave the house for all but the most crucial reasons. Running out to the ATM and paying their HVAC service bills may not fall into that critical task category for some. Requesting an invoice to be paid by mail may become more common than it already is, which will, in turn, slow down cash flow for HVAC companies. The more ways to pay that businesses can offer, the more likely they are to receive swift payment.
Check it Out
Apart from employing the latest technology, your own old-fashioned banking habits can also put a little more cash in your pocket. Finding the best checking account deal still makes sense for HVAC companies. The right account can save businesses money in the short term, earn them a little extra in the long-term, and even help whittle away at their accounts receivable by making it more convenient for customers to make payments.
Many banks offer small bonuses to businesses opening new accounts. The interest earned from a checking account may also seem negligible, but some banks do offer significantly higher rates than others, though generally with a higher minimum balance requirement. There is still more money to be made in the cashback some checking accounts pay for reaching a debit card purchase threshold. These accounts make it lucrative to pay for all supplies using a debit card—something many HVAC pros do anyway.
Many businesses’ income comes from a few large customers. By housing a checking account with the same bank that customers use to pay, businesses may be able to shave a couple of days off the amount of time it takes for customer payments to hit their accounts. Some customers may be willing to engage in intrabank transfers as a matter of convenience and improved real-time record-keeping. Making ACH payment arrangements with large customers can also speed funds to your account.
What’s On the Horizon?
What does the future hold for businesses who want to keep up-to-date with technical innovations in funds transfer? The growth of cryptocurrency may provide new opportunities as high-tech payment services consider signing on as cryptocurrency transfer agents. While some customers may already own cryptocurrency — there are 44 billion users globally of which 36.5 million are in the US — they may be more likely to turn to trusted brands for virtual payment solutions.
Safety First Always
As HVAC employers move to reduce their workers’ risk during the global pandemic, electronic payments, no matter what form they take, can be an important element in an overall coronavirus strategy. Nowadays, taking payment in any form by hand increases employees’ exposure to infection. And that may be all the motivation businesses need to upgrade their operations to the latest in payment technology right now.
Content provided by Susan Doktor. For more information, visit money.com/best-checking-accounts/.